Mastering - trying to understand something

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by mistrbigg, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. mistrbigg

    mistrbigg Guest

    OK. I'm looking for opinions and advice on this subject I've noticed several times in the past.

    A buddy of mine is amongst other music things, an expert music mastering Engineer. He has some very big clients to his name from the late 90s early 2000s.

    he hit me up a few weeks ago to try and figure out why people would do this in the following situation, and I'm completely flabergasted by it (yes! finally used flabergasted in a sentence hehe)

    some of his VERY good friends produce and have produced their own music through others (he was reffering to three unknown groups). two of the artists he really likes the music of. the artists are not signed to anyone, even an indi, and are currently looking for management and labels and such while trying to release their first full length albums.

    he offered FREE mastering services, with absolutely no stipulation (told the artists if they didnt use his masters, he wouldnt be hurt at all in any way). he has established himself in VERY good repore musically with these groups, even did a live recording for one of the bands that turned out so good, the band released 1000 copies of it on there own and got incredibly good feedback and even had an indi label rerelease the live album overseas and it did well.

    heres the thing, none of the people (leaders of the group or band) took him up on the free mastering services. two of the groups have yet to release their albums, and the third went to a midrange mastering house and payed 700 dollars to get their album mastered.

    as a fellow studio owner and engineer, ive had similar situations happen to me as well.

    the question to you all is this. what would make someone not take a person up on such an offer, even if they dont end up using it in the end? i was always told that having as many sets of trusted ears on something as possible is always a good thing, and have gotten work several times because of outsourcing material for mastering to others on stuff i mixed.

    i consider myself a solid engineer (have a long way to go, some examples of stuff i've worked on in the past or present are Google, Google ) and i'm just dumbfounded as to why anyone would do this assuming that all parties involved have proven themselves as trustworthy individuals (stealing anothers music is the ONLY thing i can think of in these regards)

    why would anyone do this? other than why i mentioned? any help?
  2. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Munich / Germany
    Home Page:
    It would be worth some bucks to have a shrink looking at that...
    It happens all over the world. My place. too....
    Often with persons / groups that have goten or always been quite close to the offering party, and not only in music business.
    A friend of mine, an absolute reliable and honest man with excellent reputation in his job as bank manager, told me that his mother went to another bank and lost a bag of cash through obviously wrong advice.
    She is not demented or weak in her brain, not by far, and. both are having a very good and loving relationship. Still, she did not consult her son, but a strange person in a strange bank.

    I think, the more you helped a band or artist out of his valley of dispair and coached him to better results, granted him bags of extra hours for free, made it extra cheap to meet a small budget...
    the more likely it is that you see a behaviour like that what your friend is wondering about. The next time they go to another place, even if they must know it is going to be more expensive and definetely not as good. They are even willing to cope with impersonal morons. It is a small path between insanity and genius ....
    My advice that is hard to follow: keep it a bit more business. They might even have the subconcious feeling they like you too much to bother you one more time with their junk, or do not want to ask you, again, to work for less than your usual rates. What they do not take into consideration is that you live from that job...Who knows the human brain???
  3. mistrbigg

    mistrbigg Guest

    thats put incredibly well. it's hard for me to understand why people do what they do as a career (career mind you, not getting by to pay the bills) when they dont love and live for it. i have to remember if you, as I, are in a field of work we love, we are rare and lucky. i know when i stopped recording everything that came to my studio when i first started and just focused on music i loved, i got WAY better at it REALLY fast.

    thanks for the knowledge. anyone else wanna chime in?
  4. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2010
    Standing right behind you!
    FREE may be the problem. In marketing, free means cheap stuff (read that as "cheap sh*t"). He could offer a deep discount from his regular rate (he can offer whatever he wants).
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Human Beings are the most compassionate and most vicious animals on this planet. Its hard to believe we are actually part of it. It difficult to be human some days seeing how we do business, treat our neighbor and glorious planet.
    Caring and playing the game is all about knowing what we are capable of doing, ready for it and not being surprised. I believe when you get a good handle this, gets better. Big topic but that's my 2 cents.

    Hope it helps

    Big hug
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    He shoulda offered at $1.00 per track. The reasons have been outlined. Why this strikes a chord in some brains is beyond me.......Perhaps with a stipulation of points on the back end without the usual lawyereeze and paperwork......
  7. mistrbigg

    mistrbigg Guest

    he definitely did business with the bands before, with VERY satisfied results. he just offered his services for free being good friends with the groups and people involved.

    i hate to say this, and i understand it's a nagative stereotype, but also, sometimes bands and musicians in general are just real real stupid and incredibly lazy. also sometimes i believe they are afraid of success "what if we do this and people ACTUALLY like and buy it? man, then we'll have to do some real work". hehe

    i mastered a bands album one time, with the stipulation of, if they used my masters, the next time they needed mastering done, they would come to me and we would work out an actual deal they could handle monetarily. i even had it in writing. they did release my mastered album, ask me how i got it so clear and loud without distorting, said "thanks a ton man, it really made a huge difference". then left me out of the inlay completely. i said nothing about it. then 8 months later, they did another album, went to another studio, had it mastered for 1000 dollars somewhere else, the mastering was done very poorly, (not saying that because i was hurt, im saying it factually) and did put the mastering houses name and thanked them in the inlay.

    when i went to them about it kindly, their only response was "ohh yeh, thats right, we did say we'd go to you". i then asked if they didnt go to me for personal reasons, or if they were just trying to be nice nice about the first album (which has sold far more copies than the second hehe) if they didnt like the job i did and their response was "no man, it was really awesome, and we honestly just forgot to put you in the inlay, sorry about that". i said "you know you signed a contract that stated when you did the second album you would come to me for mastering and we would work out a money deal" they said "ohhh we forgot". that was their only retort. i sued them in small claims for 1000 dollars and won, when in court, the judge asked the leader of the band why they didnt go to me on the second album and his answer in court was "we just forgot". the judge said "great, well just DONT FORGET to pay the man 1000 dollars now, and consider it a lesson in memory loss". the real ass kicker is this, once i recieved my 1000 dollars, i would have STILL remastered their second album but they didnt have me do it, basically just throwing away a grand. in court the judge stated i did NOT have to do the work for the second album, and that the 1000 was for lost wages from the group. i then stated that i would gladly do it still for that 1000 dollars, in court. they never approached me to have it done. several years later i saw a band member on the street in my homes town, and said " hey, why didnt you guys ever have me remaster the second album" he said "well we just thought you wouldnt do it" i said "dude, i said, in court no less,that i still would so you guys at least got something out of having to pay me a grand". his response "ohhh". they are no longer my friends.
  8. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Lazy and stupid. A good description. Unfortunately that is something that goes deep into the musical community. A lot blessed with extreme talent have so much coddling and people expressing their awe and having so many things given to them, that they never learn the appropriate skills of getting jobs done and putting out the effort needed to truly succeed at their craft. This goes beyond music and seems to be a rather human trait transcending all sorts of genres.

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