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Author Topic: Need professionnal ear  (Read 9995 times)

Reno

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Need professionnal ear
« on: October 07, 2010, 03:25:44 pm »

Hello Everyone

I'm a musician and I'm also a fan of mixing and recording. With my band,  we just released an album. The instrumental parts were recorded in a professional studio (10 days) in Belgium and the voices were recorded in a second studio (8 days). The mixing and mastering were done in the second studio in Brussels. The album contains ten tracks and they all almost sound the same. I have absolutely nothing to do with the production, everything was done by professionals, I just played my role in playing the drums. I am a regular at this forum (I'm a big fan of your projects IMP where I learn many things by comparing mixes) and although I am not speaking much, I know there are a lot of professional and experienced sound engineers here, and I would like their opinion.

So here's my request: Here is a link to a zip file containing the first three songs on the album.

http://www.4shared.com/file/0JxLHrSs/thestrawsforPSWforums.h tml

Can you please make your comments ... I let some of my impressions and questions for you to understand my approach.

1) We paid
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meverylame

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2010, 03:43:41 pm »

Well, off the bat I have to ask, did you guys have an outside producer working on the project?
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Reno

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2010, 03:48:10 pm »

Yes, we had a producer, the guy who mixed and mastered.

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grantis

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2010, 04:05:42 pm »

I've listened to the all 3 of the songs, and here's my gut reaction....

1.  That's a sticky question.  It depends on where the 17k went....if it only paid for studio time, then no, I don't think you over-paid.  If most of it went to a producer, then yes, it was too expensive.

2.  Yes, a bit cold sounding

3.  "Has been", I dunno.  "Has" this sound ever "been" the norm?

4.  I thought track 2 was a good song, with good hooks man.  All 3 of the songs were good in their own right, but the arrangements could have been tightened up, most especially track 1.  

My overall impression was: "this is a band who has invested time into their craft, and shows a bit of promise, but is still searching for who they are"

Don't be discouraged by my words, use them for motivation.
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Reno

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 04:19:05 pm »

Thanks grantis!

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jonathan jetter

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010, 04:21:26 pm »

i think it's a more complicated question.

overall i think the recordings sound solid.  the production does not blow my mind.  there are things i personally disagree with.  i've heard better sounding records but also heard many that sound worse than yours.

so.  no, i don't think $17k is too much to spend for what you're talking about (10 days tracking, 8 days vocal tracking, plus mixing and mastering time).  assuming you mix 2 songs/day, plus one day mastering, you're talking about 25 days total.  this works out to roughly $700/day.

having said that.....my real question is whether your band is at the point where you need to spend $17k on an album.  will this accomplish something for you that spending $5k on a 3 song demo would not accomplish?
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SingSing

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2010, 06:13:09 pm »

My short version.

The lead vocals sound strange.

A bit muffled.
A bit nasal.
Like it has a chorus, phaser or other modulation.

I would've mixed it differently.

The production, songs and sounds are fine, if that's what you're after.

The most obvious example of the lead vocal is in the 3rd song at 2:16. I guess you'll see what I mean.


All the best,
Stefan
SingSing
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Scott Featherstone

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2010, 06:44:41 pm »

I think the guitar sound is hurting it.
Don't get me wrong, I liked it, however I think the guitars are wrong.I feel it would have had so much more power if they had more body and weren't competing with the vocals.I also thought the vocals should be "bigger", but that could change depending on a different guitar sound behind it.
Hey man..just my 2 cents.I liked song 2 alot.
Maybe 2 more rythem guitars during the choruses to give it some "lift".The mix feels very static to me.Like the levels were set , and then not touched.
like I said man, just my opinion.I was diggin' it though.  Smile
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archtop

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2010, 10:20:39 am »

Unfortunately asking this question is only gonna lead to grief for you.

So I'm gonna bite my tongue.





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Richard Williams

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2010, 10:37:17 am »

archtop wrote on Fri, 08 October 2010 09:20

Unfortunately asking this question is only gonna lead to grief for you.

So I'm gonna bite my tongue.



yup!

and, posting this means you are some level of unhappy.  Which, that alone, answers your question.
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Reno

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2010, 10:41:41 am »

archtop wrote on Fri, 08 October 2010 09:20

Unfortunately asking this question is only gonna lead to grief for you.

So I'm gonna bite my tongue.



we just try to be objective... It's our music, so it's very hard to be objective...

we just try to draw lessons from this experience
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dconstruction

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2010, 12:03:38 pm »

If I had a client willing to spend $17,000 on a 10-song album project, I'd faint.  That's 10x what I usually charge.

But then, I don't have a Neve desk.

But then, I wonder if I need one.
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rankus

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2010, 04:26:19 pm »



I think it's a decent sounding recording.  And a good band!

For $17k you would have two to three months of my undivided attention, and we would have stacked the gtrs and vocals more... perhaps a little keyboards to fill things out... I guess what I'm saying is the foreground is pretty good but there is no attention to the background elements that set a "production" apart from a demo of the band... (Not that the mixes or performances sound like demos, they sound good) There should be attention to new elements being introduced at choruses for example.. If I had mixed it the gtrs may have been brighter.. (that's personal taste though)

Overall it sounds good, and as someone said above if the money went to studio time (rather than the producer) then all is good...


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Reno

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2010, 11:59:45 am »

thanks
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Nick Sevilla

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2010, 08:42:57 am »

Reno wrote on Thu, 07 October 2010 12:25

Hello Everyone

I'm a musician and I'm also a fan of mixing and recording. With my band,  we just released an album. The instrumental parts were recorded in a professional studio (10 days) in Belgium and the voices were recorded in a second studio (8 days). The mixing and mastering were done in the second studio in Brussels. The album contains ten tracks and they all almost sound the same. I have absolutely nothing to do with the production, everything was done by professionals, I just played my role in playing the drums. I am a regular at this forum (I'm a big fan of your projects IMP where I learn many things by comparing mixes) and although I am not speaking much, I know there are a lot of professional and experienced sound engineers here, and I would like their opinion.

So here's my request: Here is a link to a zip file containing the first three songs on the album.

 http://www.4shared.com/file/0JxLHrSs/thestrawsforPSWforums.h tml

Can you please make your comments ... I let some of my impressions and questions for you to understand my approach.

1) We paid
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Nicky D

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2010, 03:11:23 am »

dconstruction wrote on Fri, 08 October 2010 11:03

If I had a client willing to spend $17,000 on a 10-song album project, I'd faint.  That's 10x what I usually charge.

But then, I don't have a Neve desk.

But then, I wonder if I need one.


So you charge $170 per song to record, edit, mix and master???

No I don't think you need a Neve desk.  All those faders will only slow you down man.


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dconstruction

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2010, 02:17:21 pm »

Nicky D wrote on Wed, 13 October 2010 02:11

So you charge $170 per song to record, edit, mix and master???

No I don't think you need a Neve desk.  All those faders will only slow you down man.



No, not to master - I don't do that.  I leave it to others with more experience.

I get the incredulity. I don't really appreciate the swipe, but I'm sure it was well-intended. But you're right: for the first couple of weeks, a Neve desk WOULD slow me down.  I'd have to relearn my entire workflow.

Last project: lalagray.bandcamp.com
Charged: $1,662.50
Hours: 47.5
Review: "[T]he album was recorded at Junius Recording Co. by producer Lindsay Graham. With this and The Beaten Sea's self-titled debut from the spring, Graham's quietly propping himself up as one of the better producers in the region."  Dallas Observer, 9/2/2010

Previous project: thebeatensea.bandcamp.com
Charged: $1,540.00
Hours: 44
Review: "[The Beaten Sea] build on their live sound right out of the gate, a move that most bands don’t take until two or three releases down the line. They add drums and electric bass, and open up arrangements on most of the songs so that they could fit comfortably on any Wilco or Elvis Costello album." Pegasus News, 5/18/2010

So, yeah: I guess I do charge about $170 a song.  Or less.  I wish the market could bare more.  I'd be able to make more records!

L
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Reno

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2010, 01:39:45 am »

Nick Sevilla wrote on Tue, 12 October 2010 07:42

Reno wrote on Thu, 07 October 2010 12:25

Hello Everyone

I'm a musician and I'm also a fan of mixing and recording. With my band,  we just released an album. The instrumental parts were recorded in a professional studio (10 days) in Belgium and the voices were recorded in a second studio (8 days). The mixing and mastering were done in the second studio in Brussels. The album contains ten tracks and they all almost sound the same. I have absolutely nothing to do with the production, everything was done by professionals, I just played my role in playing the drums. I am a regular at this forum (I'm a big fan of your projects IMP where I learn many things by comparing mixes) and although I am not speaking much, I know there are a lot of professional and experienced sound engineers here, and I would like their opinion.

So here's my request: Here is a link to a zip file containing the first three songs on the album.

  http://www.4shared.com/file/0JxLHrSs/thestrawsforPSWforums.h tml

Can you please make your comments ... I let some of my impressions and questions for you to understand my approach.

1) We paid
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benjiboo

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2010, 10:07:13 am »

Hey Reno, I've lurked here for years and very very really post, so take what I say how you will. I can't comment on the sound of the production, as I listened to it on my laptop (sounds pretty decent on the laptop speakers) but the thing that instantly hit me listening to your tunes was the lack of backing/harmony vocals. For the style of music, without the layers of backing vocals lifting the chorus, it all sound a bit half cooked, like something's seriously missing.
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Nick Sevilla

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2010, 11:26:38 am »

Ok then.

I will listen objectively.

Report in a few...
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dconstruction

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2010, 02:03:51 pm »

Funny that I end up quoting you from another thread here, Nick:

Nick Sevilla wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 10:52



When we spoke yesterday, I mentioned to the producer that on average it does take about 35 to 50 hours per song, IF THE ARTIST has already finished the songwriting, arranging, etc, and all we are doing is producing the final version of it from scratch.




Headed off-topic here, but...

I'm still wrapping my head around spending 50 hours a song.  I mean, I get it - if the budget is there, sure.  Do whatever it takes to get it as close to perfect as you can.  But man alive!  NO local artists have that budget, or that patience.  I am always arranging on the fly, writing parts in studio, rewriting lyrics and often hearing the song for the first time the day of recording - and I'm still averaging a song a day or less.  I am in no way saying that my product can't be improved, but improved 10x by spending 10x the time and money?

Back on topic...

To the original poster, after listening to the samples, my honest opinion is that you've been swindled.  I mean that in the most polite, objective way possible.

L
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Nick Sevilla

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2010, 04:01:33 pm »

dconstruction wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 11:03

Funny that I end up quoting you from another thread here, Nick:

Nick Sevilla wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 10:52



When we spoke yesterday, I mentioned to the producer that on average it does take about 35 to 50 hours per song, IF THE ARTIST has already finished the songwriting, arranging, etc, and all we are doing is producing the final version of it from scratch.




Headed off-topic here, but...

I'm still wrapping my head around spending 50 hours a song.  I mean, I get it - if the budget is there, sure.  Do whatever it takes to get it as close to perfect as you can.  But man alive!  NO local artists have that budget, or that patience.  I am always arranging on the fly, writing parts in studio, rewriting lyrics and often hearing the song for the first time the day of recording - and I'm still averaging a song a day or less.  I am in no way saying that my product can't be improved, but improved 10x by spending 10x the time and money?

Back on topic...

To the original poster, after listening to the samples, my honest opinion is that you've been swindled.  I mean that in the most polite, objective way possible.

L


Well the issue here is that most of the time the artist needs this time to finish the song.

If they want a certain name artist to sing on their record as a duet, that takes time.

If they want a certain kind of instrument, tracking that down and recording it, takes time.

If they want to hang upside down from the studio rafters and sing the beegees only for the last chorus of the third song, that takes time to set up safely.

If they want to have a party for two weeks in the studio, that takes time.

If they change the arrangement completely, and the song needs to be rebuilt from scratch because now the album is not a Goth-Pop-Metal-Disco-Nirvana-Extravagannza themed album, then that takes time too.

You see, these damned computers have opened a wormhole of epic time wasting possibilities.

And we all know how fickle artists can be sometimes...

If the singer's girlfriend looks at the bass player a weird way, that takes 2.5 to 3 days to sort out properly.

If the ex-wife comes in and stares the guitarist down for 5 seconds, and then walks out, then that can take as much as 30 days to sort out.

Etc...etc...etc...

It all starts to add up, believe it or not.
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dconstruction

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2010, 04:08:50 pm »

I suppose I can be glad to state I've had exactly zero of these situations ever come up.  And certainly never charged for the time wasted by them.

L
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Nick Sevilla

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #23 on: October 15, 2010, 04:22:36 pm »

Nick Sevilla wrote on Thu, 14 October 2010 08:26

Ok then.

I will listen objectively.

Report in a few...


Hi,

After trying to download your song / file / whatever it was... THREE times.

Success. Please try to not use this service. It is rather off putting, and unprofessional.

Cheers

PS comments in a few minutes...
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Nick Sevilla

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2010, 04:52:14 pm »

Hi,

Song 1 - What's Going On?

Guitars are missing hair on their balls. As in they do not have the aggressive sound that could exist for this type of song. They do not grab my ear and make it go "ouch", and I think it could do that better.

Bass... what bass? Turn that up, please. In fact get the bass payer a bat, and have him hold it whilst the mix engineer looks at him nervously. Bass is very important in this style of song. Right now it sounds like it went away because someone complained about it being too loud. It is too soft.

Drums - too compressed, like the engineer took out the attacks of most of the individual drums, and then compressed it more anyways, as if that would make it sound bigger. Compression in the wrong hands is very sad.

Lead Vocal - Too flat and two dimensional sounding. It sounds to me that the vocal was processed too much, to try to make it fit in with the rest of the instruments. It could have been the other way around... instruments fit around the vocal.

Song 2 - Killing Her Down

Guitars - better guitars here, maybe because they are played differently?

Intro guitar - could have better effects / sound. Sounds like a demo to me.

Lead Vocal. See comment above. Like they had a template for the lead vocal, and stuck to it. Not good.

Drums - when the breakdown occurs at1:15:804, it really becomes apparent at how small they sound, thanks to the aforementioned overcompression.

Bass - Good job here. It can be heard on this song.

Song 3 - ... And The Needles

The two guitar riffs at 00:56:869 and 00:58:723 :

They sound like a guitar from a DEMO. The attitude of the guitar player is lost on me with this sort of tone, or rather lack thereof. He plays very cool licks, BUT the tone destroys the intention behind those licks.

At 1:49 there is an instrumental part with acoustic guitar and electrics. MORE acoustic, or a better mix of these instruments. Granted it is NOT easy to mix acoustic guitar against rhythm electrics, but it can and has been done successfully in the past.

Overall, this song is a good attempt at ripping off Green Day. Good job.


In conclusion, I like the playing and the singing, but clearly to me the production is too bland and two dimensional for this type of music.

"I Need To Be Excited" tm Chris Lord-Alge.

I unfortunately did not get excited listening to these songs. If properly mixed, maybe even re-arranged some, they might then excite me.

NOTE : I went for the FIRST GUT REACTION upon hearing the songs, and did not try to change my mind, nor try to over analyze the situation.

You wanted my opinion, there it is.

Cheers
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Nick Sevilla

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2010, 04:57:07 pm »

benjiboo wrote on Thu, 14 October 2010 07:07

Hey Reno, I've lurked here for years and very very really post, so take what I say how you will. I can't comment on the sound of the production, as I listened to it on my laptop (sounds pretty decent on the laptop speakers) but the thing that instantly hit me listening to your tunes was the lack of backing/harmony vocals. For the style of music, without the layers of backing vocals lifting the chorus, it all sound a bit half cooked, like something's seriously missing.



Oh, they are there, just buried under the rest of the instruments... I opened the songs in my PT HD rig, and could hear them very faintly in the background.

This kind of pop rock music is not easy to mix, nor is it easy to produce.

It is a finely made puzzle that fits very tightly, and if not put together properly, will result in the band not getting the attention they may deserve.

Cheers
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Josh McArdle

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2010, 08:30:21 pm »

In my honest and rather humble opinion -

It sounds like this has been mixed by someone who wasn't entirely sure of what to do with it. It's a bit "safe". Everything sounds ok. It's well balanced and not too harsh or abrasive but it's a little gutless.

I'd have been going for a much more in your face modern rock mix. This to me feels flat and a little lackluster. The drum sound confuses me - it's nailed to the spot but in a boring way. I really want to hear more snap and ring. The guitars also sound like they could have benefitted from some layering and a little extra width.

I think the performances are good and I like the songs, but I don't think the mixes bring out the best in the band.
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grantis

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2010, 09:12:47 pm »

dconstruction wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 13:03

Funny that I end up quoting you from another thread here, Nick:

Nick Sevilla wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 10:52



When we spoke yesterday, I mentioned to the producer that on average it does take about 35 to 50 hours per song, IF THE ARTIST has already finished the songwriting, arranging, etc, and all we are doing is producing the final version of it from scratch.




Headed off-topic here, but...

I'm still wrapping my head around spending 50 hours a song.  I mean, I get it - if the budget is there, sure.  Do whatever it takes to get it as close to perfect as you can.  But man alive!  NO local artists have that budget, or that patience.  I am always arranging on the fly, writing parts in studio, rewriting lyrics and often hearing the song for the first time the day of recording - and I'm still averaging a song a day or less.  I am in no way saying that my product can't be improved, but improved 10x by spending 10x the time and money?

Back on topic...

To the original poster, after listening to the samples, my honest opinion is that you've been swindled.  I mean that in the most polite, objective way possible.

L


At this point in my young career, I've been around several high-budget records, and none of them have taken anywhere NEAR 50 hours to record/produce a song.

It really SHOULDN'T take that long.  If it does, somebody's doing a bit of 'dicking' around.
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Grant Craig
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Gio

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #28 on: October 15, 2010, 10:23:02 pm »

grantis wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 21:12



At this point in my young career, I've been around several high-budget records, and none of them have taken anywhere NEAR 50 hours to record/produce a song.

It really SHOULDN'T take that long.  If it does, somebody's doing a bit of 'dicking' around.


Soup to nuts? There are so many variables. Of course it depends on the project, but the hours can easily add up.

Then it depends on your definition of "dicking", and who's doing it.
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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #29 on: October 15, 2010, 11:20:51 pm »

grantis wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 18:12

dconstruction wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 13:03

Funny that I end up quoting you from another thread here, Nick:

Nick Sevilla wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 10:52



When we spoke yesterday, I mentioned to the producer that on average it does take about 35 to 50 hours per song, IF THE ARTIST has already finished the songwriting, arranging, etc, and all we are doing is producing the final version of it from scratch.




Headed off-topic here, but...

I'm still wrapping my head around spending 50 hours a song.  I mean, I get it - if the budget is there, sure.  Do whatever it takes to get it as close to perfect as you can.  But man alive!  NO local artists have that budget, or that patience.  I am always arranging on the fly, writing parts in studio, rewriting lyrics and often hearing the song for the first time the day of recording - and I'm still averaging a song a day or less.  I am in no way saying that my product can't be improved, but improved 10x by spending 10x the time and money?

Back on topic...

To the original poster, after listening to the samples, my honest opinion is that you've been swindled.  I mean that in the most polite, objective way possible.

L


At this point in my young career, I've been around several high-budget records, and none of them have taken anywhere NEAR 50 hours to record/produce a song.

It really SHOULDN'T take that long.  If it does, somebody's doing a bit of 'dicking' around.


I agree with you, however I have been down that road a couple of times.

On album took a 5 year timespan to be completed. It was rerecorded twice, at the artists request, since the original tracking sessions had too many technical issues to even bother trying to finish. then after 3 years, it just sounded too outdated. So there I was tasked with helping to finish this album. One day at the artists' home, long after the album had come out, I innocently how long it actually took to make it. It worked out to around 41 hours per song total, or thereabouts.

Another album got re-recorded THREE separate times, with three completely different sets of studio musicians. Now, these musicians are top of their game, and when in the studio, we got 3-4 songs of each muso each day. That part was easy and fast. The difficult part was translating the artists' and the producers vision into something resembling what they imagined to actually come through the speakers.

Completely on the other side of this marathon-esque kind of album making, on another album, it only took 4 days to record, and three days to mix, and the album got great reviews all over the world.

And yet another one, only took 5 weeks total. Most excellent album as well.
'
The reason I said it can, (can, can can cannnnn) take as long as 50 hours... is because I have seen pretty close to that. Not necessarily that it takes 50 hours every single song, of every single album.

Cheers
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grantis

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #30 on: October 15, 2010, 11:25:44 pm »

Gio wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 21:23

grantis wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 21:12



At this point in my young career, I've been around several high-budget records, and none of them have taken anywhere NEAR 50 hours to record/produce a song.

It really SHOULDN'T take that long.  If it does, somebody's doing a bit of 'dicking' around.


Soup to nuts? There are so many variables. Of course it depends on the project, but the hours can easily add up.

Then it depends on your definition of "dicking", and who's doing it.



I guess.  But Nick referenced an artist wanting to sing hanging from the rafters.  There's no reason to waste time on that.  I suppose that would be my definition of 'dicking around.'

Drums: 5 hours tops (including editing)
Guitars: 4 hours tops
Bass: 1 hour tops
Keys/Overdubs: 5 hours tops
Vocals: 5 hours tops
Mixing: 4 hours tops

Add 4 hours for a string session if needed, and 4 hours for a choir, if needed.

Maybe I'm fudging the numbers there, but IMO, I fudged them on the high side.  

Maybe my lack of experience in different scenarios is showing here, but I can't seem to fill 50 hours....
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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2010, 11:37:42 pm »

grantis wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 20:25

Gio wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 21:23

grantis wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 21:12



At this point in my young career, I've been around several high-budget records, and none of them have taken anywhere NEAR 50 hours to record/produce a song.

It really SHOULDN'T take that long.  If it does, somebody's doing a bit of 'dicking' around.


Soup to nuts? There are so many variables. Of course it depends on the project, but the hours can easily add up.

Then it depends on your definition of "dicking", and who's doing it.



I guess.  But Nick referenced an artist wanting to sing hanging from the rafters.  There's no reason to waste time on that.  I suppose that would be my definition of 'dicking around.'

Drums: 5 hours tops (including editing)
Guitars: 4 hours tops
Bass: 1 hour tops
Keys/Overdubs: 5 hours tops
Vocals: 5 hours tops
Mixing: 4 hours tops

Add 4 hours for a string session if needed, and 4 hours for a choir, if needed.

Maybe I'm fudging the numbers there, but IMO, I fudged them on the high side.  

Maybe my lack of experience in different scenarios is showing here, but I can't seem to fill 50 hours....


Hi grantis,

I only reference this because not only did I have to do it once, but since John Lennon apparently tried it once, there are more people out there than you think that would like to try that, just to see what it's like.

And, yes, it totally depends on whom is doing the "dicking around"...

If it is the producer or artist, then you are going to do anything they want until it is right. It is Art at some point, after all, and some Art can only be done in the right place with the correct tools and support for the endeavor at hand. Not cheap, not fast and certainly not unsafely.

Cheers
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grantis

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2010, 02:12:28 am »

Nick Sevilla wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 22:37



Hi grantis,

I only reference this because not only did I have to do it once, but since John Lennon apparently tried it once, there are more people out there than you think that would like to try that, just to see what it's like.

And, yes, it totally depends on whom is doing the "dicking around"...

If it is the producer or artist, then you are going to do anything they want until it is right. It is Art at some point, after all, and some Art can only be done in the right place with the correct tools and support for the endeavor at hand. Not cheap, not fast and certainly not unsafely.

Cheers


Right on.  I guess I'll consider myself lucky I haven't worked in a place with rafters yet.  hehe.

I'm all for trying different things to get the result that is desired.  But at some point, "art" has to co-exist with a "business", and spending hours on rigging for an upside-down singer might be fine, but it should be paid for by somebody.
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archtop

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #33 on: October 17, 2010, 11:57:26 am »

Just for a bit of perspective.

My session last saturday.

load in set up:                                                                       15 min.  ( I charge for)

Track bass, drums, and guitar on 3 songs:                      1 hour and 45 minutes.

Overdub lead vocal and harmonica on 3 songs:              30 minutes

mix 3 songs and burn 3 discs:                                             45 minutes


Billed 3 hours.

Out the door finished.

It sounds fine.
It sounds just like them.
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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2010, 12:39:53 pm »

archtop wrote on Sun, 17 October 2010 08:57

Just for a bit of perspective.

My session last saturday.

load in set up:                                                                       15 min.  ( I charge for)

Track bass, drums, and guitar on 3 songs:                      1 hour and 45 minutes.

Overdub lead vocal and harmonica on 3 songs:              30 minutes

mix 3 songs and burn 3 discs:                                             45 minutes


Billed 3 hours.

Out the door finished.

It sounds fine.
It sounds just like them.



Cool.

I get these sometimes.

But not often. Living in the LA area, there simply are too many mediocre artistes and not enough talent to go around. At least from my lowly view.

I envy Nashville cats.

And I wish the albums I work on in the future are better, and take less time to get out to market.

Let's see what happens...
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Gio

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2010, 02:40:13 pm »

15 min. load in AND setup? I don't think that's ever happened to me in my life.

Do you have the drums permanently set up and mic'ed?
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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2010, 06:10:08 pm »

Nick Sevilla wrote on Sun, 17 October 2010 11:39


I envy Nashville cats.


There's a fair amount of mediocrity here too.....

EDIT:
Come hang in Nashville!
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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #37 on: October 17, 2010, 06:42:45 pm »

grantis wrote on Sun, 17 October 2010 15:10

Nick Sevilla wrote on Sun, 17 October 2010 11:39


I envy Nashville cats.


There's a fair amount of mediocrity here too.....

EDIT:
Come hang in Nashville!


Thanks Grant. I'll look you up when I go record there... hopefully soon.

Cheers
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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2010, 04:03:55 pm »

grantis wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 22:25

Maybe my lack of experience in different scenarios is showing here, but I can't seem to fill 50 hours....




You must account for everything.
Meeting with the artist. Listening to their acoustic guitar worktape demos. Reworking songs, creating pre-pro demos. Listening to said demos and making notes for tracking.
Booking studio time. Booking gear rentals. Hiring musicians.
Setup, tracking. Retracking. File management. Editing. More tracking. Paperwork. Mix prep and mixing. Recalls and remixes. Alternate market mixes. More paperwork. Mastering.

Yeah, you CAN make a record in a day or two. But if you're going to do it RIGHT or piece by piece (the way most people outside of Nashville do it), it's not hard to spend 50 hours.
Oh, and you know full well it takes longer than 4 hours to mix a song, unless all those versions are gonna print themselves.
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dconstruction

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2010, 04:34:53 pm »

Podgorny wrote on Mon, 18 October 2010 15:03

Yeah, you CAN make a record in a day or two. But if you're going to do it RIGHT or piece by piece (the way most people outside of Nashville do it), it's not hard to spend 50 hours.


I'll let this statement stand as a statement of fact, but request an amendment.  Or a corollary.  

In the local markets, where bands have no management, no money, no support and little to no experience, doing it "RIGHT" often means doing it in a day or two.

L
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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #40 on: October 18, 2010, 04:51:28 pm »

By "Right" I'm referring to big budget records of yesteryear.
Those involved LOTS of planning, LOTS of rehearsal, and many hours choosing the right part and sound, and then innumerable takes until everything started clicking.

Guerilla record-making is an art in and of itself.  But it is a different beast from the method that has emerged over the last forty-odd years, and not something we should necessarily strive for.

And I know that this is J Hall's "Indie Rock" forum, but I believe it was Grant that mentioned adding strings, and I don't know of many two-day records that have strings and choirs on them.
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dconstruction

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2010, 05:25:24 pm »

Both the records I mentioned earlier were tracked in under three days (non-consecutive) and have strings and horns and group vocals (I wouldn't call it a choir, to be fair).  And banjo, piano, pedal steel, percussion, harmony vocals....

But I get the point.  I would love the budget to really pre-produce a record.  To have the time to make decisions because we can, not because we must.

L
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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #42 on: October 18, 2010, 06:17:37 pm »

Podgorny wrote on Mon, 18 October 2010 15:03


Oh, and you know full well it takes longer than 4 hours to mix a song, unless all those versions are gonna print themselves.


Song mix=3 hours.
15 versions of a 3.5 minute song=52.5 minutes.
I have only ever ONCE needed to print even 10 versions.  It's usually 4-6.

I do agree that the planning can take a good portion of time.

So you're saying it takes longer to make records outside of Nashville?  Why would I ever leave?!  haha.

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rankus

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #43 on: October 18, 2010, 06:53:36 pm »


"Mixing : anywhere between 6 hours and 6 days" ~ Terry Mannng

This is about right for me as well... Depends on demo or album / number of tracks (sometimes approaching 100)

tuning / editing

Just did a Metal single: 15 hours just to track and edit drums.. MANY tempo and Time Signature changes.

iPhone

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #44 on: October 18, 2010, 07:01:04 pm »

grantis wrote on Mon, 18 October 2010 17:17


15 versions of a 3.5 minute song=52.5 minutes.



This is just dumb.

You can't multiply 3.5 times 15 and get the real amount of time anything takes.
Creating new tracks (or heaven forbid, threading new tape), making the mix changes, then transferring or exporting the mixes. Backing up, Documentation, Etc.
You must have been an EPA Estimator in a previous life.
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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #45 on: October 18, 2010, 08:37:18 pm »

Podgorny wrote on Mon, 18 October 2010 18:01

grantis wrote on Mon, 18 October 2010 17:17


15 versions of a 3.5 minute song=52.5 minutes.



This is just dumb.

You can't multiply 3.5 times 15 and get the real amount of time anything takes.
Creating new tracks (or heaven forbid, threading new tape), making the mix changes, then transferring or exporting the mixes. Backing up, Documentation, Etc.
You must have been an EPA Estimator in a previous life.


Dumb?  I do it all the freakin time.

EDIT:
You're right though.  It does take an additional 10 seconds to mute the vocal VCA, go back to 0, and hit record.  

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rankus

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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #46 on: October 19, 2010, 12:01:55 am »



I'm starting an album next month, (think Queens Of The Stone Age)

The band was quoted 40hrs per song by the Nickoback guy. I quoted approx 20 hrs/song.

My common "bash it out quick demos" are around 12hrs/song (track and mix. No production, no editing) .. Normally doing 2-3 EP's a month...  With good players these can sound like album cuts, but without extra production or ear candy. (Similar production value as the OP)

I'm also doing a full production pop punk album right now that has to be coming in at at LEAST 50hrs/song.

So I can say "it depends" or "it varies"

"Whats your budget?"..  Wink



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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #47 on: October 19, 2010, 07:48:49 am »

It's got to be about the type of music you're recording. Acoustic singer/songwriter stuff is quick and easy with a little bit of work and a decent player. Metal/hard rock/pop etc...there's no way I could chuck out something I'm happy with in a day.

Pre-pro is so important in hard rock where there's so little space in the arrangements. Likewise with tracking - pitch and timing have to be bang on or it all falls apart.

I can totally relate to hours spent editing drums. Once you've checked phase, sorted timing, carefully selected samples, added samples, mixed in samples and de-cluttered...

Then it's comping and editing everything else before you're even ready to think about mixing. By this time my ears and head are too messed up to get good results from mixing.

I wish I could experience one of those sessions where a great band walks in, I stick up a few mics, hit record and get a general balance and it's off to mastering...but where's the fun in that?  Very Happy
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Re: Need professionnal ear
« Reply #48 on: October 19, 2010, 11:20:13 pm »

Josh McArdle wrote on Tue, 19 October 2010 04:48



I can totally relate to hours spent editing drums. Once you've checked phase, sorted timing, carefully selected samples, added samples, mixed in samples and de-cluttered...


Not to mention comping from 3 takes (the best outta 6-7) and then gridding....

Then the same with bass, guitars, vocals ... Tuning yadda yadda

We can spend all day trying half a dozen guitars into 4-5 amps .. Trying different combos of amps...

Admittedly this is outside of the norm for me but that's what it takes to go up against the masters.


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