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Author Topic: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.  (Read 20707 times)

Ron Steele

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #60 on: December 20, 2005, 06:20:26 pm »

Quote:

I have my speculations regarding inflated self-image, greed, hunger for power, status and control, but they are just speculations.


If your looking to find a logic behind what many of us do here and why, how about  speculating that many here, just like you, are trying to make a living while doing something they love and take pride in.

It's not a cake walk to do that....... in this, or any other business.

That shouldn't be so hard to understand and respect.
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pipelineaudio

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #61 on: December 20, 2005, 06:21:38 pm »

I got into this business to document hardcore punk, but I also realized just what a studio could do by hearing The Meatmen's Rock n roll juggernaut, I couldnt imagine that album being anywhere near as good if it werent "produced"

RKrizman

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #62 on: December 20, 2005, 06:22:28 pm »

electrical wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 08:02

Quote:

Sorry grasshopper, but when you can snatch the pebble from my hand...

Sensei, I take it you can tell when something is good and bad, always? Truly you are very wise.

I am not so wise. I am man enough to admit that I may not understand why a band does what they do, or even if they have achieved it when they have. If I expect to make such judgements in the heat of battle, I will get them wrong as often as right, from the perspective of the band. I think it is extraodinarily presumptuous to think that anyone outside the band can understand their motives and their art better than they can themselves. It is close to preposterous to me.



No matter what the situation is I don't always make the right choice, nor should I have to.  As if there always is one.  Insisting on that type of perfectionism, in fact, is what's often wrong with a producer/artist relationship.

But the fact is I do make the right choice often enough. (and don't sell yourself short for the sake of an argument--I'm sure you do too) I have a good sense of how to get the best perfomance out of someone, and I do make judgements about whether a take is good or bad, whether it can be better, whether the artist can dig in and give a little more.  And a zillion other things.  But at the end of the day, I like you, still want to be amazed by something mysterious and wonderful that even I didn't anticipate.

Moreover, I'm grateful in my own development as an artist to the people who stood above me and protected me, supported me, found ways to coax good ideas and perfomances out of me, helped me separate the wheat from the chaff and expand my own sense of who I am and what I'm capable of--as well as the people who put up with my own stubbornness and allowed me to do my own thing.

You know, a lot of this discussion may hinge on the relative quality of L.A. bands versus Chicago bands.

-R
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electrical

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #63 on: December 20, 2005, 06:27:32 pm »

Ron Steele wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 18:20


If your looking to find a logic behind what many of us do here and why, how about  speculating that many here, just like you, are trying to make a living while doing something they love and take pride in.

The part I don't understand is the meddling. Why do so many people in our business take it on themselves to direct processes they have no ownership of, and ultimately will not have to take responsibility for? Why do they not see this as meddling? Where do they get the balls? That's what baffles me.
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steve albini
Electrical Audio
sa at electrical dot com
www.electrical.com

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #64 on: December 20, 2005, 06:31:01 pm »

Quote:

Why do so many people in our business take it on themselves to direct processes they have no ownership of, and ultimately will not have to take responsibility for? Why do they not see this as meddling? Where do they get the balls? That's what baffles me.


Steve, I believe in my heart..it boils down to some form of insecurity. Somebody trying to "prove" they know something.
People are best..when they are challenged. Perhaps this form of challenging can bring out the best..but IMHO, if you go against what the artists intentions are, you are doing a disservice to that artist. Pointing out an area or "asking" if this is "what they want" is of course a different matter..because we all need open communication with a session.
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Ron Steele

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #65 on: December 20, 2005, 06:43:29 pm »

Quote:

Why do so many people in our business take it on themselves to direct processes they have no ownership of, and ultimately will not have to take responsibility for?



Because they are hired to do so based on their past work experience and efforts. And they do take responsibility for it, because it is their job to make "it" happen.
If they fail to make "it" happen, the failure is a direct reflection on themselves.

Usually, the prospect of messing up and not getting the next call back keeps people on their toes, and at their best. I'm sure it works the same way for you.

Quote:

Why do they not see this as meddling? Where do they get the balls? That's what baffles me


Read the above statement again.

And Steve, even you have to admit your poll is slightly "leading" and slanted.
Laughing  Laughing  Laughing  Laughing
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RKrizman

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #66 on: December 20, 2005, 06:49:36 pm »

electrical wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 18:27

The part I don't understand is the meddling. Why do so many people in our business take it on themselves to direct processes they have no ownership of, and ultimately will not have to take responsibility for? Why do they not see this as meddling? Where do they get the balls? That's what baffles me.



Hopefully, you've been invited in, so it's not presumptuous at all.  And hopefully, if you're good at what you do, then it's not just meddling.

Every situation is different.  Every producer/artist relationship is different.

Even as an engineer, you may think you're not making choices, but you are and it's affecting the outcome of the art.  Your own hands off approach is not some objective rule of the universe, it is a conscious production choice you have made, and you get the corresponding results.  To me, it's one of many options, and I'll be more or less hands-on according to the needs of the situation.  

That said, my own favorite type of sessions are always "point and duck".

-R
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ratite

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #67 on: December 20, 2005, 09:59:47 pm »

[/quote]
The part I don't understand is the meddling. Why do so many people in our business take it on themselves to direct processes they have no ownership of, and ultimately will not have to take responsibility for? Why do they not see this as meddling? Where do they get the balls? That's what baffles me.
[/quote]

Surely it doesn't baffle?The power differential between the band and AE/Producer in the studio is open to exploitation,and where the possibility exists,in some cases it will be taken.Sadly both parties may even believe that this kind of relationship is appropriate as, if it is perceived to be the prevailing paradigm, it must be correct.After all, if the major label bands that the client(s) seek to emulate/have been influenced by, apparently elected such a process then same should suit them and they may well welcome such "medddling".
What to do with "The Exploited"(hair band) and the "Exploiters"?Send everyone to Rock'n'Roll ethics 101,then maybe we can all see eye to eye.Until that happens expect the same old, same old...
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Richard Horner
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Eric Rudd

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #68 on: December 21, 2005, 04:55:32 pm »

Curve Dominant wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 01:28


I would personally take that farther, and say that ALL great art is made with COMPLETE disinterest in ANY audience.




I wonder about that. I personally feel that this an ideal. I've found in my experience there is an inverse relationship between how strongly an artist professes "I don't care what people think of my art" and how strongly they actually do care what people think of their art.

If you look back in history many of the world's most talented artists (music and other arts) were obsessed with approval by the public, whether they would readily admit it or not.

It takes a very enlightened person to create art and openly give it over with no expectation of acceptance.

But then, that's my opinion.

Eric
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c.gymer

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #69 on: December 21, 2005, 08:43:31 pm »

I do genuinely hate the fact that this is my virgin post here, but I cannot for the life of me understand what Ron Steele doesn't get about Steve's point.

How can a person (who is not in the band) telling them what they should sound like be at all ethical?

By its very nature, imposing your view on the band is wrong. Talking with the band about their music, being a sounding off board, that is fine because your are voicing your opinion that the band maybe very happy to hear and consider. Imposing YOUR ideas is totally unacceptable.

If i were to force my religious beliefs or my political beliefs on you, how would you feel? Violated? Raped? Because that is what it feels like when someone makes artistict 'adjustments' to YOUR MUSIC.
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RKrizman

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #70 on: December 21, 2005, 08:53:36 pm »

c.gymer wrote on Wed, 21 December 2005 20:43

 Imposing YOUR ideas is totally unacceptable.




Yes, when you couch it in those terms who would disagree?  You're defining it as undesireable.

-R
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c.gymer

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #71 on: December 21, 2005, 09:26:16 pm »


The tone from from Ron Steele seems to imply that telling musicians that they are wrong about their music is ok, and I cant see how he can be defending what is in my view morally wrong. My defining it is making a point that what he is advocating is not some insignificant point of small print, but something that is deeply offensive to anybody that really believes in creative thought or true freedom of speech and expression.

I would hope that he could clear up for all of us what he really thinks about this.
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pipelineaudio

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #72 on: December 21, 2005, 09:33:34 pm »

c.gymer wrote on Thu, 22 December 2005 01:43

How can a person (who is not in the band) telling them what they should sound like be at all ethical?

Because he was hired to?

By its very nature, imposing your view on the band is wrong.

Unless you are hired to?

Talking with the band about their music, being a sounding off board, that is fine because your are voicing your opinion that the band maybe very happy to hear and consider. Imposing YOUR ideas is totally unacceptable.

Unless you were hired to?

If i were to force my religious beliefs or my political beliefs on you, how would you feel?

Did I hire you to?

Violated? Raped? Because that is what it feels like when someone makes artistict 'adjustments' to YOUR MUSIC.



Unless of course you hired them to do that

Ron Steele

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #73 on: December 21, 2005, 10:00:20 pm »

Quote:

I do genuinely hate the fact that this is my virgin post here, but I cannot for the life of me understand what Ron Steele doesn't get about Steve's point.

How can a person (who is not in the band) telling them what they should sound like be at all ethical?




When they are hired to do so because of a previous experience and a track record of success by doing so.

Mutt Lange, who produced both ac/dc and def leopard, had bands like these waiting in line to get him to do exactly what you and SA consider so unethical.

And it's not like a good producer doesn't take the bands ideas and vision for their material into consideration during a production. If that were the case, do you really think he would have been hired in the first place.

I can't understand why you and SA can't see alot of artists thrive in a producer/artist
relationship. It's not always perfect, but any adults in this working situation should be able to find ways to work with others and have it still be artistically pleasing and productive. Also, some artists really don't need any "producing", but they may need support and guidance where a performance, idea and direction is concerned.

So what is wrong with another ear and opinion,  if it is solicited?

Would that make the person that made the choice to involve a producer, less of an artist, or his music irrelevant?


Quote:

Talking with the band about their music, being a sounding off board, that is fine because your are voicing your opinion that the band maybe very happy to hear and consider.


Yes, exactly. And many would refer to that person as a "producer".

Quote:

 Imposing YOUR ideas is totally unacceptable.



You'd be surprised at what someone may be opposed to one day, loves the next.

I'm getting tired of the word "imposing" in this situation. If anything it is collaborative, and an artist can easily figure out the difference between a creative difference and an imposition. It's all about mutual respect. If that doesn't exist, two people shouldn't be in the studio together. It's not an adversarial relationship, it's the farthest thing from it. It is two entities focusing on the artist and working toward the his or her creative goals. And sometimes creative friction turn out to be brilliant.

Quote:

f i were to force my religious beliefs or my political beliefs on you, how would you feel? Violated? Raped? Because that is what it feels like when someone makes artistict 'adjustments' to YOUR MUSIC.



Your reaching just a little there, and it is a poor analogy.

Remember, nowhere have I insisted a band or an artist MUST have a producer. Anybody should be free to work any way you want to achieve where your trying to go musically.

I'm only defending that the producer artist relationship. If that's what the artist wants, it is valid, not despicable or unethical. And, if the artist is unhappy with the results at the end, I'd have to say they are half responsible for what they think is failure. Communication is crucial to a artist/producer relationship, and a two way street.

Producers can offer many different skill sets, expertise and production styles. An artist has to find the right fit if they feel they have the need. If they don't have any need for a producer, more power to them.
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c.gymer

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #74 on: December 21, 2005, 10:08:52 pm »

But we're not (as I understand it) talking about someone being hired to butt-fuck someone else's music, because no-one in their right mind would willingly allow someone to come along and say:

"I'm the producer, and i am God. You are the band who wrote this music, and you are incapable of making a rational or reasonable decision regarding your music. Therefor, I shall tell you what is good or not, and i shall make artistic decrees that you shall abide by. I will fuck up your music and change it from what you wrote because i am a megalomaniac who refuses to acknowledge that what I do is ethically wrong. I will then take my
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