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Author Topic: Need professionnal ear  (Read 10658 times)

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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It is quite possible, captain, that they find us grotesque and ugly and many people fear beings different from themselves.

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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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It is quite possible, captain, that they find us grotesque and ugly and many people fear beings different from themselves.

www.nicksevilla.com

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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It is quite possible, captain, that they find us grotesque and ugly and many people fear beings different from themselves.

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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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It is quite possible, captain, that they find us grotesque and ugly and many people fear beings different from themselves.

www.nicksevilla.com

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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Nick Sevilla

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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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It is quite possible, captain, that they find us grotesque and ugly and many people fear beings different from themselves.

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