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Anyone worked with a good producer?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by kesslari, Sep 22, 2010.


  1. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Not necessarily a famous producer, but someone who you felt really added to the quality of your completed recording?

    What did they add (sonically or to the process)?
    What, if anything, did you learn from the experience that you would want to pass along?
     
  2. TheBasicBassist

    TheBasicBassist

    Jan 8, 2009
    Newark, DE
    Endorsing Artist: Rosado Guitars
    Sub'd. Going in to NYU's studios to record a few tracks in the coming weeks.
     
  3. MNAirHead

    MNAirHead Supporting Member

    Yes many times... they've been quick to note that most players play too much.... most sound enginners "make it fit"

    Timmy
     
  4. Spencer!

    Spencer!

    Jun 25, 2006
    Seattle
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    Are you recording at the Steinhardt studios or the Recorded Music studios?
     
  5. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    Absolutely. One of the best and enjoyable experiences was with a guy in LA that's done quite a bit of known work. You should just trust him enough that when you do a take that isn't good, he doesn't beat around the bush and just says "Again." You know that the one he likes is going to be the best for the song.

    Also, good producers know how to take out the wank and get to the meat of the song, exploit the hooks, give them their dynamics and placement, and ignore the ego that the songwriting bandmate brings into the session. So many people call themselves producers that know nothing about songwriting but are excellent engineers that in my opinion just want points on an album versus hourly wage. They don't have the backbone to tell a singer that he needs to come back tomorrow as today his deadcat-o-meter is strong.
     
  6. TheBasicBassist

    TheBasicBassist

    Jan 8, 2009
    Newark, DE
    Endorsing Artist: Rosado Guitars
    The recorded music facilities.
     
  7. Spencer!

    Spencer!

    Jun 25, 2006
    Seattle
    Owner, Pike Amplification & 3Leaf Audio
    Who is recording you?
     
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Not necessarily a good producer, but my old band GUM! recorded ourselves, then brought in an old bandmate and friend of mine to mix it. This was in the 90s, when my friend only had about a half dozen or so gold records on his wall, and didn't have a Grammy on his shelf yet. Still, the mix cost more than all the equipment we bought for the recording. Come to think of it, I'm sure it cost more than the entire process of mastering and producing the pressed CDs in quantity. Actually - on second thought, the mix cost more than all the other costs of recording and producing that CD all combined.

    It was worth every penny.

    Here's a low quality MP3 sample. (The bass is my '87 Peavey Dyna-Bass 5 with Super Ferrite pickups, and I'm obviously not shy about using the "B" string. Strings are 10 years old - just broken in.)

    I wasn't there for the mixing, but the lesson I would pass along is that it is well worth the money to pay for the best in the business if you can afford it.
     
  9. loend68

    loend68 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    NH
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses, T.C. Electronics
    This guy! He knows how to get what you want and knows how to get the best out of you. He exploits the hooks and polishes the songs nicely. An all around great guy too!!

    http://www.thissoundsgood.com/

    Great guy, great ear and great pricing. He's in the Portland Me. area and worth every penny!!!
    Go to www.vegastemper.com under the 'music' button and listen to Money, Carry A Stone, Shotgun, Kiss it all Goodbye, Drink You Under. (the rest are by someone else) Some are mastered, some arent, some are mastered by different people, but they'll give you an idea of what he does...
     
  10. loend68

    loend68 Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    NH
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses, T.C. Electronics
    Well said.
     
  11. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    Reporting back - session last night was killer.
    This producer has worked with some great bands, including the Neville Bros.

    Great ear, helped us to find parts that we sort of knew weren't quite "on" but didn't know why, and make them better. Helped us focus on the hooks and make the parts support the songs (something we try to do, but learned that we can do better). He got the drummer and I tightened up more, got the guitar and keyboards playing parts and registers that worked with, rather than against, each other (and spread out more across the sonic spectrum).
    We were grooving harder and more locked in after working with him, and the songs were definitely sounding better.

    Great experience. The cool thing is that he wants to continue to work with us, and we want to continue to work with him.
     
  12. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    We had some time between this thread and our actual recording, which started mid-Feb.

    Amazing experience. Exhausting, exhilarating, frustrating - Milton pushed EVERYONE (without being pushy) to get the best possible from them.

    I've never had a producer tell a musician "I don't believe your groove. Believe in the one." before - and it worked. He could hear the slightest mismatch between how different people were feeling the beat - ahead or behind, and was musically facist about getting everyone on the same feel.

    The results are pretty amazing, even unmixed.
     
  13. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    People will probably call me a wuss around this - people who have never worked with a producer who is a much better and more experienced than themselves, most likely (or wouldn't admit it).

    Milton is a bass player. He's played with some heavy cats (John Mellencamp for one). He's produced some heavy cats (Neville Bros, for one). He is definitely experienced. And his ears and feel are freaking' scary good.

    He changed my parts and my sound, I think for the better.
    He changed or impacted everyone's parts, actually - again for the better.
    So if that makes me a wuss, because I didn't say "This is MY sound, and these are MY parts, and that's that" - so be it. :ninja:

    Wuss confession #1.
    Although I wrote 3 of the 5 songs we recorded, 3 of the bass parts were deconstructed and reconstructed, to some degree or other, to make the song groove harder. Only 2 were recorded as I wrote them.
    One bassline had to be revised because the drummer had played a different kick pattern - it was an easy revision and the rev was mine. When I heard the track, and what the drummer played, I knew I had to revise to lock with it - even though the song was written around the original bass part.
    One bassline was completely revised by the two of us together - taking a different approach than the songwriter originally envisioned (which was the approach I had used since we've been performing the song - about 6 months). It was "rewrite on the fly" - in a completely different style (sparse slap as opposed to a neo-soul fingerstyle eighth note groove). And the new part kicks ass. I'm the first to say it.
    Funny thing was, on that song, he was hammering me to play simple - "just lay it down". And then we'd hit occasional sections where he's say "OK, fill here". I felt like I was playing super simple with only a little embellishment. When we hit playback, I was concerned that I was overplaying - the fills, placed where he wanted them, were really in yo' face. He grinned and said "I'm a bass player, man, I'm not gonna let you get lost in this!"

    The third "reconstruction" was pretty much the bass part I wrote, but split into 3 parts to put different filter sounds on different parts of the phrase. Painstaking, exacting work, but the overall effect is pretty stanky.

    Wuss confession #2.
    We used Milton's Markbass TA501 instead of my Genz Benz Streamliner. He knew how to get the sounds he wanted (especially the slap sounds) out of the MB, and I didn't have as much facility with the GB. And the MB sounded great. Being pressed for time, it made more sense to use an amp that he knew how to record than to spend time digging around for sounds on the GB. I'd have liked to have used the GB. It would be ego-gratifying to post on TB "yeah, we recorded my Streamline and it sounded great!" But the main thing was getting the right sounds, and it was easy and quick to get the right sounds from an amp that the producer knew like the back of his hand.

    And we got some great sounds. He's got an original Mutron III - that sound up on several songs. I was messing around with my Iron Ether Oxide into that Mutron and he jumped up and said "THAT SOUND - don't mess with that! Keep it" and we used it on one of the tracks (and I dare say it sounds like God's Own Synthbass). He was a major sound tweaker - long past the point where I thought it sounded good - and when he was done it sounded great.

    It was an exhausting experience. Standing there, trying for the 3rd or 5th time to bring a bar farther back because the drummer had pulled back the kick drum on that bar, was frustrating. Getting it right felt good. Listening back and hearing everything locked down - priceless.
     
  14. Snarf

    Snarf

    Jan 23, 2005
    Tri-state
    I did a session once that was produced by George Massenburg. It was pretty awesome. He engineered it too, and it sounded AMAZING. Goes without saying really.
     
  15. mntngrown

    mntngrown Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2007
    The lost Sierra
    I am sure you (at least in the end), considered yourself fortuneate to have a bass player/producer making suggestions rather than a guitar or piano player. Specially someone with some Neville experience.:bassist:
     
  16. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Fusion Cats Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    I totally feel fortunate. Everything sounds great. Sometimes it's good to get your ego out of the way and take input from someone brilliant.
    Even if it feels like being on the front end of a Mack truck some of the time :D
     

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