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Author Topic: Your approach to producing....  (Read 10032 times)

ExpresswayToYrSkull

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #30 on: January 10, 2005, 02:08:11 pm »

anyone bashing Steve just can't handle the fact that their job is a joke to someone. Steve's ethic of recording is the kind every engineer should have... you are employed by a band its not your duty to re-arange their songs. In the couple "pro" studio sessions I've been in the "producer/engineer" has done more than butcher my material and I felt raped.

This is why I bought a 16 track and just record my band myself nowadays. If i had some cash I'd love to get the chance to record with Steve someday. He might be the only person I'd want to record with at this point
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Bob Olhsson

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2005, 04:20:06 pm »

There are more than enough out and out bad "name" producers to go around. But that doesn't mean there aren't the good ones who can challenge an artist into exceeding their expectations of themselves. I think everyone would agree that no producer is better than a bad producer but there really is such a thing as a great producer.

electrical

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2005, 04:22:02 pm »

wwittman wrote on Sun, 09 January 2005 20:40

re: "(not Cyndi Lauper, Joan Osborne, Hooters, ...)

see?
pose.

That little sig line (yours and my negated one) is an example of what I've been talking about all along.

Producers gain their value from the artists they work with. They recognize this explicitly by mentioning artists in their signature lines. This is, in a sense, an admission of my point: That producers are nothing without people of substance to wage their producing on.

There is an attitude among "take me seriously, I'm a Producer" types that the only good records are popular ones. Thats why producers cite their most known clients at every juncture.

These standards and the notion of fame-by-association don't exist in the underground/independent world where I spend my time, where results matter much more than image. I think the points I was making are apparent; that credits are neither impressive nor material to the discussion, and it's a little creepy being reminded that we are supposed to care about them, no matter how dated, style-bound or genre-specific. They are immaterial.

I'm sorry, a little, if it offends anyone that I noticed these credits and chose to make my point with them. I remind those offended people that those credits and their associations were put there to be noticed, and I don't apologize for noticing them and making my own associations.
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electrical

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #33 on: January 10, 2005, 05:06:41 pm »

Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 10 January 2005 02:43

For some of us, it's all about the music.

And godspeed!

For some of us it's about doing the right thing by the people who employ us. Everyone draws the distinction in different places, and I can't be made to feel bad about where my sympathies lie.
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lucey

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #34 on: January 10, 2005, 05:54:07 pm »

electrical wrote on Mon, 10 January 2005 17:06

Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 10 January 2005 02:43

For some of us, it's all about the music.

And godspeed!

For some of us it's about doing the right thing by the people who employ us. Everyone draws the distinction in different places, and I can't be made to feel bad about where my sympathies lie.



nor should you!

Quote:


There is an attitude among "take me seriously, I'm a Producer" types that the only good records are popular ones. Thats why producers cite their most known clients at every juncture.



I agree 100% that popularity is not the point of music, nor should it be the calling card of a Producer ... yet i feel like your view of Producers is outdated.   Most Producers I know of are working to help, and being asked to join the creative process to the benefit of music in the view of the artist.  

Is a mutual relationship possible, or is it always a conflict? How can individuals in a band work together in harmony, yet a band and a guy called "producer" cannot work in harmony?

Seems to me that as time passes the relationships are getting better between producers and bands, not worse, so why the fuss?  Those "take me seriously" types are jokers ... screw em, forget about 'em ... they're irrelevant to the real work of music making.  Everone knows that, and if they don't, they're not worth it.

Quote:


These standards and the notion of fame-by-association don't exist in the underground/independent world where I spend my time, where results matter much more than image.


Well, "results" by some measure matter to everyone.  For some people "image" is a result, but again I say fewer and fewer as music is just too hard to keep up for the "image" anymore.  And in this sense, the state of the industry today is a good thing, as it weeds out those who don't really need to make music.


Meanwhile, the underground/independent artists have become just as cliquish as anyone, have they not?  The 80s/early 90's are long gone.  And the commercial work of bands you engineered, in many cases, were responsible for morphing the last days of the 80s underground into a new thing that culturally, can never be regained.  

Pop punk is now a genre.  Alternative labels are mostly gobbled up, save the few with integrity and passion.  Truly alternative musicians with no commercial sensibilities are VERY few and VERY far between. The late 80's/early 90's are over.

And "Steve Albini" is still a name on a level of Producer clout, a name that makes a good image for some independent bands in their circles ... no offense to your talents, but why do you think some of them come to you?  You're a producer-level player, without the title or the same intentions as a producer, yet similar in the eyes of some artists, and the public.


The whole thrust of your disdain is wise and I resonate with much of the independent music and pro-artist mantras, yet in the end it seems outdated, and also seems ironically self-loathing due to your particular place in the history of making underground music into a pop culture genre.

No offense, and not trying to play shrink ... just looking at the argument and your place in it.
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Curve Dominant

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #35 on: January 10, 2005, 09:17:33 pm »

Quote:

posted by electrical:
There is an attitude among "take me seriously, I'm a Producer" types that the only good records are popular ones. Thats why producers cite their most known clients at every juncture.

These standards and the notion of fame-by-association don't exist in the underground/independent world where I spend my time, where results matter much more than image.



AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!

So, THAT'S what this is all about.

I get it now!

The "produced" recordings are popular = uncool.

The unproduced recordings don't sell = cool.

Finally, Steve, I TOTALLY understand where you're coming from with your little "anti-producer" campaign.

Which is good, because now I can stop wasting time with these interminably tedious debates, and go back to making music.

Music which will remain "cool" so long as it doesn't sell, but which will become "uncool" as soon as it becomes popular.

Or something to that effect.

electrical

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #36 on: January 11, 2005, 12:19:15 am »

Eric Vincent wrote on Mon, 10 January 2005 21:17



I get it now!

The "produced" recordings are popular = uncool.

The unproduced recordings don't sell = cool.

Finally, Steve, I TOTALLY understand where you're coming from with your little "anti-producer" campaign.

Which is good, because now I can stop wasting time with these interminably tedious debates, and go back to making music.

Music which will remain "cool" so long as it doesn't sell, but which will become "uncool" as soon as it becomes popular.

Or something to that effect.

Your failure to grasp what I say in plain english, and your resort to a convoluted interpretation that you can then dismiss are awe-inspiring. You will go down in the annals of internet messageboard typing as one of the great ones, and I get to say I saw your work first-hand. I bask in the glow.

Unfortunately, once again, what I say is exactly, precisely what I mean. Not a thing more, not a thing less.

Continue to create fantastic interpretations of it if avoiding the substance of our conversation is more important than grasping it, please. Be my guest. But don't pretend that you "get it" when your suggestion of what I "really" mean has no foothold in my thinking at all.

I love it when bands sell records. When good bands sell good records, I love it even more. I certainly don't think any less of them or their records when they sell. But I don't think selling or not selling records matters in the slightest with respect to our responsibilities to the people we work for. Not the tiniest little bit.

Bending over backwards to try to sell records has been the engine of grotesquerie for several decades, and it is a poor justification for producery behavior, because, as I said and you ignored before, nobody really knows how to sell more records. Nobody can do it, or he would do it all the time and have nothing but hits. So it is a leverage gesture with no substance and I think it is gross.

We should do the right thing with absolute disregard of how many people we think might or might not buy the record. I go as far as to avoid any such estimating, because it doesn't matter.

Re-interpret my thoughts in order to dismiss them as a caricature if you like, but realize you have not learned anything, and are not genuinely debating to the point.
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steve albini
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Curve Dominant

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #37 on: January 11, 2005, 01:25:30 am »

Quote:

posted by electrical:
I don't think selling or not selling records matters in the slightest with respect to our responsibilities to the people we work for. Not the tiniest little bit.


Really? Huh! Well, Steve, we will simply have to agree to disagree on that little aspect of the debate. Because many people who record would like to be known, have their recordings heard, and the best way for that to happen, is to make recordings of them that people would want to buy. Go figure! But hey, who am I to argue with them? They know their music, and if they hire a producer to help them make that happen, then THAT is OUR responsibility. You may shirk that responsibility, but that doesn't make it go away.

Quote:

Bending over backwards to try to sell records has been the engine of grotesquerie for several decades, and it is a poor justification for producery behavior, because, as I said and you ignored before, nobody really knows how to sell more records. Nobody can do it, or he would do it all the time and have nothing but hits. So it is a leverage gesture with no substance and I think it is gross.


Oh, please, you sound like a nun. Will you please read that and see how self-righteously boring a pose it is?? Were you born in the middle ages? "Producery behavior"??? Look here, mate: Once you plug an amp into a wall, all bets are off. There is no purity in Rock & Roll. THAT'S THE POINT OF ROCK & ROLL.

Quote:

We should do the right thing with absolute disregard of how many people we think might or might not buy the record. I go as far as to avoid any such estimating, because it doesn't matter.


See above, same response.

Quote:

Re-interpret my thoughts in order to dismiss them as a caricature if you like, but realize you have not learned anything, and are not genuinely debating to the point.


WHOAH! Back up a second there, good brother. I have not re-interpreted anything. The caricature painted is one of your own making. YOU are the one who has stomped all over these "production" threads, airing your dirty laundry disguised as self-righteous indignation over a profession which you do not understand. And yes, I have learned PLENTY from these debates with you. I actually come away with a new-found appreciation of my role as a producer. And, yes, I AM "genuinely debating to the point," otherwise you would not have responded at all.

The frequency and amplitude of your posts on this subject, combined with your utter lack of humor, subjectivity and close-mindedness, speaks volumes in regards to the "learning" aspect of this debate, so please do not lecture me in that regard.

I built my own studio precisely because of the exact same bullheadedness I encountered in audio engineers like you, Steve, in "pro" studios I worked in when I was just a stoopid musician.

That's ironic, isn't it? You think producers are a part of the problem.

I became a producer, because I came to believe that (most, not all) audio engineers were a part of the problem. Your presence on these forums has done nothing if not re-enforced that decision. Congratulations.

RMoore

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #38 on: January 11, 2005, 08:57:19 am »

<Look here, mate: Once you plug an amp into a wall, all bets are off. There is no purity in Rock & Roll. THAT'S THE POINT OF ROCK & ROLL.>

If I may chime in here & say as an outside observer it does perhaps seem as if you indeed may be misinterpreting what Steve is saying..and filling that in with your own past frustrations with studio engineers..or something..
Its like you are taking Steve's comments about producers maybe a little too personally..

FWIW - reminding someone like Steve Albini on what the score is with rock & roll is a little.. odd.. - perhaps you may want to run a google search & check out some of Steve's discography..

The net is the great 'equalizer' but I humbly suggest a little humility goes a long way at times...

Lets increase the peace folks!!

Have a good one,

RM
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RMoore

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #39 on: January 11, 2005, 09:29:26 am »

Maybe its an opportune moment for a little time out here & what better time out could there be than Steve Albini's homemade mayonnaise recipe!:



"Here is a recipe anyone can use to make a wonderful Sauce Mayonnaise:

  Into a stationary blender, crack one egg. Add an extra egg yolk, one garlic clove,    a strong quarter teaspoon of cayenne (or a teaspoon of white pepper ground very    fine) and either a slight teaspoon of salt or a tablespoon of Tamari soy sauce.    Blend at high speed until the garlic is finely divided and the egg begins to froth.    With the blender still running, trickle in good olive oil until the mayonnaise    thickens and will accept no more oil. (this will vary, but will usually be about    a cup.) Stop the blender and add a tablespoon of good vinegar OR the juice of    half a lemon. Fold the mayonnaise once or twice with a spatula, which will loosen    it considerably. Pulse the blender until the thick consistency returns. Taste    If the mayonnaise tastes oily, add more acid (vinegar or lemon juice only. Never    combine the two, as this makes for a weird bilious aftertaste). Chill covered    for at least 15 minutes. I often add a tablespoon of fresh or dried dill or thyme    at the beginning of the process. Don't add the acid at the beginning, as this    can prevent the eggs from emulsifying. "
Steve Albini


Maybe we all can't agree on record production - but at least surely we can on something less controversial like tasty mayo...

or else there really is no hope for the World..

Bon Appetit!

RM



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bblackwood

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #40 on: January 11, 2005, 10:07:41 am »

You know, just because someone feels that using a particular type of paint diminishes the art doesn't make them right. Nor does it make them wrong. Seems strange that Steve openly shares his viewpoint of what bands need or don't need and is attacked for an opinion. Why is that?

Personally, I've seen plenty of occasions where bands were helped by having a producer. I've also seen many occasions where they were hindered by it.

Also, throwing out someone's credentials on basis that it's 'star worship' seems kinda silly. When I was growing up, we looked to the people who had real-world experience for guidance. I think Steve qualifies as an elder here (not by age, Steve, but by experience). If we would stop worrying about losing an argument and pay attention, we might all learn something from those who have so much experience, whether we agree with everything they say or not...

My (unrequested) .02
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Brad Blackwood
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jimmyjazz

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #41 on: January 11, 2005, 11:20:40 am »

Eric Vincent wrote on Tue, 11 January 2005 01:25

The frequency and amplitude of your posts on this subject, combined with your utter lack of humor . . .


That's odd.  I think Steve's posts are often funny as hell.

You obviously don't agree with him, and that's fine, but his point stands -- in this thread, you aren't really playing fair.

More often than not, it seems Steve gets folks riled up not only because his point of view is so "extreme", but because it's so well-defended.  I'd actually go so far as to say that it's pretty much an exercise in futility to argue with him, because he isn't going to change his mind.  (This isn't to say he's not open-minded, but rather just extraordinarily staunch in his convictions.)

Personally, I don't agree that the role of a "producer" is as loathesome as Steve makes it out to be, mostly because I think it's perfectly reasonable for an artist to hire a producer for the express purpose of contributing to and/or shaping the artist's art (among other things), and that this is quite often the norm.  If a "producer" intrudes on the art, in effect bullying or deceiving the artist, then of course that's an unacceptable situation.  I just don't think it happens all that often these days, at least with artists of any conviction.  What happens with artists of little conviction is another debate, I suppose.  If they hire a producer to "get them heard", and in effect supply that conviction, then what's the beef?

jim andrews
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ted nightshade

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #42 on: January 11, 2005, 11:33:43 am »

I've never had mayonaisse that I liked, but Steve's recipe looks quite palatable. I'll have to try that!

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Ted Nightshade aka Cowan

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Level

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2005, 12:05:02 pm »

Have not read this all...my has it grown. It will be fun reading.

Here is a typical situation. I am reminiscing from July 94 (happened to run into some dat archives of a production that is dear to me)

We had a meeting of the entire staff and management at lunch in a decent restaurant in private seating and we divided up into 4 groups. Track artists, vocal artists with the lead vocalist, studio staff and security, and going over the sheet music with everyone and day by day schedule of what we hoped to accomplish in the alloted time of 3 weeks.

Skipping ahead, this meeting cut the time down to one week and we were done with all recording and production. The meeting took 7 hours.

Facts we went over was who is to be where and when. Scheduling. Who needed what. (catering, breaks, commodities, who smoked and needed to take 5 more often (being 25 floors up, take 20 is more like it)and equipment that we needed or special requests and the exchange of phone numbers, gift cards or whatever.

How we were to approach a full scale session with 23 people laying tracks.

This all made the session run smooth. My job was "session director, vocal productionist, recording engineer"

So..I can go on and on about details but the most important thing is to get and have your shit together and be ready to work. This can be fun work or a "mixerman
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Keith Smith

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Re: Your approach to producing....
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2005, 12:09:55 pm »

Maybe I'm a bit dim, or just too green.

Eric's first post on this thread about what he recently did for an artist was printed and is on my wall right now. It's a great list of what I think many of us find ourselves doing with 'artists' who haven't figured out who they are but want to make a CD. I'm leaving it on the wall as a subtle reminder to my clents of what and how much they're really paying for. And I don't consider myself to be a producer, but sometimes its a role that must be played because the client hasn't realized the need for one.

For all that, I haven't seen anything in Steve's posts that I can take issue with.

Seem's to me the role of producer or engineer varies so much with the available talent and what potential they see in it that all of the statements made are valid at some time or another. And neither of them has to take any particular gig. Right?

k
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