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How much responsibility do we have to correct or inform musicians?
Old 16th December 2019 | Show parent
  #151
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🎧 10 years
Like the John Cale song says "Fear is a Man's Best Friend"....seems that several believe it has a place in the recording studio too...
Old 16th December 2019 | Show parent
  #152
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 ➡️
Like the John Cale song says "Fear is a Man's Best Friend"....seems that several believe it has a place in the recording studio too...
Fear? Sure. Hey, at least you don't kick them out of the band.

I remember this one time, we were recording a ballad, and the singer gets in the booth and decides right then and there that he wants to re-write the entire song. It turned into a a yelling match with me on the talk-back mic.
But I convinced him to sing it, and we were both very wound-up...and it was the best ballad we ever did.

Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #153
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Given the limitations of this being a tutorial session for upcoming young tonmeisters in Japan, it still encapsulates some solid session etiquette and practice (…but only read the YouTube-translated transcript for laughs !):

https://youtu.be/pSJb_taiMVo
Old 2 weeks ago
  #154
Gear Nut
 
I just read most of this thread....great discussion.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #155
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JayTee4303's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Recording or not, if I hear an instrument out if tine, I'll lay it off on "the weather" or whatever else I can invent to re-direct blame and damage to confidence.

"Hey... that in and out sunshine may be affecting your guitar tuning, might wanna take a look."
Old 1 week ago
  #156
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Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hey, a little diplomacy like that really makes a world of difference! When the musicians and the engineers are all civil, professional, and courteous to each other, much better music gets made. In my experience, anyway...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #157
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
What about comments to strictly musical subjects? What approaches are used to tell the musicians that they are not interpreting well, or how to improve it, not playing dynamic markings, not enough contrast, not in tune, not in time, strange tempi etc.

The engineering comments about noises or something that is not musical are easy to propose in comparison to musical topics.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #158
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
What about comments to strictly musical subjects? What approaches are used to tell the musicians that they are not interpreting well, or how to improve it, not playing dynamic markings, not enough contrast, not in tune, not in time, strange tempi etc.

.
That is the producer's responsibility, no? I thought this was established within the first two posts back on page one of this thread.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #159
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
What about comments to strictly musical subjects? What approaches are used to tell the musicians that they are not interpreting well, or how to improve it, not playing dynamic markings, not enough contrast, not in tune, not in time, strange tempi etc.

The engineering comments about noises or something that is not musical are easy to propose in comparison to musical topics.
I don’t think those are in the domain of the engineer. If over time your opinion is asked and trusted that’s a different thing. And it’s earned
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #160
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Number one priority therefore is to find out if you are the producer or the engineer or both. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell at first.
--scott
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #161
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🎧 15 years
Almost always both. Very rarely do we get a separate producer.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #162
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimjazzdad ➡️
That is the producer's responsibility, no? I thought this was established within the first two posts back on page one of this thread.
Yeah sorry Jim. The discussion did stray a bit. If all we have to tell musicians is that their keys clicked ...
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #163
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henryrobinett's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
Yeah sorry Jim. The discussion did stray a bit. If all we have to tell musicians is that their keys clicked ...
Well THIS is the attitude that sends me over the F-ing edge. If I had an ENGINEER giving me MUSICAL ADVICE he’d be gone. No question. And I’d be royally upset. Lol. The problem is engineers who are disgruntled or failed musicians or producers. I’d say stay in your lane and tell me if the mic is right or if the clicking is coming through in the alto sax.
Old 1 week ago
  #164
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Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
As much as I DO try to stay civil with everyone in a studio session... I do agree with Henry, I get annoyed when a recording engineer (who isn't overtly the producer) tries to give me musical advice. Accomplished musicians should be trusted to do what they do well without micro-management.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #165
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Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Motto of the Tonmeistertagung: "We Call the Tune."

Very common to comment on tuning, differences in tempo in different takes, clarity of line, noisy instruments, and whether or not the music flows. Sometimes the player is having a bad day. How to help them get back on track??

Musical commentary is required if needed. There is nothing wrong with it. Those who complain about it likely don't record too often or aren't familiar with the process.

Far from being disgruntled or failed musicians or failed producers, many engineers have worked with the top top groups / players in the world and have heard 1000's of hours if not tens of thousands of hours of playing by these people. They should be acting as producers if the group was too cheap to hire a dedicated recording producer.

Any musical guidance is about what is heard on the recording.

The recording is what everyone is there to do that day.
Old 1 week ago
  #166
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Progger's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Fair enough, Plush, and if I'm out of tune (or there are other acoustic/mechanical issues at play that I don't perceive), I appreciate it when an engineer mentions something. My post above was strictly referring to creative elements (improvised solos, dynamic interpretations, etc).
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #167
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Sorry to annoy but this information is always requested. I don’t volunteer this stuff. And it’s usually standard operating procedure. Believe me I would rather not have to comment on musical issues.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #168
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king2070lplaya's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett ➡️
Well THIS is the attitude that sends me over the F-ing edge. If I had an ENGINEER giving me MUSICAL ADVICE he’d be gone. No question. And I’d be royally upset. Lol. The problem is engineers who are disgruntled or failed musicians or producers. I’d say stay in your lane and tell me if the mic is right or if the clicking is coming through in the alto sax.
You feel that way arbitrarily? You’ve never known an engineer with enough musical skill to talk to you critically about the music they’re recording? That’s kind of surprising to me.

I don’t think I’d ever hire an engineer I didn’t think would give good musical advice, whether or not there was also a producer. How could they possibly know how to place mics or balance the band if they didn’t know about music in an informed way, informed enough to give their opinion when appropriate?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #169
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Spearritt ➡️
Almost always both. Very rarely do we get a separate producer.
Sometimes there is a bandleader or a musician who believes he is the producer. Is he?
--scott
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #170
Gear Maniac
 
PuebloAudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If I would not (or could not) provide constructive feedback then I would be out of business.

The key is being constructive. Offering helpful observations and direction is value added.. Numerous are the well meaning but under qualified who forward comments which are erroneous, unhelpful or distracting. These are the engineers that manifest wrath and negative session atmosphere.

Those who are a genuine help are sought out by both artists and producers. One can build a career from that, along with delivering winning sonics.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #171
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
"That last take, number 89, was PERFECT....that second bar of the two was always the slippery one, wasn't it. Now we can relax ! I tell you what though, now that you've nailed it, let's quickly do a final one...just for good luck, I'm 99.9% certain we won't even use it...in the business we call this one the 'confidence take'...you know, the luxury take. By the way, did I ever tell you about that time I got the call from NASA in '69...they wanted me to fake the audio for the moon landing...of course I turned them down, on ethical grounds...naturally"
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #172
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Yannick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett ➡️
Well THIS is the attitude that sends me over the F-ing edge. If I had an ENGINEER giving me MUSICAL ADVICE he’d be gone. No question. And I’d be royally upset. Lol. The problem is engineers who are disgruntled or failed musicians or producers. I’d say stay in your lane and tell me if the mic is right or if the clicking is coming through in the alto sax.
I think you missed the first post, which was more about classical music sessions. Here the engineer coincides with producer, most of the time.

I have VERY rarely encountered a classical musician who was above any comment, constructive or not.

At the very least I comment on any bad intonation, as they will want it edited out anyway. Secondly, I will always align long takes,, just to be able to comment about the tempo. This is important, as some musicians will say, why do we need a fifth take, and I can say “well take 1 was really slow, take 2 too quick, and then we all agreed on the right tempo, so we only have two takes I can use”. Musicians often forget someone will need to edit everything together.

I will very rarely make purely musical/interpretative comments. I will, however, once I get the feeling I understand how they want to play, and eg. one particular passage does not seem to work musically. Then I’ll sometimes say something like “the passage from Bar 88 to 103 does not seem as musically involving as the rest, which works wonderful. Did you decide together what direction this part should go ?”. Often the answer will involve a big silence and then “no we actually decided we did not agree and just play through it”

Musicians can be funny that way.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #173
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
So much depends on the musician/recordist dynamics. If you are friends with the musicians then it is more likely that you can comment on musical things without raising the ire of the musicians. If you, as an engineer, would try and tell a "famous musician" like Luciano Pavarotti that he was singing off key it might not go down well.

I have been in situations where the musicians wanted my input as they trusted me. I have also been in situations where they want me to say "rolling" and that is about all the communications they want from me.

It is a delicate balance especially if you are doing a classical recording without a producer.

I was in a session doing the recording and I had a rather famous producer sitting next to me. She was very good but kept stopping the musicians every 10 bars or so with comments and we were not getting any complete takes. I mentioned this to her and she told me to "mind your own business" so I did. After about three hours of recording we had not gotten one complete take and the musicians were becoming agitated with all the stops. I mentioned this to the producer as the musicians were all friends and I could see what was going on. She again told me to "mind your own business". The musicians wanted to have a "meeting" with her before they did anymore recording. It did not go well and they basically fired her and she left. We did the rest of the recording with the musicians and myself and it went very well. The record company was not pleased that the musicians had "fired" her since the record company was paying her but the resulting recording was well received by the critics and all was forgotten.

One thing that really got to me in this session was that the producer would reach over and adjust levels and EQ on the audio console while we were recording which was really not in her sphere of influence. She was trying to do it all...and failing.

Last edited by Thomas W. Bethe; 1 week ago at 12:22 PM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #174
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Yannick's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yes, but isn't 10 bars a LOT when you try to keep track of everything ?

Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #175
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joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I'll be doing a violin/piano audio/video audition on Monday, and I dunno why it should, but it startled me ever-so-slightly when she said, "And we'd like you to, you know, help us, give your opinion as to what the best take is?"
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