This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Putting out a bad product/untight band

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by newamerikangospel, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. newamerikangospel

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I have started recording a death metal band and am having a very difficult time. Below is a long back story, but my questions are; At what time should I cut my losses, and have a sub-par product; and is there a recommendation or process that would help with this for the future?


    The first issue I ran into was the band couldn't agree to the tempo map. The changes would be fine when I was setting it up, but when we were recording it, the changes were missed completely. I found myself constantly switching things back to how I originally set them when they weren't right.

    The second issue was the drummer and guitar players immediately started ignoring the click and following themselves. At the end, we just unplugged the guitars, and let the drummer play the tracks using his memory, essentially capturing the performance and I would edit later. This is 7 hours, and two songs later, in which the last song recording only lasted the 3-4 minutes of the drum tracking.

    After editing and replacing the drums exactly as recorded, quantizing and fixing the tempo map to match the drums. I brought the guitar players in, and let them listen to the drum tracks. They both agreed the drums were spot on. However, after trying to track the guitars, the changes aren't in the right spots (which I expected), but the drummer also was playing parts in the song that didn't exist (5/4 stuff over a 4/4 riff). This isn't that big of a deal, considering the drum snipping isnt that difficult in the end, but it just made me disheartened.

    The 2nd six hour day was tracking the guitar players parts, capturing a few of the takes with metronome only (because of the messed up changes). In six hours, I was only able to get most of the songs tracked, and what I did get tracked was bordering on a cacophony. I feel like I will have to do major surgical editing with these tracks.

    13 hours of recording, and 3-4 of drum editing into this, and I feel overwhelmed with the amount of editing I will still need to do, and I still dont think these tracks will be tight.

    And I think the thing that is bothering me most is that this is a friend of mine, whom I used to work and live with, and was even in this band 5-6 years ago and recorded bass on their first EP. He texted me and said something to the effect of "lets just record the full album with you". I like the band, and I like the music, but two songs have eaten up over 15hours of time (they aren't paying by the hour). I have two other groups in line to record with, both of which would be paying more than this band.

    I am fairly inexperienced with working/recording with other musician's songs, but the people I have worked with have all been successful songs, and the editing never felt like I was tearing down the tracks completely. This is the bands fourth time recording, so this shouldn't be a shell-shock idea to them of what is needed.
     
  2. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Messages:
    5,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    They obviously were not prepared to put the work in to achieve the results they want. This happened to me as well. I spent forever on a project and while I am happy with what we did for the most part, it is definitely not as good as it could have been, which bums me out.

    You will never be happy with the result, so you have to accept it and just say 'OK, I can't get anymore out of this - it's done.'
     
  3. meanmrmustad

    meanmrmustad Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Oaxaca, Mexico
    Ditto, it's not your problem that the band can't play, and this is the exact reason why you should charge by the hour...it forces bands to practice and get everything right the first time.
     
  4. Vicioushead

    Vicioushead Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2012
    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Ireland
    When a band comes to me this unprepared, I just send them away and tell them they need to practice more.
     
  5. meanmrmustad

    meanmrmustad Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Oaxaca, Mexico
    What I'd do in this situation is charge more and program the drums and record the guitars and bass myself... wawiiwiiwa:worship:
     
  6. Sethis

    Sethis Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2012
    Messages:
    135
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Ouch, that's why I believe it's no good to do business with friends/relatives. You'll just have to tell them they're not ready eventually. If they can't play it decently in the studio, how will they do it live?

    ^Or if you're determined enough and know how to play guitar just record your own takes. lol
     
  7. Belac

    Belac Flesh To Steel

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    6,038
    Likes Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Windsor, Canada
    Sounds like my bands first recording ecperience. Sometimes its hard to tell where your band's weaknesses lie until its time to play shit for keeps and record it. Suddenly ypu realize half the band is sloppy and needs to practice more rigidly and not just jam like its a casual thing. Truth is even I dont come out amd say its sloppy, and it probably would have been better if the engineer told us we need to get more serious and come back and do things properly rather than put out a product the band cant stand behind.

    Just because you can pull it off live dosnt mean everyone is playing things tight and at studio level unfortunately.
     
  8. heshian46

    heshian46 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2009
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Northwest Burbs of Chicago, IL
    This situation is piece for piece exactly what happened to me with a current death metal band im working with. Drums took forever, guitars took forever, vocals took forever. The only decent musician in the band is the bass player (he's phenomenal ectually). And they nit-picked every little thing, insisting on things like changing a tempo 1 or 2 bpm, and re-doing parts over and over.

    Its very exhausting. Its with these types of bands that you need to do 1 of 2 things (or both) - 1) tell them they're not ready and to come back when they are, or 2) charge the hell out of them so that it is somewhat worth your time.
     
  9. Alex_M

    Alex_M Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Moscow, Russia
    So familiar situation for me...especially with drummers. It could be a real nightmare when the band can't play tight on the studio. Even with all features for editing provided by the modern digital technologies...In Russia we say "you can't make a candy from the piece of shit", it sounds too hard probably but it's true..
    Musicians can't learn to play while recording, they can only understand-they need more practice..

    You risk to spend a lot of time and nerves but not get a satisfying results :(

    Hard to say for sure because I have not heard it by myself, but maybe this is the point to stop the madness?
     
  10. Charlie E.

    Charlie E. Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    I remember foreseeing something like this happening with the last band I recorded. Thankfully it wasn't their first CD and when I heard their first CD and heard the overwhelming amount of mistakes I decided that this band would need lots of pre production.
    I took my laptop to their rehearsal space and figured out the tempo maps with everyone there. Once they settled on a tempo for a particular section I'd run it through the PA and have them play along to it to make sure it felt good. We went through every song and it was a little bit of a drag but it was so worth it.
    I was able to export the clicks and give them to the drummer to rehearse with and so the drum tracking process was fairly painless.
    The guitarists however were always a smidgeon off here and there and it was a very long process to get the tracks recorded right and tight. I did have to record a couple of parts myself and to make sure the tracks were tight with the overdubs I mostly had only one of the guitarists playing the rhythm tracks since he had a better picking technique.
    Funny that in an earlier post the bassist was the only one on point. I had the same experience.
    Hopefully they are aware of the professionalism needed when they decide to record again.
    I feel your pain.
     
  11. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    5,441
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    NorCal
    I know the general attitude here is "Make the band sound great no matter what" but my attitude is "make the band sound the best they can sound." Particularly the flat rate guys are just going to end up killing yourselves for talentless hacks otherwise. If a band walks in with a blank check ready to pay the "whatever it takes" hourly rate then so be it but otherwise you have to draw a line.
     
  12. Erik Monsonis

    Erik Monsonis Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    3,246
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Mexico City
    ^ Definitely

    I've worked with countless bands that made me lose so much time with pointless nitpicking and overall bad playing that even ended up in me not giving a shit anymore and being so tired of it that I wasn't able to concentrate in the details, which ultimately led to even more mistakes, this time from my part, and all of that for a fixed rate.

    Fuck that.
     
  13. Siriun

    Siriun Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    With the knowledge access that people have, and the technology, I'm really suprised more and more bands keep coming into studios totally unprepared, or not organized at all (aren't familiar with all the songs fully, can't play certain parts, haven't written certain parts, etc.)

    It's a fucking studio, why aren't more bands doing pre-pro? Fuck all you need is a DAW and a basic way to lay down instrumentation. It's not like you need a $1,000,000 recording studio for a few days of pre pro so you have your shit together.

    It's just like really? I swear the more mediocre bands have no common sense when it comes to this, and think that because they practiced 6 songs 3 times they know it by heart and can play it perfectly. Until they get to the studio...

    Just saying It's a damn shame that bands these days aren't serious enough it seems to really sit down and prep themselves fully for a legit recording.
     
  14. right_to_rage

    right_to_rage Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2009
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I just wanted to assure you with the fact that you aren't alone, I'm also working on an EP for a death metal band who couldn't get a proper tempo map together. Only the drummer was present for drum tracking, and they got an amateur to engineer the drums/make a tempo track that was totally off. I literally have nothing to quantize to now so I'm just sliding hits back and forth for hours and hours. :mad:
     
  15. newamerikangospel

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Thanks guys. Im glad that this isn't a common experience, as this actually turned my happy hobby into a stressful experience.
     
  16. Line666

    Line666 Fendurr

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3,343
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I think the lesson I've learned from having similar issues is that the casual listener doesn't give a fuck if the songs no good anyway.

    You can have average production with a decent song and people will listen to it but on a bad song with awesome production no one will give a fuck. Try to spend your time on shit people might give a fuck about cos you won't get that time back.

    Basically I'd have to echo Egan, don't invest to much time in it if you can avoid it (obviously this sort of thing comes with politics though - sometimes a band hear something in your back catalogue and want to match it in quality but are not prepared to accept that they are the missing piece of the puzzle when it comes down to it - that's when diplomacy really becomes irritating)
     
  17. tgs

    tgs Elder

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    Messages:
    582
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    I've been painstakingly troubleshooting your situation, measuring at various junction points and carefully analyzed the findings. I'm very happy to announce that I have found the source of the problem:

    "(they aren't paying by the hour)"

    You're welcome.
     
  18. newamerikangospel

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Yeah, I have learned my lesson with flat rate, especially with drum tracking and editing.
     
  19. scorpio01169

    scorpio01169 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    Messages:
    1,332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    Something you may wanna do in the future is, ask the band if you can watch them at one of their practice sessions so you can get an idea what you're working with. Then after their practice if you can hang out long enough, have them take you out to lunch or dinner (Their treat) and talk with them about what they need to do or if you're interested or not in recording them. I do this
     
  20. Sloan

    Sloan Sounds like shit!

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2006
    Messages:
    5,077
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    :kickass:
    WINNER

    :kickass:
    :danceboy::danceboy::danceboy::danceboy::danceboy::Smokedev::Smokedev::Smokedev::Smokedev::kickass::worship::worship::devil:
     

Share This Page