This clients request is new to me... ARRGH!
I am in the final mix stages getting ready to send off to mastering....question for all you masters out there...
I have a client who insists on listening to the final mixes in his car and home audio totally flat....now... the problem is he wants the mixes boosted lows and highs to his taste.... well this is why they make eq's so everyone can eq to taste... when I do as he asks, this just accentuates the lows and highs beyond the norm when others ad eq....
How may I put this to him that this is not normal procedure.. he is pretty adamant on proceeding this way...
If so I do not want my name on this....
I appreciate any insight that I can pass long to him!
Temple Island Sound howdy
Well, Bob, he is the customer and the customer is always right. You like the rest of us are audio prostitutes if we are in business. And right he should be listening to things flat. WTF with you? On his home rig and in his car, are very important places to be monitoring the product. And you should know that already. How do you know he wants your name on his product? He came to you via referral? Or because you were cheap? And if you are a professional recording engineer you do with the producer wants good or bad. It's not for you to say. You might suggest. You might voice your opinions. In the end, it's your client's decision to make not yours. So do it his way and then do it your way and present it to him after you do it his way. And if he's happy with his way, you're done. It's what he wants. The customer is always right even when they are terribly wrong. But I don't think he is wrong in the way he's monitoring. You are! It's the way I monitor everything and have been for over 40 years. What's that tell ya? We record and mix in the control room. We all run out to our cars and pop it in the cars, all of the cars. And then we take it home and play it on my home system, flat, just as we played it in our cars. You're the one doing it the wrong way most definitely. And your client is trying to help you understand that. You don't. You don't want to. You think you're right. You're not. You're dead wrong. You'll be out of business soon if you keep that attitude. That's not what professionals do.
And who the hell told you you're supposed to turn up the bass and treble on everything when you monitor? Are you out of your mind? Are you on drugs (like I am)? I smoke this stuff so I don't argue with the producer LOL. And it's not cigarettes. Everybody doesn't turn up their bass and treble on their listening systems. I sure as hell don't. Never have. Never will. Don't like it that way. Neither should you.
Come on Bob you're better than this.
Mx. Remy Ann David
your answer just cements my thought about some here...
I spoke to Bob Katz.. you know him right..? if not your in the wrong business...
look and take heed my recording challenged brother! If you think he is crazy you need to re evaluate you self!
plus the fact not everyone listens to things flat if so they should just stop making eq's right...dude your 57... if you dnot know by know...well what ever,!
Message: Hi Bob, I am getting ready to set up a schedule with you for some
mastering...before I do I have a client who insists on checking the mixes
totally flat... in the car and on other systems. and is having me bump the bass
and highs to match his needs..well my problem is, not everyone listens this
way.. thats why they make eq's so that everyone can color to there needs...so
now when I or other people listen to this project and add a little bass and
treble for taste.. it is just boom and sizzle....I want to give you and the
client the proper sounding files...But I am having a hard time convincing this
person this is not how it is done... can you help me explain this to him... I
think any information I can pass along from you to him...will make my point..he
also has heard your work and praises you, as do I.!! Thank you Bob!
Dear Bob (what a nice first name):
Please tell your client it is all about translation. A good mix and especially a good master should translate to all kinds of systems. Tell him that many cars, especially the ones equipped with subwoofers, are very poor standards when set to "flat", that they are actually incorrect. My Subaru system with a subwoofer is too boomy when set to flat and if I used that as a standard, the music would sound thin and uninvolving everywhere else! Similarly, if you set many cars to so-called "flat" and try to make your mix sound good in the car, that it will suck everywhere else. But this is not the case with all car systems, just the case with most of them with a few notable exceptions, especially the premium Bose systems.
Please tell your client that I am an expert at making a master that will translate to every kind of system that it is out there, from cheap hi fis to audiophile systems to cars and ipods. If he concentrates on one system and if that system (like many cars) sounds boomy (if it has a subwoofer) when set to "flat"---that when you try to compensate for that car it will suck EVERYWHERE ELSE.
In addition, I have to see the lay of the land in your particular case because I haven't heard your mix yet. Please send me one of your best mixes that you consider to be good, and also one of your "corrected" mixes that your client has asked you to produce to please him on his "reference" system---and I'll give you my professional judgment which one is closer to the goal of translating to the widest variety of playback systems. That's the mix that you should seek: the one which translates the best. That mix will, by the way, sound the most correct on the most correct system, and the system which I will be listening is my mastering system, which is so correct that the better I make it sound on my mastering system, the better it will sound everywhere!
I'm forwarding this to Todd, who will set up an FTP for you to upload to me those two versions of your mixes. This will be your free listen/eval that's included in every mastering that I do. Please make them 24 bit or 32-bit float and do not apply any loudness processing to them other than what makes them sound good. In other words, do not put on any digital peak limiters to "maximize" the level.
Hope this helps,
I do not completely agree with his observations about car systems. He is assuming everyone has sub woofers. They don't. And you've already heard those morons driving down the street from three blocks away. If that's the style of the production your client is making, let them have mud if he wants it. If Bob is such a good mastering engineer he'll be able to correct for that. And then if he doesn't like Bob's rendition he can complain to Bob instead of you. Because you delivered to him what he asked of you. You're arguing with the client. If he doesn't like your engineering? You can tell him to take it elsewhere. And that's what I would do as a professional engineer. And I have. I send them to other good engineers I know and respect. Then maybe if he gets the same thing from other engineers, he'll realize how good you really are. But he's got to find out for himself, obviously. And you're not listening. I don't care what Bob says. He's not Bob's client. He's your client. And if that's the sound he wants? That's the sound he wants. I've had clients where I've taken the multitrack tapes and thrown them at them and told them to get out. If you can't work with your client then don't. What are you Mr. audio God? I've made plenty of recordings that I don't care for because the customer wanted them that way.
I had an idiot engineer from Full Sale who was the chief music engineer at the biggest studio in the Washington DC metro area. I was hired on as an Associate Producer, to produce the overdubbed sessions of this jazz album of a client of mine that I had already produced a couple of other albums for. Not through that studio. And I wanted Ribbon microphones on the soprano singer and a trumpet. And this dumb SOB wanted to use an AKG C. 12. I didn't want to condenser sound! And they had no ribbon microphones because he considered ribbon microphones noisy. What? WTF?! Then give me an RE20. But he still put out that freakin' C. 12. And I wasn't there for the mix and what was used? The soprano and trumpet player found the recording highly undesirable of themselves. So what's that tell ya? Honest to God. I've rarely been that kind of professionally insulted by a lamebrain from a recording school idiot. And that's not what the client was paying for. They wanted me specifically because of my talents not his. Got that? Good. You're learning.
Thank you for that letter from Bob. I shall never go to Bob. I'll go to Bernie. Ya know he's not the only pair of ears in the United States? His observations were generalized. Everybody goes to McDonald's and nobody goes to Burger King right?
I don't even know why I wasted my time with this?
Mx. Remy Ann David
I don't know, that sounds pretty reasonable and accurate Bob "Katz".
Personally, if that didn't work, I wouldn't screw with my mix that I felt was right. If your client needs something different but you feel confident that its right, and screwing with it will compromise your professionalism, I say drop him and move on. It will serve you better than being a puppet that is sure to fail with this guy no matter what. Drop him on the higher ground before he takes you down.
Thank you audiokid... I think you are right.