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  #41  
Old 04-05-2017, 09:19 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

If its a band demo recording there will be no producer, the band will "Produce" there own songs. That means the engineer is crucial, as in helping the band to get out of the session what they want, not telling them how he/she wants it.
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  #42  
Old 04-05-2017, 09:23 PM
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opentune opentune is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

If people read the posts, like post# 8, they will see
"The engineer and producer were the same guy"
So forget about blaming 'the producer'.
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  #43  
Old 04-05-2017, 09:29 PM
cutaway79 cutaway79 is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

OP, can you post some examples of the recordings of your drums?
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  #44  
Old 04-05-2017, 09:39 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
If people read the posts, like post# 8, they will see
"The engineer and producer were the same guy"
So forget about blaming 'the producer'.
If that is indeed the case, you're absolutely right.

It becomes a case of the OP needing to understand that the producer drives the recording, and that the performers need to make accommodations. Alternatively, the drummer needs to find/hire a producer with a sympathetic ear to drive the engineer.

The single most important thing a musician should concern themselves with in a studio is the performance, and not mics and heads.
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  #45  
Old 04-05-2017, 09:50 PM
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
Reading through all of this.... My question is....

Where the hell was your producer?

Engineers listen to the producer. Instruments are set up and mic'ed by the engineer in accordance to what the producer desires. If you do not have a producer, try to get one before going into another studio.
This was my point about needing to understand how a recording is made. When you rent time in a studio, you are the producer. You have to be the one who says stop, that's no good, do it over. You're the one who needs to be fully prepared when you go in. Otherwise you run over time, which is over budget and are then forced to accept less than the intended result. Jeez Louise! Tell a drummer he should learn how to place a mic and take a gain signal and they act like you're asking for blood. Learn how to run sound!
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  #46  
Old 04-05-2017, 10:26 PM
60's Drummer 60's Drummer is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Looking at the big picture. It was time and money well spent; because you learned a very valuable lesson.
+1

life goes on ... live and learn ... lotsa great advice already given

Wow, i've witnessed over 50 years of studio evolution, and i must say, my, how things have changed and how they've stayed the same.

I have been on both sides, performer, FOH soundman, studio -tracker, -mixer, -masterer, -producer. *** Always thought the FOH soundman on live gigs, big or small, should travel w/ the band as a member ***.

Back to topic, rmac86, perhaps now you can appreciate why every time I listen to any recording, I segregate.

If what is played *on*, the drums themselves for example, sound great, i say great audio engineers. If what is *played* sounds great, i say great musicians.

Every studio should provide a "how to prepare for the session - what we expect from you" and a "what to expect from us" handout.
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  #47  
Old 04-05-2017, 11:25 PM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

Obviously you're bringing up some very valid points, and that's a great chart. I completely agree with your assessments, and definitely think engineers in general should be more patient, knowledgeable and accommodating... But reality for me here in the states is that usually they are guys who "kinda" work for the venue and get paid in peanuts to run sound for 3-4 bands in an evening. For studio engineers it's usually more about time. Trying things outside the tried and true takes time and troubleshooting and that's just for one element of one instrument in the recording...

Regardless if it should be the case or not, my life is easier and my music sounds better if I kiss the sound guy's but all night and do things his way.

In-studio my rule is that I can challenge an idea once, but I cannot argue with the guy we're paying to make us sound good. If he's not going to be able to get a good sound with my tuning or without dampening, or whatever, then it doesn't matter that someone else maybe could. I'd rather just tune it how they like and see how it sounds in the booth on playback after some EQ. If it sounds bad in the control room, it's pretty obvious and easy to make an argument that we haven't arrived at the best sound yet.
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  #48  
Old 04-05-2017, 11:35 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by The SunDog View Post
This was my point about needing to understand how a recording is made. When you rent time in a studio, you are the producer. You have to be the one who says stop, that's no good, do it over. You're the one who needs to be fully prepared when you go in. Otherwise you run over time, which is over budget and are then forced to accept less than the intended result. Jeez Louise! Tell a drummer he should learn how to place a mic and take a gain signal and they act like you're asking for blood. Learn how to run sound!
Why should a drummer learn "How to run sound"? It would be like telling a sound engineer to learn how to play the drums before they work in a studio. Bands, when they need a demo, go to a studio to get there sound down on a recording. The engineer is there to help them get the sound they want, thats what an engineer is supposed to be able to do.
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  #49  
Old 04-06-2017, 01:10 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
But reality for me here in the states is that usually they are guys who "kinda" work for the venue and get paid in peanuts to run sound for 3-4 bands in an evening. For studio engineers it's usually more about time. Trying things outside the tried and true takes time and troubleshooting and that's just for one element of one instrument in the recording...

In-studio my rule is that I can challenge an idea once, but I cannot argue with the guy we're paying to make us sound good.
I agree here, and would add that it's a two way street. If the OP's a band that wants a Glyn Johns, Muscle Shoals, Motown, or other distinct sound, the engineer should be told about this a while in advance. There should be no/minimal surprises on the unload and setup.

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Why should a drummer learn "How to run sound"? It would be like telling a sound engineer to learn how to play the drums before they work in a studio.
We should be familiar with the basics of each and every facet of our instruments. You don't have to be good at it, just enough to be able to communicate and sympathize with other professionals. Exaggerated examples:

Why should I learn to strike/carry/load my drums? It's the roadie's job.
Why should I learn to set up and tune my drums? It's the tech's job.
Why should I learn to compose drum parts, it's the writer's job.

We can argue about where the line falls, but the point is that there's a line somewhere.
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  #50  
Old 04-06-2017, 01:17 AM
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by mikel View Post
Why should a drummer learn "How to run sound"? It would be like telling a sound engineer to learn how to play the drums before they work in a studio. Bands, when they need a demo, go to a studio to get there sound down on a recording. The engineer is there to help them get the sound they want, thats what an engineer is supposed to be able to do.
You think producers and engineers aren't musicians? So in a black and white scenario, you believe musicians shouldn't be engineers and producers. Typical C type personality. Do you need someone to tell you where you're going and a kick in the ass to get you moving in that direction? I'm just trying to tell people how to be the most effective they can when they get into a studio. You don't have to take over the control room, but knowing what you want and how to achieve it makes a huge difference. When I went into my first recording session I was an absolute sponge. It was with an engineer that had two SAMMY awards for producer of the year. He has since gone on to work as an engineer and producer on over sixty major label albums. He is also a bad ass guitarist and pretty decent drummer (he actually has a drumming credit on a Queens of the Stone Age album). I learned a lot from him over the years. As much as I could! Going in to a session and telling the engineer that you want a "fat" sound with lots of "tone" and plenty of "crack", but not too much! is exactly how you end up with a hot mess for a final product. Learn to run sound!
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  #51  
Old 04-06-2017, 06:06 AM
toddbishop toddbishop is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by Rosemarydrumco View Post
We have a difference of opinion here and thats ok. I've spent a lot of time in the studio on each side of the coin so we can agree to disagree.
Not really. The band (including the drummer) is the client here, and the engineer is the contractor. I don't care if we're calling the guy "producer" of this little demo, the client does not work for the contractor.

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I don't think random session drummer comes in and tells CLA how to get the best sounds out of his drums...and since in this situation the engineer was the producer, I think he does have the authority to make some sonic decisions here. Typically the producer is working with the engineer to get the sound the band wants and he thinks best.
It's not clear to me the OP understands the difference between an engineer and a producer-- whatever he thinks those things mean, he obviously didn't expect to be taking orders from the guy, or the other things that happened.

Quote:
The issue here is lack of communication and difference of opinion between the engineer/producer and the drummer.
That's putting it mildly. This engineer is an extremely poor communicator. Since he's the contractor, and the specialist, he's supposed to be communicating with the client, not giving orders/ultimatums, and making changes to the client's gear without asking.

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I just don't believe real session drummers and those that spend a ton of time doing studio work tell the producers and engineers how their drums should sound. The producers know the sound they want and the band trusts them to get it more often than not.
If the drummer is also a contractor, then he and the engineer both need to advise and consult with each other and with the client/producer to arrive at a drum sound that works for the client.

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I'm just saying when I go into a live or studio gig I get with the engineer to talk with him about what sound would serve the music and we work together to achieve it. That's how I think it should be.
To me that's very strange. I have never walked up to a recording or sound engineer at the beginning of a session or performance and asked him what sound he thinks best serves my music. It's your job to know what sounds serve the music, and, if you're the client, your own creative vision for the project. It's the recording engineer's job to record that, and if necessary advise/consult on how to make that happen.
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  #52  
Old 04-06-2017, 09:03 AM
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post
It's not clear to me the OP understands the difference between an engineer and a producer-- whatever he thinks those things mean, he obviously didn't expect to be taking orders from the guy, or the other things that happened.
This is my fault. When I originally asked the OP who was the "producer", I meant "Producer" to mean someone who works with/for the band.
As in George Martin with the Beatles.

Last week I went into the studio to record. The engineer was a drummer. He had a drum set all set up and microphones all set up. I used all of his stuff. But I had my stuff just in case. We recorded and then he let me listen to the drum sound to make sure it was OK with me and the band leader.

The first time I went into a studio to record in 1967, the engineer was Frank Zappa with the assistance of Ian Underwood. Long story.
They were recording my band for a project Frank was doing. No problem when the engineer is a musical genius.

So as far as studio work is concerned I have been VERY blessed.


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  #53  
Old 04-06-2017, 09:06 AM
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To me that's very strange. I have never walked up to a recording or sound engineer at the beginning of a session or performance and asked him what sound he thinks best serves my music. It's your job to know what sounds serve the music, and, if you're the client, your own creative vision for the project. It's the recording engineer's job to record that, and if necessary advise/consult on how to make that happen.
Exactly! Right on.


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  #54  
Old 04-06-2017, 09:26 AM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by The SunDog View Post
You think producers and engineers aren't musicians? So in a black and white scenario, you believe musicians shouldn't be engineers and producers. Typical C type personality. Do you need someone to tell you where you're going and a kick in the ass to get you moving in that direction? I'm just trying to tell people how to be the most effective they can when they get into a studio. You don't have to take over the control room, but knowing what you want and how to achieve it makes a huge difference. When I went into my first recording session I was an absolute sponge. It was with an engineer that had two SAMMY awards for producer of the year. He has since gone on to work as an engineer and producer on over sixty major label albums. He is also a bad ass guitarist and pretty decent drummer (he actually has a drumming credit on a Queens of the Stone Age album). I learned a lot from him over the years. As much as I could! Going in to a session and telling the engineer that you want a "fat" sound with lots of "tone" and plenty of "crack", but not too much! is exactly how you end up with a hot mess for a final product. Learn to run sound!
I didnt say they were not musicians. I said it was not imperative for the sound engineer to be able to play the drums, his job is to know how to get the sound a band want by knowing the room and the studio equipment inside out. That way he can record instrumants in a way that pleases the customer.

I couldnt care how good a musician someone is, If I am paying them to engineer a recording I want them to be good at that job and help me get what I want.
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  #55  
Old 04-06-2017, 09:47 AM
Push pull stroke Push pull stroke is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

I can't imagine an engineer telling me what to do, or having the last word on my drum sound, ESPECIALLY snare sound. And if you touch my drum set without asking first to make changes to the sound, I'm apt to kick you out of the building and just find another engineer. I'm not a musician to serve someone else's basic sound preferences over mine. I have opinions about drum sounds, strong ones. And I generally find they are in the majority of experienced, gifted drummers' opinions.

Wow. Just wow. If the engineer were a gifted drummer with chops roughly as good or better than mine, or an incredibly gifted producer and musician, I'd definitely listen to his version of the sounds he wants, but I am the final decider. I mean, this isn't like swapping drums at a conductor's request for a concert band or orchestra performance. This is a recording that has my name on the drum sound. It's forever, it's not a live performance. Damn.
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  #56  
Old 04-06-2017, 01:03 PM
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

I'm with the OP and Todd Bishop on this. The sound guy is there to do a job, which doesn't mean doing as he pleases. I teach English to Italian people. If a student of mine wanted to learn vocabulary and espressions for describing charts and graphs in a power point presentation and I insisted on doing countless grammar drills with him, I wouldn't be doing my job properly. The sound man is there to provide a service and should therefore listen and cooperate with his customers.
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  #57  
Old 04-06-2017, 02:10 PM
Rosemarydrumco Rosemarydrumco is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post

To me that's very strange. I have never walked up to a recording or sound engineer at the beginning of a session or performance and asked him what sound he thinks best serves my music. It's your job to know what sounds serve the music, and, if you're the client, your own creative vision for the project. It's the recording engineer's job to record that, and if necessary advise/consult on how to make that happen.


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Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Exactly! Right on.


.
Both of you are misunderstanding what I was saying. When I wrote I was thinking of a a couple situations. The serve the music comment I was thinking of where I play drums on the weekend is a good example. It's a large church with full time engineer. We have dialogue...I want the way I have tech'ed my drums to complement the sound that is common and fitting for the way the church does music. I would never just roll in and say this is how my drums have to sound...especially if it wasn't complementing the entire band...and yes If the engineer said your drums are too ringy, or tuned to high or whatever I'd change them. I think this applies to session work too...often the producer has a certain sound in mind he wants to achieve, and working with the engineer can help to achieve this.

I also think of a typical studio session with a popular band. Like when I read an article the other day about Ronnie Vannucci in the studio...and he talks about how he worked with his producer and engineer to capture the vision the band and he had for drums for their most recent record.

I know if I was going in the studio with my band I'd want to work as closely with the experts to help achieve the best possible sound for the record and for my band. It's important to realize that the sound you may be after as a band may require so adjustments to the way you normally do things as a drummer when it comes to the studio

I'm not suggesting letting the engineer/producer make all the calls but in a professional setup, typically it's not just "hey I am going to just roll in and do whatever I want as the drummer....because hey I am the drummer...and nobody touches my drums!" Lol. Not only that but why wouldn't you dialogue with your engineer/producer as he has the experience to record great sonics usually and he is on the other side listening to everything...Teamwork makes great recordings

I know it's not apples to apples because the OP was talking about his band but in the session world in Nashville where there is ten guys in line to session drum, being hard to work with and a pain in the ass will get you straight to the bottom of the list. Guys who know how to work with people in the studio get the gig...and in the OPs case, leads to a better recording

I don't know Im coming more from the angle of hired drummer I think because that is more my experience....if I was bringing in my own personal band I may have stronger opinions on how the drums should sound, but most likely I would find an engineer that I really loved his stuff and just let him do his thing.

Last edited by Rosemarydrumco; 04-06-2017 at 03:48 PM.
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  #58  
Old 04-06-2017, 02:58 PM
WallyY WallyY is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

The OP's preferred setup consisted of using a full head and a pillow, which might just be a little bit more difficult to mic than any other configuration.

Maybe it all comes down to the question of how many layers of additive manipulations are going to be used to get a different and seemingly more professional sound.

Maybe the whole thing could have been done with one mic, but maybe that wouldn't fit the preconceived mold that's needed for further throttling of the sound.
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  #59  
Old 04-06-2017, 02:58 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

There are a ton of situations that play out in my mind.

If you are good at tuning your drums, and you will know the answer to that, then it could be he is very specific to how he wants stuff to sound. This could either be because he is a very good engineer going for a certain sound, or a bad engineer that can't mix and work with anything else.

I don't know how good this guy is but I agree usually it's best to listen to the guy recording you. If you piss him off the album isn't going to sound as good... I recorded with a guy recently and he had me tune my snare MUCH lower than I prefer. I went to this guy because I have heard his work. He does have a specific sound and quality to his work that I enjoy so I went with it. It was almost difficult to play but the end result was very good.

If you ever go to another studio pick someone based on the work they have done in the past, that way if they ask you do do some wacky stuff to your drums you can trust them that it will sound good.


I also agree the sound engineer is not your producer and should be asking the BAND what kindof sound they want, but based on THAT he knows his room the best and what is required to get that specific sound. I often will bring in an album similar to the sound I want and play a few tracks.

Mic position is VERY important. It shouldn't be in the way and that is bizarre if it is.. but inches make a night and day difference. I just track myselfin my basement now and am getting to know my room, mics, drums, heads, mic positions and slight adjustments make a very big difference.
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  #60  
Old 04-06-2017, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

Just a thought, that hopefully may be helpful to the discussion...

To the OP: What level of studio is this, and how much did you guys pay? I teread your posts and didn't see any particulars about the studio, only the engineer and the goal of having a recording "to get some gigs".

It seems that without knowing that, the responses here may not have as much value. Guys are commenting on some pretty high-end recording situations that may not be applicable to the OPs situation.

Whether the OP is talking about a $99 4hr session or a $4000 4hr session would certainly have some bearing on the engineer's behavior and the general attitude in the studio....
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  #61  
Old 04-06-2017, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

It was probably a wooden shack with a biker pretend to be a musician type dude who charged 20 bucks an hour from the sounds of it
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  #62  
Old 04-06-2017, 04:34 PM
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It was probably a wooden shack with a biker pretend to be a musician type dude who charged 20 bucks an hour from the sounds of it
HA! Yeah exactly right.......

I've been to several "recording studios" where some guy has set up a recording studio in his house. Where he has each musician in a different room of the house. You know the guitar player is in the kitchen etc. A real shoestring operation. Low cost studio time. But usually these guys are the nicest people to work with.

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Old 04-06-2017, 06:21 PM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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HA! Yeah exactly right.......

I've been to several "recording studios" where some guy has set up a recording studio in his house. Where he has each musician in a different room of the house. You know the guitar player is in the kitchen etc. A real shoestring operation. Low cost studio time. But usually these guys are the nicest people to work with.

.
True. So true. Sometimes the converted houses that get turned into studios for bands to record specific albums can produce amazing results, too. A 'proper' studio is a great thing to have but you can do a Hell of a lot with a home setup. My studio at work is fantastically well-equipped and I love working in there but I also have the option to do recording and editing at home and they both have their separate appeals.

EDIT: Really, what it's all about for me is creating a comfortable space for performers. The last project I recorded was a few weeks ago (still editing!) with a flautist and one of the reasons I chose to do it at home rather than at work was because we had a coffee machine and could keep our own hours for playing around. It was just more comfortable, even if it was technically inferior.
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  #64  
Old 04-06-2017, 06:59 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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True. So true. Sometimes the converted houses that get turned into studios for bands to record specific albums can produce amazing results, too.
Looking at "Blood Sugar Sex Magic", all that a house requires to be an amazing studio is Rick Ruben sleeping on a couch in the basement.
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:11 PM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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Looking at "Blood Sugar Sex Magic", all that a house requires to be an amazing studio is Rick Ruben sleeping on a couch in the basement.
Or Nigel Godrich... I was thinking of OK Computer when I wrote that comment but Blood Sex Sugar Magic isn't a bad citation!
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  #66  
Old 04-06-2017, 07:21 PM
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Looking at "Blood Sugar Sex Magic", all that a house requires to be an amazing studio is Rick Ruben sleeping on a couch in the basement.
Cool vid. I will have to find some time to watch it all.
Funny, the younger Chad Smith does not look like Will Ferrell at all.
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  #67  
Old 04-06-2017, 08:00 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Or Nigel Godrich... I was thinking of OK Computer when I wrote that comment but Blood Sex Sugar Magic isn't a bad citation!

Radiohead and RHCP need to get together in Daryl Hall's house
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
This is my fault. When I originally asked the OP who was the "producer", I meant "Producer" to mean someone who works with/for the band.
As in George Martin with the Beatles.
That's the type everyone thinks of-- it's a grandiose title, but really the producer is just the decision maker-- the person whose opinions get enacted, or who OKs other people's opinions/suggestions. In a case like the OP's where the engineer is supposedly hired to be the producer, he's still answerable to the client, even though he's making most of the creative decisions. Still not clear that that was the actual arrangement.

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Originally Posted by Rosemarydrumco View Post
Both of you are misunderstanding what I was saying. When I wrote I was thinking of a a couple situations. The serve the music comment I was thinking of where I play drums on the weekend is a good example. It's a large church with full time engineer. We have dialogue...I want the way I have tech'ed my drums to complement the sound that is common and fitting for the way the church does music. I would never just roll in and say this is how my drums have to sound...especially if it wasn't complementing the entire band...and yes If the engineer said your drums are too ringy, or tuned to high or whatever I'd change them. I think this applies to session work too...often the producer has a certain sound in mind he wants to achieve, and working with the engineer can help to achieve this.

I also think of a typical studio session with a popular band. Like when I read an article the other day about Ronnie Vannucci in the studio...and he talks about how he worked with his producer and engineer to capture the vision the band and he had for drums for their most recent record.

I know if I was going in the studio with my band I'd want to work as closely with the experts to help achieve the best possible sound for the record and for my band. It's important to realize that the sound you may be after as a band may require so adjustments to the way you normally do things as a drummer when it comes to the studio

I'm not suggesting letting the engineer/producer make all the calls but in a professional setup, typically it's not just "hey I am going to just roll in and do whatever I want as the drummer....because hey I am the drummer...and nobody touches my drums!" Lol. Not only that but why wouldn't you dialogue with your engineer/producer as he has the experience to record great sonics usually and he is on the other side listening to everything...Teamwork makes great recordings
I've never had to say "nobody touches my drums" because I've never worked with an engineer or staff unprofessional enough to touch (much less make changes to) my equipment without asking.

And I don't understand you're driving at. The problem here was not lack of cooperation by the drummer, it was an engineer who was an extremely poor communicator and no sense of boundaries.

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I know it's not apples to apples because the OP was talking about his band but in the session world in Nashville where there is ten guys in line to session drum, being hard to work with and a pain in the ass will get you straight to the bottom of the list.
In this case, the engineer was the contractor who was hard to work with, and it's his name that is going to the bottom of this client's (the OP's) list.

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I don't know Im coming more from the angle of hired drummer I think because that is more my experience....if I was bringing in my own personal band I may have stronger opinions on how the drums should sound, but most likely I would find an engineer that I really loved his stuff and just let him do his thing.
Well, yeah, that's the whole point. The OP said it was his band. He wasn't the engineer's employee.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
The first time I went into a studio to record in 1967, the engineer was Frank Zappa with the assistance of Ian Underwood.
Holy cow, that's cool!
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Old 04-06-2017, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

I've only recorded seven records, and most of those were done in semi-professional studios. I'm really lucky to have not run into some of the problems you guys have. However, rather than it being an indication of my playing and sound, that probably has more to do with working with second-rate, friend-of-the-band engineers who don't have strong opinions on how an instrument sounds, only whether or not the input's clipping. On top of that I've never worked with a producer, which leaves most everything up to the discretion of the player.

If you can believe it, I think I'd prefer an inferior product to working with an engineer or studio who would treat me like a burden or a moron.

The few times I've been in a professional studio the most I've been asked to do was tape down a tom or separate my cymbals from my toms, and even then those things were introduced by the engineer as a solution to a problem and not a command.

That might be an indication of my tuning and sound, but it's probably just that those guys knew what they were doing and how to work around my shortcomings...
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

The first post made me mad just reading it and I sympathize with the original poster.

Here is my take on the situation. For orchestral, avant garde, jazz etc., where you may at any time play any component of the kit or it's hardware in an unconventional way, then close micing is wrong. The whole rig has to treated as one complex acoustic voice, and miced from further back or up, in an isolated chamber, as if it were a marimba or a percussionist's rig.

Now the controversial bit:

Considering what producers and engineers expect and want during most recording sessions in the rock genre, we should consider using a good electronic kit in the studio. Just give them the MIDI-out feed to do what they want with. They don't understand acoustic drums so this is a great compromise. The hard work was already done at the factory.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:14 PM
Rosemarydrumco Rosemarydrumco is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by toddbishop View Post


I've never had to say "nobody touches my drums" because I've never worked with an engineer or staff unprofessional enough to touch (much less make changes to) my equipment without asking.

And I don't understand you're driving at. The problem here was not lack of cooperation by the drummer, it was an engineer who was an extremely poor communicator and no sense of boundaries.
Well I agree with that...you clearly don't understand what I am driving at or saying...but no I don't think there's anything wrong with their producer (same guy as engineer) making some decisions on how the drums should have sounded to make the record sound better. Clearly the OP didn't have a ton of experience in the studio. You shouldn't just assume he knows best.

It seems our experiences and perceptions of roles in the studio are quite different. I don't know you or anything about your drumming experience. I'm guessing by your handle you play a lot of cruise ships? That's cool. We have a difference of opinion and let's leave it that.

Last edited by Rosemarydrumco; 04-07-2017 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:29 PM
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Originally Posted by thebarak View Post
The first post made me mad just reading it and I sympathize with the original poster.

Here is my take on the situation. For orchestral, avant garde, jazz etc., where you may at any time play any component of the kit or it's hardware in an unconventional way, then close micing is wrong. The whole rig has to treated as one complex acoustic voice, and miced from further back or up, in an isolated chamber, as if it were a marimba or a percussionist's rig.

Now the controversial bit:

Considering what producers and engineers expect and want during most recording sessions in the rock genre, we should consider using a good electronic kit in the studio. Just give them the MIDI-out feed to do what they want with. They don't understand acoustic drums so this is a great compromise. The hard work was already done at the factory.
Not even gonna touch the e-kit thing 😂. As far as close vs spaced mic'ing I think you, and most others miss the obvious. It's not a one or the other philosophy. The best drum recordings use both in conjunction. Four stereo room mics, two closer and two farther, combined with two stereo over head, one close mic per drum (two on the snare), one on the hat and one on the ride. This is my technique for mic'ing. You mix all of these together to give the illusion of depth and height, and close mics to get a true stereo on the hat, ride and toms
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Old 04-06-2017, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

The main sound is almost always overheads, BD and ambient mics.

IN most modern situations though, you want individual control, both to shape sound, attack, body and processing, so there comes he need for the extra mics.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:01 AM
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All this is a good reason to save up for your own studio gear. ie. a computer, audio interface and mics (& software of course) and then you can learn all that stuff yourself.
You can buy all the equipment there is to buy with money, but you can't buy
the huge amount of experience great engineers have. To me that's a lot more
important and precious than the gear used.
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:01 AM
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Sounds rough man. For the EP that i've been recording the engineer/producer is also a drummer. 1st thing we did was buy new heads for his kit(Pearl Masters, Coated Ambassadors over clear Ambassadors) and then he had me tune to my satisfaction. Then we recorded it and we determined what we needed to change to get the recorded sound to match up what we heard in the room. This involved retuning the kick and selecting completely different cymbals. The sound in the room ended up not being quite what i would want to play these songs live with but the sound on the tracks is exactly what i wanted. We used 4 mics on the drums Kick, snare, and a pair of overheads. The engineer should be able to mic your kit the way you tuned it and make it sound good but conversely recorded sound is an entirely different beast than live sound in a room and you as the drummer will have to make adjustments in order to get the sound on the tape to be what you hear in your head.
Interesting story!
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Old 04-07-2017, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Rosemarydrumco View Post
Well I agree with that...you clearly don't understand what I am driving at or saying...but no I don't think there's anything wrong with their producer (same guy as engineer) making some decisions on how the drums should have sounded to make the record sound better. Clearly the OP didn't have a ton of experience in the studio. You shouldn't just assume he knows best.
Clearly neither have you, to be excusing the engineer's behavior in this case.
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:02 AM
Rosemarydrumco Rosemarydrumco is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Clearly neither have you, to be excusing the engineer's behavior in this case.
You have no idea how this guys drums sounded. It might have been terrible. The engineer might have actually made things much better. All he did was remove the reso head on the kick since the guy didn't want to cut a hole in it, and ask him to tune out some of the ring in his snare. He has a right as the producer for the entire band to have an opinion on the way the drums sound and if they are hitting the mark the band envisioned for their record. You just don't know in this situation what really was going on.

I've got more than enough experience in the studio and working as live and studio engineer to have an opinion. I'm done arguing with you. Moving on...

Last edited by Rosemarydrumco; 04-07-2017 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:34 AM
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I've got enough experience in the studio and working as live and studio engineer to have an opinion.
Good. Maybe read a couple of more magazine articles on studio etiquette.
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:46 AM
Rosemarydrumco Rosemarydrumco is offline
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Default Re: Bad recording experience

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Good. Maybe read a couple of more magazine articles on studio etiquette.
I prefer actually working in the studio with professionals. Thanks for the tip though. I'll make sure to read your blog though if I ever aspire to be a cruise ship drummer.

Last edited by Rosemarydrumco; 04-07-2017 at 06:09 AM.
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