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recording studio politics

Discussion in 'Recording' started by warlock, Aug 18, 2001.

  1. warlock

    warlock Guest

    Here is a hypotetical situation:
    You leave the guitarist to get his "sound" and go get a cup of coffe and when you return he has cranked up the amp and the hiss and hum and huitar tone is horrible and you _know_ the sound will suck in the mix. But the guitarist insist (he has no studio experience ofcourse ) that this is the ultimate sound for him and he wants to keep it. What do you do.... keep it and try to fix it in the mix or try to reason with the guitarist so he would change the sound a little?

    Keijo
     
  2. Originally posted by Keijo Koppel:
    But the guitarist insist (he has no studio experience ofcourse ) that this is the ultimate sound for him and he wants to keep it. What do you do.... keep it and try to fix it in the mix or try to reason with the guitarist so he would change the sound a little?
    Keijo


    I'm assuming that the band is self-produced.

    You could appeal to his intelligence and come up with a comprimise, tell him that yeah, that's a great sound but it'll get lost in the mix and he wants to be heard right??? You'll then probably be able to dial in a sound that'll work for the tape and for him. If the guitar player insists I would record it his way once and then your way if he can't hear or see the difference let him suffer. It's a political situation for sure, if you absolutely can't work with them I'd suggest you tell them to find another studio to maintain your sanity.
     
  3. Mixerman

    Mixerman Active Member

    Good question, and I like Mark's answer. I'll give you a little hint or trick. The politics of a session are very precarious. Sometimes you need to be straight up with someone (I actually recommend always being straight up, but sometimes you need to shut up), and tell them that you're having problems understanding how this sound is going to work in context, and sometimes, you have to allow someone to get something out of their system. Sometimes, they'll actually be right, and you wrong. No matter how knowledgeable you are.

    One way to get around it if you absolutely know it's $*^t, is to ask the guitarist if you can record a little of that sound, then mark the settings on the amp, and let you set them to hear what your concept is. Then when you get your sound happening, record a little of it. Then A/B them, and just explain to him your thinking behind it.

    I'll tell you though, your reasoning better be more than just it'll work better in the mix, because I don't know how you could possibly know that unless you are in control of the production. The reasoning needs to be about emotional impact, and questioning the plans for the rest of the instruments, engaging in conversation about the production, so that your opinion is well informed.

    Engaging in conversation, and being open to understanding what an artist is thinking, (and yes, even guitarists are artists) can result in revelations on both sides of the glass.

    Mixerman
     
  4. audiowkstation

    audiowkstation Active Member

    I would tri mic it..(or bounce to 3 channels mono)..

    Now why would I do that..

    Comparisons on the final...and to say..I told you so...(but kindly)

    Final say so is a collaberation between the producer and the engineer...but some have a tough time convincing an artist...if self produced.

    I have learned how to deal with them. Let them here theirs (they are paying for time) and let them hear yours...but really...

    I sit groups down for a "trust consultation" at first anyway...and this usually clears the air and saves them so experimental convincing dough.


    Nothing worst than having musicians not knowing translation or instrumentation tracking where they are assholes about it. I clear the air before the mics are plugged in. If a producer wants $*^t..I will let them know the varibles to that...and How I plan to work around it.

    You cannot polish a turd (Someone else came up with that)


    Gate it if you have to.
     
  5. Jason Poff

    Jason Poff Guest

    Let him keep his tone. Record a DI also. Re-amp the track with your ideal tone to another track. Let the guitarist choose.
     
  6. realdynamix

    realdynamix Well-Known Member

    Originally posted by Keijo Koppel:
    Here is a hypotetical situation:
    You leave the guitarist to get his "sound" and go get a cup of coffee.
    But the guitarist insist (he has no studio experience of course) that this is the ultimate sound for him and he wants to keep it.
    Keijo


    His "sound", isn't that what we are after?
    Mixermans, "politics", Bill's "Come to Jesus" meeting, Mark's "negotiations" are all part of the personality skills required for the job.

    --Rick
     
  7. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    I often use a splitter box and set up a second amp. I set the tone on that one. They both get recorded. Sometimes the combo of both amps is better that either one alone.
     
  8. warlock

    warlock Guest

    Originally posted by Rick Hammang:


    His "sound", isn't that what we are after?


    Yes well he thinks he has a sound, I thought so too when I started playing guitar 7 years ago :) .
    You have to understand that I'm recording very UG first time in the studio metal bands that see a decent guitar amp the first time in their life so
    you just have to imagine the sound they get from their $100 guitars with their $10 stomp boxes.
    The main thing for them is that it's distorted the tone is not that important....

    Keijo
     
  9. warlock

    warlock Guest

    Just wanted to say that things are not that bad as I may have mad them sound.... It's just the thing is that when my name is on the album and it sounds like crap quess who the people will point the finger to.... The guitarist? Don't think so.... :)

    Keijo
     
  10. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Most guitarists (by the way I am a guitarist primarily) set their amp tone towards a horribly overly bright setting. They think that being 8 feet away and extremely off axis from the speakers is actually how it sounds (well it does in the room). But I keep the mics close to the amp and dual mic. I would never get my ears even close to the speakers of an amp set for stage (at least with the local guys I record). Usually I find that the presence/treble needs to be a maximum of 60-70% of the typical "live" setting. And for most guys using the typical 4x12 marshall or mesa cab the lows are often to much also and need to be decreased slightly also.

    I talk with the bands that I record with in detail before they even come into the studio. I tell them my methods of working and my preferences that I know are best, and if their opinion is differently justified and I can tell they know what the hell they are talking about then I am willing to give it a shot. For example, if a guy insists on a Blackface and a strat I am not going to shoot him down just because I like Mesa and Paul's. He knows what he likes and knows why.

    But there are the guys who own the Crates, Peaveys, and Solid State Marshalls with the lower line Epiphones and Fenders and they think it's the $*^t because that's all they know. I tell them they can use my Les Paul custom and my Dual Rectifier. If they say "no way" it is a pretty clear indication that they are amatuers and we all know you cannot polish a turd. I don't want my name on the CD, so I recommend one of the many studios in the area that I know will whore out hours just for the money.

    If the end product isn't going to be quality and the people are stubborn with no experience to back it up, I would rather not work with them no matter how much I get paid.
    YOMV

    Best Wishes,
    Nathan Eldred
    http://www.atlasproaudio.com
     
  11. Originally posted by Keijo Koppel:
    It's just the thing is that when my name is on the album and it sounds like crap quess who the people will point the finger to.... The guitarist? Don't think so.... :)

    Keijo


    Please see the last line of my previous comments.
     
  12. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    Just to add to what Mixerman said, you need to really find a way to communicate and get yourself and the guitar player working towards a common goal. Chances are you both are looking for the same results but see different ways of getting there. The honest truth is that there are ALWAYS going to be a number of different ways to get there.

    One thing that's worked for me in this situation was moving the guitar player into the control room with the amp in the studio so that we are both relating to the same listening experience.
     

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