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Author Topic: What do you guys do when you recieve something really awful?  (Read 4050 times)

Steve Kitch

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Hi guys,

I was just wondering what you guys did if you received anything awful that you know you can't improve? I have recieved a couple of jobs that have been recorded terribly. And I mean bad! Anything I do will not make these tracks sound anywhere near masters. I'm worried that people are going to think I have done a bad job rather than it was s**t in the first place!

Do you have some kind of c**p filter and send back stuff you know will sound rubbish? If so, whats the most tactful way to do so?

Cheers,
Steve
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Steve Kitch - Audiomaster
www.audiomaster.co.uk

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Re: What do you guys do when you recieve something really awful?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2004, 07:00:59 pm »

It depends on what the expectations are to begin with. If it is really bad..cannot be improved at all, either hold their hand through the process (compensated) or dump the project.

I had a few really bad ones and I did a few things and they were delighted and paid and came back with more work later that was much better quality.

Be honest. Let them know how you feel. Maybe they sent you the wrong master??? (!!)
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http://balancedmastering.com

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MASSIVE Mastering

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Re: What do you guys do when you recieve something really awful?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2004, 07:23:21 pm »

I'm in the middle of one right now.   Crying or Very Sad

My Gawd...  It's awful.  But, it's what they've got.  The bizzare part is that some of them make lists that say "this tune needs this and that tune needs that" and such.  

I'll TELL ya' what it needs - It needs a complete do-over from the musicians on up the chain.  I think they're under the impression that it can be fixed.  No idea where they got THAT idea from - It certainly wasn't here...

Oh well, back to work...   Confused
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John Scrip
Massive Mastering - Chicago (Schaumburg / Hoffman Est.), IL - USA

OTR-jkl

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Re: What do you guys do when you recieve something really awful?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2004, 10:10:12 pm »

I get that c**p - uhhhh - stuff all the time...!! You have to find out where it came from (engineer, studio, etc.) and determine whether its par or if something's wrong. If its par - meaning lack of talent, experience, etc. (including musicianship, engineering and facility) - then you either tell them that its not ready for mastering (easy out) or (most likely) you'll be told to just do the best you can and you make sure they know that it will never come out the way its supposed to.

In the case of the latter, you pull out all your tricks and do whatever it takes to make an improvement. Unfortunately, be prepared to spend more time than usual. In the end, most likely they'll be blown away by what you did...
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J Lowes · OTR Mastering
Professional Audio Production for Life
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Steve Kitch

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Re: What do you guys do when you recieve something really awful?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2004, 05:37:29 am »

I've no doubt that I can make a vast improvement but I'm not sure that I want stuff like this going out of the studio with my name on it.

This guy has 5 sheets of notes with things like:

"Vocals start a bit quiet at 2min 36s. Can you raise please?"

"Guitar in track 3 is a bit weedy. Can you add more distortion?"

"Vocal in track 6 is a bit out of tune. Could you put some "Autotune on it?"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Its just some guy thats recorded into his computer using a cheap sound card and a SM58. When he plays it to his mates, hes going to say "yeah I got it mastered at Audiomaster by Steve Kitch". And they are all gonna laugh!

Yes, I can bring out all the tricks and it will make a big improvement. And yes, I'm sure he will be blown away with it but what about my rep!

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Steve Kitch - Audiomaster
www.audiomaster.co.uk

Riccardo

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Re: What do you guys do when you recieve something really awful?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2004, 08:34:05 am »

maybe explain them the difference between a mixer and a mastering engineer?  Very Happy

Steve Kitch

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Re: What do you guys do when you recieve something really awful?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2004, 09:09:26 am »

Yeah true. I just can't belive that there are people out there that are naive to think that you can tune a vocal on a 2 track WAV file!!

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Steve Kitch - Audiomaster
www.audiomaster.co.uk

Fibes

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Re: What do you guys do when you recieve something really awful?
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2004, 10:02:17 am »

I feel for y'all, I've sent out some real crap to get mastered before and sometimes it's me, the band, the budget or a combination... I do agree that the ones with the most mix/master notes typically have the most internal issues.

Do your best and if you don't want your name on it tell them you only want credit for label projects and NPR commercials.

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Fibes
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OTR-jkl

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Re: What do you guys do when you recieve something really awful?
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2004, 12:43:21 pm »

Quote:

This guy has 5 sheets of notes with things like:

"Vocals start a bit quiet at 2min 36s. Can you raise please?"

"Guitar in track 3 is a bit weedy. Can you add more distortion?"

"Vocal in track 6 is a bit out of tune. Could you put some "Autotune on it?"

Sounds to me like its nowhere near being ready for mastering. Does this guy know what mastering is? Perhaps you should educate him a little.

I think I would point out that his notes refer to mix issues and that mastering won't fix them. It might hide some of 'em, but it won't fix 'em.

If you are worried about your reputation, you should probably either pass on the deal or insist that he fix the problems first before he contacts you again. Heck, if you've got tracking & mixing capability you could offer to do the whole deal for him and really make him shine...!!
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J Lowes · OTR Mastering
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lucey

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Re: What do you guys do when you recieve something really awful?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2004, 12:40:01 am »

Education

Relationships

and

Honest Courage
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Brian Lucey
Magic Garden Mastering

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