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#512325 - 04/16/04 01:44 AM This drives me crazy...
LawrenceF Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/11/01
Posts: 481
Loc: ,,UNITED STATES
I spend a lot of time trying to perfect my craft and give me clients the best sound I can. One thing I find myself doing a lot is telling groups in the control room to "please be quiet so you can hear what you are paying for".

It gets to the point where groups make so much noise I can't hear the little things that I need to hear. After a while I just give up and give them whatever it is. Especially younger groups get so excited about what they perceive to be a great outcome they just can't shut the heck up. And of course these groups never have real producers to make them sit quitely.

I can't tell you how many times I've recorded a track where someone in the control room has to sing along with the performer or talk loudly about what's gonna happen next on another part. Only during a later playback do I hear what I should have heard during recording... A mic bumping, some paper noises etc. The things you hear more of when you add compression. Or simply a not so pleasant tone that could have been easily corrected.

How do you guys deal with that, if at all? Really. The studio does not pay the majority of my bills so taking the "oh well, I'm getting paid anyway" approach doesn't cut it. If I don't like the quality of the project it annoys me.

Chime in...

Lawrence

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#512326 - 04/16/04 02:07 AM Re: This drives me crazy...
3D Audio Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 1032
Loc: Spring Hill, TN, US
Post a sign on the door that says:

"Recording engineer at work. Please be respectful of the care and diligence he is contributing to your record. Give him the courtesy of being quiet so he can do his job. If not, he'll likely take a bat and slap you upside of the head."

The other option:

"Professionals at Work: Shut up or get out!"

I had to make a "No Noise Makers" sign for the control room door recently because there were so many cell phones, beepers, and laptops making noises in the control room. I felt like I was mixing inside a PacMan game.
_________________________
Lynn Fuston
3D Audio Inc
Home of 3dB

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#512327 - 04/16/04 04:38 AM Re: This drives me crazy...
natpub Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/25/03
Posts: 96
Loc: Austin, TX
First of all, it seems you are referring mostly to mixing, not tracking. I personally love a lively tracking experience, and if the artists are not having a blast and chatting it up, then something is seriously wrong, and I am a crappy engineer. Capturing their evervesence is part of the charm.

Come mix time, if you have them at the studio at all, that is your call. I believe that a many mixers do not permit the band in on their mix. If they do, it is for a limited time, or under very controlled circumstances.

As a small town project shop, I can tell you that even with a local metal band, we would limit visitors to a mix. I am a night owl, so mix usually means staying up after the tracks are done, and spending hours tweaking things.
Cheers,

KT

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#512328 - 04/16/04 06:07 AM Re: This drives me crazy...
Philip O'Keefe Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17674
Loc: Riverside,CA,UNITED STATES
I have no problem with letting people know that they're making too much noise. That would usually be most likely to happen at the mix or if I was checking edits. I try not to run somber or uncomfortable sessions though. While tracking, I like the atmosphere to be organized but fun. My biggest beef with that part of the process is when someone wants to keep "noodling" after an abortive take or whatever. But I'll say something if that gets out of hand. Ditto if people are on the couch and getting carried away. We have a lounge, so I'll tell them 'I'm listening to detailed things and I really have to concentrate... would they mind going into the lounge if they want to chat?' - something like that. I must do it in the right way, because I've never had anyone take offsense to it.

But as far as the mix, while I do quite a few on my own, I usually like to at least get the band's input. I always try to explain the process a bit, and the need to make things work together as a whole, and the danger in concentrating too much on one's own part(s), the error of oversquashing in mastering, etc. But a lot of the projects I do, they're paying the bills, and ultimately, it has to be what they ask for. I'd rather not have EVERYONE in the room, but I do want to get everyone's final thoughts, and maybe have one or two people there with me who have a clear idea of the artistic direction they want things to go in and are willing to pay attention when called upon.

But on the stuff where I get more say so, I still like the artists to have a say. It's their record at the end of the day. Yes, my name's on it, but it's their picture on the cover. \:\)
_________________________
Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
Riverside CA
http://www.ssrstudio.com
http://www.philokeefe.com
pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com
My New Forum on Harmony-Central

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#512329 - 04/16/04 06:09 AM Re: This drives me crazy...
Philip O'Keefe Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17674
Loc: Riverside,CA,UNITED STATES
BTW Lynn, I love that first sign idea. Do you mind if I borrow that one?
_________________________
Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
Riverside CA
http://www.ssrstudio.com
http://www.philokeefe.com
pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com
My New Forum on Harmony-Central

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#512330 - 04/16/04 07:09 AM Re: This drives me crazy...
sign Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/27/01
Posts: 2216
Loc: NETHERLANDS
I have a pair of decent monitors in the lounge, where the band can listen to the mix process if they like.

That works quite well.
_________________________
The alchemy of the masters moving molecules of air, we capture by moving particles of iron, so that the poetry of the ancients will echo into the future.

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#512331 - 04/16/04 09:59 AM Re: This drives me crazy...
Bill Mueller Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 147
Loc: Maryland
This is such an easy problem to fix. You are facing an escalation issue.

When people start talking loudly in the control room, the first impulse is to turn up your monitors to hear what you are doing. They then talk louder, you turn up, they talk louder, you turn up.

TURN YOUR MONITORS DOWN, WAY DOWN.

Turn you monitors down to a whisper, lean into them and concentrate. Someone will notice immediately and they will all quite down. The bored children, (bass and drums? Sorry guys please no flames!) will get up and go outside to play.

Best Regards,

Bill

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#512332 - 04/16/04 12:49 PM Re: This drives me crazy...
LawrenceF Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/11/01
Posts: 481
Loc: ,,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by natpub:
First of all, it seems you are referring mostly to mixing, not tracking. I personally love a lively tracking experience, and if the artists are not having a blast and chatting it up, then something is seriously wrong, and I am a crappy engineer. Capturing their evervesence is part of the charm.
KT
No, I adopted a little rule from someone that posted on another board. I mix alone. I'll give you more time on the mix than what you pay for but if you (or the group) want to attend the rates go up. It's simply a huge distraction unless you have someone in the group who knows what's going on. At my level that hardly ever the case. Everyone's welcome to attend the final tweaking mix session if required. Usually the mixes I do without the band present are accepted and liked by the band. It's the ones where I take their direction that require multiple remixes. I'm gonna go start a thread about that now \:\)

I'm talking about tracking. How do you monitor with confidence when people are making too much noise in the control room? We spend thousands of dollars on a equipment for minimal quality gains and can't hear what's being tracked? I may as well just turn the monitors off and sit there and look at the meters.

Sure a little "happy" creative chatter is expected. I'm talking about out of control celebration, rehearsal or conversations not ever related to what's presently going on.

I've had situations where a performer said the wrong phrase/word and nobody heard it because they were too busy slapping high fives about "going platinum".

It's when they call back the next day to say "we gotta fix chorus two, that was the wrong line" or "the voice was breaking up during verse 2" do I say "If you guys would shut the hell up during and listen to what you're paying for, you wouldn't have this problem. I'll be glad to take more of your money though..." Usually in that case I'll make them wait longer than usual to come fix it just to make a point.

Obviously the yapping continues during playback for the quick rough mix / prelim CD copy or they would have noticed it then. I'll make them live with the mistakes for a week.

Hopefully whenever that part plays someone will say "See, you guys talk to much. I didn't even hear that in the studio. Next time just shut up and listen! I work hard for my money and I don't like giving it away!"

Lawrence

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#512333 - 04/16/04 01:28 PM Re: This drives me crazy...
Loco Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 1242
Loc: Miami Beach,FL,UNITED STATES
Change the clock rate of the system and play for a little while. When someone finally notice it, it's time to tell them to zip it.
_________________________
"There's no right, there's no wrong. There's only popular opinion" Jeffrey Goines

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#512334 - 04/16/04 02:34 PM Re: This drives me crazy...
Tedly Nightshade Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 4649
Loc: applegate,OR,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by Bill Mueller:
This is such an easy problem to fix. You are facing an escalation issue.

When people start talking loudly in the control room, the first impulse is to turn up your monitors to hear what you are doing. They then talk louder, you turn up, they talk louder, you turn up.

TURN YOUR MONITORS DOWN, WAY DOWN.

Turn you monitors down to a whisper, lean into them and concentrate. Someone will notice immediately and they will all quite down. The bored children, (bass and drums? Sorry guys please no flames!) will get up and go outside to play.

Best Regards,

Bill
Great "jedi mind trick"!

When you whisper to people, almost always, they whisper back...
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A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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#512335 - 04/16/04 06:52 PM Re: This drives me crazy...
mark kramer Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/03
Posts: 55
Loc: Dresher, PA.
Quote:
When people start talking loudly in the control room, the first impulse is to turn up your monitors to hear what you are doing. They then talk louder, you turn up, they talk louder, you turn up.

TURN YOUR MONITORS DOWN, WAY DOWN.
This is also the first rule of live performance unless part of your act is to yell at people: "shut up".

A particularly effective strategy is to boost the volume, and then abruply bring it down/ or stop entitrely. If you space these just right for several minutes, people will continue talking but generally not too loudly. It is a riot to hear music followed by a previously private conversation being broadcated at 85 dB against dead silence. It becomes a new interactive art form actually. As amusing, as it is disturbing.

Regards,
Mark
_________________________
mark kramer
http://www.thejazzmall.com

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#512336 - 04/17/04 05:59 AM Re: This drives me crazy...
superG Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/13/01
Posts: 88
Loc: tpa,FL,UNITED STATES
lawrence- whenever i find myself in a busy and bubbly control room,during tracking-i monitor with confidence as a result of two things...I make it very uncomfortable for ANY non-essential people to be present while i am setting up the session(ie.hitting drums,auditioning mic's and pre's,etc).then,after the musicians are tuned,ready-headphone mix together,whatever- i just let it rip,and because i feel im using the correct mic's,and not eq'ing-i monitor my "to tape" levels,and inform the producer that any party goin on(-the ambient distractions) may well interfere with serious critiques of playbacks.I do not debate this issue.Some of the fun is additive to the resulting tracks...some of it results in missed opportunity to improve takes,while "in the moment".When it is my responsibility to be the final word...things are done MY way.when that is not the case,i feel my job is to point out any opportunities lost,to whoever is calling the shots.I simply refuse to feel responsible for a work environment that is not my doing! peace G

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#512337 - 04/17/04 10:53 AM Re: This drives me crazy...
3D Audio Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 1032
Loc: Spring Hill, TN, US
Quote:
Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:
BTW Lynn, I love that first sign idea. Do you mind if I borrow that one?
You bet.

The other one you might like is

"Please don't talk to the engineer during takes. It's the only break he gets."
_________________________
Lynn Fuston
3D Audio Inc
Home of 3dB

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#512338 - 04/17/04 10:56 AM Re: This drives me crazy...
3D Audio Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 1032
Loc: Spring Hill, TN, US
Quote:
Originally posted by Loco:
Change the clock rate of the system and play for a little while. When someone finally notice it, it's time to tell them to zip it.
What if nobody ever notices?
_________________________
Lynn Fuston
3D Audio Inc
Home of 3dB

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#512339 - 04/17/04 01:29 PM Re: This drives me crazy...
Loco Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 1242
Loc: Miami Beach,FL,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by 3D Audio:
Quote:
Originally posted by Loco:
Change the clock rate of the system and play for a little while. When someone finally notice it, it's time to tell them to zip it.
What if nobody ever notices?
Then you may just stop, join their conversation and get paid for it. Hell, I even got paid once for watching strippers for two days!!
_________________________
"There's no right, there's no wrong. There's only popular opinion" Jeffrey Goines

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#512340 - 04/17/04 09:51 PM Re: This drives me crazy...
Philip O'Keefe Offline
10k Club

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 17674
Loc: Riverside,CA,UNITED STATES
Quote:
Originally posted by 3D Audio:
Quote:
Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:
BTW Lynn, I love that first sign idea. Do you mind if I borrow that one?
You bet.

The other one you might like is

"Please don't talk to the engineer during takes. It's the only break he gets."
Great stuff - thanks again Lynn.
_________________________
Phil O'Keefe
Sound Sanctuary Recording
Riverside CA
http://www.ssrstudio.com
http://www.philokeefe.com
pokeefe777@ssrstudio.com
My New Forum on Harmony-Central

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#512341 - 04/18/04 06:29 PM Re: This drives me crazy...
RaGe Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 800
Loc: 1614 N 6132 W
Hey Loco, need an assistant?

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#512342 - 04/18/04 06:30 PM Re: This drives me crazy...
RaGe Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 800
Loc: 1614 N 6132 W
I make it clear from the start that I mix alone. Seems to work.

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#512343 - 04/18/04 10:28 PM Re: This drives me crazy...
Bill Mueller Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 147
Loc: Maryland
Gang,

I have been reading some things here that don't compute in my world. I don't know about the rest of you however, in my world.

The music belongs to the musicians.

The song belongs to the songwriter.

The mix belongs to whoever is paying or put in charge by whoever is paying.

My job is to bring to reality, the image the artists have of themselves, not my image of them.

When I am the engineer, I am a servant. When I am the producer, I serve the artist and direct the engineer. When I am the artist I pay the money and hope to hell I know what I am doing.

Signs in the control room are arbitrary admissions that I cannot communicate with my clients in an effective way. How can I expect to communicate the intimate vision an artist has of themselves to the outside world if I cannot communicate in a fundamental way with the artist himself? Does anyone here seriously believe they can kick the artist out of the mix session?

I know we live in a Mickey Dee kind of cookie cutter world with bands of unruly amateurs invading our hallowed halls, expecting miracles in three hour sessions. However, creating music is more than that. Sit down with your clients. Learn from them. Teach them. Be better together.

Best Regards,

Bill

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#512344 - 04/20/04 04:05 AM Re: This drives me crazy...
joeq Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/24/02
Posts: 141
when somebody is out in the live room with the headphones on, trying to nail a difficult overdub and his bandmates are cutting up, laughing and joking and not paying attention to the music, the overdub takes longer or is not as tight or both,

When the musicians are listening intently and "pulling" for their bandmate, the process goes smoother with better results.

the wall between the control room and the studio may be soundproof but Vibe will pass right through it like it wasn't there

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#512345 - 04/20/04 05:28 AM Re: This drives me crazy...
errol Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 319
Loc: Amsterdam,,NETHERLANDS
Quote:
Originally posted by sign:
I have a pair of decent monitors in the lounge, where the band can listen to the mix process if they like.

That works quite well.
Sign also has some monitors in the kitchen so they can wash the dishes while he is mixing.
It's a clever man. \:D
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cut-n-clear
Mastering and cdr/dvdr copy centre

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