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Soundguy Woes

miketv

Member
Messages
431
Huh, not sure where to post this but just had to fish for thoughts.

Last weekend our band had a gig out of town. Nothing huge, venue capable of holding 200+ blah blah, just us and the local/ hometown band. Anyways, some of my band are friendly with the guys in the local band and were communicating heavily, organising the finer details, in the weeks leading up to the gig.
Their drummer, who also has ties to the venue, relays the fact that, if we chose to, we could have our show recorded through the mixing desk by the house engineer for a nominal fee of £50 (uk currency). We declined the offer, mainly because I work in a studio and can record our band anytime for next to nothing and, another engineer who works alongside me also does live sound at our local haunts and has recorded us previously at no cost. We stated to their drummer, in no uncertain terms, that the offer was appreciated, but we would pass on it, thank you. He mentioned later that he had spoken with the venue's engineer, and informed him of our decision. All is cool.

The night of the show, we play our set, then hang around waiting to watch the other band. Inbetween, the sound engineer breezes up to the bar and duly informs us that, despite our wishes not to be recorded, he has indeed just recorded our performance! He then goes on to try and cajole us into buying a copy for the aforementioned fee. Unreal, huh? Don't get me wrong, the guy was fairly amiable at soundcheck, done everything he could to make us happy, etc, I just thought he had a bit of a nerve to go against our wishes and do that. He then informs us that he, too, works at a studio and would mix the multitracks on his time. We then inform him if he wishes to make any money, we would prefer copies of the multitrack .wav files, rather than his stereo mix, with the aim of mixing it ourselves. Our level-headed female singer, who deals with the business side of things, calms the rest of us down, saying 'Oh, it's only ten bucks from each of us', no harm, no foul kinda attitude, plus we'd have a live show to listen to and, maybe post clips online. The rest of us slowly realise there's no point whining about it now, it's been done.

Roll on to a week later.

The 'local' drummer, with the venue ties, informs our singer that he has heard the stereo mix the engineer has done. He says it sounds great, he'll get samples forwarded to our band. I then get sent 'links' to the samples (slapped on Mediafire in mp3 format!) and decide that it sounds pretty crap. Besides the mix being, well, not very good, the recording runs slow, roughly about a tone lower than standard pitch!!
We then communicate this to the drummer, who puts this to the engineer. The engineer tells us his offer is final, it's his stereo mix on cd we would be getting, no multitrack files, take it or leave it!
Wtf? I absolutely hate the idea of an artist having no control over his music in the first place, but it grinds me to think that this soundguy can sit on a recording of us, that he was asked not to make, if we don't pay HIM for a below-par mix of OUR songs! We have tried our best to work it out amicably, so it would be beneficial for all of us, but he's having none of it!
I've nothing against sound engineers, being one too, but where do you draw the line on this guy?

Talk about being p****d off!!! :nono

What do you guys think?
 

marshall2288

Member
Messages
1,113
I assume you have already paid the guy? If so, take his crap, chunk it in the garbage and move on. If you haven't paid the obviously refuse payment.

This guy probably makes a killing off people who just don't know how to say "no" and stick with no.
 

orogeny

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,723
i'm confused. did you pay for it? if not, no biggie.

the dead and many other bands let folks record them anytime. i'm sure there are tons of lousy mixes running around out there.

don't let it bug you. just move on.

oh. . . . and the soundguy really IS a douche;)
 

miketv

Member
Messages
431
Cheers guys, yeah, we payed for it out of our earnings from the gig (much to my annoyance at the time but it was a 3/5 in favour vote). I know I shouldn't be so annoyed, but I do sound for live bands on occasion too and I wouldn't dream of doing that?! I was more pe'ed off that the guy recorded us after being asked not to. I was even more pe'ed off that he took it all the way to a studio to make it sound as crap as it did. Oh well. Lesson learned. Take our own engineer everywhere, heh heh.

oh. . . . and the soundguy really IS a douche;)
Word. I can't quite bring myself to send him an 'enterprise initiative' gift voucher!
 

speakerjones

Member
Messages
2,299
Generally, bands will have recording clauses in their contract, stating one way or the other their position on being recorded. I would suggest you start practicing this. Recording bands without their permission is a big no-no in the pro world.
 

theroan

Member
Messages
5,973
That sucks. I find that it's rampant in music that amateur sound guys don't actually think like musicians, so they go about things totally different with terrible results.

This is never more prevelant than in churches. I was playing at a church I don't normally go to last week and the sound guy starting searching behind my amp for direct out with an XLR. "Don't even think about it! Go get a mic."

It wasn't about what sounded best, but what was easier to control.
 

rokpunk

Member
Messages
1,819
About 15 years ago, I worked as the house engineer at a fairly big rock club here in Baltimore. This was right when ADAT'S were getting popular, and 2 track CD recorders were over $1000. I would record every band that came through to a CD. It only cost me like $2 each for blank CD's, and about 8 times out of 10, if the band heard that you recorded, they would gladly shell out $15 or $20 for the CD. Some CD's turned out stellar, some, not so much. But, this way, it gave the band a chance to buy a live set of themselves (I requested no credits or mentions on any official CD release), it gave them a chance to hear back what they sounded like live, and it gave me a chance to make a few extra bucks per night. Win Win for everyone, I thought. Most bands were thrilled to buy my CD, the ones that weren't got the same "love" the other bands received, but they ended up with a CD that was broken into pieces and thrown away. Note to bands....even if you are NOT being recorded, bring you own bring your own engineer. It makes life easier for everyone involved.
 

miketv

Member
Messages
431
Generally, bands will have recording clauses in their contract, stating one way or the other their position on being recorded. I would suggest you start practicing this. Recording bands without their permission is a big no-no in the pro world.
I understand, thanks man, we'll look into that seeing as the 'gentleman's agreement' angle was a no-go on this occasion.

That sucks. I find that it's rampant in music that amateur sound guys don't actually think like musicians, so they go about things totally different with terrible results.....and the sound guy starting searching behind my amp for direct out with an XLR. "Don't even think about it! Go get a mic."
Heh heh, i'll go one better, a few weeks ago at another show, another soundguy walks up to the guitarist, unplugs his Boss O/D from his chain, inserts his own pedal and said ''Here, try this instead''!!! The look on his face was priceless. He also showed remarkable restraint not to cream him with the business end of his Yam SG! :rotflmao

About 15 years ago, I worked as the house engineer at a fairly big rock club here in Baltimore. This was right when ADAT'S were getting popular, and 2 track CD recorders were over $1000. I would record every band that came through to a CD. It only cost me like $2 each for blank CD's, and about 8 times out of 10, if the band heard that you recorded, they would gladly shell out $15 or $20 for the CD. Some CD's turned out stellar, some, not so much. But, this way, it gave the band a chance to buy a live set of themselves (I requested no credits or mentions on any official CD release), it gave them a chance to hear back what they sounded like live, and it gave me a chance to make a few extra bucks per night. Win Win for everyone, I thought. Most bands were thrilled to buy my CD, the ones that weren't got the same "love" the other bands received, but they ended up with a CD that was broken into pieces and thrown away. Note to bands....even if you are NOT being recorded, bring you own bring your own engineer. It makes life easier for everyone involved.
I hear ya, man. I don't grudge engineers the chance to make a few bucks, not at all. Nine times out of ten, we would probably agree with the practice. As I mentioned in my o/p, my friend records us without asking for a fee, although we generally see him right with beer or a back-hander just as a common courtesy, y'know? He also records other bands, but makes sure they know and approve before doing so. It was more a case of finding this particular guys modus operandi a bit foxy, especially as we refused in the first place. It was also knowing that he had recorded multitracks and not just a single stereo cd in real time, yeah?. That irked me just a tad, October 'clamfest' seemed to have started too. ;)

Thanks for the responses.
 

rokpunk

Member
Messages
1,819
these days, if i still carried a cd recorder in my rig, i'd simply give every band a copy of their set and let them throw it away themselves :)

i do occasionally record bands that i enjoy to a HD recorder, but these bands are generally friends of mine, and i always offer to burn them a copy/upload a flac or mp3 for free for them to have. 10+ years ago a CD was $2/ea, now they are 10 cents each.
 

Motterpaul

Tone is in the Ears
Messages
13,418
Couple points...

Is this original music - or are you a cover band? Either way you could get your money because by recording you and then trying to charge you after the fact he is breaking either (1) copyright or (2) licensing laws.

If I were you guys a two-track mix not even ib the original key is NOT a professional recording, it's crap. I would tell him strongly "we're not interested, want our money back, and we will gladly spread the word about what you did and why we are not happy."

That is - if you don't care about ever playing there again.

In the end - you do have to pick your battles.
 

Zingeroo

Member
Messages
4,344
I'm not sure what the big deal is. He recorded you ... as long as he doesn't sell it to anyone else, I don't see the problem.
You like it, you buy it. You don't like it, nobody ever hears it. I wish some of our gigs had been recorded. I'd love to hear a good recording of my band.
 

brianr0131

Member
Messages
4,439
I highly doubt he had an actual multitrack recording that was mixable. I've never seen a sound guy with that capability.
 

Funky Monkey

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,424
If it is a tone lower than the pitch you played the show, it is worthless. Anything done to fix it will make it sound like garbage. For that reason alone, he owes you your money back.

Got to make up your own contract for this in the event it comes up again. If it is 2-track stereo mix, it's worth the cost of the CDr and a tip, and you get the only master. If its multitrack, $50 tops and ONLY of every track is there and usable (one of my band's big shows was recorded and my guitar channel was not arme to record. Soundguy said I could come back to his studio...for like $50/hour. Of course! Ugh!!!)
 

painfulltruf

Active Member
Messages
83
'I'd like to hear how we came off live..knock it all down to an MP3, burn me a CD. I would like to debrief this in the car with the guys on the way home. Thanks for thinking our live playing is worthy of your efforts to mix and master. Let's give the raw tracks a listen in the car, if it's good, I wouldn't mind paying to you put some production effort into it, as you have saved us some time in a recording studio.'
 

miketv

Member
Messages
431
Couple points...

Is this original music - or are you a cover band? Either way you could get your money because by recording you and then trying to charge you after the fact he is breaking either (1) copyright or (2) licensing laws.

If I were you guys a two-track mix not even ib the original key is NOT a professional recording, it's crap. I would tell him strongly "we're not interested, want our money back, and we will gladly spread the word about what you did and why we are not happy."

That is - if you don't care about ever playing there again.

In the end - you do have to pick your battles.
Original music. I've had a look re: copyright, apparently anyone can walk into a gig and make a recording of a public performance as long as it's for their own private use. I'm over the pond, mind you. YMMV, or I may have misunderstood. Have to say it was a good club, they just had a tool of an engineer....;)

I'm not sure what the big deal is. He recorded you ... as long as he doesn't sell it to anyone else, I don't see the problem.
You like it, you buy it. You don't like it, nobody ever hears it. I wish some of our gigs had been recorded. I'd love to hear a good recording of my band.
It was a trust issue, man. We already said no, that should have been enough. If we don't like it, we're not in the position to have the final say on whether or not it gets sold/ traded/ posted to a crappola upload site on the interweb for anyone else to hear, yeah? On saying that though, he could have kept his mouth shut and posted the whole thing up without us even knowing, so I guess we should somehow be thankful for small mercies....:rolleyes:

I highly doubt he had an actual multitrack recording that was mixable. I've never seen a sound guy with that capability.
I can assure you he had the tech. We have since negotiated further with the people involved and are now expecting the .wav files from him over the next week or so.

If it is a tone lower than the pitch you played the show, it is worthless. Anything done to fix it will make it sound like garbage. For that reason alone, he owes you your money back.

Got to make up your own contract for this in the event it comes up again. If it is 2-track stereo mix, it's worth the cost of the CDr and a tip, and you get the only master. If its multitrack, $50 tops and ONLY of every track is there and usable (one of my band's big shows was recorded and my guitar channel was not arme to record. Soundguy said I could come back to his studio...for like $50/hour. Of course! Ugh!!!)
It was something at his end that made the pitch slower, i've since heard a sample at the proper speed. I wouldn't have had an issue if he handed us the only master on CD, we may not have payed him 50 bucks for it tho, heh heh, but we had the means to listen to it and could have snapped it there and then if it sounded brutal. As far as 'multitrack' goes, he may have bussed all the drums to one stereo group, etc, I don't know yet, i'll find out next week. Pity about your guitar track too, surely you could have remedied that cheaper? No-one in your band have access to Cubase or suchlike? That maybe would have saved you a few bucks re-recording/ mixing fee?.....

'I'd like to hear how we came off live..knock it all down to an MP3, burn me a CD. I would like to debrief this in the car with the guys on the way home. Thanks for thinking our live playing is worthy of your efforts to mix and master. Let's give the raw tracks a listen in the car, if it's good, I wouldn't mind paying to you put some production effort into it, as you have saved us some time in a recording studio.'
Yeah, man. As I said, if we knew about it and had approved it, no problemo. He did say he liked our band, after the show, hence he probably made the sneaky decision at soundcheck to record us. Anyways, your pleasant and eloquent response duly noted. Thanks, man. :aok

Alternatively,

"Thanks, but no thanks. I know how we come across live, my friend is an engineer and records us f.o.c frequently...please, don't bother recording us then knocking your weak-ass, bootlegged, mix down to a ****** mp3 and uploading samples to Mediafire just to irritate us. Thanks for completely ignoring our request not to be recorded and to then attempt to make a quick buck from us by doing the exact thing you were asked not to do. For a 'pro' soundguy, you seem to have hearing issues. You've saved us no time in a studio, I work in one too. Coincidentally, our second album cost us 100 bucks for unlimited recording/ mixing.

Beat that, Bob Rock....".

:D
 

loudboy

Member
Messages
27,312
I can assure you he had the tech. We have since negotiated further with the people involved and are now expecting the .wav files from him over the next week or so.
Both the Mackie Onyx and the ever more ubiquitous Presonus StudioLive have full multitrack recording capabilities, w/the touch of a button.

It's also super-easy to bring something like an ADAT HD24 and patch in.

It was something at his end that made the pitch slower, i've since heard a sample at the proper speed. I wouldn't have had an issue if he handed us the only master on CD, we may not have payed him 50 bucks for it tho, heh heh, but we had the means to listen to it and could have snapped it there and then if it sounded brutal.
He forgot to switch his sample rates...
 

miketv

Member
Messages
431
Both the Mackie Onyx and the ever more ubiquitous Presonus StudioLive have full multitrack recording capabilities, w/the touch of a button.

It's also super-easy to bring something like an ADAT HD24 and patch in.



He forgot to switch his sample rates...
:agree

Yep, done it myself from time to time, pesky 44/48 slider on the rear of the a/d converter, surprisingly I didn't put 2+2 together sooner. As for the mulitrack system, I honestly do not know what he was running, I usually make a point of chatting with the foh/ monitor engineers and checking the consoles/ outboard that venues have beforehand, etc, but had too much other stuff going on....

Thanks, man.
 






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