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Have You Had One Of Those "I Suck" Revelations Lately? (I Have)
Old 20th November 2002
  #1
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Have You Had One Of Those "I Suck" Revelations Lately? (I Have)

My coach told me the other night, "You cannot EVER get TOO cocky."

Jon Atack has been dropping hints in my direction towards that end for some time now.

Well, it happened this evening. The Curve got humbled, big time.

I did an A/B comparison between the lead-off track of this CD I'm producing, and Pink's "Get The Party Started."

Ouch...oomph...oh, brutha, we's gots some work to do.

The embarrassing thing is, I already mailed out CDs to Mike Jasper and Renie of this stuff, all like "Look what I can do with the 001!!!"

Whoah!!! Easy, cowboy, it ain't all simple as that...

Dave Pensado has got like 100 channels to work with on that SSL 9K.

Jon: I take it all back. Pleez 4give me. I wuz wroo... I wuz wroon... I wuz...

wrong

Lesson learned: Stick to composing and tracking, and leave the mixing to the mixers.

AAARRGGGHHH!!! I HATE BEING WRONG!
Old 20th November 2002
  #2
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e-cue's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Have You Had One Of Those "I Suck" Revelations Lately? (I Have)

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant

I did an A/B comparison between the lead-off track of this CD I'm producing, and Pink's "Get The Party Started."
NEVER underestimate DAVE "hard drive" PENSADO!
Old 20th November 2002
  #3
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Knox's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Dave is an old friend of mine. I guess I have known him for 15 years or longer. All I can say is . . he knows that kind of music REALLY well. He has been doing that kind of stuff for a long time, so I wouldn't beat your own ass too hard.

I used to laugh at / with him cause I was doing "real" music with "real" players and Dave was always turned on by machines, computers and sequencers way back. Dave ALWAYS had a real good understanding of mid range. That is an art . . . . where I need help. I used to listen to his mixes next to something I did and I would think I had warm low end, and highs . . . . Dave would have that mid range punch that just worked. I think it is easy to get the low end and the highs . . . but the mid section is crucial, and Dave is one of the best at it.

Actually, I don't listen to what he does anymore as it is not my kind of thing . . . . but I'm sure he still has the mid range down.

Also, I will say this . . . Dave worked VERY hard to get where he is today. He took a lot of free sessions and basically lived in a studio with a mutual friend of ours that is in Cameo and was in Madonna's band. In other words . . Dave enjoyed r & b and that kind of music waaaaaay back.


btw . . . I disagree with your coach about "never getting too cocky". I would try to NOT get cocky, as there is always going to be someone that can shut you down no matter what you do. Confident with class and dignity might be a better way. . . . NEVER cocky.
Old 20th November 2002
  #4
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Oh yeah, I had an "I suck" morning when I compared Pete Weaver's mp3 to one of mine. The music style is different, but production be production, and Weaver's kicks my ass.

And he uses a Digi 001, so I can't fall back on the "if-only-I-had-that-gear" excuse.

But I'll get better. Meanwhile, I guess I need to drop by the PO Box and see if Eric's CD came in.

Jasper
Old 20th November 2002
  #5
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks for the replies folks.

Major parts of the problem: the old amp I was using, and poor ergonomics. I just wasn't hearing the mixes well.

Over the weekend I had installed the new amp, and re-designed the workstation so as to keep my ears in the sweetspot more consistently. So now I can really hear the flaws and shortcomings in the mixes.

Also: too much processing on the lead vocal was burying it, so I removed those plugs, and doubled the vocal instead. Much better.

Fattened the bass guitar; added a few dBs of 2.9K to the drums for punch.

Overall: big improvement. Still doesn't have quite the smooth sheen of Dave's mix, but it doesn't totally suck anymore either. Whew!

Knox: Yeah man, interesting dude that Dave, interesting story. I printed out his Sept 2001 interview from Mix. Reading him discuss his methods may have helped somewhat. For instance he says to fix a vocal he'll go into PT and type in the level for every syllable, same with EQ automation. I tried that (not on every single syllable, just the problematic phrases) instead of squashing it with the compression plug, and it works! So then I can add just a BIT of compression to that...very cool.

OK back to work...
Old 20th November 2002
  #6
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🎧 15 years
Years ago we were playing each other mixes we had just finished to see what the other thought. I remember he played me a mix and said "what do you think of the toms?". I thought for a second and said . . . "I guess they were fine Dave, I really didn't notice anything wrong" (I actually didn't even notice any toms in the song). He said "I spent three days on those toms" . . . . . I was floored!!!! I don't even spend 3 days tracking and mixing a song! I feel like if I can't get the song in a day (tracking) . . something is wrong. It's just the way I work.

Anyway . . . . I couldn't imagine what anyone would do for three days on some toms, you know what I mean? Plus at the time . . I didn't even like toms. But knowing Dave . . . . also his way of embelishing a story a bit . . . . I figured anything was possible. And, at the time, I was not the engineer that Dave was so I figured I must be screwing up not spending three days on toms.

*smile*

If memory serves me . . . . . . he had a master tape of a famous drummer playing on a song (I'm not saying who) . . . he took his track and ran his tom fills into a midi trigger and somehow downloaded them into a sequencer (he and I used to use Sequencer Plus back then) . . he analized them and massaged them in place, tempo wise, etc then re-triggered samples until he had this famous drummer's tom fills on one of his songs! LOL

Took him 3 days . . or so he said. Again, Dave could stretch a story . . . . but he probably did spend three days doing it.

Me, personally . . . . I get pissed if I can't have the song mixed in a few hours MAX! I get to a point where I wouldn't know of any more things to do, plus I feel like I ruin the vibe at some point. Usually my best mixes are the ones I spend the least amount of time. All that kind of stuff obviously paid off for Dave.
Old 21st November 2002
  #7
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
He said "I spent three days on those toms"
As someone who has ADD, I can totally identify with that sort of obsessive/compulsive approach.

He may have meant "tweaked them over the course of three days..." but still. I can totally identify.
Old 21st November 2002
  #8
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"Gear fixes everything" - Julian Standen

Old 21st November 2002
  #9
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I think that "Just like a Pill" song sounds horrible. Maybe it doesn't agree with the radio compression, but it comes across like a tiny thin mess with a huge kick drum. Perhaps the CD version is better....

+/-3dB
Old 21st November 2002
  #10
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🎧 15 years
If you are saying he mixed a song called "Just Like A Pill" I wouldn't know. I haven't heard anything he has done in many years. Not what I do. I heard a tiny piece of the remake of Voulez Vous . . . . and it made me want to puke it was so bad. The production that is . . . compared to the original. I think he mixed it. I just don't listen to what Dave does, or any of those acts . . . . so I can't say. I KNOW he is doing just fine without my opinion.
*smile*
Old 21st November 2002
  #11
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🎧 15 years
"Just Like A Pill" was mixed by Kevin Davis of Larabee Studios, North Hollywood, and yes: Probably the radio compression is thwacking it down. It sounds OK on the CD but the levels are riding zero. Weren't we talking about that on another thread - how mixes like that are bad for radio?

Pink is kinda bubblegum for me too, normally wouldn't have spent $$$ for her recordings, but "get the party started" was such a big hit, and I hear it at EVERY party I've been to since it came out...it seemed like a good A/B for this one track in particular we were working on. After repeated listenings, I haven't been able to discern any way in which it's not perfectly mixed for it's genre...Mr. Pensado has my respect.
Old 21st November 2002
  #12
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
That Pink record has some of the ****tiest programing and samples I have ever heard, but " Party" is a very cool tune, and def done well.. I guess we all know which song got the whole budget, apparetly...
Old 22nd November 2002
  #13
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🎧 15 years
I may have misunderstood the topic of this thread, but are you asking people when was the last time they had one of those "wait a second... the Curve really sucks" realizations?

If I've misunderstood the thread, sincere apologies.

Otherwise, I'd have to say around 2 or 3 months.

Best regards,

MattiMattMatt

Old 22nd November 2002
  #14
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
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🎧 15 years
Re: Have You Had One Of Those "I Suck" Revelations Lately? (I Have)

Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
Jon Atack has been dropping hints in my direction towards that end for some time now.

Lesson learned: Stick to composing and tracking, and leave the mixing to the mixers.
I was? Gee, I'm sorry.

I do agree that we should concentrate on what we do well....once we've figured out what the hell that is!

P.S. Am looking for a good studio manager for Capitol since Sevan's departure to start her parisian 'wine bar'...it's hard to be behind the console and in the office at the same time.

Old 22nd November 2002
  #15
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
I may have misunderstood the topic of this thread, but are you asking people when was the last time they had one of those "wait a second... the Curve really sucks" realizations?
HAHAHAHAHA. That's hilarious.

Fortunately, Eric has a good sense of humor.

Jasper
Old 22nd November 2002
  #16
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
I may have misunderstood the topic of this thread, but are you asking people when was the last time they had one of those "wait a second... the Curve really sucks" realizations?

If I've misunderstood the thread, sincere apologies.

Otherwise, I'd have to say around 2 or 3 months.

Best regards,

MattiMattMatt
2 or 3 months? Wow! It's been THAT long??!!!

Thanks Matt!
Old 22nd November 2002
  #17
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
P.S. Am looking for a good studio manager for Capitol since Sevan's departure to start her parisian 'wine bar'...it's hard to be behind the console and in the office at the same time.
__________________
Jon Atack
Capitol Studios, Paris
Jon, thanks for the offer, but my SSL skills is kinda rusty these days.

So's my French, come to think of it.
Old 22nd November 2002
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 15 years
Dont suck: improve

I have an I suck moment often enough.
However, I usually am able to quickly convert them as follows:

I suck
Hmmm how/why do I suck?
Who doesnt suck and what are they doing that I am not doing?
Now I'm excited about the prospect of tryingnew stuff out and improving.

String a few hundred of these events together and, one day, you might actually be able to be cocky with good reason.

Cheers
Old 22nd November 2002
  #19
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1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I have at least one "I SUCK" moment in just about every project I do.

And when I'm the writer AND the producer, first I have "I SUCK" moments about the songs and then I have "I SUCK" moments about the recordings.

THEN if I have to go out on the road and play the songs live and someone comes up to me after the show and says "Man, I really like your new album" I sit there quietly thinking "Hmm. He likes the record more than our live shows. Did I suck tonight?"

DOH!

The people that I work with respect me as a musician/songwriter and as an engineer/producer. Over time I've come to conclusion that I can help with the arrangements, I can get the sounds that I feel are right for the songs and I can get the performances. But I have to admit that now that I've accepted the fact that I can't/shouldn't mix the projects I work on (wether my own or outside projects) I've become much happier with my productions. I'll still give it a go if the budgets not there and we're working on demo's or b-sides but if it's anything that I hope has a fighting chance in the real world I'll pass it on to the professionals.

That's why they make the BIG BUCKS, isn't it?

Cool thread Curve.

R.

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