Home > Editing, Mixing, Recording > How To Get A Good Recording From The Most Relentless Musicians

How To Get A Good Recording From The Most Relentless Musicians

good-recordingBack when I was starting, I would record bands for free. I still do that sometimes, but I would always make their recordings sound the way they wanted it to sound.

Over the last few years, I’ve found this to be a double edge sward.

Some of the newer bands that come to me tell me in conversation that they almost didn’t want to work with me because what they heard from other bands was bad. Then, they hear a recording of someone else and they liked that one, so they wanted to try me out.

Can you see how bad this is for you?

You really want your clients to feel good about their recordings, but at the cost of the quality of the recording?

The only way I’ve been able to do this is to tell them up front that I’m a producer first. If they want someone to just hit the record button for them, they need to go somewhere else. There’s a song that I’ve been using for the last couple of months to help explain this…

Iris by the Googoo Dolls

They released the first demo of the song recently on “Goo Goo Dolls Greatest Hits Volume 2” and it totally sucked. It was boring, it had no dynamics. It basically had nothing. It sounded like a high school garage band making fun of the song or something.

Then I put in the CD of the album version, and they’re amazed by how much better it sounds than the first demo. The arrangement changed a little, but the feel of the song changed a lot. It became a hit.

This usually gets them to consider maybe a fresh set of ears is actually worth something.

Then I tell them, after we’re done, take the mix home and listen to it for a couple of weeks, and if they still don’t like it, I will record the song the way they want for free.

This gets them to want to try my way. Musicians are a fairly picky bunch, but you really have to let them know that you want the best for them and their music. After they get a taste of what you can really do, they refer their friends to you and you develop a relationship with a whole other group of people. And sometimes a completely different style of music that you wouldn’t be able to record otherwise.

The only downside to this is you won’t get as many people wanting you to work with them. But you usually get the best of them. And it does start slowly, but you find yourself taking in clients from many miles away just to work with you. And that’s a damn good feeling.

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Categories: Editing, Mixing, Recording
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