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Bands don't understand what I am offering...
Old 16th September 2012
  #1
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logicll's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Bands don't understand what I am offering...

I would like to hear other experiences with this..

I am a producer with a solid track record and a great pro rig (tape tons of hardware), but it seems every local band I have talked to lately either has no interest in working together or has no clue what I am about. Many bends don’t even respond. My only clients are those flying in or working with me over the web.

The thing that baffles me, is most of the β€œmid grade” (003 ect..)studios doing well in the area. I have yet to hear a great (sounding) album that has come out of this area.

It’s like offering gourmet food and everybody wants fast food. This place is strange and I am getting frustrated.
Old 16th September 2012
  #2
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synthoid's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
how do your rates compare to the mid-grade studios you mention?

-synthoid
Old 16th September 2012
  #3
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🎧 5 years
It's not that they don't understand what you're offering, it's that they're addicted to fast food and the cheap labour force that services that industry.
Old 16th September 2012
  #4
Gear Guru
 
joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
It's also that they are-- mysteriously-- satisfied with generically okay versions of their music. They might also have felt that the experience with the 003's was fun and uplifting. Truth is, the actual people are the last ones to be able to authentically discern where their final product falls on a scale of great to awful in the overall scheme of things, they will never hear it like an objective listener does.

Doing great mixes is not like erecting a gigantic statue for all to admire... it's more like paving a road flawlessly and smoothly so you never feel your car's passage over it. Over time, people notice and remember... but it doesn't really work to stand by the side of the highway and say, "Hey! No bumps! See?"
Old 16th September 2012 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson ➑️
It's also that they are-- mysteriously-- satisfied with generically okay versions of their music. They might also have felt that the experience with the 003's was fun and uplifting. Truth is, the actual people are the last ones to be able to authentically discern where their final product falls on a scale of great to awful in the overall scheme of things, they will never hear it like an objective listener does.

Doing great mixes is not like erecting a gigantic statue for all to admire... it's more like paving a road flawlessly and smoothly so you never feel your car's passage over it. Over time, people notice and remember... but it doesn't really work to stand by the side of the highway and say, "Hey! No bumps! See?"
this is genius!
Old 16th September 2012
  #6
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logicll's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My rates are well below the average (I have a mix room, but no tracking room). I think bands are comfortable working with "studios" that are on their level, perhaps I am intimidating bands?
Old 17th September 2012
  #7
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
To the OP


When I interned in Nashville there were tracking rooms, mix down rooms and mastering rooms and everyone got along great. Today everyone wants to do everything themselves from recording to mixing to mastering - it is a DIY world. The same goes for "professional" studios they try and keep the client (and their money) for as long as they can. They offer everything from song writing to CD production to marketing so they can get more money from the client.

I had a client that I was doing mastering for. He was a good client but was having problems with his mix. I sent him to a really good mix engineer I know and the client has never came back. The mix engineer decided that the stuff he did for my client did not need mastering so I was basically shut out of the supply chain. I don't think that was really what I was envisioning when I sent my client to him but my client seemed happy. Hopefully he will be back sometime in the future.

Today everyone associated with recording, mixing and mastering is not doing as well as they were a couple of years ago and many studios are going under due to lack of demand and having to compete with lower and lower prices and the whole DIY mind set.

Not a good time for someone who wants to make a living in audio. Sorry to hear about your problems but...join the rest of us.
Old 17th September 2012
  #8
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logicll's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It would seem bands understand 003, digi mic pres , plugins and amateur room setups, but don't understand tape, hardware, real amps and production.
Old 17th September 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Is there an age/culture gap? Maybe they're working with younger guys that are plugged into their scene? (not saying that's the case--just a random suggestion).
Old 17th September 2012
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
There is an engineer who has a beautiful all wood studio near me. He does exceptional work and is very reasonably priced. The problem is he not only wants to be the recording engineer but he also wants to be the talent, the producer and the critic. He tells the talent the truth but a lot of artist don't seem to want to hear that they are singing off key or that their drummer could not play a steady beat if some one stuck a metronome up his butt. When it comes to mix down it is his way or the highway. When someone listens to him and he completes the album it sounds very professional but the artist has very little input into the decision making. He will also go out an play a phrase that the artist is having problems with and that upsets a lot of people. This guy plays about 8 instrument and is professional on all of them. I get along fine with him but a lot of people don't because he is very truthful and a very strong person when it comes to making the album sound good. Many people go there once and never go back because they are intimidated and can't stand the pressure.

In a nice way I have told him to be more "forgiving" but he is somewhat headstrong. As a result he does not have a large loyal following. There is another studio down the road that gets a lot of business because the owner is cool and really laid back and lets people "do their thing" and if they are having problems he will sit and listen for hours while the work it out all the time the clock is running.

Which way is best...Not sure but... more people seem to go to the laid back dude than the more aggressive one.

FYI
Old 18th September 2012
  #11
Gear Guru
 
joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Well, that's about the most perfect example of the two extremes you could conjure up... I'd call the first guy "results oriented" and the second guy "process oriented."

The underlying reality that tips the scales to the second guy? Bands, on their own, do not have this inborn slave-driver mentality that insists on the best possible outcome to their project-- you might think that would be an instinctive goal? Eh, not so much. Not when their personalities and egos and insecurities get thrown into the mix. Being treated "gently" and encouraged, deferred to and supported, these are critical psychological needs...

I understand when bands bring six packs and whatever else along for their session, in their minds playing music and loosening up and partying heartily are all interlocking puzzle pieces-- after all, this is how they DO music, in the settings where it usually happens-- living it up and carrying the crowd along with them.

It's never, in their usual worlds, the quest for scintillating perfection and timelessness. And-- we should all shed a tear for it-- if they don't get it, they'll never know what they're missing.
Old 18th September 2012
  #12
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logicll's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Great post !
Old 18th September 2012 | Show parent
  #13
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synthoid's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➑️
There is an engineer who has a beautiful all wood studio near me. He does exceptional work and is very reasonably priced. The problem is he not only wants to be the recording engineer but he also wants to be the talent, the producer and the critic. He tells the talent the truth but a lot of artist don't seem to want to hear that they are singing off key or that their drummer could not play a steady beat if some one stuck a metronome up his butt. When it comes to mix down it is his way or the highway. When someone listens to him and he completes the album it sounds very professional but the artist has very little input into the decision making. He will also go out an play a phrase that the artist is having problems with and that upsets a lot of people. This guy plays about 8 instrument and is professional on all of them. I get along fine with him but a lot of people don't because he is very truthful and a very strong person when it comes to making the album sound good. Many people go there once and never go back because they are intimidated and can't stand the pressure.

In a nice way I have told him to be more "forgiving" but he is somewhat headstrong. As a result he does not have a large loyal following. There is another studio down the road that gets a lot of business because the owner is cool and really laid back and lets people "do their thing" and if they are having problems he will sit and listen for hours while the work it out all the time the clock is running.

Which way is best...Not sure but... more people seem to go to the laid back dude than the more aggressive one.

FYI
This is a good post. I think that even if someone is the kind of artist who likes a lot of input and criticism, it's always best to choose a more laid-back engineer if possible, because it keeps the vibe in the studio good and productive. Being laid back is a kind of lubricant that prevents things from getting derailed. I know a guy who is a very good engineer, very nice room with API console and a ton of nice equipment and instruments. He gets lots and lots of tracking work from good acts around the country. He will give input when he's asked to, but he always does it in a way that it's clear that it's something to be tried, an experiment if you like, and not something that must be or that is a challenge to the artist. And if things are going along in a way that the artists are happy with, he gets into that and helps it to keep going without inserting himself. He has a really good attitude. I think that's a large part of why he has gotten a fair amount of work over so many years. The room and gear helps, to be sure, but his attitude makes everyone relax and enjoy recording there.

-synthoid
Old 18th September 2012
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
To the OP

I think it helps to put yourself in the musician's shoes and figure out what the musician is looking for in a studio.

I think today most musicians want a studio where the vibe is positive.

They want a studio where the equipment is in good condition (and not necessarily just the top brands) and the recording/mix engineer knows what he or she is doing and is willing to work with them when problems arise. My mentor told me that "clients do not really care what equipment you have all they care about is results and getting the job done". I think that is good advice for people who advertise their extensive gear list and then wonder why just posting that list does not get them lots of clients.

They are probably looking for a good hourly rate and some place that they feel comfortable when they are recording or mixing for long periods of time.

They want to be able to ask the engineer's opinion but do not want the engineer to be a "fifth" musician in a four piece combo. They want to have some direction but do not want someone telling them what and when to do things.

A recording session is not a party but sometimes musicians want to treat it like it is. If that upsets you then maybe this is the last time you should work with these musicians. If they want to have a beer or smoke break suggest they do it in the lounge and not in the studio. That tends to separate the work from the party and may save some expensive studio
equipment.

Have a good sit down meeting with all the musicians at the start of the recording or mixing session and if there are studio rules then this is the time to make them aware of them. Too much "preaching" is probably not a good way to start off a relationship but if there are procedures or ways of working that upset you or you want followed now is probably a good time to get them out in the open. Keep the meeting light but also make sure you get your points across. I personally have seen musicians trash equipment and disrespect the studio and the owner and then wonder why they have a "problem" working with the studio and owner from that point forward. If you feel strongly about what people will or will not due maybe a short contract, signed by all parties, is in order before the session begins.

Today there are way more studios and engineers than are needed. Having people pick you to do their work is something that should not be treated with a Laissez-faire attitude since it is your key to economic stability.

Most of our business comes from people telling other people about us (word of mouth advertising). Doing a good job for everyone that walks through your door is a good way to get them to return and to tell their friends about you and your studio.

I wish you the best of luck and let us know how things are going...
Old 18th September 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Which way is best...Not sure but... more people seem to go to the laid back dude than the more aggressive one.
I'd say that, for an engineer, the "laid back" way is best. Sounds like the first guy is doing the work of a producer as well, which is fine if he's been hired as a producer...
Old 19th September 2012
  #16
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logicll's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey, I am usually producing/engineering and mixing. I offer bands my process that has worked in the past. I let bands know I want to bring out the best and have the track record, knowledge and gear to do so.
Old 19th September 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Im just curious, what do the other guys offer? Are they going to the local shows and courting said bands in their own environment? That makes a difference in my town.

Do you have a track record of similar music? Often I can pull up a track of something similar and make a case if the need arises.

Do you have a decent ability to sell yourself, while not being obvious that you're doing so?

Another good question is, can you hang? Cause if you can't have a beer with the band, often they find you to be stand-offish. That tells them you aren't one of them.

Getting clients is a psychology class haha
Old 19th September 2012
  #18
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logicll's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Anybody else have this happen? Is it a PR issue?
Old 19th September 2012
  #19
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
I have gone to shows, had beers meetings with bands. In those situations it's great, but the other guys in town have been there longer, got local press and people are saying great things about them.
How is the work the guys who have been around for longer are putting out?

Maybe the bands are starting to realize that the role the gear itself plays is relatively small when it comes to the end result...
Old 19th September 2012
  #20
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logicll's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
People here hang on every word and piece of gear top pros use. I am offering the same gear with a solid (yet much smaller) track record as the big guys.
Old 19th September 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I'm guessing based on everything you say that your rates are at another level compared to the locals. I know that many bands I work with are broke as all hell, and I work with them on their budget.

I have no idea if you change your rates based on customer budget, but perhaps the locals can't afford what the german superband is paying. Perhaps they're happy with a lesser product, but one that they can at least afford.

I'm not trying to sound rude or sarcastic if it comes across that way! I apologize if it does
Old 19th September 2012
  #22
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logicll's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I understand what you are saying, but usually we have not discussed rates
Old 19th September 2012
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by logicll ➑️
I would like to hear other experiences with this..

I am a producer with a solid track record and a great pro rig (tape tons of hardware), but it seems every local band I have talked to lately either has no interest in working together or has no clue what I am about. Many bends don’t even respond. My only clients are those flying in or working with me over the web.

The thing that baffles me, is most of the β€œmid grade” (003 ect..)studios doing well in the area. I have yet to hear a great (sounding) album that has come out of this area.

It’s like offering gourmet food and everybody wants fast food. This place is strange and I am getting frustrated.
Do you have a link to your studio's website? I am near LA and i am very picky about studios, plus i am looking for a studio to do an EP at ASAP, you don't happen to run Analog Heaven do you? I personally do care about gear, if you are running something like an 002 with PT LE, a dbx compressor and average mics, i figure i could just buy that stuff myself, no i would not have the treated room but i would have a lot of time. I personally look at microphones, preamps and compressors first. Then i start to check out things like do you have a collection of amps i don't have? A piano? Then i start to wonder who will be helping me record this? Even though its a business, if the owner comes off as highly into getting my money i don'e feel comfortable. Clearly you sound like you have a great setup though, so the question is what are your hourly rates? Generally i find the standard rate is $50 an hour despite whatever gear is in there. So when looking at a studio the question for me is: do i want to pay $50 an hour for the right to use this gear? $50 an hour comes out to $400 for an 8 hour day. I try to keep things in perspective though, for $450 and hour i could record with Steve Albini who's work i am actually a fan of, i probably wouldn't want to bear the extra expense of traveling to do it, but you never know what other people are thinking. When i am talking to studios and they throw out numbers like $500 a day i think its a ripoff. Think about it, studios with five million dollars of gear cost $2000 a day or so (which is less than .001 of the total cost of the studio), is it really logical for a studio with fifty grand invested to charge $500 a day (which is 1 percent of the studio cost)? That would be like paying $50,000 a day for a $5,000,000 studio. A $50,000 studio would obviously break even after 100 days in business at that rate, in my opinion as a person who doesn't own a studio, i find that profit margin a little too high. Do i want 3 days in this run-of-the mill studio or one day at the Warehouse? 4 days with this random guy who may not know what he is doing or 4 days with Steve Albini? Personally as a musician i want a studio to have better gear than everybody else and a lower rate, ideally of course.

Most bands really don't know much about gear. Some think 003's are the best converters around . Also, they foolishly think tape is inferior. Since they don't really know gear, apparently its all about the rate, maybe the room? Even if they do know gear the rate is the major factor, that determines the budget, and everyone is on a budget.

So the other part of the equation is the engineer. Do i really want to work with this guy? I have worked with engineers who have worked with so and so big name guitarist, or so and so legendary singer and i really wasn't even happy with the results i received from their studio. It sparks a few thoughts in my mind - they might be lying - there might be a reason why they aren't working with big names anymore (like the big name wasn't impressed either) - or they just aren't trying that hard because i'm not a big name which would piss me off if it were the case. I don't think name dropping matters to most bands and i have learned that just because somebody has done something for another person doesn't mean they can or will do it for me. But there can be exceptions, if i love the work of band x and you just happened to produce them well then that is a huge selling point. So depending, the track record may or may not help.

One thing that guarantees i don't book a follow up session is if i find the engineer is getting in my way or slowing me down, basically don't do what you aren't asked and do what you are asked, the golden rule of engineering. If you are asked to produce and engineer then that is another story, i don't know anybody who doesn't self produce the sessions they pay for though. Of course this only matters for people you are already working with, and as i understand it you are having trouble getting people to come in. So maybe just try letting bands know that you can work any way they want to, and that you can either be completely invisible simply pushing record and setting levels or you can do fabulous things on your own to enhance what they already do.

As far as DIY, i'm sure you do lose business to it. I have a friend who does FOH, he sometimes brings his MBP/Logic rig to my house to record. Frankly, the results sound noticeably better than what i get out of studios paying $50 an hour even though the setup is not as good, not even close. Either the engineers at these studios don't know what they are doing or they aren't trying since they get paid whether the results are good or not. I would imagine most people know a person with a rig they can use for free. No the results shouldn't be as good as a studio, but they often are because of the studios producing average recordings. Why pay for an average recording when you can get an average recording for free? Plus, on home setups, a person can take all day to get the right performance - a good performance on average gear can be better than an average performance on good gear.

Maybe you need to start by offering half priced rates, once people realize how good your work is the word will get around. Maybe you keep so busy that you can afford to work at half price because you are booked solid.
Old 20th September 2012
  #24
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logicll's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
WOW Great post!
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
NEWTON IN ORBIT's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by logicll ➑️
The way I make albums is tough and painful, but makes a difference.
This. It does make a huge difference buckling down and working your ass off. It also seems like one of the most alien concepts ever presented to an artist or band that has never been in a studio before. Especially with today's generation that is used convenience and using your brain to avoid working hard at every turn.

Back in the day, a band was signed, they were setup with or given a choice of a few producers to work with that the label had already vetted.

If the bands wanted a record, they did it the label and producer's way, or it was the highway. At least on their first time out until their work was proven to generate sales.

Today, everything has changed. There is almost a mindset where these artists think "We are putting the money up, no way, no how am I paying somebody to tell me what and how to do MY music. I am not paying somebody to tell me what to do. Besides, we know our music better than anybody, we should call every shot."

Having this mindset on your third gold record flew in previous times. It didn't on their first record though. And it doesn't fly today either. Do the bands have control and call the shots now? Yup. Does it sound as good as when it was a team effort? Not in my opinion, by a long shot.

What we have now, is a complete bypass of that first stage where people with experience called the shots and saved the artist and project from themselves.

I don't get it either to be frank. It is most certainly ego and fear driven.

Thing is, you would not go to your surgeon, and call the shots merely because you were paying him to remove your appendix. Nor your financial adviser, lawyer, personal trainer, professor, or any other person that which you are paying to guide you and steer the boat. The results most likely would be catastrophic, and at that point why hire them anyway?

Just call the shots yourself, and produce your band yourself.


So...
This is what I find works best (when it works), is conveying to the band you are selling you, (not your gear, not your room) and that even if they had your rig, room etc. they could not ever obtain what they can get by hiring you.

Because the label control is no longer there, artists and bands have no idea how things used to go down. They have no clue how their favorite records were made.

When they find out that to make a record that stands up to what they listen to on a daily basis, that they need to give up control and put in actual WORK, it comes as a major shock to them.

Most bands of this generation are completely unaware. The only way I have had some success recently, is making analogies and comparisons to their line of work, or to every day life. Making them understand what a producer actually does, has become more difficult of late. Especially with the cross genre lingo going on, where a "producer" could literally be anybody that had anything at all to do with the making of a record, including the musicians themselves.

When they finally get the fact that every line of work generally has a project manager of some sort, and that EVERY record sitting on the shelf in Best Buy or whatever has a producer listed in the credits...it becomes a bit of an AHA! moment.

Then you have to build trust, BEFORE getting started on the production process. Do this, and define clear roles for everybody involved. Make them confident in the fact you will play your role without a hitch. Earning the trust is the most difficult and most IMPORTANT aspect to any of this. No trust= sh^t recording. Not to mention it will be the crappiest time spent by a group of people forced to occupy the same space indefinitely, imaginable.

Must have total and complete trust, or it will never work. Ever.

One thing I always say when a band is coming in my little place is "You should really consider hiring a producer. I am not suggesting myself, but anybody with the chops, as going it alone is not recommended." Then I proceed to tell them why. Won't go into this on this thread, this is already tragically long as is.

By suggesting they are free to hire anybody they want, you are giving them back the control they crave. Right from the the get go you look like somebody that's reasonable to work with, and don't have any "control freak" issues / baggage.

IMHO, this is what they fear the most, is losing complete control.

My two cents, and good luck.

john

Last edited by NEWTON IN ORBIT; 24th September 2012 at 05:34 AM.. Reason: typos galore...
Old 20th September 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
 
ionian's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I don't mean this in a nasty way but most of your posts in this thread are coming off in a somewhat condescending way. It's always about how superior you are and people don't get it.

In your eyes it seems like the problem isn't so much, "How do I get people to come in" but rather, "I'm brilliant and why are people so stupid that they can't see it?"

Everyone who chooses to go with someone else is making an inferior choice, or they don't know the mistake they are making. It seems like that anyone who chooses another engineer other than you is too stupid to know what's good for them and why can't they see that? That you know what's good for them and they should listen to you.

I only point it out because you might not even realize you are sounding like this and there's a very real possibility, no matter how much you don't think so, that you come off like this when you talk to people and it could be what turns bands off. I'm not trying to rag on you, I'm just saying that's how I read your posts. I'm also generally good, after a lifetime in music, of reading someone easily when I talk to them very quickly. If I'm getting that from your posts, I'm sure in real life I'd get that from you in 10 seconds and be turned off right away.

I only point it out because you might not be aware of it.

In a similar vein, one time I was in a band with a vocalist I detested. He was a drunk, a womanizer, loud and generally unprofessional. But we were booked for three months and we had to finish it before the agent would let the band go free so I was stuck with this guy. Anyway, I went above and beyond being nice because I didn't want him to know how much I detested him and I really thought I was going out of my way to be pleasant because we were stuck together for three months. Anyway, one day he just turns around and yells at me, "And you! I had enough of you! I see how you look at me! I know what you think of me!" I was mortified. I was going out of my way to be pleasant and yet I had no idea I was still conveying my disgust for him. Anyway, that was an eye opener for me. After that I tried to be sincere.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is if you sincerely have respect for your clients and want to help them, rather than have the attitude that you're trying to save them from making the biggest mistake of their life and looking like idiots, they'll pick up on that and want to work with you.

Again, I don't mean this nasty - just trying to point out something you might not have thought of.

Good luck,
Frank
Old 20th September 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
logicll's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thank YOU!! Exactly...
Old 20th September 2012
  #28
Deleted 9173ceb
Guest
Just a thing you said:

Quote:
It’s like offering gourmet food and everybody wants fast food.
Most gourmet restaurant don't have a local clients base. If you compare what makes a gourmet restaurant vs a fast food from local customers, fast food would win by far. Because most local customers don't have money or don't care about gastronomy or both... So gourmet restaurant need people coming from outside their town to make it. Just something to think about...
Old 20th September 2012 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by logicll ➑️
Thank YOU!! Exactly...

I have crazy stories of making albums mixing/ co-producing with TOP players, producers ect.. All I am trying to tell bands is "look I can do this I have a proven track record". The gear I buy is to make my job easier and many pieces of gear I own I purchased by using it under "world famous producer" who got the tip from "bigger world famous producer".

If I was a surgeon with a great track record people would trust me and pay me well.
We like stories!
Old 20th September 2012
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
Xavier L's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'm on another scale as I'm not a pro doing it for the living but here's my quick story.
I have a small project studio, the only one in town. I began in 2008 with a daw, some mics and a mackie Onyx 1640. everyone was really happy with the results.
Later I started investing the earned money in serious gear. I bought a second hand 40 inputs board (Euphonix CS2000) more mics, hardware 1176, LA3A, reverb, UAD quad with plug-ins, and a set of apogee 16x converters with 40 in and 40 outs etc.... I think I spend around 40K$ and.... nothing happened. Bands were not excited at all, they won't pay more than what I was charging when working with my mackie onyx and Logic's plug ins.

I mean, I'm happy to work with great gear, I can hear the difference but I'm the only one, like a kid playing alone with his toys.

Before my studio's opening every band in town was DIY. After 4 years of business I came to realize that the only thing attracting them is my tracking room and the fact that someone will spend hours taking care of off-key and off-beat takes. The don't give a **** about the gear nor the sound and I don't think they realize that what's coming out of my studio sounds way beter than any DIY project around here.

I live in a strange town
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