Q) It has been
frustrating having people
watch over [my] every move while mixing and mastering. Sometimes their
inexperienced ears don't agree with mine. I know the client's happiness
is of the utmost importance, but where do you draw the line? -Jill
is always right. I make suggestions, but I'm not married to
them. I use an A-B technique that always solves any question. If your
system is LEVEL MATCHED you can simply ask them to bring in any
commercial CD that they love the sound of to compare with. If you have
great references, then usually things will even out in terms of
opinions. Hits can't be argued with, and there's a lot of variety in
music. See my page on commercial CD
for some of my favorite references.
Do you personally do a [master] first and
THEN have them listen, or do you allow them in the control room the
client wishes to attend the session, they are always welcome. By
not being attached to my opinion, it's easy to not be frustrated if
they prefer something different. It's just preference. If they really
want something that I wouldn't be proud of, I ask to not be mentioned
on the CD. That's hardly ever happened.
however, I do spend the first 2 - 4 hours alone so that
their ears are fresh when they come in the room, and they haven't
steered my focus away from many intricate things that don't bear
It is YOUR reputation as a mixer and
masterer on the line, right? I mean, it is YOUR product too, is in not?
generally feel that being afraid of what people think of my work is
imagining that there is some lack in my work. Since I don't feel lack
around my work, even if it's not what I prefer, I'm happy to please the
customer. I spend time showing them different sounding CDs, so they
have a sense of what's out there. The cream rises to the top, and with
effective A-B'ing, the commercial CD can usually resolve the different
ideas. (I use the NEMO DMC-8 monitor controller to perform the A-B
If you put your company's name on a crappy
product, doesn't that hurt your future chances of more projects?
Crappy is all about viewpoint and preferences. If the lyrics are
about violence, abuse of others or illegal drugs, I decline the job.
More work just magically appears when I define the quality of who I
am and what I stand for in the world.
confident and fearless manifests more of the work I'd really like to do.
I am having a heated debate with one of my
colleagues about [these issues]. He sees no problem letting the client
be there 100% of the time...
...whereas I see it as a complete hindrance
- always having the constant opinion (or various ones) of how you
should do your job.
let go of my need to be right. If you work better without
observers, simply let them know your preferences, but let them decide.
If they choose to breathe down your neck and you've informed them up
front, then it's their choice to participate in your less-than-ideal
methods during their project. Clear communication is the key.
There's as many
opinions out there as there are artists. I
always sincerely consider myself part of the project's creative team.
For some reason, the respect I get from that approach makes everyone
feel at ease and secure that they'll get a great product. Business is
always based on the laws of attraction. You decide exactly what you
attract by the way you are being in any situation.
the right outcome of willingness balanced with inner
an easy state of mind to be in - with a little
I am desperate to know.....
desperate! Life is too important to not have fun! As my
92-year old grandmother said, "Life is like a roller coaster. You can
either say EEK or WHEEE!"
Q) If I'm 42 yrs old... just quit my
securities trading job of 8 yrs.....do you think it would be too late
to go to school for audio engineering? - Pete
I think it's never too late to pursue your dreams. However,
I think there's a reality to the personality profile of an engineer at
any age: you need to be able to work long (often late) hours, stay
current with a lot of technology which means a lot of research time
reading magazines, etc., and you need to be able to manage the
financial "ladder" we all climb - which at times is varied and requires
patience and resilience.
married or in a relationship, will the financial change from
steady to shifting be ok? If you have kids are you able to see them
enough and still work over-over time as required? Can you find studios
to work in or bring business into? Do you have plenty of computer
skills, audio background, musical feel and communication skills? Can
you learn quickly and handle slow times when they occur?
It seems that many engineers(based upon
articles they've written)appear to have soured on the industry as a
industry isn't in a golden era. Sales are way down, the music can
be varied in quality, the technology is changing so rapidly, there are
guys who are the "Top Guns" who are still part of the work force, as
well as a ton of interns working for free just to get a foot in the
way, my assistant is mid-40's and he couldn't get an internship
anywhere after graduating top in his recording class.... studios didn't
want someone his age.. probably because it's awkward to tell a mid-40's
guy "Go get the coffee."
all comes down to what assets are you going to bring to the
table, and how able are you to anticipate the client's needs before
they even ask. Knock long enough and demonstrate enough willingness to
help - or just round up some artists and convince them to hire you as
an indy engineer, and then just book the studio you want to work in.
Make your presence known, tactfully. There's always room for someone
with a positive attitude when others appear "sour."
more positive? ...even in tough times? Could it be we