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Author Topic: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests  (Read 9746 times)

Ed Littman

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2008, 10:10:34 pm »

I think there's some naivety going on here not just some one who is rude.I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt too. To email this caliber of ME(not me included)& expect positive results is some one who most likely has never had anything mastered before.

The band will get their cd mastered & some one will get paid. I just hope the email-er realizes that this method does not attract the level of service that he seeks.
This also shows how lazy people are getting with the net. hanging on gearslutz & just collecting names, as opposed to calling & discussing the project.
I'm sure any one of us has & will do a free sample under the right conditions. this is just not one of them.
Ed
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bigaudioblowhard

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2008, 11:56:22 pm »


I'm falling on Ed's side here. I've got more international work coming in now than ever.
Ireland and Switzerland in the last week alone.

How else are these people going to find you?

A polite reply "thank you, I'm too busy this week". Keep your eyes on the prize.

bab

Matt_G

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2008, 02:13:42 am »

I got this same email as well & was really surprised to see how poorly the sender had constructed it. Then I thought that perhaps he may be just young & naive & hasn't had anything mastered before.

I replied to him with this response...

Quote:

Hi,

It might be best to narrow your list down to the people whose work you respect the most in the style of music that you do. Who are your favourite bands & who appears most on the mastering credits of those bands? By all means get quotes first, but you'd get a better response if you made the email more exclusive or personal, at very least it's best to use the 'Bcc' function on your email, as no one likes to get the cattle call for a free mastering demo... Wink



Anyway he replied & said that he realised shortly after sending the email that it wasn't the right way to go about it & thanked me for letting him know.

I also had another guy do the same thing but more discretely & as a consequence I did master a sample for him when I had time available. There was some other ME's that I knew who had also participated & after I uploaded my sample I was able to download theirs for comparison. Surprisingly mine was the loudest (this was a rock track) & my first reply back was that the band really liked what I'd done but that compared to some of their fav bands it wasn't quite loud enough... go figure! I was then asked if I could make it any louder while keeping the same quality sound to which I replied that I had already got the mix as loud as I could & that beyond that it would take the quality quickly downhill, but that with some slight mix changes it may be possible to squeeze it a bit more.

As a result I didn't get a reply or the job to master the album. When I emailed a couple of weeks ago asking who had got the job I was told who it was & was given a download link to the finished album & asked to comment. When I compared the track that was the same as the demo I'd done I was surprised to discover that it was considerably quieter than mine yet not as open or punchy... go figure. Rolling Eyes

Conclusion... no matter what the approach I find these demos to be pointless & a waste of time to a large degree... As someone mentioned if people can't pay a small fee to get one song mastered as a trial then they're wasting your time or looking for the closest thing to the 'best sounding master' with the lowest price tag.

Matt




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Matthew Gray Mastering

Brisbane Australia

Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2008, 08:18:25 am »

I like the artist that calls up or emails you and wants you to do a trial mastering of one of their songs so they can chose who will get the whole job and as they are talking/corresponding they want to know your rates and then try and get you to low ball your rates so now you are not only competing on the quality of mastering you are now competing on price as well.

I try not to get involved with "cattle calls" since it is a lose lose proposition.

One local artist had 12 songs to be mastered. He sent out 12 different songs to 12 mastering engineers as trial masterings figuring that he would get his whole album mastered for free. He was very surprised to find that many of the engineers only did part of the song. He finally came here and we did the whole album and when he told me what he had done I was somewhat shocked. I guess my mind does not work the way his does but I get more and more emails asking for "trial" masterings so maybe more and more artist are thinking this way.
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-TOM-

Thomas W. Bethel
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Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
Room With a View Productions
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

rankus

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2008, 01:58:42 pm »

Well, as somebody who is currently shopping for a new mastering engineer I would like to mention some things that frustrate me.

1.  Websites without any examples of work posted...

2.  Websites that do not state the rates clearly...


This forces me to contact the ME just to ask "what are your rates, can you send me an example"...  Also if I AM asking for a "package rate"  for an indie album and you won't tell me up front what you regular rates are, I may just be offering you more than your usual rate when you ask "whats your budget"

As you can tell I am dealing with this situation right now and it is frustrating as hell...

I am trying to determine if your going to be my new "go to" guy,... why treat me like your doing ME a favor when I ask to master a song (at your normal single rate) in order to determine if we mesh?

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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

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bblackwood

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2008, 03:05:55 pm »

I'll address why I don't have these posted on my site.
rankus wrote on Mon, 26 May 2008 12:58

1.  Websites without any examples of work posted...

While I have some artists and titles on my site, I do NOT have audio examples as I don't want to ask artists to allow me free widespread distribution of their art for my own commercial benefit. That being said, if someone wants to hear my work, I can send them files, a disc, or a list of artists they can check out.

Quote:

2.  Websites that do not state the rates clearly...

I don do this as, while I have one set rate for both independent and label artists, I tend to be more flexible with the rates for indie artists. I'd much rather talk to an artist or their management regarding their budget constraints, potentially being flexible with them, rather than losing the gig right out of the gate simply because the 'retail price' is beyond their budget.

Frankly, a website is essentially an interactive business card. I certainly don't expect someone's business card to have their rates (or audio examples), I expect it to have the information needed to help determine if it is worth pursuing business with them or not.
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

rankus

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2008, 08:51:10 pm »

Brad can you PM me with some indie pricing: singles vrs. album rates,

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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

djwaudio

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2008, 10:35:25 pm »

We've got all the info you are looking for posted on our web site.
www.specializedmastering.com

Best regards,
Dana
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Respectfully submitted,
Dana

Dana J. White
specializedmastering.com



Ben F

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2008, 11:20:32 pm »

I love the "it sounds great but can you make it a bit louder". Yeah sure, I'll just turn up the volume, forgot about that.
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bruno putzeys

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2008, 05:23:28 am »

The problem runs deeper than just mastering. These days it's common for people with some (real or imaginary) disease to decide for themselves what ails them and which treatment to use. They then visit doctor after doctor until they find one who agrees with them. Well, yeah, if you are ready to check out a hundred doctors you're sure to find someone sufficiently stupid or unethical to agree to just about any diagnosis and treatment. This is why one speaks of "getting a second opinion", not "getting a hundredth opinion".

So here what people end up getting is a "master" that is precisely what they would've ended up with had they done it themselves. Just like patients seeing a hundred doctors thereby insure themselves of substandard medical care, people who cattle call ME's will get a substandard master (unless they just happen to be experts lacking a studio). ME's responding to cattle calls are not competing with the folks on the CC: list, they're competing with the person on the From: line.
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Warp Drive. Tractor Beam. Room Correction. Whatever.

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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2008, 07:31:16 am »

Our NORMAL rates ARE on OUR website but we also have slightly lower rates for non profits and indie artist that are not posted.

We don't post musical examples for the same reason that Brad stated.

Most of our business comes from referrals and/or word of mouth advertising and we invite people to stop in a bring their project for a FREE listen and problem solving session and to get to know us and what we can do for them. We also play them some before and after selections of recent projects and answer any questions they may have. Even if they decide to go somewhere else there is no charge for the initial listening session.

Like most businesses today we not only want your business today but in the future as well so we go to extraordinary lengths to assist you in fulfilling your dreams.

About 95% of our clients are repeat clients.

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-TOM-

Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
Room With a View Productions
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

aivoryuk

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2008, 06:40:42 am »

I haven't been involved in any cattle calls as describe here, but I must admit I am starting to become vary wary of doing samples for clients as I am never sure of the intention of the person requesting the sample.

I actually had one person admit to me that all he was trying to do was to hear what was going on and then try to emulate it himself (he later admitted that he didn't so I got the job)

I have thought about maybe posting samples on my website as faster download times mean higher quality files can be put up. But I have been suspicious of other facilities (none of you lot on here thankfully) that have done this and the before and after mix doesn't even sound like the same track
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masterhse

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2008, 07:43:32 am »

It requires a bit of filtering, but I provide demos all of the time. If it's a "cattle call" I may require that they mail me a CD or DVD of the material. If they are either too lazy or don't want to go through the expense of mailing, then I don't feel that the effort and time/money lost from my end is warranted either.

I've gotten quite a few good clients going the demo route and usually make it part of my normal operating procedure even with returning clients. Once they are satisfied with the demo, payment is expected before going forward. I feel that it helps build trust, and starts the communication process for the project.
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Tom Volpicelli
The Mastering House Inc.
CD Mastering and Media Production Services

Jerry Tubb

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2008, 10:26:43 am »

I did both last month.

1. freebie - did a one song test mastering from a regular client from the east coast. the artist wanted to compare two different mastering engineers styles... no problem.

2. refusal - an email from someone we didn't know on the west coast to test master one song, no referral. replied to said e-mail, "be happy to master the song at our regular rate". trying to avoid doing someone's single for free!

JT
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masterhse

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Re: 'Cattle Call' mastering sample / demo requests
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2008, 11:58:29 am »

Jerry -

When I create a demo it either alternates between the unmastered/mastered versions, or is edited down. Neither of which would serve as a free mastered track.

Demos are a double-edged sword. They can get you some great new clients, or waste your time. With a couple of questions you can usually filter out the two reasonably.

Demos also allow one to audition the material before taking on the job. I'm curious as to how many potential paying gigs people may refuse?

I recently had someone send me some material and as politely as I could told the person that it would be a waste of money to master the tracks, that the amount of distortion was beyond any reasonable method of repair (these were poorly recorded acoustic tracks with severe clipping) and that I would have to refuse the gig. He told me that there were other mastering engineers that he sent the material to that would take on the job and to go f*ck myself. Glad that I listened and sorted it out pre-demo before dealing with him.
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Tom Volpicelli
The Mastering House Inc.
CD Mastering and Media Production Services
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