you need a producer
show details Aug 5
I listened all the way through two f your CD’s today while working on things on the computer.
I don’t mean to bust your balls, and I know you have all the best intentions with your stuff, but…
I have to say, it was virtually unlistenable.
Take this with a grain of salt if you will, but I hope constructive criticism will result in the next CD you send to me being more “polished”….
Mic technique is bad, wandering back in forth and around the mic. At times I felt like I was on some wierd ride where the sound comes at you from different directions. This can be used to good effect when it is intended (i.e. Brian Eno, John Cage, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd) but when it is obviously not……it just reeks of bad production.
Levels are SEVERELY distorted in some tunes. You need to learn how to monitor your outputs, and pay attention to what they sound like.
Levels are up and down and all over the place. This has nothing to do with the dynamics of particular songs, but you need to get a compressor.
you need to EDIT !!!! This is where I would start, for sure, definitely, no doubts……
If you are going to have songs, edit them so that there is a head and then an ending. if you are going to have spoken word segments, make the conversation or spoken portion have some meaning or relevance. If I (or anyone else) wanted to listen to a meaningless conversation in the background, I’d call my girlfriend or walk into my bosses office to hear that…. The Japanese have a saying for it that I can’t recall right now, but the gist of it revolves around “respecting one anothers’ time”….. make each moment count for something.
Think about it….In this modern world, with everyone being short on time, and everyone being bombarded by different media (that is highly produced, from commercials, music, movies, multimedia, etc.), the LAST thing anyone wants to hear is a bunch of conversations in the background, side notes from you to Lauren/back and forth, etc….. If I were to send you a bunch of recordings of me singing off key at times, with bad mic technique and bad levels, you’d probably toss it in a drawer after one listen-if you could get through it all. That is EXACTLY what you are presenting to the people you give the CD’s to. I understand they are free, but put your best foot forward and learn from each one and pick up some new techniques each time to make each one better. That’s what recording artists do, that’s how they get better, and that’s how they eventually get discovered and are able to support themselves by doing their craft.
Understood that you might not really want to be a musician in the business that is a cesspool for sharks, and that may not even be the point about releasing these CD’s. If it is not the point, you should have a spoken word intro at the front of the CD to explain to people what you are trying to accomplish, so that they don’t get the wrong idea. When somebody hand s me a CD, I usually expect that there will be some melody, stuff that is refined (even if it is punk/thrash) and has been rehearsed over and over (unless it is hard core bop/jazz), and there will be some production value on it-even if it is a solo guitar with vocal. Listen to some Leo Kottke, John Prine, or Arlo Guthrie or Tom Rush. Hear the production, how they phrase, how they work the microphone and use dynamics.
Refine your stuff ~!!!!!
(including the writing on the web (you need an editor that can deal with the numerous grammatical errors to frame your stuff in a better light)
What you put forth becomes the lasting image of what people think of your efforts into your stuff. And…..first impressions count. When was the last time you heard some band and decided you never needed to spend time listening to that stuff again???? Or some writer??
I don’t mean to come of harsh. This is meant as constructive criticism, but I know sometimes when I get passionate about stuff it can feel like a sledgehammer bludgeoning those on the receiving end. And I’ve had that comment before from a few people.
But…….I DID win an award from Coda Magazine 20 years ago for “Best produced jazz album”……………and I spent 20 years in the audio business doing every kind of gig from the Willow in Somerville (capacity 20) to the 4th of July at Washington Monument for 235,000, to production help at FOH for The Wall gig with Roger Waters in Berlin…….so I feel confident that I have a grasp of the issues presented above.
I hope you don’t take offense to this, but just use some of the points I’ve made.
I’ve got to go listen to a Dire Straits record now.
If you want to hear good production, listen to Dire Straits-Brothers in Arms, Pink Floyd-The Wall, Sgt. Peppers-The Beatles (recorded on a pair of 4 tracks, bounced back and forth, or ANY Steely Dan record. I’m not a big fan of Steely Dan, but nothing is as clean as a Steely Dan record-maybe Brothers in Arms mentioned above is a close second.
Oh, and good production can be done anywhere. in a garage or the forest, as long as you are diligent, pay attention to technique, and Listen. But i did like the graphics………..