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How to get the A&R happy?

Member for

21 years 2 months
Hi there all!
What do you guys do when the A&R,artist or
the band whants a premix (my recordings
usually ends up in my Pro Tools before I mix it
on Neve or SSL) straight out from PT. Do you
bounce it, burn a CD without doing some
¨premastering¨ or do you master it (L1 or Maxim) to get the level up so the A&R guy don't
flip when he compares it to latest rock relese
on Billboard. I just hate to put a maximizer on the material in a premix stage just to put up the level. :confused:

Comments

Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Fri, 01/25/2002 - 01:07
this is a tricky issue for sure... if you make a standard 'board mix' they may indeed regard it as 'not commercial' sounding against other CDs.. and if you do a tweaked or 'maxed out' CD you may be making a rod for your own back when they later claim they prefer it to the `final mix'

:)

Member for

16 years 4 months

pan Fri, 01/25/2002 - 02:57
Far better is an invite to the studio..
(where they pay for dinner!)


That's always the best option:
Have the A&R guy in the *big studio*("Wow! This is where you did the Track? Cool place!"), where he hears the song the way he will never hear it again - in a good monitoring situation ;)

And yes - I love those A&R-dinners...

Member for

21 years 2 months

Ang1970 Fri, 01/25/2002 - 09:35
Man Jules you're 1000% spot on with that one! I've been there so many times... and it's always a tricky thing trying to figure out a way to say "no" to the guy footing the bill for the session. Asking for a ref mix is like admitting "I don't have any fucking ears at all, I couldn't A&R my way out of a paper bag, this cd is for my buddies to hear and tell me how I should do my job." Wankers! Either that or "the president of the label didn't feel your project was enough of a priority to get off his arse and come down here, so he sent me." :roll:

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Fri, 01/25/2002 - 13:15
I, too, always try to get them come down to the studio. I find that making them feel like they are part of the process/team (i.e.; make them think what you think should be done is actually their idea) is an ecxellent way of buying yourself some slack. A good one is to have them take part in some goofy overdub like doing a tambourine or clap part or a little bg (that could be redone anyway). While they are absorbed at doing "their" part right they ain't on your back! And after that you are "studio buddies"... I'll make them a quick mix with wathever instrument/part I know they are found of so stupidly up front and play it LOUD!!! I even do this for approvals. Once they've approved the mix and wanna leave with the talent for a fancy dinner, I'll stay "just to fix a couple of little things" and make the track work to my liking. The day I'll meet one that can actually hear what I've done is the day I'll stop... NO!!!!

Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Sun, 01/27/2002 - 03:41
Sad but true!
:eek:

Use any of these to create a hot pre mix CD.

Finalizer (any of the range)
Waves L1 software
L2 (hardware or software)
Maxim plug in
TC MasterX plug in
T Rex plug in

+ I am sure there are a lot of other maximising softwares for Logoc VST Nuendo ect & some Pro Tools ones I have forgotten.

Member for

20 years 7 months

mwagener Sun, 01/27/2002 - 08:26
At the time of the big "football" crowd vocals (late 80s) I used to invite the A&R guy to the studio to *sing* on the record. After a few beers and about 16 tracks of 10 people screaming on what I thought should be the single, the A&R guy song was already sold on the song. When they listened to a ruff of the song they always said: "I can hear myself" (right, out of 160 voices). But they always were behind that particular song, because they *performed* on it. Hope no A&R guys are reading this ;)

Member for

20 years 6 months

Jon Atack Sun, 01/27/2002 - 14:16
Rough mixes...I'd love to know how you guys manage to refuse when the client really wants one (and not just the A&R; it's often for the artist at the end of a tracking day).

I try not to maximize my rough mixes if they are any good, because if they love the rough enough to use it as a keeper then that's great. If you're shooting for that, then you don't want any limiting on your rough mixes..

If the song isn't finished or it's clearly not going to be a keeper, like in your case, Colt, then you're not risking much by making it sound more like a record. I would personally patch in a SMC2B, then Massivo or GML EQ, then A/D, then L2, then UV22HR to 16 bits, then burn the CD.

Or, if you're doing it all in PT withplug-ins I'd just put a C4 followed by an L1+ or L2 on the master fader and be done with it.

Jon

Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Sun, 01/27/2002 - 15:30
"Rough mixes...I'd love to know how you guys manage to refuse when the client really wants one (and not just the A&R; it's often for the artist at the end of a tracking day)."
- Jon Atack

"you will only stay up all night listening to it"

"face it, you will be back here in 10 hours"

"no"

"shit, I'm sorry! I've already shut the computer down"

:)

Jules

Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Mon, 01/28/2002 - 12:28
"i'm having trouble with my CD burner - i'm pretty sure i'll have it fixed by tomorrow."

"shit! i'm all out of CD blanks!"

"sorry, we're out of time. i've got to set up for another session right now."

"oops! i forgot i have to pick up my dog/wife/kids/grandmother etc."

Member for

20 years 6 months

Jon Atack Mon, 01/28/2002 - 14:07
Re the Tubetech SMC2B: I like it in combination with a Massivo or GML 8200 for mastering. They are v nice units individually, but together I find that they add up to considerably more than the sum of the parts. People bring in flat, ugly, depthless DAW mixes, and with an SMC followed by the Massivo in particular, it amazes me what depth and beauty can be brought out.

For mixing, the SMC is a nice subgroup comp/EQ. I use it frequently for drums, BVs, or harmony vocals. It's handy for making the bottom end pump or the high end shine and scintillate.

Jon

Member for

20 years 7 months

Curve Dominant Mon, 01/28/2002 - 15:24
Here's an idea...

Tell the A&R guy, "We have a strict policy of not letting rough mixes off the premises, because they can get ripped to the internet if they fall into the wrong hands."

Back it up with a (true or otherwise) horror story about how this happened once, it was a big debacle, the shit hit the fan, lawsuit, etc. Tell them, "No way - too many liabilities. Just come here, and I'll kick it for you"

That might work?
E :)

Member for

16 years 4 months

pan Mon, 01/28/2002 - 16:11
Hey, this ROcks!

we are doing it for the artists OWN GOOD! (I am serious!)
anything goes to avoid that rough mix! And I agree, it does the artist NO good.

Tell the A&R guy, "We have a strict policy of not letting rough mixes off the premises, because they can get ripped to the internet if they fall into the wrong hands."


The wrong hands might be the A&R himself:
I never give (rough)mixes to the A&R guys anymore!
They tend to put the roughs as mp3 on the webpage themselves...

They are really funny - I gave them an unmastered(to be mastered in NYC) Yamaha-burned CD-R to have the tracklisting with interludes and transitions of the album confirmed - they called me panicking, that the press-facility rejected the "Master CD" - because there were scratches on it! ;)

I admit - those were already fine final mixes :cool: but they did not realize, that it was not the mastered album! :w:

Member for

21 years 2 months

Ang1970 Mon, 01/28/2002 - 21:25
Originally posted by pan:
I admit - those were already fine final mixes :cool: but they did not realize, that it was not the mastered album!

I have heard many stories of clients taking a reference mix on cd or even cassette to mastering and subsequent release... of course, without having paid the studio bill! This is as good a reason as any not to release cd's to anyone. So put your cd burners in a portable rack, and hide them in the closet until you need a copy for your own personal use.

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