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How Would You Deal With This?


Edendude

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Some of you regulars may remember me speaking about my band tracking for a new CD project over the past summer months. I think I even posted a sax solo clip from the rough mixes. Well things have come to a rather frustrating stand-still, and it's hard to know how to handle it, exactly. Just wondering how you esteemed lowdowners would deal with this kind of a situation...

 

The guy who was engineering our recording project is a VERY creative musician/engineer who was trained in the art of recording by one of the best schools in Canada. He is also one of the nicest and most down to earth musicians I have ever had the pleasure of being in a band with. Before our CD project got underway, this guy had to leave our band, because he was in such high demand as a recording engineer. But he still graciously offered to handle our project for us, and for a ridiculously low sum of money, especially considering this guy's talent, ears, and level of production genius.

 

As of now...

 

95% of the record is tracked and in the can. One more long day of 'loose ends' tracking would probably complete that part of the process, and then the album will be ready for the final mixing stage.

 

Here's the problem...

 

This engineer (and very good friend) has now scored a very good position as the lead engineer for one of Canada's most successful major label musical acts. And now it is difficult to even reach him by phone, let alone book him to resume work on our project.

 

The recent delays have meant that a release for the Xmas marketing window has now come and gone. But more importantly, it's very frustrating feeling like you are dead in the water creatively, especially when we had such intense momentum to begin with.

 

Thoughts, opinions, advice, 'how to' book recommendations on patience???

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My total lack of experience makes my opinion worth exactly the price I'm charging for it.

 

But just from a common-sense viewpoint, I'd say get someone else to engineer the last bit. Nothing wrong with that; the guy's busy, is probably right to put his energies where the biggest returns are going to be, but you still need someone, so there you go. No animosity, no hurt feelings, just finishing the job.

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Explain everything to him and nicely give a deadline. I'm sure he will understand and maybe it will take a load off of him too.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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Without going into details, I just missed my Xmas deadline, for different reasons, because of my friend. I say take this whole thing apart and look at it in sections.

 

1. You missed the Xmas deadline; your decision; accept it. You could've done a rush job at the last minute but it would've led to other problems, more expenses, and the product would've been inferior because rush work usually leads to errors in quality control. Have a planning session, reschedule the release for late spring-early summer, and adjust the plan. Don't let the plan adjust you.

 

Your "very good friend" may be in a similar bind thinking about how to tell you he really doesn't have the time to finish this project. If you intend to stay friends ("How Many Friends Have I Really Got" comes to mind) take him off the hook, accept that if the situation was reversed YOU'D be going for the big break with the big band, and ask his advice on who to take the project to. Let him know you really appreciated the work he did and intend to give him credit for it on the CD.

 

I've lived a long time and have yet to see a project come in on-time, under-budget, meet all of the objectives and gain universal acceptance of the final product. Reality is what happens when you try to execute plans. Good planners (and good generals) are always ready to make changes to keep the plan on track. The quality of your work is what your customers are interested in, and they'd rather have a good product, even if it's late to market, than a bad product delivered on-time. (unless you're a record industry person.)

:thu:

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I say take this whole thing apart and look at it in sections.

 

You missed the Xmas deadline; your decision; accept it. You could've done a rush job at the last minute but it would've led to other problems, more expenses, and the product would've been inferior because rush work usually leads to errors in quality control. Have a planning session, reschedule the release for late spring-early summer, and adjust the plan. Don't let the plan adjust you.

 

Your "very good friend" may be in a similar bind thinking about how to tell you he really doesn't have the time to finish this project. If you intend to stay friends ("How Many Friends Have I Really Got" comes to mind) take him off the hook, accept that if the situation was reversed YOU'D be going for the big break with the big band, and ask his advice on who to take the project to. Let him know you really appreciated the work he did and intend to give him credit for it on the CD.

 

I've lived a long time and have yet to see a project come in on-time, under-budget, meet all of the objectives and gain universal acceptance of the final product. Reality is what happens when you try to execute plans. Good planners (and good generals) are always ready to make changes to keep the plan on track. The quality of your work is what your customers are interested in, and they'd rather have a good product, even if it's late to market, than a bad product delivered on-time. (unless you're a record industry person.)

 

You're on the road to being a real-world planner!

:thu:

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Oooo...

 

Low blow with the Celine D. and Brian Adams thing. Ouch on his behalf!

 

:cry:

 

Actually...

 

This guy has such great ears that this is why it's such a dilemma. There's definitely a reason why he's in high-demand with the majors, and it's because he's really got it goin' on as far as ears go. So patience might indeed be the best solution, as some have suggested above. It's just that it's all so open-ended, and right now we haven't even been able to get hold of him by phone.

 

He used to frequent the recording section of these forums almost daily, but I have noticed his last posts goes way back to the end of July.

 

And all good advice so far, guys. So thanks, because it really helps to get a few opinions from fellow musicians.

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On a much more serious note than my last smart assed reply:

 

Find someone else to do your loose ends and get it to mixing and mastering. You could be in a holding pattern for a very long time waiting for this cat to be free again and it's probably not going to be worth it in the long run for you guys. Sure it's great to have the best of the best for the whole project, but if you're that close you guys need to get it done before it just becomes this huge burden sitting on your shoulders.

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Hey Edendude,

 

A little bird told me :D that the guy might have some time coming up and is actually VERY interested in clueing up the album. I'll call Sean and maybe we can do the last tracks next weekend or something...I wanna put an end to it just as you guys do. Sorry I've been so busy and thanks for the kind words!

 

Scott

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Sheeeeee-it...It lives?!

 

BONE!!!

 

Great to hear from you, man! Who knew the Lowdown was a better way to communicate with you than the phone.

 

:D

 

Whenever you can pull it off with a block of time, we will do everything possible to pull it together when you're free.

 

We've been hearing stories about you being too busy to take a piss, and that you've had three projects come your way at once.

 

Anyhow...

 

Yeah man...

 

Call Shawn and let's do this thing. And we have all really hated the thought of trying to move the project forward without your ears on it.

 

And thanks for droppin' by. I feel much better now.

 

:thu:

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I bet you're glad that you said nice things. I'm glad we all said nice things as well.

 

Originally posted by Edendude:

Who knew the Lowdown was a better way to communicate with you than the phone.

This is a cool place, so I guess I'm not that surprised. I was almost going to suggest you just "stop by" his place to arrange a time for setting up a schedule.

 

OK - I am surprised, and pleased for you. From the sound of his response, you can tell that more than his ears are good...

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Yep...For sure, Tom...

 

Between the encouragement I've been getting on the 'Jaco addition' thread, and this cool situation here where BoneDog shows up and replys positively right in the thread, the Lowdown does seem mighty cool to me lately.

 

And yeah...

 

Good thing we were all pretty nice in what were sayin' about Bone. Ummmm...especially me!

 

:thu:

 

And ummm...sorry about the mushy, tearful, soap opera ending there, girls.

 

:P

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