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Band Management [BG] Examining issues with band membership, interaction, politics, and management.


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  #61  
Old 01-07-2013, 11:23 AM
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I'll offer this one thing in regard to you going in the studio. It's clear that you've got some anxiety about going into the recording studio, but you still have several weeks before that happens. What do you do?

Start recording band rehearsals, and listen to the recordings. Listen to how your parts sit in the arrangment. How are they working? How clean or how sloppy is your playing? Listening to these recordings will give you a clear indication of how well you're playing your bands material.

Listening to your parts solo'd is a recipe for total embarassment. Next to nobody sounds good when they're isolated like that. I don't like listening to my own parts like either. Don't do that to yourself. Especially if you haven't done much recording.
  #62  
Old 01-07-2013, 11:29 AM
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I'd be interested in hearing a couple of your takes, to really see how nitpickish (or not?) these guys are being.
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  #63  
Old 01-07-2013, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by LuckyPants View Post
My bass always sounds good under the rest of the track but then they'll listen to it soloed and they'll notice things like this and pick me out on it.
And therein lies their problem. Tons of things out there sound like total dog crap when heard solo in the studio but fit quite perfectly in the context of the mix. The final mix is what counts, not the soloed track. They need to learn a bit more about recording before pointing that finger

Quote:
...they're going to mutter to themselves that they've wasted their time and they should look elsewhere and I'm not entirely at ease with that mentality.
To me, that would be my cue that they were people I did not care to work with any longer regardless of how kick ass the band is.
  #64  
Old 01-07-2013, 12:21 PM
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Ehhhh...for the record allot of famous musicians never played on all or parts of their albums.
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  #65  
Old 01-07-2013, 12:29 PM
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These guys don't know what they're listening to. Go to YouTube and search for isolated bass tracks (RHCP, AIC, Rush, etc). Recorded bass is usually littered with fret noise, string buzzes, finger noise, etc. Timing and tone isn't all that great from some of these guys either - you'd be suprised!

You need to find out what they aren't happy with. Decide if you're happy with it or not then go in the studio and be yourself.
  #66  
Old 01-07-2013, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by denhou1974 View Post
Timing and tone isn't all that great from some of these guys either - you'd be suprised!
Amen! Isolated Roundabout is a great example. Sounds like a lot of poop in there by itself, but in the mix is perfect. Isolated Tom Sawyer is another good example of not being precise alone but exactly the thing for the job in the mix.
  #67  
Old 01-07-2013, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamuilija View Post
Just one more thing: you're hiring the sound engineer. That means the band is the engineer's employer. The way I see it, the employer decides what they want from the employee, not the other way around. So don't worry about the engineer's personal preferences!
Absolutely! I would never, ever accept a studio situation in which the engineer was calling the shots, i.e. dictating to me what I creatively can do - and I can't do!

As a musician, my job is to develop & realize a creative concept, and commit it to a recording. As an engineer, his job is to facilitate the capturing of that creative concept from a technical standpoint. If the engineer can't - or won't - respond adequately to the reasonable technical requirements of that creative concept, it's not the responsibility of the musician(s) to adapt to his limitations. It's time to get a new engineer!

Quote:
Originally Posted by QweziRider View Post
The final mix is what counts, not the soloed track. They need to learn a bit more about recording before pointing that finger.
Exactly right. It appears that the reason why these guys are making such unreasonable demands of the OP - other than their own douchebag, bullying tendencies - is because they simply don't know what they're doing! As usual, they're trying to make the OP into the scapegoat for their own ignorance & inadequacy!

One more point:

Issuing an "ultimatum" is a way of playing hardball. Reasonable people who are operating in good faith don't typically "go there" - except in the most extreme of circumstances, when all other remedies for an intolerable situation have been thoroughly exhausted.

In this case, the use of such a tactic is completely uncalled-for - as the OP seems to be a player of some significant ability, with a strong work ethic, and a very constructive, cooperative attitude. Under such circumstances, you don't go around cavalierly issuing an "ultimatum" - simply because a particular player doesn't appear to measure up to your own highly-skewed and largely uninformed ideal of perfection. To do so is completely and totally unreasonable.

I predict that, as the OP continues to gain self-esteem, he will begin to realize what a bunch of arrogant dolts these guys really are - and just how much they've been jerking him around all this time!

MM
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Last edited by MysticMichael : 01-07-2013 at 02:39 PM.
  #68  
Old 01-07-2013, 02:32 PM
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Give THEM an ultimatum. Tell them to get off your back or find someone else who can play their music, write amazing bass lines, and be ready for the studio in 6 weeks. (Here's a hint. They can't do it. You hold as many cards as they do.)
  #69  
Old 01-07-2013, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyPants View Post
Their problem is in stuff like fret buzz when I play high notes and also string noise when I'm moving along the fretboard i.e. the noise the strings make if you slide on them without pressing down. My bass always sounds good under the rest of the track but then they'll listen to it soloed and they'll notice things like this and pick me out on it.
Assuming your playing is ok - their attitude is pure nonsense. I do not know a single pro musician who would do this.

Analyzing stuff and fixing what needs to be fixed is one thing, but this is something else entirely.
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Last edited by Fliptrique : 01-07-2013 at 02:44 PM.
  #70  
Old 01-07-2013, 02:58 PM
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Stand up for yourself. Or be prepared to be the weak link in the band and live in anxiety until you become a self-fulfilling prophecy and you are replaced.
I've dealt with so many musicians like this before. They usually cannot make a project work over any kind of extended period of time because they are never satisfied, or they get infatuated with the next new shiny idea.
They need to stop looking down on you because they are at a different skill level and can nit pick your weaknesses, and they need to show you the kind of support and commitment you have shown them.
In bands, life, business, whatever- people either appreciate what you can bring and have your back or they don't.
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  #71  
Old 01-07-2013, 02:59 PM
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Don't worry about what they think. Get a recorder and a metronome, and practice your bass parts solo, until you can play correctly them in your sleep. Listen to the playback for things like misfrets, sloppy technique, string noise, fret noise, etc., and correct the issues. there is no difference between recording at home or in a studio - the basic job is there - record a keeper the first time. Quit worrying and get to work.
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  #72  
Old 01-07-2013, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticMichael View Post
One more point:

Issuing an "ultimatum" is a way of playing hardball. Reasonable people who are operating in good faith don't typically "go there" - except in the most extreme of circumstances, when all other remedies for an intolerable situation have been thoroughly exhausted.

In this case, the use of such a tactic is completely uncalled-for - as the OP seems to be a player of some significant ability, with a strong work ethic, and a very constructive, cooperative attitude. Under such circumstances, you don't go around cavalierly issuing an "ultimatum" - simply because a particular player doesn't appear to measure up to your own highly-skewed and largely uninformed ideal of perfection. To do so is completely and totally unreasonable.
Excellent point and well said, sir!!
  #73  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:02 PM
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They recognize your insecurity and are basically bulling you - because you have let them.
Fret buzz on the upper frets? Sounds like a setup issue. Have a luthier file a little falloff on the upper frets - or - raise your action a touch.
String noise when you move your hand? That's absolute garbage. Every bassist who uses reasonably fresh round wound strings makes that noise. Wish them luck in their search for someone who doesn't.
Effects? Why aren't they being applied later in the mix? They can always be fine tuned, or changed there, without the need to re-record.
Me? I'd point out that if I wasn't the player they wanted, that there's not much point in pursuing things any further with them.
  #74  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by jgroh View Post
Like the others have said...most people that arent bass players dont know what an isolated bass track can sound like. Look at the comments on Youtube on some of the isolated pro's tracks, people saying its too sloppy or too much noise that it CANT BE so and so really playing, when they just dont understand. I personally try to minimize noise as much as possible when recording, but I find its a fine line...the more I try to be perfect, the stiffer my playing becomes. So I try to get a good balance.

And as someone else said here, if it sounds good in the mix, then who cares if there are minor string squeaks or noises? Guitards have the luxury of hiding behind distortion and effects to mask their flaws. If they bust your chops, ask them to hear their tracks with no effects/distortion and I bet there will be issues with theirs!
+1 Have they been in a studio with an experienced producer/engineer ? How does the "cleanliness" of your recordings compare to the isolated tracks on youtube ? I'm guessing that the clicks or fret noise happens when you're emphasizing certain parts ? A little is acceptable and sometimes desired because of how the notes will sound and cut through in the mix. I'm not the total expert because I'v only bee involved in recording two full length C.D.'s but That's been my experience. I will say that overall I have pretty good technique. Here's what I have done in the past as suggested by Billy Sheehan in an article I read years ago.

If you'd like to improve your technique for recording, practice the songs you're about to record in a very quiet setting that reverberates easily( like a small bathroom that has alot of tile, seriously) so you can hear even the slightest string noise and work to improve. For the time being, only practice the songs you'll be recording and put the other stuff to rest until you're done with the recording process.

I did this as a way to improve my recording technique and it worked good, Id say. Hope this helps,
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Last edited by Session1969 : 01-07-2013 at 04:17 PM.
  #75  
Old 01-07-2013, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticMichael
Issuing an "ultimatum" is a way of playing hardball. Reasonable people who are operating in good faith don't typically "go there" - except in the most extreme of circumstances, when all other remedies for an intolerable situation have been thoroughly exhausted.

In this case, the use of such a tactic is completely uncalled-for - as the OP seems to be a player of some significant ability, with a strong work ethic, and a very constructive, cooperative attitude. Under such circumstances, you don't go around cavalierly issuing an "ultimatum" - simply because a particular player doesn't appear to measure up to your own highly-skewed and largely uninformed ideal of perfection. To do so is completely and totally unreasonable.
I like this best of all (as well as the rest of MM's post). It sounds like these guys are waving, nay, flagrantly parading a giant red flag of D-baggery. If so, they don't deserve someone as dedicated as you portray yourself - I don't care if they're Steve Vai's kids.

I got kicked out of a band once because I didn't "have the sound the sound they were looking for." I told them, "okay, that's cool" with a sincere smile. Then right after that, they told me I "could play the dates that their 'real' bass player couldn't." I went on a tirade that made small children within a 300 ft. radius cry. They're not a band anymore, HAHA.

In other words: unless the band you're talking about is Miles Davis and it's 1959 (and nobody told me), I think you deserve way more credit / respect than you've been given.
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Last edited by Anthony Fury : 01-07-2013 at 04:22 PM.
  #76  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by LuckyPants View Post
You've all been tremendously helpful. Jake, that post is a godsend and I can't thank you enough for the time you took writing it.

Today is when I have to tell them how I'm feeling and I'm fairly confident I'm not just going to lay down and be made feel like ****. As most of you are saying, I'm as important a part of the band as them and if me standing up for myself pisses them off then at the end of the day, I'm not losing anything other than a band who wants a bassist they can walk all over.

It's been so tremendously calming having a support network like this one, thank you all.
Glad to help. Please let us all know how it comes out. Your going to be uncomfortable in your new role for a bit, we will help all we can.
  #77  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MysticMichael View Post
Absolutely! I would never, ever accept a studio situation in which the engineer was calling the shots, i.e. dictating to me what I creatively can do - and I can't do!

MM
Exactly! The job of the engineer is to plug everything in correctly, eliminate the hum-n-buzz, engage the record button at the right time, shut up, pleasantly smile, and fetch coffee when requested.

OP, record with a D/I and re-amp after your track has been comped.
  #78  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:40 PM
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Never, ever, ever quit. You can fire me. But I won't fire me for you.

Sounds like the guys are nervous about going into the studio. It's easier for them to worry about your playing then their own. You probably feed these fears by talking down your skill level. Stop it.

Tell the guys you are gonna nail it in the studio then completely dismiss any more discussion abiut the matter.

Then go in and nail it, no excuses.

Last edited by rotis : 01-07-2013 at 07:14 PM.
  #79  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:57 PM
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Without reading all 4 pages,i will take the risk of repeat something already posted.

First of all,the work in the studio will begin with recording drums.
And depending how many songs you guys will lay down,we maybe talking several days,if we count edition.(edition means NO DRUMMER IS PERFECT,and will be needed correction)
Here you will really notice how good the drummer is for studio work,some are not cut out for it,no matter how perfectionist he can be.
This should help your self-steem,because everything is under the microscope.
After the drums is edited,you go second.
Your work can be as easy as to play a part of the song that repeats over and over ,only once,and the engineer will copy and paste for the other parts.
This can take 2 minutes,or 30 minutes,depending on your performance.
This mean : try to nail a part,they will use it for the rest of the song.
Or you maybe find out you can play the whole songs with little problems they can correct.
The work in the studio has changed a lot over the years,and you can feel assured that they can make you sound good enough.
Do not panic,try to enjoy and LEARN from the experience,instead of anticipating problems you have no way to know in advance.
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  #80  
Old 01-07-2013, 06:58 PM
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As for advice, there’s been so much good advice here I couldn’t add to it.

I just want to wish you the best, even if it means losing these a’holes.

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