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Not cutting it after the recording?
Old 10th April 2003
  #1
Not cutting it after the recording?

OK probably a dumb topic, so go get a box of rotten fruit!

Say you produce a band / artist, pull a rabbit out of a hat and make a great recording with an average band / artist.

What if they never get improve and always suck live?

OK, I am going to the garden to eat worms now...(wearing protective head gear)

Old 10th April 2003
  #2
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Mike Tholen's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
odds are, they will fall FLAT on their faces.
I predict this will happen quite often till everybody realizes that a real band/musicians cannot and never will be replaced.
Old 10th April 2003
  #3
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Not cutting it after the recording?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Say you produce a band / artist, pull a rabbit out of a hat and make a great recording with an average band / artist.

What if they never get improve and always suck live?

just shoot yourself in the foot and call it a month. then shoot the band in the head [unless they PAID you to record]
Old 10th April 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
What are you guys talking about? Jules has merely described the current industry norm, IMO. At least, in this country.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 10th April 2003
  #5
Gear Guru
 
NathanEldred's Avatar
 
7 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Industry norm in England, maybe for guys not doing national level product though. Aren't Travis, Radiohead, Coldplay, and Sterephonics all British? That's good ****. I can't name as many bands as I'm enjoying in America right now, or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough. I like Beck's new stuff.
Old 10th April 2003
  #6
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bassmac's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's pretty common if you ask me. The tools and skills of engineers has increased, while the quality of musicianship has taken a dump. Bands use to have to be great live to get a deal, now they just need Beat Detective, Auto-Tune, tat's, piercing's, and a cool video. Notice there's not as many live albums as there use to be...when people could actually play.

Old 10th April 2003
  #7
Gear Head
 
rnt_u_listnng's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
If you look at the teenage pop scene female singers right now, this is very common. I know my daughters have certain performers that they don't listen to anymore because they say they suck live. In one case, a song was performed on SNL was so bad my 19 year old can't get it out of her head and won't listen to that singer any more.

John
Old 10th April 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
drew's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
People have asked me, aren't you afraid if you do a ****ty band it will hurt your business? My code for this "christmas presents", cause the only people that will hear it are the poor souls who happen to be related to a musician who thinks his/her latest CD would make a a fine gift.
drew
Old 10th April 2003
  #9
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
I dunno, what do you do?

You make a great track with a band in the hope they will sit up & take notice of the value of good production and attention to detail and then start applying it to other material with a critical ear.... but no, they carry on producing the same crap as ever!

You can only take a project so far, so I guess you should only ever commit to doing one song at a time so you can bail out when neccesary.

I have a recent experience but they might be reading this thread...
Old 10th April 2003
  #10
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
I teach in a community college and my students are always telling me about their disappointing concert going experiences. I am pretty conservative with my concert going dollar and only go to see established performers with good reputations, but my students usually go to see the hot new band from MTV or whatever.

It seems today that bands are thrust into the national spotlight before they have paid any dues or honed their craft. Audio technology has long been able to 'fix' the boo-boos, but now we fix the actual playing- the timing, the intonation, the dynamics.

Who is really making this music? If the band could show up live with an engineer auto tuning and beat detectiving them in real time my students would probably love the show, just like they loved the CD which got them to go to the show in the first place.
Old 10th April 2003
  #11
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Messiah's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by NathanEldred
Industry norm in England, maybe for guys not doing national level product though. Aren't Travis, Radiohead, Coldplay, and Sterephonics all British? That's good ****. I can't name as many bands as I'm enjoying in America right now, or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough. I like Beck's new stuff.
I've had/got close hand experience with all of these bands, except Stereophonics, and the one thing they all have in common is the ability to play well live. Fran doesn't need Auto-tune, neither does Chris, and Tom would be more likely to use it as an effect rather than use it out of necessity.
All three of these bands have a band vibe and mentality too and I think any one of them could easily record a "live" album. Actually, Radiohead's last release was a live album....

Going back to Jules' original topic, there are always going to be bands who rely on the studio to get a sound, whereas good bands use the studio to capture and enhance what they already have... and let's face it, both provide work, so both are welcome. Whether a band can carry off live what I've helped them create in the studio is not what I'm being paid for, so it doesn't concern me.
At the same time, I've seen bands play live prior to working with them, then produced/recorded them and it's influenced how they play the same songs live afterwards. I think it's quite a good feeling when you have a positive effect on a band in this way.
Old 10th April 2003
  #12
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toledo3's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I think that in that situation it could really go either way. Look at the Donna's. Their album is pretty tight, but live they are rough as hell. However, they are getting over and probably will make another record.
Old 10th April 2003
  #13
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AudioGaff's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You do as the Pop Stars do... Lipsync to background tracks.
Old 10th April 2003
  #14
Gear Addict
 
cymatics's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Re: Not cutting it after the recording?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Say you produce a band / artist, pull a rabbit out of a hat and make a great recording with an average band / artist.
(snippage)
What if they never improve and always suck live?
One point of view:
1) Kudos to you for polishing the proverbial turd
2) It's their problem if they can't pull it together to present themselves well in a live setting

My point of view:
If the band leaves after recording with me without even a slightly better grasp of their music; then I didn't do my job well enough.

Of course there are those who cannot be helped, but I like to avoid that type of work unless I really need the $. See the above referenced 'Christmas Presents'

- jon
Old 10th April 2003
  #15
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Roland's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Re: Re: Not cutting it after the recording?

Kudos to anyone that can get away with it and get paid!

But seriously, ok there are bands out there that can play, there always will be, but plenty of others that don't have a clue, possibly never will. As an engineer in a comercial facility surely its not the position to judge? You are in a position of offering the best possible service to the client whatever their level of talent. There are many top studios that do this and they tend to be pretty successful for it. Some people are fortunate enough to choose their clients, but the majority of Neve/SSL facilities are in the business of selling time to whoever wants to buy. I know if I owned one of these facilities (fortunately I don't) I would say "Yes Sir!" and I would expect any engineer or staff working for me to adopt the same attitude. Our business is a service industry no different from any other, choosing our clients is the domain of busy or wealthy people. Though IMHO the above comments do not apply to producers or those that have to put their name to the performance side of the project.

My 10 cents worth anyhow!

Regards


Roland
Old 11th April 2003
  #16
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Say you produce a band / artist, pull a rabbit out of a hat and make a great recording with an average band / artist.

What if they never get improve and always suck live?
That means you did your job, period.

Meticulously rendered live renditions are SO boring and overrated. I strongly suspect audio engineers are the ONLY people who give a flying **** about this issue.

Live shows are about energy and group psychology, getting people sweaty and swaying and moshing and singing along. My god, Led Zeppelin used to positively BUTCHER their songs in concert. Hendrix was often tuning his axe in the middle of a song for chrissakes. I've seen U2 in concert twice now, and both times Bono sounded like he had a bullfrog stuck in his throat, but me and 20,000+ fans were there, pumping our fists and singing along joyously regardless.

Live performances are about spectacle, not audiophile, so let the band and it's road crew worry about that. It's not your job as a studio engineer to worry about how a band "sounds" live. Give your acts helpful feedback on that if you want. But when the lights come up and they start jamming, get out of "critic" mode, get into the moshpit and cheer them on with the rest of their fans.
Old 11th April 2003
  #17
Gear Addict
 
fatty's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by G-man
I think that in that situation it could really go either way. Look at the Donna's. Their album is pretty tight, but live they are rough as hell. However, they are getting over and probably will make another record.
what?!?

i saw the donna's 2 or 3 times a couple of years ago when they toured thru here (australia). they were a fine rock band, i thought. really good live show. how many times have you seen them live? maybe they just were having a bad night??
Old 12th April 2003
  #18
Gear Addict
 
ExistanceMusic's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Curve Dominant
......But when the lights come up and they start jamming, get out of "critic" mode, get into the moshpit and cheer them on with the rest of their fans.

Here Here!

Sometimes it feels damn good to switch off the brains and just listen with the ears....if that makes any sense at all??

Of course, if you've scored the gig as the PA Op, different story.
Old 12th April 2003
  #19
Gear Head
 
Skwaidu's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
...I agree with curve dominant. When I see an act I've worked for and liked them, I just go for the mosh. And I excel at singalong, because I might know lyrics to songs the public has not yet heard...

Back to the topic. I'm just doing this: A band with okay/ good songs. Okay singer, bass and rhythm guitar players. INCREDIBLE "lead" guitar player(not many solos there, but he is the "better" guitarist). AND:
The worst drummer I've ever heard to call himself a drummer. Accelerating all the time and doesn't grasp the concept of playing to a click. And I'm also producing.grudge At least they pay me ok...

I can't replace the guy because of group dynamics. He is the best pal of this INCREDIBLE guitarist, who refuses to accept or realize that his friend sucks totally. The rest of the band are frustrated, but afraid of also losing their good guitar player they have done nothing.

So I edited his drums out of maybe 10- 20 takes per song, looping every section...

My thinking on this is that at least now the rest of the band and the songs have a chance to show their potential. The bandmembers have also all been there for the endless takes and editing, seeing what has to be done for my ProTools- Rock "magic" to happen and what they are paying for. The drummer was quite humble after his first playback listening... He promised to start practising with a metronome daily. I promised not to record him again if he didn't practise and at least be able to play to a click.

-Mikko
Old 12th April 2003
  #20
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bassmac's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I saw Led Zep at least a dozen times, and while they were ****ed up most of the time, nobody ever doubted the caliber of musicians and songwriters they were. They’ve already proved them self's to the world, and were now just enjoying the party.



Additionally, a big part of their live shows was the improv and experimentation within the songs, so you just accepted a little sloppiness, knowing there would be some magic moments mixed in with it.



Their live shows were all about giving new twists to the studio versions - and if you ever heard some of their bootleg albums, the songs were different almost every time. People like that about them.



And let’s forget; they were Led-freakin-Zeppelin - living legends! “Stairway to Heaven” ...Hello! Not some new start-up band still tying to prove them selfs.

Old 13th April 2003
  #21
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I generally find that most bands (with my help) find the studio to be a place where they discover how much they suck. I help them with this discovery!

What they do after this varies - depending on the band dynamic and their ego's.

1. They were already good - but - ego's in check - they realize that they still need to improve.

2. They discover for the first time that they suck and are despondant.

3. Each bandmember discovers that everyone else in the band sucks - band fight ensues - breakup possible.

I think the important thing to remember is too not just fix somebody in the recording and not talk about it. Show them what was wrong with what they played. Try to get them to play it right anyway. Then give up and edit it and tell them to practice until they can play it like that or better.
Old 13th April 2003
  #22
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davemc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Paul Turpin

3. Each bandmember discovers that everyone else in the band sucks - band fight ensues - breakup possible.

Have I have had many a band have different members soon after recording. I had a band late last year who were a 4 piece at pre production. Came back 2 months later as a 3 piece with a new drummer. Then broke up soon after recording the CD.
Old 13th April 2003
  #23
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by G-man
I think that in that situation it could really go either way. Look at the Donna's. Their album is pretty tight, but live they are rough as hell. However, they are getting over and probably will make another record.
I don't know if that's a great example. The Donna's have been around for a bunch of years. Same thing with Zep. They were well proved live and studio musicians for a bunch of years before Zep 1 was released.

I usually try to avoid the "what did you think" question. Usually the people that are the most gung-ho about it are the one's that suck the most.
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