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Have you ever...

Discussion in 'Recording' started by McCheese, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    had a client come in while you're mixing and want what you've got there, even though it's not even close to done?

    This happened the other day. I had just come up with a rough mix and was working on it, and the vocalist comes in and says "That's great! burn it!" I tried explaining to him that it wasn't done, and would only get better, but that's what he wanted.

    Normally I wouldn't mind, but honestly it wasn't something I wanted my name on yet. It wasn't a lo-fi kind of bad, it just hadn't been balanced well, no eq had been done, stuff was conflicting musically, heck I hadn't even done any volume fades or anything.

    I worked on the mix on my own time, and they heard it, but said it sounded too "polished". This wasn't artsy stuff either, just straightforward rock.

    So, anyone else ever have this situation? I mean, I want to please the client and all, but at the same time I'm trying to build a reputation here.
  2. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Guest

    You'll be sad if for some reason it's the next big thing and your names not on it.
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    That's a tuff one. I totally agree with you McCheese. But then again I have worked with guys who dont want to be "polished" sounding.
    Me, I love polish!
    But, If they love it just like it is, and you think it sucks or could be WAY better. Their still gonna tell everybody your the best. Sometimes it's hard not to say what you really think. Or better yet, feel is in the best interest for everyone involved.
    Some dudes are just.......well, too hard to please or to easy to please. My 2 cents
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    In other words, clients can be morons.. of course they don't want you to edit out the clams and conflicting parts ... after all if they didn't think they sounded good, they wouldn't have played them in the first place. But in reality, clients are usually too attached to the performances to mix the song correctly. This is something you need to learn to deal with in a diplomatic way or live with.

    I say follow your heart and trust your gut feelings.

    If it's not somthing you don't want your name on, what's the difference if it becomes a hit (not likely) or not?

    There's lots of stuff out that's a hit, I wouldn't want my name on ... like anything from "Outkast", regardless if it's a smash or not!

    That's not to say I would turn my nose up at the cash that came my way if I was responsible for that stuff. While I might not want my name on the record, I would love it on the check!

    It's like riding a Honda motorcycle, ... it feels good but you don't want your friends to see you do it.
  5. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I'd take my name on any 'OutKast' recording....with points of course.

    They do most of their work in a really beautiful studio in Atlanta.VERY high-end...
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Well I don't want to take it off topic, so I'll reserve futher commentary on "Outkast" for another thread.

    It suffices to say I don't like them but everyone has their own tastes and preferences. As you point out (and I already have said) I wouldn't mind the points. I would just hide my face on my way to the bank.
  7. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Why haven't I posted this topic yet? It seems like every band I get thinks the rough mix is the cat's ass and tells me to stop mixing. Of course I polish it a bit on my own time, but I still don't think I've ever finished mixing one song that I've recorded. Once I can get it tolerable I end up putting off finishing it and then start recording another band. Bad habit of mine, but the bands were happy with the rough mix, I give them a new mix that I don't mind having my name on, and everyone is happy.

    ......it would be kinda nice to finish something though!
  8. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    on the other hand are the morons who are never happy with the mix, the ones that played through a randall amp and wants it so sound like a marshall- with jimmy hendricks doing the licks, of course, not their sad ass technique-
  9. axel

    axel Guest

    i recently did a HC band, and they just wanted it loud, loud, distorted and harsh agressive sounding...

    no prob, i just use a different name 'brand' doing stuff like that and still have a credit outthere. without having my heart beat for it.

    get on with the job, if it is the clients whish...
  10. The thing I do with bands (if they have the timeframe and are really serious about what they are doing) is tell them that after tracking is finished that I will need to work on a rough mix alone for approximately 2-4 weeks and that I will keep in touch with them until a "rough" mix is done. 90% of the time they ask why and I tell them that it really takes a certain mood and level of concentration to give them the best they can get; after all THEY are paying me. (This is a really good way to tell the real bands from the jam bands.) I usually bring them a mix that's 85-95% complete with the other 5-15% absolutely requiring their opinions and feelings. This has worked well for me. However, I do get the occasional (okay, more like 1 in 5) "artist" that thinks Rome was built in a day and that a completed mix (ready for mastering if they so choose) can be finished 1-hour after tracking. (I had one tell me he would be back in an hour to pick up the final mix and I said "this ain't walgreen's" - I still wonder how he took that one.)

    But hey, the customer's always right (in theory), so it kinda sucks when they decide they want to settle for Wall's when they can at least get a minimum of JC Penney.

    (btw, Wall's is a discount store that's cheaper than Ross which is cheaper than Wal-mart for those of you who don't know what I am talking about)
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I've never found patience to be an attribute of a rock band.Especially one whos laying out some hard-earned coin for a demo.Theres the predisposed theory they all seem to have about how its supposed to sound as opposed to how to GET those sounds.Most have been banging out their tunes in a garage-like atmosphere or a rehearsal space that has no sound control to speak of, and in hearing even the playback its going to sound 300% better simply because of the levels and the clarity they've not experienced to that point.To them, it is a done deal and where theres a slim budget,its hard to not want this product thats already better to their ears RIGHT NOW. When I was recording A LOT of these kind of projects(did I mention a LOT of em??),I could usually stem the impatience by providing an individual cassette(CD nowadays)taken from the headphone playback mix and let them sleep on it for a week.By that time, they usually had calmed down a bit(if they were really serious),I would have gotten a beginning handle on where the mix could be going and they would be ready to get down to the serious part of mixing the project.And I would have the basics already done...ie:drums...bass....background guitars...key pads if any...a couple of tricks on the voice as far as effects....so that the beginnings of the mix process would usually go quite smoothly.Until the guitarists want everything louder than everything else.But then thats another issue alltogether.
  12. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    What is it with guitar players and wanting everything really loud? I'm a guitar player, and you better believe everything I listen to is at 11! You should've seen my first mix...I tried making every aspect as loud as the next...awful. It is a hard habit to break...almost as bad as quitting smoking.
  13. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Wow, thanks for the input everyone, some great stuff here. At least I know I'm not alone in my frustration. I guess I'm just used to recording friends that are willing to be a bit more patient and see what I can come up with.

    And Kurt, I love the Honda analogy, I've got to remember that.
  14. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    I get around this by charging 50% penalty fee if they sit on the mixing process or pull it before I bless it. Now if after I'm done they want to lo-fi it or re-mix for poorer results, that's fine with me.

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