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Weeding out the Crappy Engineers
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #121
Gear Addict
 
patrickg's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think there's a huge difference between 'crappy' and some other term like 'not there yet'. I am in the latter, but I spend my waking hours trying to advance my skills; though its a slow process, the progress I do see makes me want to continue. I don't think I'm crappy because I don't lie about what I am and what I'm not. Also, because I get enjoyment from spending my time watching people run sessions and find myself constantly learning. What is crappy to me is when someone considers themselves to be good, and removes their mindset from being in the position to learn more. I don't think anyone can ever learn everything about a given field, and therefore it follows that everyday is an oppurtunity to learn more. This lack of willingness to learn is a syndrome I often see in aspiring audio professionals and it is sad.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #122
Lives for gear
 
memphisindie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk106 ➡️
Ask them questions, and try to figure out if they are deliberatly stroking you along the fur, and not against the fur .. for example try pushing them into aqreeing that a crappy record sounds great. If they go against you and say 'actually, I think it doesn't sound very good', full well knowing they might put you off, then you got something you can continue checking out. A car salesman type will fail such tests. Also, talk to other people whose judgement you trust, ask them about who they would recommend and ask what they feel about they guy or guys you've been talking to.
Most people have posted the opposite of advocating this kind of honesty toward clients.
I have noticed that "hack acts" like car salesmen too. No surprise.
Quote:
I wouldn't use references. Anyone can send you stuff that somebody else did and say they did it. He know you won't call that artist or record company to double check his claims.
I would, but, I call.
Quote:

People who have little insight in engineering are the same ones who hires engineers/producers .. and they will be happy with whatever convinces them that they are in good hands. Usually that means a wide open shirt, gold chain and a car salesman mouth.
I know well qualified engineers that also fit that description.
Quote:
Damn .. I've never thought of it like that. I'm one of those guys who will not ask, who will listen to the "client", impartially and calmly say "ok, no problem" about something that won't pose a problem - even when it's advanced stuff. I'm 100% no showoff.
Perhaps I'm more naive than I thought of. Everybody would like it like that, that people are 100% honest and say "no problem" when that's the case, but alot of people misuses that too. Gotta take that into account.
Some people know they can solve any problem quickly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickg ➡️
I think there's a huge difference between 'crappy' and some other term like 'not there yet'.
What is crappy to me is when someone considers themselves to be good, and removes their mindset from being in the position to learn more. This lack of willingness to learn is a syndrome I often see in aspiring audio professionals and it is sad.
Like lame talent, drummers and singers, can't learn more, just tweak it. barff
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #123
Gear Nut
 
tmrstudio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry b ➡️
Neve council?
I'd like to find out more about this Neve council.

Seriously, I get a lot of business from artists that can't quite swing the "big" studio but a typical basement studio can't meet their needs.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #124
Kush Audio
 
u b k's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk106 ➡️
People who have little insight in engineering are the same ones who hires engineers/producers .. and they will be happy with whatever convinces them that they are in good hands. Usually that means a wide open shirt, gold chain and a car salesman mouth.

I have been known to go 4 buttons down in summertime, but c'mon... gold chain? That's just plain tacky.

Regardless, someone's gotta keep '77 alive.



Gregory Scott - ubk
.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #125
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mexicola's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk106 ➡️
If the issue is who you are going to hire ... then getting to know the engingeer as a person - for example through a long conversation - will tell you if he/she is a useful and self rational person. That's the key. Ask them questions, and try to figure out if they are deliberatly stroking you along the fur, and not against the fur .. for example try pushing them into aqreeing that a crappy record sounds great. If they go against you and say 'actually, I think it doesn't sound very good', full well knowing they might put you off, then you got something you can continue checking out. A car salesman type will fail such tests. Also, talk to other people whose judgement you trust, ask them about who they would recommend and ask what they feel about they guy or guys you've been talking to.
This is THE BEST advice you can get when choosing an engineer.

If you as an artist don't do your homework, ask questions, and get to know the engineer who's going to be capturing your music, then you have no one to blame BUT YOURSELF when your record doesn't turn out the way you want.

Albums are collaborations between artist and engineer. If you're putting your music in the hands of someone you don't know, you're asking to be disappointed. Communication and trust are the keys to a successful record.

Blaming "crappy engineers" for your crappy sounding album is a total cop-out.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #126
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mexicola ➡️
This is THE BEST advice you can get when choosing an engineer.

If you as an artist don't do your homework, ask questions, and get to know the engineer who's going to be capturing your music, then you have no one to blame BUT YOURSELF when your record doesn't turn out the way you want.

Albums are collaborations between artist and engineer. If you're putting your music in the hands of someone you don't know, you're asking to be disappointed. Communication and trust are the keys to a successful record.

Blaming "crappy engineers" for your crappy sounding album is a total cop-out.
For sure. You should work with the engineer that has a good track record. They should have experience with your style of music, a work-flow that suits your needs, and not have a reputation of ripping people off. "Crappy engineers" are only in business because people choose to go to them. It's a band/songwriter's fault if they failed to choose the right person for the job. In my experience as a musician, a dead giveaway is honesty in assessing your budget.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #127
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big country's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
there are places for weeds and there are places for grass its when the ol weed
wants to lye with the grass take the easy way and they steal what would be a grassy spot .
instead of creating there own little nice spot they Carry over and try to take over the grass

no wants to water a bunch of weeds so the plot goes unattended and not the water nor grass get water
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #128
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by taturana ➡️
especially if you have some good marketing skills too! heh
On a serious note, there is 100% truth spoken here.

How many of us see two studios in a town, and while one might have a better engineer and produce better sounding recordings...it won't matter if the other studio is perceived as "cool" or is just better business minded? It happens all the time in all sorts of businesses really.

You can be great but if you don't properly convey that message, it won't matter...you won't get the gig.

War
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #129
Gear Maniac
 
metalfan8806's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Its easy to find out whether someone is an engineer or "button pusher". Just talk to them for 5 minutes or less and it is very clear 99.9 % of the time haha
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #130
Gear Maniac
 
metalfan8806's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bentwookieesound ➡️
In my experience as a musician, a dead giveaway is honesty in assessing your budget.

I totally agree!!! it's responsible of the engineer to talk it out with the band and figure out what they can afford. So they are paying for his FULL attention and care for the project. thumbsup
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #131
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by larry b ➡️
Engineering is definitely most about knowledge, experience, and talent. After that, it goes without saying that "48-inputs" or what you are describing as a "big studio" certainly doesn't hurt either. heh

But as always, the clothes do not make the man. thumbsupthumbsup

And trust me, lots if not MOST of the professional bands/musicians out there still want to record in a room that sounds great, and has great gear.

I think you are forgetting the acoustical aspects of wanting/needing a big facility. It's not just for orchestras. It's also for rock drums and 3 piece punk bands.

Neve council?

Which raises the question ''how many roads must a man walk down'' until you may call him an engineer.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #132
Gear Guru
I don't know any really bad engineers.

I do know a lot of bad recordists!

Yes, there is a difference.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #133
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big country's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams ➡️
I don't know any really bad engineers.

I do know a lot of bad recordists!

Yes, there is a difference.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Amen


though when I hear the word engineer I think of the guys that drove
trains . you had to know what you were doing too drive one of them.
you had to be mechanical as the train need constant work and capable of running over none to minimal crap . also had to know your stops


I think trains were one of mans biggest earlyest engineering feats
and so some how the driver earned the name engineer
was he a real engineer , or was he the person behind a real
engineers work , and some how gained easy "track cred "
just for fancying those who saw him .

its kinda like people who build homes without picking up a hammer

the framers of constitution could be considered social engineers



with out engineering we would be hucking sticks at our food
but then even a stick worthy to catch food need some kind
of engineering .
a real engineer I am not by todays standards , but I do try . and wonder if its as
easy or will be for todays and next generations engineers to shine
through all the weeds
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #134
Gear Guru
 
10 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
oh great - thanks to this thread the word is out, and the army of crappy engineers has mobilized.

this is going to be bad - no one is safe.

don't be surprised if you wake up to having pro-behringer propaganda flyers all over your studio.

they'll start with your mind... your mind man!
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #135
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
Talk to them yes-

If you would ask me I would tell you in the third sentence that out there are cats hanging around in studios since puberty and now they have 30+ years experience.

In my case people get what they pay for, but I let them know that the fact exists if they pay more ....bigger bugs they get more.

There should be a difference if I mix a song or one of the cats that will cost you 1.5 K a single mix.

And there is a difference so I let know a client this fact and he can decide what he wants to pay for.

200$ or 1500$ per Song....if you have the money 15 K for a CD lets do the mix one of the cats.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #136
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aclarson's Avatar
I feel like Charlie Brown reading this thread, because all I hear is "waa, waa, waa, waa, waa!"

I've heard guys with tiny bedroom setups make killer sounding records. I've heard guys with million dollar studios make crap.

Know what your needs are. Listen to the CDs. Talk to others who worked with them. R-E-S-E-A-R-C-H. Meet the guy, see his studio. Do the same thing you should do with anything you buy. Weigh all this with the price. If you get ripped off, congratulations! You're an idiot. You only have yourself to blame.

I have no sympathy for people who inadequately plan.
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #137
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by aclarson ➡️
I feel like Charlie Brown reading this thread, because all I hear is "waa, waa, waa, waa, waa!"

I've heard guys with tiny bedroom setups make killer sounding records. I've heard guys with million dollar studios make crap.

Know what your needs are. Listen to the CDs. Talk to others who worked with them. R-E-S-E-A-R-C-H. Meet the guy, see his studio. Do the same thing you should do with anything you buy. Weigh all this with the price. If you get ripped off, congratulations! You're an idiot. You only have yourself to blame.

I have no sympathy for people who inadequately plan.
thumbsup....and then use that highly undervalued tool and listen to your gut! Between the info and yer good ol gut if you can't suss it out, I have no sympathy either.....
Old 25th November 2009 | Show parent
  #138
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Joram's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk106 ➡️
If the issue is who you are going to hire ... then getting to know the engingeer as a person - for example through a long conversation - will tell you if he/she is a useful and self rational person. That's the key.
I think you are quite right and it applies to all sales activities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk106 ➡️
Anyone can send you stuff that somebody else did and say they did it. He know you won't call that artist or record company to double check his claims.
Here's where the crappy engineers can be quite annoying. Quite a while ago I did a little market research on how recording engineers inform possible clients. Some are just telling you fantasy stories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk106 ➡️
I'm one of those guys who will not ask, who will listen to the "client", impartially and calmly say "ok, no problem" about something that won't pose a problem - even when it's advanced stuff. I'm 100% no showoff. Perhaps I'm more naive than I thought of. Everybody would like it like that, that people are 100% honest and say "no problem" when that's the case, but alot of people misuses that too. Gotta take that into account.
Well, of course it depends on how you hold a conversation. If a client has the impression that you are interested in his or her story and you have good ideas than it's fine.
I become suspicious when somebody is not interested in my concerns and replies automaticly "no problem".
Old 26th November 2009
  #139
Gear Guru
 
thethrillfactor's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigToe ➡️
It's obvious that the accessibility of recording equipment has led to an influx of absolutely horrid button-pressers calling themselves engineers.

The problem is that many of them are actually trying to run a business by calling themselves professional 'producers' and 'engineers' of all varieties and charging people. So how do you weed out the crap?

Personally, I love the geeky side of engineering music, but am by no means about to call myself a professional! Honestly, most of my drive for learning to self-produce is because I really don't feel like experimenting in the market when there is a high probability I will get something unsatisfactory...

Any tips?
I started a thread in the high end forumn a month or two ago about how to deal with some of these issues by starting a recording studio guild:

Is a recording studio business guild necessary or a good idea?

I was met with an incredible amount of opposition.

But through it i started to do the research and lay the ground work hopefully by early next year for a recording studio advocacy group here in NYC that would deal with many issues to studio owners & clients alike. Your concerns and complaints are one's that are legit and i've heard over the years from many different clients. There really is no real consumer protection group for this kind of thing unfortunately and basically its a buyer beware situation.

Right now if you think about it there are over 91,000 members on GS alone. If 3/4 are engineers that means almost 69,000 recording engineers. If even half own studios that they use for their businesses that is 34,500 studios. With that many studio businesses with no set "modus of operandi" on how to conduct the business your opening up yourself to all kinds of problems & issues.

In terms of tips no matter what its a crap shoot. The guys that are supposedly "no misses" even have bad days and they are expensive. Everyone else you will have to try them out and see. Credits, fancy pictures, gear lists and all kinds of blurbs/testimonials tell you nothing about their character.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #140
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mix Master ➡️
Out mix/engineer 'em. Crush every project that you get and keep building your discog. Yeah?
that's how I try to do it. Sometimes it's easy... sometimes it's not.

The other issue is that because the software tools these days are so good, and the easy to use ones can be so great sounding within certain limitations, some of the self proclaimed professional engineers out there turn out stuff of their own which really does sound quite good, certainly as passable as the work I experienced back in the 80s when I was a professional musician and only an amateur engineer.

I lived through countless recording sessions at good studios that worked well and recorded me quite admirably, but without any real production help or musicality going on other than what we, the musicians provided.

That's why I turned my hobby of amateur recording into an extension to my career, and as a result I do make money as a recording engineer these days. Mostly as a mixing guy and producer, sometimes as a result of being my own tracking engineer while being hired as a remote session player, but either way I get the jobs.

However I'm not going to jump all over those people who claim to be professional engineers unless they're being total jackasses about it. I feel that many people don't understand that "professional" means you earn your frickin living by doing just that.

I do, at least in part. But back when I didn't earn my living at it I was smart enough to not claim to be something I wasn't.

However when I did discuss engineer with a real engineer back then, I quite hated the feeling that the real engineer was judging me and looking down on me and treating me like an idiot just because I thought I knew a few things but was actually way off base.

Now days I try to extend a helping hand to those young people who think they have what it takes to be engineers and therefore call themselves engineers (professional or not). we were all there at one time...

I wont' be joining the army.

But I do hate those young arrogant idiots who put experienced folk down. Seems like it's mostly young people who record rap that are like that - it's a generalization but just always works out that way from my experience.

I hate those arrogant swearing illiterate kids....
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #141
Lives for gear
 
memphisindie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thrillfactor,
#1 Your original thread must have taken a turn for the better. A consumer advocacy group would be the best, there are already a lot of guilds, societies, unions, etc., and they were effective when they were active but, they are in a coma now and that shows a lot. Penalization as a motivating factor to do the right thing isn't very effective.
An educated consumer is the best customer. Consumer advocacy needs to include education. That's where you can tie in the AES and whatnot. An educated consumer will weed out the crap.

dkelley,
The illiterate rap thing in Memphis is a total put on, and when it's real, they aren't going anywhere. I go for pity before hate on that. I won't take their money.

Don't feel bad about engineers looking down their nose at you when you were young. It's done for a reason, and apparently it worked.
Happened to me too.
And here we are.
Let's go kick their butts.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #142
Harmless Wacko
 
🎧 15 years
Didn't read the thread, just the first post.

I will say this.

A.) Everybody's gotta start somewhere.

B.) Everybody can have a bad day at the office.

C.) Everybody knows a little bit of something.

D.) Everybody busy doesn't give a f*ck about this stuff.

Reason being:

TOO F*CKING BUSY.

I dunno. Maybe the key is to find the busiest guy you can afford.

Just a thought.

SM.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #143
Lives for gear
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slipperman ➡️
Didn't read the thread, just the first post.

I will say this.

A.) Everybody's gotta start somewhere.

aint that the truth
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #144
Lives for gear
 
mexicola's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by aclarson ➡️
I feel like Charlie Brown reading this thread, because all I hear is "waa, waa, waa, waa, waa!"
I've never seen a 5+ page thread summed up so perfectly with one sentence.

I couldn't agree more.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #145
Lives for gear
 
memphisindie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mexicola ➡️
I've never seen a 5+ page thread summed up so perfectly with one sentence.

I couldn't agree more.
What are people so worried about? Hasn't everything always worked out in the past?
Have some faith and walk this way.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #146
Lives for gear
 
mexicola's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm not worried about anything. I could care less about these craigslist laptop crappy engineers.
They aren't taking any of my business. If anything, they've given me business when bands try them out and then realize they get what they pay for.
I just find it ridiculous that a bunch of professionals are worried about some basement ametuers.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #147
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mexicola ➡️
I just find it ridiculous that a bunch of professionals are worried about some basement ametuers.
To be fair, not all of them are basement amateurs, right? There's a continuum, from the basement amateur, up to the highest end studio. I think the issue now is that there used to be big gap or a big sag at least between those two ends of the spectrum, but now it's filled up. A lot of folks are now sitting in that middle section, some of whom are complete wastes of space I'm sure, but some of whom are going to really take business away from the nice studios because they fall just far enough over the 'good enough' line that the money saved overrides the quality compromise (for folks who are financing it and are therefore more interested in ROI than necessarily the quality of the music.) With the piracy issues and other concerns today, that's kind of a pincer movement that threatens the survival of quality studios.
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #148
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Joram's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mexicola ➡️
I just find it ridiculous that a bunch of professionals are worried about some basement ametuers.
There has been huge changes in the music industry last 2 decades. Recording equipment has been available for a broader public, rates have been cut and there has also been a downgrade of the music carrier to mp3. Next to that a lot of people want to spend to their money on other things like flatscreen tv's, computers and cell phones. Speed, convenience and free entertainment were the keywords in consumer economics last years. The meaning of "quality" has been shifted.
Although people still like to record, they spend their budget a little different nowadays. And there's where the (often young) basement amateurs come in. They can deliver a basic quality for a very low price. A lot of people don't understand the huge gap between pro's and these basement engineers. (Even in the professional world I see that managers don't recognize the qualities of an experienced pro and the advantage it can have for their company).
Result is that pro's cut their fees and earning less money making it more difficult to invest. So pro's should be worried. Nevertheless, such worry should lead to a different way of running a business and not to just "weeding out crappy engineers".
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #149
Lives for gear
 
OceanMan's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikethedrummer
we produce guitar tones mixes that keep up if not sound better than yours WITHOUT your u87s and neve councils and HD rigs and huge rooms and lynx converters etc.
i would like to join the Neve Council. When is the next gathering, and will Yoda be there?

I don't see a point in "weeding out the crappy engineers;" they will die out by themselves, won't they ?
Old 26th November 2009 | Show parent
  #150
Lives for gear
 
Joram's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Dirt ➡️
[...]i realize that alot of people approach this as simply, a job.
Some people have a business to run, have to pay the morgage etc. Yes, it is a job for pro's.
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