What else is new. Grin and bear it.
What do you guys do? Basically I told the guitarists to go home and practice playing a click until they could play in time...it's been two weeks and they still can't do it
What else is new. Grin and bear it.
Not being able to play in time is worse than not being able to play the right notes. Either they have to practice, or you get new guitarists. I'm curious as to how they got in the band in the first place if they can't play.
The cold war is over and any asshole with a guitar and amp can be in a band, unfortunately. Of course, this means that there are 3 types of "serious" bands....pro level bands that are already signed, bands that knocking on the door of being signed, and bands that don't have a chance in a hell of anything resembling a clue.I'm curious as to how they got in the band in the first place if they can't play.
Playing to a click is not that difficult. Just show them how to bob their head to the beat and the rest will fall in. If they can't figure it out in 10-20 minutes, there is something wrong. If they haven't practiced to a click before or at least played along to their favorite cds, something is wrong.
I hope this isn't the band you are producing. If it is, I think you may have made a grave mistake in working with them unless the lead singer is amazing (and amazing looking) and the songwriting is mind blowing.
Yup, this is the band I WAS producing. Been working with them for a couple weeks but no matter how hard I push them it's not falling together. I'll keep making the guitarists re-record parts until they can A.Play the right notes correctly B.Play in time, but I'm starting to think it's a lost cause. I tell them to go home and practice and not record until they have everything down(I gave them each their OWN metronome to take home and practice, wrote out all the tempos for them) but they keep wanting to rush and just finish half-assed as it is...
You clearly chose the wrong band to produce.
While I have pushed you to produce bands, maybe I didn't make it clear as to how picky you should be with the bands.
#1 The singer must be amazing. If you are not blown away by him, no one else will be either. Think of the best singer you know and produce that band. You mentioned before that the singer wasn't that good. Screw that!
#2 The songwriting must be amazing. If the songs aren't tremendous, no one will care. No one will probably care anyway, but they really won't care if the songwriting is medicore.
#3 The music must be able to move up to the next level. There is no point in producing people who are not ready (and probably never will be ready). You must be able to make money with your producing. You can't just donate your time. If you really believe in the band, than do it. If the band doesn't seam a head and shoulders above every other band you have done then you are wasting your time.
If you don't get excited thinking that these songs are so damn good that it's going to blow peoples minds, no one else will either.
#4 The band doesn't respect you.
The band is happy with a half assed project. If they are content with that, they don't understand your bigger vision and don't care. I deal with this from time to time (but never with the bands I produce, ironically).
When a band works with a big producer, they will do whatever he says. When this band works with you, they say "this is good enough!". Don't work with people like that.
I'm very very picky about who I take the time to produce. I must like them personally, agree with their ambitions / goals, and believe in them musically. This is not easy to find. Good luck! But, that's kind of the point. It should take a year to find the right band to produce. When you find this amazing band, with a huge following, you should produce the shit out of them. If the band doesn't have all their ducks in a row, they will not move up!
One other thing. If these bags of crap don't have the work ethic to learn how to play to a click track in 2 weeks, then they should be executed. They have officially wasted your time.
I'd stop all recording / producing immediately. I'd back up the files onto DVD and delete them from the hard drive. I'd call up the band leader and tell him to shove it up his ass. If they want to grow up and play ball, they'll come out with a mindblowing recording. Tell him if the band can't get their shit together in one week, you are officially ending the project and moving onto a band that actually wants to work hard on creating something truly great.... I'd randomly sprinking in words like "fuck", "fuck you", and "you motherfucker" in there as you see fit.
You are being walked all over like you are a total pussy. I WOULD NOT stand for this and you shouldn't either. If you are seroius about producing, you have to let every person in the band know that you are a bad motherfucker. If they don't respect you, screw em. If they don't work to work hard, fire them!
Holy shit your pissed today
I agree with Brandon in a slightly less intense way
I don't know how difficult the stuff is that they're playing, but if they can't play it in two weeks, they shouldn't be recording it. They either need to get easier songs, or (more likely...) sell their guitars and take up some kind of sport.
I'm learning how to produce. In a producing situation, I find that I almost ALWAYS have to be over the top. "This vocal, right here is the most important thing in the universe." is kind of what goes through my head when I'm working with a singer.
In this setting, I'm producing Andrew07 here. I'm trying to motivate him to take the best path for him, his abilities, his name, and his studio.
I have a feeling that if he did call up the band and told him that he had officially fired them, one of the members would call and say "Why?". Of course, Andrew07 could say, "Because no one wants to work".
Then the guitar player would take a hint, put down the Xbox controller and practice for the 15 minutes required to get used to a click track. Done!
I've been in these situations. Sometimes you have to be extreme.
The other day a singer was 1.5 hours late for a session. What did I do? I left. The day was wasted but I have a feeling that it won't happen again.
Brandon, have you considered opening a *personal advice* column in this forum? lol
Agreed. It's not like you have to yell, curse, or have a temper to be a great producer. However, you must demand respect or the whole thing recording will go to crap immediately. The producing gig is a fairly unique social situation and one where you can not be walked on. This doesn't mean that the producer can't be wrong about a musical idea, but it does mean that if you are late or if you do not put the proper amount of work in, you will be accountable for it.How is the music ever goping to be over the top If the producer isn't going for 110%
Producing is about getting the most intense and effective music possible out of your musicians. Some of that is limited by talent, but most of the limitations I see are imposed by laziness. I see people who'd rather watch TV or play video games than do what it takes to make a great record. There is nothing wrong with playing video games, so if a person chooses other interests over music while in the middle of a really serious recording, great. At least you know now.
After engineering so many records were I was not running the show, I've been walked on 1000 times. You learn to avoid these situations like the plague. Of course, recording a few songs in a weekend is nothing like really producing a record. When you produce, you push a singer's buttons in a way like you would never do with someone you don't know well.
This is actually why I'm big with writing songs with the band. Even if none of them make the record, I want to feel comfortable with them before we start tracking. Sometimes, I have to think in my head how I'm going to tell whaever musician that what he played sucks. There are a million ways of doing this but it's much easier finding the right one if you know the person fairly well.
Thanks for all the kind words dude, I had a feeling your reply would be so **** and fuzzy. Well, I sat down with the band and told them how it was going to be(I'm not sure I used the word "fucker" or "mother fucker" as much as you suggested though) if they want to continue working with me. Basically they said they'll do anything I tell them to do and the rest of the project is ultimately in my hands to shape. We finished rough demos for everything and I've given the band members homework assignments to finish before they can come in again.
Here's a rough demo of one of the songs. Timing is the biggest issue with the band, let me know what you think of the singer.
Yeah I know its compressed to shit
Brandon, you talked about producing producing producing but what do you do when you can't produce every band you work with? I'm still building up a name for myself and I simply can't turn away bands that aren't good enough or don't want me to produce them.
What do these guys sound like live? Are they playing in time then or is it still out?
If so... there aint much hope, just make sure you have not overlooked something as simple as monitoring which is not adequate for them to get a good feel from.
It is something we dont often think of as engineers, but is of prime importance for your talent to do their job properly.
Well, sometimes I do projects for the quick buck. I always end up feeling like I wasted my time or I feel whored out. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with working for a dollar, but I major issues with the per hour pay method on any job.Brandon, you talked about producing producing producing but what do you do when you can't produce every band you work with? I'm still building up a name for myself and I simply can't turn away bands that aren't good enough or don't want me to produce them.
Everything I do now is designed to make me very happy and financially independent in 5-10 years. I only care enough about the present to make just enough money to scrape by. It's required a lot of sacrifices but I think this is all a means to an end.
You really need to balance between paying the rent now and being a badass in 5 years. I will go the badass-in-5-years track as much as I can stand.
I think you answered your own questions here.I'm still building up a name for myself and I simply can't turn away bands that aren't good enough or don't want me to produce them.
I'm still building up a name for myself
I'm still building up a name for myself
I'm still building up a name for myself
I'm still building up a name for myself
Think about that A LOT.
Here's the way I see it. Your name is on every project. From the average listeners perspective everything is your fault / responsibility. If a project sounds great, you win and will get credit for that. The only people listening for "sounds great" are other musicians who are judging your engineering / mixing abilities (of course both of these can be useless without the right songs, producing, and musicians).
The rest of the world is looking for great music. If you can produce a record that the general public gets excited about and the record sounds good (doesn't have to necessarily be great) you will be getting way more business than you can stand.
Here's another way of looking at it. Assuming you are about 25 years older. Would you have rather done the first REM record down in Georgia or would have rather done 6 local Georgia bands? Personally, I only want to be part of the records that matter to people. By "records that matter", I mean that there are records that were a big deal in my life and I want to make a record that is a big deal to someone else's life.
I will NEVER get to that point simply sticking microphones in front of local bands who a large majority of are half assed wastes of time. I feel that most "local" musicians had parents who 100% failed. Maybe you have a bigger pool to choose from and can weed out the shitbags and just slowly get recording experience. I say the only real engineering experience is producing.
Oh yeah, the singer.
Is this a one taker or comped?
His tone is really good for the genre. That's a big deal.
His pitch isn't great. If this is a one taker you can probably work with him and make it fit. I'm sure you'll be whipping out the autotune.
How much have you worked with arrangement and songwriting with these guys? The chorus sounds like a pre-chorus to me. A big part of it is the way the drummer is coming out of the pre-chorus. He's not making it brutally obvious that THIS is the chorus now. That's the drummers #2 job behind timekeeping. (I'm listening on just one side...these damn 1/8" jacks!!! If anything is hard panned, I maybe missing it).
Anyway, I would do some critical listening to the way this chorus is working. The melody seams alright. But there is something really bothering me about this choruses lack of chorusness.
Timing and groove are important, but I think it's the arranging that really makes a song work. I wouldn't let this chorus out as is, but that's just my personal opinion.
Don't seem that bad to me. I dig his screams
I dont remember how to play without the metronome click anymore
(All my practicing composing and recording sessions are done on adobe audition on a tempo i pick before)
However there can be guitarists who can play precisely at the same tempo as metronome would click. Can only respect.
What you need to tell your guitarist:
Start the click sound. Tell him to start hitting open E(low) synchronized with every 4 click (for a 4/4 song) Then let him make it every 1 click. Playing 1/4 notes now. Make him go faster. Hit E as 1/8 notes, then 1/16. When he can play the melody-rhytm as 1/16 hits (alternate picking) he can perfectly go along with the click track.
I do this from the beginning when i change tempo between songs and cant catch up (from 100 to 160 for exmaple)
Oh i was forgetting this
If a band wants to be serious, there is no reason why they wouldn't want to ensure that they're playing in time, and would be interested in finding ways to improve their skills and 'tightness' in that area.
If a member gives you an attitude about it, or attempts to lay a guilt trip on you by suggesting you are somehow insulting 'their skill', chances are there are other things wrong in the band, and this will be an issue that will cause a stand-off.
I performed in an original rock band that started the song at one tempo, and ALWAYS ended up sounding like a sped up record at the end. Sure dynamics and energy may have affected it, and it may have been fun when playing live, but when I listened to our recorded live performances I couldn't help but wince. Every song started off good, then ended up sounding like a runaway train - in particular I couldn't stand how my lyrics/melody/and singing and to compensate for this and sounding rushed and nullifying any dynamics or feeling in the song.
Our first drummer refused to play to a click track. We focused on the drummer, because it was he would have to set the pace for the rest - he's the backbone of the rythmn and tempo. He somehow just couldn't wrap his head around playing to a click track and we replaced him. The next drummer, though he was more talented, had the same problem. At this point, my band was so worried that they wouldn't find another drummer, they basically let him get away with it - along with other things that led me to believe they weren't serious as I was to put out a pro act, I eventually left the band.
I find that if there is a weakness in the band,and the member(s) refuse to, or somehow "haven't got around to" improving their skill in a needed department, it goes to show the lack of dedication to the band's goals - and inevitably need replacing.
It's always funny how such a thing can be turned around on you, to make you look like the asshole, when all you were trying to do was improve the band for the better. The member of your band may get insulted and the drama ensues. This is why a good producer/manager is good for a band. He can say stuff that is true about the band, an outside opinion, that keeps the band focused and intact.
You-Tubez Shure SM58/57 ~> M-Audio FastTrack USB ~> FL Studio 9 (Record, Arrange, Mix & Master) ~> Yorkville YSMP2
This is a great thread, and even though the majority of the talk is about producing (Some great inspirational tips BTW), at the core is timing. Probably the greatest musical advice I have ever been given is this: "a right note at the wrong time is a wrong note." I think that I would tell anyone who is having trouble with timing that first and see what to do from there (so you do make a drastic decision unnecessarily).
Last edited by thesilentdrummer; 04-03-2007 at 05:08 PM.