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A funny thing happened yesterday...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by anonymous, Mar 2, 2001.

  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I was sitting around, minding my own business, when the phone rang. It was a guy with a 'project studio', that had ________, and wanted to get better product out of the studio.

    OK...another day at the office, it's a 45 minute initial conversation, with several years of follow up, no big deal, my usual.

    Then he throws me a curve. He's got "x" amount of money, and instead of buying gear, he wants to hire me to come down to his studio to 'engineer' part of their project, so he can assist, and maybe pick up a few tricks!!

    I thought it was a pretty cool idea! I'm charging him about 1/4 of my regular day rate, and will do 4 days with them. As far as the 'big picture' goes, I think it'll be a decent investment to perhaps enable him to start to maximize the capabilities of the tools he already has.

    I figured I just talk through all the decision making processes that I normally go through when faced with each 'recording situation'...etc.

    I dunno, for some reason I never thought of that kind of an idea, I'm pretty excited about going to the kid's studio to give him a hand. We've already covered that he's not going to have all of the skills after only 4 days, but he will start to get a glimmer of some of the 'hows and whys' that aren't often covered in classrooms or books.
     
  2. Tymish

    Tymish Guest

    Those 4 days of tutelage will probably do more for his work than any piece of gear could. Hell, the entertainment value alone is probably worth it. :cool:
     
  3. hargerst

    hargerst Distinguished Member

    How cool. 4 days of Fletcher teaching you the tricks of the trade. Somebody should be video taping this whole thing for posterity and eventual sales.

    The only possible downside? 4 days of Fletcher!! :D
     
  4. Jay Kadis

    Jay Kadis Guest

    Fletcher wrote:

    "Then he throws me a curve. He's got "x" amount of money, and instead of buying gear, he wants to hire me to come down to his studio to 'engineer' part of their project, so he can assist, and maybe pick up a few tricks!!"


    This is exactly what I meant in another thread by recording consultant as opposed to producer. I think this is a terrific way of advancing the art! Too bad you're not closer to the "left coast"...

    -Jay
     
  5. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Yeah, we did have this very conversation in another thread here on RO...that could very well be where he got the idea! I think it's a fantastic idea for project studios. This way, proper engineers can 'mentor' a session, and perhaps analyze the studio's gear to make recommendations on the next few pieces of gear that would be priorities, and explain why. Maybe even give suggestions on acoustic treatments. Even just a day with a good engineer in a project studio would help immensely.
    I'm glad to see you reaching-out to help us 'little guys'...10 respect points for Fletcher!!!
     
  6. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    I've been considering the same thing. That is, hiring a "real" engineer to come in and run a session while I assist. I'd consider this invaluable and, at the very least, dirt cheap compared to any "formal" recording education.

    Perhaps Fletcher would be so kind as to give us a post-mortem of the session. Certainly, 4 days isn't enough to make George Martin worry about job security, but I'll bet the guy hires Fletcher for a few more gigs.
     
  7. Mixerman

    Mixerman Active Member

    Yeah well... I'm not sure how satisfied you'll be when it's over. When your getting a 1/4 of your day rate, you're looking for more than just money, and often times that means satisfaction.

    The problem is, you'll be working in difficult conditions, and you might not be able to get decent results. That doesn't mean he won't learn anything, but it's hard for people that have never worked in a listening friendly and recording friendly environment to understand how important that is.

    Gear is the over rated tool for recording. The room is the most expensive part, and the most critical part of the chain. Without that, you're lost. And he's lost, because all he'll learn is that his room is so unsatisfactory, that even a pro can't get good results there.

    Mixerman
     
  8. arneholm

    arneholm Guest

    Originally posted by Mixerman:
    The problem is, you'll be working in difficult conditions, and you might not be able to get decent results. That doesn't mean he won't learn anything, but it's hard for people that have never worked in a listening friendly and recording friendly environment to understand how important that is.

    Gear is the over rated tool for recording. The room is the most expensive part, and the most critical part of the chain. Without that, you're lost. And he's lost, because all he'll learn is that his room is so unsatisfactory, that even a pro can't get good results there.


    Well, but the guy can always get at least some sort of a benchmark as of where he is at this particular time with the gear and skills he possesses. I am not arguing with you, Mixerman, lo and behold, just to give you a 'project studio guy's perspective' that the gap in skills and knowledge between a project studio amateur and a seasoned pro is usually so big that it is sometimes hard to comprehend...

    For me it was a rather shocking experience (I wanted to jump under the train after hearing this, first kill him and then jump under the train to be exact) when a friend of mine - pro engineer, albeit live one (he is a Front Of House engineer for Finnish cello quartet Apocalyptica who got pretty known in Europe by playing all-cello Metallica covers with PA blasting at 120 dB and now are touring with their own material) - played me one of his recordings done into his friends gear - PC Samplitude based DAW, plus he didn't use his Summit or Focusrite Producer Pack gear in it - using a Mackie as mic preamps and Samplitude with it's generic EQ-s and plugins for mixing, recording drums with only 2 AKG 414 overheads, well, most everything was tracked with either SM57 or AKG 414-s because these were the things in hand at that particular time.
    I was mostly impressed with the drums - they were nothing what you'd expect from a recording made with spaced stereo overheads only - the kick had a nice 'click' in it, everything was very clear
    and detailed, just as if the set was being close miked. When I asked about it, he said that the drummer could play evenly and he could tune his drums... I asked him about the room, he thought about it a bit and muttered: "...nnoo... not very good..."

    The music style was a very "modern" alt-pop-metal thing with a female voice, so no, it wasn't a Massenburg recording by any means but it was definitely a "modern studio recording" and held on it's own very well against most of the 'similar style' things we hear in the radio these days. Also, there was absolutely nothing reminiscent to the distinct 'PC demo' sound that we almost always hear in a recording made onto a DAW. I actually didn't like that sound or style all that much (cold and loud and overly aggressive) and he did agree with me but told me that this is unfortunately what is in fashion in the moment and what all the bands want right now and in producing a 'contemporary' sound he succeeded very well with some rather basic gear.

    Anyway, listening to that thing made me want to take a real close look into the mirror next time when I want to blame the gear I have for the shittiness of my recordings on a rather similar gear.

    So I think there is a vast amount of things that the guy could learn from Fletcher being there - starting from flaws in the arrangement and playing, moving on to mic selection and placement and finally the decisions made in the mixing process.

    But, if Fletcher has some pasttime to share, perhaps when he is done with the project he could post one of his colourful lengthy articles with a title something like: "So, what did I see in a project studio..." and perhaps describing a gear that he saw in there, in what departements did it lack, if there were flaws in the arrangements or playing that got in the way of songs and what did they do to overcome it. And how did it all turn out. Because the mistakes he sees there are the ones I think many of us could relate to.

    And Mixerman, million thanks for the 'SM57 on acoustic in a very busy rock mix' tip! :) Turned out way better than anything I could manage to with a condenser on any thinkable position, including Harvey's.
     

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