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Author Topic: The Emperors New Clothes?  (Read 17331 times)

compasspnt

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2005, 06:54:13 pm »

With these humans, somehow the grass is never green enough...
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Greg Dixon

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2005, 09:31:14 pm »

I wonder if taking 3 hours to mic a tambourine, as per the Zoolander thread, could be part of the mystique? I can imagine some people going away thinking, wow that guy really cares about our music.
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Curve Dominant

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2005, 10:15:19 pm »

This thread reminds me of something Bill Dooly posted on his forum a couple of years ago, which was repeated in entreprenurial training classes I took recently:

1) Tell people what you are about to tell them about,
2) Tell them about it,
3) Then explain what you told them.

This business is essentially a communications industry, and so your ability to communicate will play a huge role in how things proceed for you. That goes for artists, producers, engineers, managers, promoters, A&R peeps...all down the line.

There are lots of studios in Philly which have better gear and more experience than I do. But I manage to draw some high quality artists to my studio, and I attribute that to my ability to communicate my understanding of their goals. The artists I end up working with value that, because my gear and my space (not to mention lack of experience) is certainly NOT going to "make the sale." Selling myself is my way of setting myself apart from the competition.

Even when the day comes when I DO have the best space in town, with the best gear money can buy, I won't be using that as a selling point. As an aspiring producer, I want artists to want to work with me because I understand their vision. I'm sure my competition might say, "Oh, Eric is just a good shit-talker," and that is certainly ONE way of looking at it.

Does that make sense? Because I'm still quite new to all this...

MB

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2005, 10:38:19 pm »

Greg Dixon wrote on Thu, 31 March 2005 04:31

I wonder if taking 3 hours to mic a tambourine, as per the Zoolander thread, could be part of the mystique? I can imagine some people going away thinking, wow that guy really cares about our music.



I think Mixerman captured this phenomenon beautifully with his infamous "soar" knob.

Back to the Emperors New Clothes, and I think others have alluded to it, there's different talents that one can possess that lead to success. I think we often make the mistake of taking the core skill of a profession and reducing that to "the skill".

I don't think anyone would argue Madonna's genius is her borderline pathological desire to succeed. I'm reading a book right now in which Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver) said "The first thing you wake up and think about in the morning is, Who can I hustle? and the last thing you think of before you go to bed is, Who can I hustle?" Then again, Schrader isn't exactly a poser when it comes to writing prowess. Once he got his opportunity, he still delivered the goods.

I think different areas have different metrics for the talent quantum required to succeed. You can't bluff your way into the NHL, for instance.

In the largesse around the music industry, there's enough ancillery skills that perhaps can overcome deficiency in the core one. We, as engineers, are just surprised when we see it.  But then again, we know what to look for. And maybe it follows that in focusing on our area of expertise, we don't see those complementary skills?
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compasspnt

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2005, 11:15:22 pm »

On my SSL centre section, I have one button labeled "Near" and one "Far."  You would be amazed who and how many have engaged either or both of them.

Maybe I shouldn't have printed this...maybe now they won't work...
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thedoc

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2005, 12:38:29 am »

How about a fader connected to nothing...labeled "Balls"!
That way you can fade in just a little more as the song progresses...
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Doc

ajcamlet

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2005, 09:55:57 am »

thedoc wrote on Thu, 31 March 2005 00:38

How about a fader connected to nothing...labeled "Balls"!
That way you can fade in just a little more as the song progresses...



HAHA!  I have a fader labled "It".  I like to give clients the responsibility of riding that fader during a mixdown if they are too busy micromanaging me.  that way they become self consumed with working that fader (whose explained purpose depends on the particular pet peeves i'm having with the clinet) druing the mixdown instead of monitoring , then evaluating, every move I make.

ajc
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J.J. Blair

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2005, 10:39:27 am »

I have a friend who was in a relatively successful alternative band, before "alternative" became a marketing phrase.  After the band broke up, one day he walked into Atlantic and talked them into giving them his own label and about a $10 million budget.  

It stiffed.  But what an amazing rap this guy had.  Balls of steel.

I currently have a friend (Ross knows who I'm talking about), who is a talented guy, but has relatively little experience behind a  console compared to most of us.  He, through sheer force of his personality, has talked himself into getting more work or representation in one year than you can believe.  And it's not because of his track record or his music, so much as it is that he just makes you believe that he's the guy you should hire.  That is a talent that I envy.

However, this friend doesn't pretend to be a jedi master or have a mystical audio aura around him.  I really admire his guts.

A lot of people who know me have described me as a "mad scientist", but it's not some persona I'm feigning.  That's just me.  In fact, it never occurred to me to think of myself that way until at least five people used that term to describe me.  But hey, maybe I should shroud that in some cryptic mystique and convince people that nobody can make a good record without using my secret mad scientific knowledge.  
Cool

My policy is that you should always associate yourself with people who know more and are more talented than yourself, so you never get too big headed.  I can't honestly thiunk of myself as a mad scientist when I have Kehew around.  One of the reasons I came to these forums was that I was using a different forum and apparently, I seemed to have the most experience there, which was scary.  I like being where I know there are people like Terry, William, Bob and Ross who, while not necessarily being more talented than me (just kidding!), have years and years more experience from which I can learn.  And I love the fact that they share their knowledge freely with us younger guys.  

BTW, as far as phony faders go, I love when I mispatch something and I'm turning knobs and moving faders and hearing the difference, even when nothing is happening.  That's the bummer about ProTools.  You don't have fake faders for the producer or the band to play with.
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

rdwilkins

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2005, 10:55:07 am »

just a note re: recording budgets...Wow, 30k would be a budget for 6 albums (can I still call them that?) for the little indy band I manage.  Albini-producing (mind you quite a few yrs ago) on their 2nd one included in that figure.  I also was exposed to similiar budgets (5-7k) practically the whole time (note this was more than 10yrs ago too) I was an agent for similiar acts as well as singer songwriters who had mostly been initially exposed to major label budgets only to find themselves dropped after 1-3 albums and back to indyland.  

One thing about smaller budgets (at least in my experience) has been more of an emphasis on pre-production.  The best thing a band can do is make demos and live with them for a few wks.  Then arrangements, key changes, word changes, tempo adjustments, vocal phrasing etc etc become crystallized before anyone gets in the studio.  

By the way, my act's latest was recorded live to 2-track and cost about $200 to make.  It's probably their best album yet.
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cgc

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2005, 12:42:01 pm »

Quote:

BTW, as far as phony faders go, I love when I mispatch something and I'm turning knobs and moving faders and hearing the difference, even when nothing is happening. That's the bummer about ProTools. You don't have fake faders for the producer or the band to play with.


I would consider making 'producer' plugins that added 'vibe' and 'warmth' if I could get the PT dev kit.  They won't send me one without a business plan and/or a background of commercial development.  

The 'vibe' plug would be a faithful emulation of my hardware multi-position switch.  The key is to not have an 'off' position, which would probably reveal that the thing wasn't wired to anything.  

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Lee Flier

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2005, 01:53:27 pm »

MB wrote on Wed, 30 March 2005 22:38

I'm reading a book right now in which Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver) said "The first thing you wake up and think about in the morning is, Who can I hustle? and the last thing you think of before you go to bed is, Who can I hustle?"



Yeah, and the unfortunate thing is that not everybody who has talent, has the "hustle" skills.  In fact a lot of very creative people are somewhat introverted.  I guess that's what managers are for.

compasspnt

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2005, 02:59:33 pm »

And this "people person skill thing" often goes just as much, if not more so, for tech geniuses.
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J.J. Blair

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2005, 12:20:37 am »

Terry, then how do you explain John Oram's success? Very Happy  
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They say the heart of Rock & Roll is still beating, which is amazing if you consider all the blow it's done over the years.

"The Internet enables pompous blowhards to interact with other pompous blowhards in a big circle jerk of pomposity." - Bill Maher

"The negative aspects of this business, not only will continue to prevail, but will continue to accelerate in madness. Conditions aren't going to get better, because the economics of rock and roll are getting closer and closer to the economics of Big Business America." - Bill Graham

Tim Halligan

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2005, 06:23:09 am »

J.J. wrote on Fri, 01 April 2005 13:20

Terry, then how do you explain John Oram's success? Very Happy  


He said "Tech geniuses"

That's the clue.

Very Happy


Cheers,
Tim



Damn, that was an April Fool's Day joke wasn't it?

...and I fell for it  Rolling Eyes
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"Don't forget, we are all engaged in a battle to the death against mediocrity." - J. Whynot

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Brian Kehew

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Re: The Emperors New Clothes?
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2005, 01:41:26 pm »

I think he is "The Father of British EQ", an excellent recommendation, if he does say so himself...

JJ - I think you should maybe make the mad scientist tag into something (seriously). I know one guy who became THE touring guitarist for years after he learned to dress kooky and cool. NO change in the guy or his playing. It doesn't change your quality, but it does give people a "hook", like in music, to identify you.

Gimmicks ARE a method to success. As with my studio - NO COMPUTERS! That gives people a clear message what I'm about. I am very vocal about hating what everyone else is doing, but half of it's a pretense for people NOT to reject my way of doing things. There are some people who seek me out because they love the concept. I could work on a computer, yes, and have (or ADAT, or Tascam 4-track) and make the best possible record. For some reason, I LOVE the challenge of "no gear", it makes me excited... and it's a gimmick.
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Relax and float downstream...
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