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Thread: Working with clients that make *interesting* mix choices

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    Ours is a service industry. I have always put my ego second in deference to the client.
    QFT. Even worse than the client making subjectively bad decisions re: mix balance is the engineer trying to produce a song. I went with a buddy to a local studio, an SSL Room, using a staff engineer to operate the console, to mix something he'd done and the engineer actually asked him...

    "So... you want to leave that part in?"

    He was talking about a musical intro the guy had written that (apparently) he didn't like.

  2. #12
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    There's a fine line when someone's asking for your opinion and it's tough to know if they're truly interested in what you think or just wanting approval for their ideas. Knowing when NOT to speak your mind is a skill that is learned by successful engineers.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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    PookyNR is offline 3D VIP 2005, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    Knowing when NOT to speak your mind is a skill that is learned by successful engineers.
    A skill that is learned by people successful in any field.
    Am I the only one without a small type signature?

    Nathan

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    Sometimes I wish the credits would read: Mixed by- " (artist/band name) "
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    There's a fine line when someone's asking for your opinion and it's tough to know if they're truly interested in what you think or just wanting approval for their ideas. Knowing when NOT to speak your mind is a skill that is learned by successful engineers.
    True. The guy was the SSL operator and he had a key to the mic locker but other than that, we didn't need him for anything or ask his opinion about anything. It's not like he hired a freelance engineer / producer, he was just a the night shift guy getting $8 an hour to run the console and to make sure nobody steals mics at 2 a.m when the place is mostly empty.

    We looked at each other like ... "Did he really just say that?"

    Back on topic to the other thing, my experience with clients "mixing' more often has to do with bass. Some not understanding the difference between listening to monitor and listening to party. They often want to turn the bass way up, make it sound like a dance club with 8 db of 80hz thumping.
    Last edited by Lawrence; 05-23-2014 at 02:43 PM.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    Reminds me of the time that I was mixing a project and the client kept asking for more vocals. I sent them a 1 up, 2 up and then, just to be silly, one mix with the vocals up 5 dB!!

    They responded "That last mix? That's getting closer. Can you turn them up some more?"

    About 10 years ago I was mixing monitors for a festival concert where Shawn Colvin was headlining. The System Tech, who'd worked with her previously, warned me "She likes her monitors really quiet." So I figured I'd beat her to the punch, and I pull down the group sends to her wedges 10dB below where they'd been for the previous act's soundcheck.

    Then I start to second-guess myself, get worried, so I also pull the vocal and guitar sends down another 3dB just to be sure.

    Shawn walks out to do her sound check, plays one note on her guitar, turns to me and says "Oh my that's loud; can you turn it way down?" I dutifully pull the group sends down another 10dB and the channel sends down another 3dB. She says "Check, check" into her mic, turns back to me and asks "Can I hear it with the monitors off?"

    I zero all the faders, Shawn says "check" into her mic, then turns & gives me a thumbs up. I shut down all the monitor amps and went to sleep in the truck for an hour. The client is always right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
    About 10 years ago I was mixing monitors for a festival concert where Shawn Colvin was headlining. The System Tech, who'd worked with her previously, warned me "She likes her monitors really quiet." So I figured I'd beat her to the punch, and I pull down the group sends to her wedges 10dB below where they'd been for the previous act's soundcheck.

    Then I start to second-guess myself, get worried, so I also pull the vocal and guitar sends down another 3dB just to be sure.

    Shawn walks out to do her sound check, plays one note on her guitar, turns to me and says "Oh my that's loud; can you turn it way down?" I dutifully pull the group sends down another 10dB and the channel sends down another 3dB. She says "Check, check" into her mic, turns back to me and asks "Can I hear it with the monitors off?"

    I zero all the faders, Shawn says "check" into her mic, then turns & gives me a thumbs up. I shut down all the monitor amps and went to sleep in the truck for an hour. The client is always right.
    I've worked shows where by the time the artist had the monitors on stage loud enough, the FOH mixer went to the bus to sleep for an hour...
    Todd Robbins
    TX3 Productions, Inc.
    www.toddro.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Robbins View Post
    ...the artist had the monitors on stage loud enough, the FOH mixer went to the bus to sleep for an hour...
    And that is a common problem in churches, at least around here. Well, not the FOH engineer sleeping part.
    Quarter Note Recording
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  9. #19
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    Greetings, gentlemen. Good to see y'all here.
    Interesting topic, though it makes me think of other related things.
    Remembering when I actually started listening and heard things that were a surprise in previously familiar material.

    Would you have mixed the tambourine this loud?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJysQxMnPKE

  10. #20
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    You mean parity with the hats in a disco tune is uncool...?

    And, it would have been good if the video editor had caught the ladies actually singing at the end of the second chorus... but that's a picky vidiot nit.

    HB
    Harry Butler Photography, Videography and AV Production
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    "I'm CDO. That's like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order. As they should be." Seen on a T-Shirt.

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