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Holding artists music hostage in your computer!

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by anonymous, Mar 30, 2002.

  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Months ago I embarked on several projects at once then go kinda snowed under, months later I am only just now getting to the end of mixing them. It was not fair of me to keep so many projects waiting around... I really dont want to do it again.. I hope to just bang em out in future - 'wham bam, thank you mam" style!

    Anyone else suffering from projects lingering in the DAW!?

    (I am aware self producing artists have song 'on the go' for very long periods, feel free to chip in on that topic as well, but my 'problem' was keeping clients / artists on spec deals - "waiting")

    My analog / DAW hybrid method of mixing now make for a more exciting mix stage.. More of a one time deal..

    Off to tweak some more!

    :w:
     
  2. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    Right now I have like 4 bands sitting unmixed in my computer.
    The problem with bands knowing everything is saved in the computer, they feel they can come back at ANY time to finish. I wish they'd come back and spend a couple days mixing, finish paying me all the money so i can erase the things off my hard drive. I know its not the same situation but annoying none the less.

    Theres nothing I like better then when someone books all consecutive days and we can finish 5 songs in like 5 days.
     
  3. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Howdy

    I should preface this by saying I'm more of a keyboard player and sound designer/programmer than a mixer guy. My studio fits the "bottom feeder" mold, which is fine with me.

    I have a couple of these projects on my drive. One in particular is approaching the year and a half mark. It taking so long is not really my doing, but rather a matter of economics and psychology. The economics are that I can't pay the mortgage _just_ doing their project. So, I give them a couple weekends a month...if they can get their $*^t together enough to make it.

    The "leader" of the group is a very...shall we say..."complicated" character. His "partner" is pretty much the exact opposite in every way: gender, culture, attitude, etc. Time and time again, their petty differences bring sessions to a grinding halt.

    One time, he showed up at my door with his partner and announced that he was not going to be able to work with his partner because she was a "c--t" and he was going to walk home. His home is 70 miles away with the entire LA metro area in between. So I went to talk to the partner and he was gone. It turns out that in the last 10 minutes of the hour and a half drive out to my place, they had a disagreement as to how "into" the project each other was. Another day of recording wasted.

    So, when just the basics of normal human communication are missing and we have to spend time working that out, not much time is left for the music (on which our time would be better spent).

    Similar scenarios have played out ad nauseum. As a result, I just don't devote much time to it any longer. No wonder studios have couches. Perhaps I should add a "Dr. Laura time" line to my invoices.

    Or maybe I should hire Fletcher to come in and crack a few skulls.
     
  4. stedel

    stedel Guest

    :(
    And what's a "Doctor Laura time" ?

    And did I miss something?
    I have been known to be obtuse up here, and I'm always grateful if somebody corrects me, truly, but - didn't this start with Julian feeling guilty
    over not doing work on someone's stuff?

    Not hiring Skull-Crusher's to break the legs of
    an artist because they owe you more than money.
    Or is it the same thing? I'm confused. :(

    I'm just gonna go now, check that I didn't upset Fletcher last time I made a reply to his comments. :cool:
    If I remember correctly, I thanked him for his grace, wisdom, and time for responding to my post.
    Spoke to him about Jaguars for a while, and again thanked him. I might just check that.
     
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Well, I have good news and bad news.

    The bad news is however much hard drive storage you have, there will be just enough projects occupying them to fill them up... plus maybe just a bit more.

    The good news is firewire drives are getting incredibly cheap.

    My main recording drive is a Glyph 36 GB ultra-SCSI. And I also have a 30 GB ATA internal drive in my G4. Then I have two firewire drives - 80GB and 60GB. Total = 206 GB.

    Guess what? They're all full.

    But it doesn't really bother me having 12 or more projects languishing on my drives waiting for the artists to get their (pick one) $*^t/money/concept together to finish. If I really run out of space, I'll just pick up another 80 Gigs for $300. Meanwhile, it's almost like having a safety net - if nothing new is coming in the door, I can always call someone and say: "Hey, about that project you started here in October 2000 - how about we finish it up this week." Usually they are grateful for a push to overcome the inertia.

    PS - No matter how much drive space I own, I still back-up everything to DDS4 tape as well. I even encourage duplicate tape back-up sets. It only takes one hard drive crash to create permanent paranoia.
     
  6. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Hi Stedel

    I meant "crack skulls" as in "a few choice words to get people's heads into the music rather than petty bs". Fletcher strikes me as a "no $*^t guy" which is what I strive for but I'm probably more of a "less $*^t guy" at this point of my career. [smiley face]

    Dr. Laura is a radio personality that gives advice to people who call her show with problems. Some people find her as controversial as Howard Stern, others don't. Nevertheless, I find myself listening to more non-musical problems from these particular clients than mixing.

    Although slightly different, it might be an interesting topic. What do you do when you're caught in between two people who really shouldn't be working together but you're 75% done with a project?

    I was just answering Jules' "Anyone else suffering from projects lingering in the DAW!?". Although my reasons are different, I do have a few projects sitting there like last week's Chinese food.

    Speaking of which...mmm, Chinese! [smiley, hungry face]
     
  7. RobinH

    RobinH Guest

    The only time I hold artists work hostage is when they haven't paid. I find such pettiness lubricates the financial cogs of commerce. Works a treat again and again.

    As for projects hanging over , it helps if you are busy and they realize if they don't finnish in the allotted time then they may be waiting 2 or 3 months to get back in the studio. Personally I just dump everything off onto CDR and stack it in the archive drawer ... which is what I do with everything anyway. Ofcourse you therefore need the downtime between sessions to do this .... my latest plan has been to ethernet two Macs together , one for recording one for backing up ( have yet to test this system out ).
     
  8. Juergen

    Juergen Guest

    Do you charge for frequent backups, that is, cdrs, backup time, etc? Or do you just do it on your own time, and "include" it in your regular studio costs?

    Most of the people I record at my studio are independant artists, they don't pay much to get their stuff recorded in the first place. So half the time I have to try to come up with a good way of explaining the necessity of taking home even cdr copies of the sessions at the end of their project.

    Is it better to never mention backups and the costs associated with it and just include it in my studio rate?

    Juergen
     
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    "Is it better to never mention backups and the costs associated with it and just include it in my studio rate?"

    If you charge by the hour, just do it during the sessions or tell them it must be done and be billed for. (perhaps at reduced rate if it is just a matter of setting a DAT or AIT backup rolling overnight..)
     
  10. sdevino

    sdevino Active Member

    I ask the client to bring me a raw 5400 RPM ATA drive or allow me to purchase one for a $200 fee (same as 1 2" tape).

    I pop it into one of my Firewire sleds then use it to keep major backups and then the final project.

    For The smaller guys I will use a DVD-R.

    Steve
     
  11. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    This seems very inefficient, compared to just chaining a bunch of firewire drives together on the same CPU.

    First of all, it's much more expensive.
    Second, ethernet transfers are SLOOOOOOOOOOOOW! Dumping a 10GB project from one drive to another takes maybe 20 minutes. Via ethernet it would take hours!
     
  12. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I occaisionaly 'network' a few mac's. (2 x PT Mix + rigs) I have an ethernet link betwen the live area and the control room, I found it usually more trouble than it was worth and very often to be 'crash city' :)
     
  13. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I use Retrospect software with a DDS4 system. I only charge the client for blank media, as there is only a negligeable time aspect involved. Once I pop the backup tape in, it runs in the background - which means I can be mixing or recording someone else's project (or eating or sleeping) while the backup is happening. So, in all fairness, why should the client be paying by the hour for that? I just charge a small mark-up on the blank media instead to cover my minimal "labor".

    On the other hand, I guess if I had no competition, I'd charge the client by the hour while I used the bathroom, watched TV, and slept with my girlfriend! :w:
     
  14. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    In the background EH? Hmmm!
     
  15. Nate Tschetter

    Nate Tschetter Active Member

    Howdy

    Agreed, 10baseT sucks for huge file transfers. I've been looking into FireNet for my future backups.
     
  16. Tom Cram

    Tom Cram Active Member

    I have an artist that has taken a year and 3 months. It has been a testament to keeping accurate studio logs :D . She is still not done, she has backup vox and misc overdubs to complete. I wish I could say it has been my fault, 'cause if it were I would have taken steps to fix the problem by now. She just wants to take her own sweet time. She is really good and easy to work with so I haven't been complaining (much).

    The one that frustrates me is the band that came in, recorded drum tracks and vanished. They are current on the bill. I just can't contact them to see if they want to continue, the contact number has been disconnected. So it just sits on my archive drive, taking up valuable space :confused:

    I'll dump it soon, I swear I will...
     
  17. damster

    damster Member

    Wiggy Neve Freak or any other analog guy should pipe in at this point and share with us the current price for 2" tape........that will only hold about 3 songs!I have a couple of old reels that are going to be placed under the glass surface of a coffee table.These will serve as 'reminders' of how it used to be and the cost associated with these beauties.Suddenly the purchase of 7200 rpm IDE that will hold their whole album does'nt seem so troubling.If they are not willing to pay for one at this point then they have quite a time convincing me that I will be paid.

    Showing up to band rehearsals and talking to the members is another good indication for me if the band is serious about what they are doing.If I am producing the band then this step is not an option.....It's a must. By asking the right questions I can get a glimpse at what the sessions have in store and how long I am going to have to wait to be paid.
     
  18. davemc

    davemc Guest

    I have had a few bands come in do a few days then run out of money as they try too much and then end up only doing one day a month. This takes months to finish and sometimes the space gets short and what can you do. apart from :mad:

    Had a engineer want to bring some of his own work in, I said cool get yourself a 40gig firewire drive to store it on. I did not want the responsibility for his stuff when he was not there and really did not have the extra space for his project that would go on for 1 day a week for 2-3 months. He said firewire drive was too expensive.
     
  19. RobinH

    RobinH Guest

    Backups are definately an extra , I do them in my own time and charge a price that reflects the time taken to do it. If they don't like it then explain nicely what the alternatives are ... ie the recycle bin. If a client can't be bothered to pay for backups , then he can't be bothered about his recordings. And yes a nice explanation of the cost of backing up to 2" can make them see the light.

    It is interesting to hear of ethernet problems , this has been one of my worries. Unfortuneately my firewire ports seem to have been shafted by a Formac CD burner and I can only get firewire working on the G4. As this now houses the aforesaid 24x CD Burner and the G3 is relagted to a Gen2 USB burner , an ethernet connection seems the only answer.

    I have been informed that I can use a seperate extension set for ethernet swapping which will not conflict with my audio settings. I would like to hear anyones experiences with such a connection , and recommendations.
     
  20. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    ?
    [/qb][/QUOTE]I use Retrospect software with a DDS4 system. "

    Don't get me started on DDS4....I Hate DDS4. I've had to send mine back to Glyph TWICE. It never makes me feel comfortable. If I come in the next mornig after backing up 10 or 15 GB I'm very very lucky if I don'y have to run it again, to get a complete and veriefied back -up....and that's when it's working. I wish I'd spent my money on the ecrix.
     

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