Wanna know why mega-budget music sucks?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Vince Maskeeper, Apr 12, 2003.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    This is sort of old news in the pro audio world, but haven't seen it discussed here, so figured I'd point it out for serious music fans with spare time.

    Over several months last year, a guy calling himself MIXERMAN posted a series of diary entries on a well visited recording/sound forum over on prosoundweb.com. MIXERMAN was supposedly working on a huge budget project with some up and coming band that had been the subject of a major label bidding war. He documented to the moronic goings on of the studio, the band, the producer, the label, and often himself.

    While there is really no way to know if this series of articles is real or fiction, the series has struck such a chord in that world because every single piece in the diaries could have happened-- and even if MIXERMAN's stories are not true-- they most certanly are a composite of stories that have actually happened.

    This series is real long, and occurred over several months last summer. I would encourage anyone who is remotely interested in music, especially "popular" radio music, to start reading these- it might give you a bit of a glimpse into how the stuff really goes down.

    Oh, and one note that will help this make sense:
    ALSIHAD is another word for “Protools”, the Digidesign Digital Audio Workstation that most professional engineers use at the “LA rock” level. There is an open disdain for Protools in some segments of the industry, and thus it has been dubbed in the pro audio discussion forum world as “Alsihad”, as in “I didn’t have a tape amchine, so I used alls-I-had.”

    Here's a link to the beginning of the diary:
    http://www.prosoundweb.com/recording/mm/week1/mm.php

    Enjoy, and feel free to post your favorite quote from the article, or any topics you thik are interesting, here.
     
  2. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

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    site is down at the moment
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  4. Dominik Droscher

    Dominik Droscher Supporting Actor

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    Great article, already cost me a few hours and I am only halfway through. [​IMG] Thanks for the link Vince. [​IMG]
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Looks like in some studios old habits (analog tape, edits using razor blades, tube-based electronics, etc) die hard.

    LJ
     
  6. Dominik Droscher

    Dominik Droscher Supporting Actor

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    LanceJ, after listening to White Stripes' Elephant I am very glad for that. [​IMG]
     
  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Indeed- and I pray to god they are never gone. Actually- often even on large productions with the LA drone engineers and producers, they will track drums to 2 inch tape and dump that into a DAW since there is nothing quite like good tape compression/saturation. They will then do all the drum editing in DAW...

    I'm actaully always surprised at how much drum editing is done these days. With the ease of use of a DAW like protools, it's the common practice to have an assistant stay afterhours and spend all night fixing the drum tracks. This will often include hundreds of edits! It's too bad they won't just let drummers play!

    -Vince

    PS: There is a follow-up beyond the 8th week on the prosound web forums. I can post a link if anyone is interested.

    I have also copied this whole thing and printed it out. It's like 150 pages- but I have been handing out copies to people who tell me they wanna make records for a living. [​IMG]
     
  8. Dominik Droscher

    Dominik Droscher Supporting Actor

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  9. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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    Post the link Vince. I wasted my entire day today at work reading all 8 weeks worth. [​IMG]

    Seth
     
  10. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Lance said:

     
  12. Seth_L

    Seth_L Screenwriter

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    There were just so many funny quote in that I couldn't even know where to start. I could see the drama playing out in my head.

    Priceless! [​IMG]

    Seth
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  14. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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  15. Brian Dobbs

    Brian Dobbs Ambassador

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    I've read this article months ago. it took me weeks to finish. AMAZING
     
  16. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    I've been reading this as well, a bit at a time. Pretty friggin' hilarious and scary at the same time. It's amazing how much waste there is, and like many other big companies when there's a problem often the answer is to "throw more money at it" rather than make a tough decision and fix the problem.

    Any guesses on the band and/or producer chronicled in the diary?
     
  17. Jeremy:L

    Jeremy:L Agent

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    It just seems to drop off and then Mixerman comes back a few months later saying he can't talk about it yet. The suspence is killing me! I have to know what happened!
     
  18. RaulR

    RaulR Stunt Coordinator

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  19. Matthew Brown

    Matthew Brown Supporting Actor

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    If you've read the diaries, drop by the forum on the site. They are pretty amusing also. It looks like somebody is threatening to end Mixerman's career on there. He, himself has posted that it's no joke.

    I can't believe that major labels pour money into bands like this. It's so unnescessary. Who benefits from a major label other than the label and management themselves?

    The best part is that the band is costing money that will be taken against any CD sales they may have. What a bunch of nimrods!

    Matt
     
  20. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    A lot of guys are real partial to RADAR. I believe that Radar is used in the mixerman sessions on bitch Slap at some point. Radar isn't as "powerful" in many ways a Pro Tools, it's often treated more as a simple hard disc system... but many guys swear by it, and have declared it to be much closer to analog that Pro Tools...

    Also, at the lower end- there are some other cheaper HW/SW combos that some people use. Since PT is so expensive (Entry system is like $9-10k), there are many people who get the same or better performance using Nuendo or Logic with decent audio hw like MOTU stuff.

    -Vince
     

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