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Tracking bands rant Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 16th September 2011
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Tracking bands rant

I feel bad, but I need to rant. Sorry :(

This has happens way too much lately. Often very very similar situations.

Band shows up, always with one or more ppl (usually the bass player and/or drummer), which do not know 1/2 of their parts. At the point of tracking I know that the band often has been playing these songs for months, live, practice, etc etc.

How do you not know your parts after playing a song for over a month?

The crappy part is that often they say "I was rushed into the studio by our singer" (usually the guy taking the lead on the project). You were rushed? After a few months of time to learn, u were rushed?

Not to mention that the player in question was often given a month of lead-time between their session and the guy before them. So drummer finishes their sessions, then the bass player takes a month to book time. What was he doing in this month? Did he pick his bass up?

Often I get the excuse "I don't have anything to play along with so I didn't practice my parts! I need some good music to practice with. it's boring playing alone." That's why you have a band.... haha Or a metronome. Play along to it so you know the music sideways, backwards, etc.

Another classic is when I ask if he practiced his stuff, I often hear "Oh yea I practiced for an hour or so before I came today". Did you practice throughout the past month? "No man, I didn't have time". Why are you in a band?

So then I have to get these ppl to play as best they can, cause if I don't the project will never get out the door. I will then have to edit a lot, and often the player wants to come back in and re-record.. often for free! It makes me think "Why didn't you practice before... but now you think you are up to snuff??"

And the best part of it all is usually that the guy who has the big dreams about the band is this member. He has bright eyes and a big plan, but doesn't know the songs worth a squat. It'd be amusing if I the guy who was was bound to edit the dude every other bar!

</rant>

This happens way too often lately and I had to rant.
Old 16th September 2011
  #2
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

How do you not know your parts after playing a song for over a month?

Ha - I used to pose that very question to people I was in a band with...

If I were you, I'd keep making them do takes until they get it right, and/or tell them to come back when they are better prepared. After all, your name is (theoretically) going on the recording, and the band's performance is a reflection on you.

Good luck!
Old 16th September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Certainly frustrating, you need a certain stomach to be able to deal with these things. There are solutions though.

1) Don't do things for free, and with projects like this charge by the hour. People will suddenly have lots more time to practice when if they don't it will cost them a lot of money.
2) I'm not the editing type, but if you are again charge per hour for this. Have the member be there to see what a pain it is, and also have them bring their checkbook.
3) Tell them you don't do lots of edits, forces them to either learn the parts or pay someone else to do it.
4) Reserve the right to not have your name attached to the recording
5) Sometimes the money is not worth it and it's easier/better to just walk away.
Old 16th September 2011
  #4
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
One word......



HOURLY!



Problem solved. Bring a book to the studio.
Old 16th September 2011
  #5
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T_R_S's Avatar
My accountant, lawyer, mechanic all charge by the hour. I pay my employees by the hour. i charge my clients by the hour.
Old 17th September 2011
  #6
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my opinion? badly rehearsed bands is money for old rope.

I don't care how long I have to sit there pressing "Record - Play - Stop - Rewind - Record - Play - Stop - Rewind" over and over, it pays the same as doing proper work and is a lot easier.

If they need to go in the live room and rehearse for a while, even better, I just sit in the big comfy chair and put a mega rock record on the mains and blast it out until they're done. It's an easy life for some, personally I think it's brilliant.
Old 17th September 2011
  #7
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I think that's the issue I'm having, I charge per project. Why? I dunno, I guess I have self-worth issues to get rid of haha.

I've been told plenty that I have a talent, but whatever I'm no Brendan O'Brien.

I am mostly afraid of losing work because people can't afford it. Which leads me these situations based on your feedback!
Old 17th September 2011
  #8
Talking

.

What part of more me in everyone else's headphones do you not understand? heh

Yeah, screw that - I was done tracking bands ages ago.

I couldn't STAND all the BS and egos.


However, if you MUST deal with bands - and artists in general - there is a one word solution.

It's called PRE-PRODUCTION. ...Nobody hits record until EVERYONE is on the same page. Period.

Learn it. Live it. Love it. (But it STILL doesn't solve the egos and other endless BS problems).

.
Old 17th September 2011
  #9
Lives for gear
 

What I find really cool, funny, and frustrating all at the same time is bands who aren't delusional and just love playing are often the ones who are so very happy to get their music mixed and playing in their cars and ipods! There's no "oooo ya there's too much of the other guitarist in this part" or "I don't think I played that well enough" (after having the pre-mix for weeks and didn't realize this!) or "I wrote a new part! Let's redo it!".

The bands that are into it for the love of the game are a pleasure to work with.
Old 17th September 2011
  #10
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by fooman View Post
What I find really cool, funny, and frustrating all at the same time is bands who aren't delusional and just love playing are often the ones who are so very happy to get their music mixed and playing in their cars and ipods! There's no "oooo ya there's too much of the other guitarist in this part" or "I don't think I played that well enough" (after having the pre-mix for weeks and didn't realize this!) or "I wrote a new part! Let's redo it!".

The bands that are into it for the love of the game are a pleasure to work with.
.

I think a better summary is:

Cool people are cool.

And sucky people are sucky.

I used to think musicians were cool.

As I get older, I'm more skeptical.

I tend to see a lot more selfishness, entitlement, laziness, disorganization, irresponsibility, poverty, drama, self-sabotage, unrealistic expectations, lack of accountability, a tremendous amount of "passing the buck" and blaming others for shortcomings, etc.

But of course you're right, when it all works out - it's awesome - like anything else in life, and like any other groups of people in life.

.
Old 17th September 2011
  #11
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I totally get where you are coming from, because many musicians who have had any tiny tiny tiny bit of praise or success then have that sense of entitlement and ego.

I, like anyone, enjoy my success. I enjoy it when people recognize it as well. But I don't want to walk around with my nose held high and be a pain to others I work with.

I am a musician as well. I don't think it's 'musicians' who are uncool or who should be seen in a certain way, it's the person. As you said

But as I get more experienced and work with more people, I can spot personality types in advance more and more. Sometimes I am completely wrong and someone who I think will be a pain is actually fun to be around and enjoys their music. Sometimes someone who seems like they have their head on straight turns out to be a control-freak and makes my job tough.

Anyways, I am truly ranting haha I apologize. I do enjoy this kind of conversation though, it helps me vent a bit.
Old 17th September 2011
  #12
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fooman View Post
I am mostly afraid of losing work because people can't afford it. Which leads me these situations based on your feedback!
The alternative to loosing work because people can't afford it? Going out of business because YOU can't afford it. You gotta find a way. Going the cheap package route to save clients money is not a long range game plan that will keep you in business. Good luck.
Old 17th September 2011
  #13
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famousbass's Avatar
 

Ha ha ha, the title "Session Bassist" used to be a term of derision. I welcome the work, book me to replace the lazy slob who has other things that interest him. It's a service. We're here so he can concentrate on his real life. And you can deliver the dream. Call me.
Old 17th September 2011
  #14
I had a intern that was in a band. They rehearsed all the time but never played out. I asked my intern what they did in their "rehearsals". He said "play music and get drunk." Thereby lies the problem. If you are playing together and drinking heavily then you really are not going to get much done. My intern told me that they would buy 24 bottles of beer plus the harder stuff for every rehearsal, Since there were only 4 people in the band and they had 24 bottles of beer they were probably legally drunk two hours into their "rehearsal". That really is non productive and is more than likely why they never played out.

I don't think my intern is the only musician that conducts his rehearsals this way.

Case closed.
Old 17th September 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fooman View Post
I am mostly afraid of losing work because people can't afford it. Which leads me these situations based on your feedback!
What type of console would you like more in your studio? A Behringer Eurodesk, or an SSL G+?

Not everyone can afford an SSL, which is half of what makes them so attractive.

If you put a low price on yourself, you're telling potential clients that you're rubbish before they've even heard you.
Old 18th September 2011
  #16
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by fooman View Post
I totally get where you are coming from, because many musicians who have had any tiny tiny tiny bit of praise or success then have that sense of entitlement and ego.

I, like anyone, enjoy my success. I enjoy it when people recognize it as well. But I don't want to walk around with my nose held high and be a pain to others I work with.

I am a musician as well. I don't think it's 'musicians' who are uncool or who should be seen in a certain way, it's the person. As you said

But as I get more experienced and work with more people, I can spot personality types in advance more and more. Sometimes I am completely wrong and someone who I think will be a pain is actually fun to be around and enjoys their music. Sometimes someone who seems like they have their head on straight turns out to be a control-freak and makes my job tough.

Anyways, I am truly ranting haha I apologize. I do enjoy this kind of conversation though, it helps me vent a bit.
.

Don't get me wrong, man.

I'm a musician, too.

And it's not like I'm saying everyone sucks, but me.

I'm merely pointing out some of the flaws in many traditional musician personalities which can make it EXTREMELY difficult to get things done in a positive and productive way. I mean, let's face it - musicians are musicians for a reason, and while we have our interesting and crazy sides, we can also be a royal pain in the arse. Combine this with unrealistic expectations, entitlement, laziness and a frequent lack of financial responsibility - and it's often NOT FUN to be around.

.
Old 18th September 2011
  #17
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
The alternative to loosing work because people can't afford it? Going out of business because YOU can't afford it. You gotta find a way. Going the cheap package route to save clients money is not a long range game plan that will keep you in business. Good luck.
.



well frikkin' sed.

.
Old 20th September 2011
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
I am mostly afraid of losing work because people can't afford it.
As opposed to working for free because people can't afford to pay you?

It's been said time and time again, but charging by the hour is the way to go. If a band can't afford it and are looking at a large package cut them a break on the hourly rate, but still...charge by the hour (and get paid upfront, at least in part). That will motivate them more than anything, especially if money is tight.
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