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Author Topic: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!  (Read 10146 times)

lowland

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #45 on: June 14, 2010, 07:15:00 am »

To me the facts are these in order of importance, greatest first:

1. It's not the ME's function to tell clients what to do musically, recording or mix-wise by default.

2. Mastering is a people business and a good ME should have a sixth sense about what is or isn't appropriate to discuss with a customer.

Given a  situation like the one you originally described, Tom, I would follow my instinct: it rarely lets me down.
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Nigel Palmer
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #46 on: June 14, 2010, 07:46:10 am »

Samc wrote on Mon, 14 June 2010 03:29

Thomas W. Bethel wrote on Mon, 14 June 2010 03:33


I guess I am really confused. If you are getting ready to do some mastering for a client and it could be materially upgraded simply by the client going back and redoing some parts of the recording to make it sound much better why wouldn't YOU suggest that to them instead of just taking their money and saying "what the he!!, I got my money and so what if the client did not get the best job possible". If that is the way that most mastering engineers here work (and that is what you ARE saying isn't it) then I think you are short changing your clients BIG TIME.

Do what you want to do and do it the way that works for you. I will still work with my clients and try and make their project the best I can make it. If that means telling them that there are things that could be done better then I will tell them that if they say no everything is fine then I will simply master what I am given. I really don't see what all the fuss is about. We are, after all, in the SERVICE business aren't we????

<Just an aside. If I go to my doctor and she tells me that if I would walk some more I could lower my cholesterol and if I stay away from too many carbohydrates I could lose weight I don't say to her "you are meddling in my life and I don't like it." Instead I usually say "thank for the friendly advice" and then it is up to me to decide whether to do anything about it. I really don't see the difference between that dialog and what I am talking about with my clients>

Thinking that your intervention is always needed to make your client's work 'better', or equating what you do with what your doctor does is the height of presumption in my opinion. I still think...in fact I know for sure now that my original suggestion that you should just produce and engineer for your clients would be the best solution for all your client problems.  

It is your doctor's sworn responsibility to look after your health, she bares some legal and moral responsibility to do so...THIS IS THEIR JOB!  The mastering engineer.....well, If you don't see and understand the difference between what your doctor does and what you do, I don't see the need to even go any further...

The part that makes me scratch my head though is that you came asking for advise, and now you turn around and tell the people you don't agree with to go mind their own business...



I DO NOT automatically tell a client that there is something wrong with their music or the recording of that music - where you got that idea is beyond me. I do tell a client if there is a problem with something they have done IF it is something that I think can make their recording sound better. I am not equating myself with a doctor. Professionals, like we want to be, are being paid to provide advice and suggestions along with providing a SERVICE.

If an architect draws plans for a building and a mechanical engineer sees that there maybe problems then it is up to them to inform the architect of the potential problem. If an electronic engineer designs a piece of equipment that maybe hazardous to the person using it then another engineer who sees the potential problem should make the first engineer aware of the problem so it can be fixed. I fail to see the logic of "don't interact with the client, don't ask questions or make suggestions and just master it" when someone is spending a large amount of THEIR money and wants it to sound the best that it can.

Work with your clients in the manner you chose and I will work with the clients in my way and AGAIN let just agree to disagree.

Maybe all your clients are pros with multiple gold or platinum records and don't really want your advice or suggestions. Most of my clients are relative newbies to the music/recording game and are looking for suggestions and help.

This discussion is going nowhere fast so I am going to make this my last post. Thanks to everyone that made suggestions and I will certainly think about what has been said here.



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Thomas W. Bethel
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Patrik T

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #47 on: June 14, 2010, 10:24:16 am »

I fail to see any sane possibility to have any opinion, what so ever, about a mix without mixing it yourself. It takes loads of time to understand what actually has happened from where it all begun to where the mixer said "finished".

I think in music, there are no ideals. Nor are there tracks sounding the same. And I do love that.


Regards
Patrik
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urm eric

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #48 on: June 14, 2010, 11:40:10 am »

Patrik T wrote on Mon, 14 June 2010 09:24


I think in music, there are no ideals. Nor are there tracks sounding the same. And I do love that.



+1. I have a friend who reviews classical music for a UK magazine: he hates over-editing (`just because you can't hear the edits doesn't mean you can't hear it's been edited'), removal of breathing or other human noises etc. Tony Faulkner calls it OCE, this man describes such music as `polished to imperfection'.

Cheers,

Eric
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Macc

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #49 on: June 14, 2010, 05:12:54 pm »

urm eric wrote on Mon, 14 June 2010 16:40

`polished to imperfection'.



Wonderful Smile

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Bob Macciochi

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Nick Sevilla

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2010, 11:35:46 pm »

A.- If you want to work again for that artist or his friends, then do not say anything further. You have to take the material you get to master as if it is already approved by the powers that be, EVEN IF YOU THINK THEY'RE WRONG.

B.- If you do not want to ever work with that particular artist ever again, then by all means, tell him exactly what you think of his singing. then, be prepared for some badmouthing directed towards you from the artist, and expect no more work from that camp.

Those, are your two options.

Cheers
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Tim Halligan

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #51 on: June 20, 2010, 12:57:30 am »

Nick Sevilla wrote on Sun, 20 June 2010 11:35

A.- If you want to work again for that artist or his friends, then do not say anything further. You have to take the material you get to master as if it is already approved by the powers that be, EVEN IF YOU THINK THEY'RE WRONG.

B.- If you do not want to ever work with that particular artist ever again, then by all means, tell him exactly what you think of his singing. then, be prepared for some badmouthing directed towards you from the artist, and expect no more work from that camp.

Those, are your two options.

Cheers



There is an adage from the restaurant business that's kinda apt in this instance:

A satisfied customer will tell on average 5 - 10 people;
A dissatisfied customer will tell everyone.

I guess the moral here is piss off a client at your peril.

Cheers,
Tim
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Dale Francis

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #52 on: June 20, 2010, 06:25:56 am »

Tim Halligan wrote on Sun, 20 June 2010 00:57

Nick Sevilla wrote on Sun, 20 June 2010 11:35

A.- If you want to work again for that artist or his friends, then do not say anything further. You have to take the material you get to master as if it is already approved by the powers that be, EVEN IF YOU THINK THEY'RE WRONG.

B.- If you do not want to ever work with that particular artist ever again, then by all means, tell him exactly what you think of his singing. then, be prepared for some badmouthing directed towards you from the artist, and expect no more work from that camp.

Those, are your two options.

Cheers



There is an adage from the restaurant business that's kinda apt in this instance:

A satisfied customer will tell on average 5 - 10 people;
A dissatisfied customer will tell everyone.

I guess the moral here is piss off a client at your peril.

Cheers,
Tim


and if the client expects that the M.E. will fix everything and the polishing will make it all sound as they imagine ...
when it does not meet those expectations, they are then the dissatisfied,
but if the M.E. does point out some flaws and they are correctable thus making the end results a very satisfied client ...
is the client hiring a yes man who kisses ass or a professional who gives an honest service? is the OP looking for better ways of instigating that nebulous conversation involving the product and the egos involved?? How would the naysayers go about rendering such an attempt at consciousness raising?
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Dale Francis
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tom eaton

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #53 on: June 20, 2010, 02:24:21 pm »

Did you read the title of the thread?

Trying to help your client is one thing.

Having an opinion about the client's work is fine.

Expressing that opinion with tact when asked is a skill.

Coming on a public forum talking about how your client "sucks" is something else entirely.

tom

Dale Francis

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #54 on: June 20, 2010, 05:10:05 pm »

Yes I read the title and took it with a tongue in cheek attitude given his histrionics.
He sure couldn't get much helpful feedback from his minister so coming to a forum where like minded professionals collaborate ...
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Dale Francis
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Table Of Tone

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #55 on: June 21, 2010, 07:45:40 am »

If the material or mixes suck, I'll just try N do the best I can and make sure I'm fully booked next time!
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subvertbeats

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #56 on: June 21, 2010, 02:32:38 pm »

lowland wrote on Mon, 14 June 2010 12:15

To me the facts are these in order of importance, greatest first:

1. It's not the ME's function to tell clients what to do musically, recording or mix-wise by default.

2. Mastering is a people business and a good ME should have a sixth sense about what is or isn't appropriate to discuss with a customer.

Given a  situation like the one you originally described, Tom, I would follow my instinct: it rarely lets me down.


Thumbs Up


Thomas W. Bethel wrote on Mon, 14 June 2010 12:46

If an architect draws plans for a building and a mechanical engineer sees that there maybe problems then it is up to them to inform the architect of the potential problem. If an electronic engineer designs a piece of equipment that maybe hazardous to the person using it then another engineer who sees the potential problem should make the first engineer aware of the problem so it can be fixed.



Those 2 examples are technical problems.
If a mix comes to you with technical problems as an ME it most certainly is within your scope of responsibilities to address those problems.

This is entirely different from the issue that you started this thread about, i.e. passing comment on an artists talent, or their artistic decisions.

The very title of this thread makes me Sad  - I simply cant imagine ever expressing my personal opinion to a client about such things.

dcollins

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #57 on: June 21, 2010, 08:25:30 pm »

Dale Francis wrote on Sun, 20 June 2010 14:10

Yes I read the title and took it with a tongue in cheek


The expression is "crisis of conscience" anyway......


DC

JimK

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #58 on: June 21, 2010, 11:33:44 pm »



.....or how to tell a ME his grammar sucks!
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Jim Kissling

Harland

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Re: A crisis of consensus or how to tell a client he sucks!
« Reply #59 on: June 22, 2010, 02:48:27 am »

Tom, just going on the title and content of the original post, a person would have to conclude that you were at the same relative level of professionalism as your client. Can you imagine how that long time client is going to feel if/when he reads this thread? It's a betrayal to post that up for the world to see. Which doesn't lend any credibility to your claim that you want to help him. Anyway, the answer to your question is obvious - if you really do care about him then talk to him openly, honestly, from the heart and tactfully, with a ton of consideration for the sensitivities most artists have. That conversation is the one you should have had instead of this one.
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