Old 03-05-2012, 08:24 PM   #1
fealow
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Default I don't understand some people...

I've just spent the last two days on a mix that I said I would do for free out of the goodness of my heart and the job interested me anyway.

Just sent the guy/girl a draft of the instrumental and this is what they tells me

"Perhaps there is clarity, but I guess I'm just not hearing the improvement... I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I don't see how this is better. I do not like the added snares now that I've heard the whole thing, and I don't like the way they sound. The bass is too quiet (especially the instrument at :39), I don't like how prominent the harp and choir are, and I don't like how far the instruments are panned. I don't like the echo, nor do I see the point of it. I'm not sure why, but sometimes it sounds like it was recorded through a tube. Maybe with vocals it'll sound better?

I do like the bass kick though, although it could be a little bassier. This could just be for posterity sake, but I prefer the original

Not sure what to say other than that :/"

I could not believe it, I don't claim to be the best sound engineer in the world, but I know my mix was better than the original. I would even be happy to let you compare the two.

Anyways, how does one deal with these kinds of people might I ask? -_-
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
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Anyways, how does one deal with these kinds of people might I ask? -_-


after this, they don't.

either there is a stylistic difference, or just a lack of respect or appreciation for what you are doing. Work with someone else.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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Must admit its not very often I hear "I don't like how far the instruments are panned" Though LOL.

Nothing in the mix is panned extreme right or left anyway
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:32 PM   #4
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Just so I can stay sane, I'l let you compare the two.

Now uploading...
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
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Here is the original (with vocals): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=682pneYoP0c

And here is my version (without vocals): http://www.mediafire.com/?4uq0enztilsu5nv

Its not finished yet so you may find a few things to point on for me, but its no where near as bad as he/she made it out to be!
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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Here is the original (with vocals): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=682pneYoP0c

And here is my version (without vocals): http://www.mediafire.com/?4uq0enztilsu5nv

Its not finished yet so you may find a few things to point on for me, but its no where near as bad as he/she made it out to be!

get out. now.

polish applied to turd maketh not element Au
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:42 PM   #7
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get out. now.

polish applied to turd maketh not element Au
I'm assuming you mean the recording quality? As in "even if you try to make shit look pretty, its still shit" ?
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:33 PM   #8
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Anyways, how does one deal with these kinds of people might I ask? -_-
One doesn't.

Seriously, was the original mix from the same guy who created the song? It is entirely possible that he hears the song in a certain way and that's really what he wants. When you say that your mix is better, it is better based on your appreciation of it. Mixing is an art. People will have different opinions, it is not an exact science.

He could have been a little nicer in his reply, however. Sometimes an open mind (or a little white lie) goes a long way. "Thanks, fealow. Your mix sounds very different. It imparts a totally different character to the song. It certainly gives me ideas. I appreciate your effort."
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:36 PM   #9
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One doesn't.

Seriously, was the original mix from the same guy who created the song? It is entirely possible that he hears the song in a certain way and that's really what he wants. When you say that your mix is better, it is better based on your appreciation of it. Mixing is an art. People will have different opinions, it is not an exact science.

He could have been a little nicer in his reply, however. Sometimes an open mind (or a little white lie) goes a long way. "Thanks, fealow. Your mix sounds very different. It imparts a totally different character to the song. It certainly gives me ideas. I appreciate your effort."
Actually he did have part in composing it and the original mix... Down to prosperity it is then I guess haha.

I tried to change very little of how the song mood (I personally love the song so I wouldn't want to change it too much anyway), I just spent hours making making everything sound better and glue it all in place.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:16 PM   #10
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Anyways, how does one deal with these kinds of people might I ask? -_-
Do what they say, that's what they're paying for. Call them, make them go to you studio, spend a day mixing with them in the room. Do everything they say no matter how stupid or crazy it may sound. Give them what they want, even when you think it won't work. No delay at all? Do that (they'll say "add a bit of delay" after they hear it... or not). You have to prove your point by doing it twice: their way and your way, they'll pick the best *for them*. Remember, it's their vision and way to conceive the song, not yours; you can give *ideas*, that's all.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:17 PM   #11
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Do what they say, that's what they're paying for. Call them, make them go to you studio, spend a day mixing with them in the room. Do everything they say no matter how stupid or crazy it may sound. Give them what they want, even when you think it won't work. No delay at all? Do that (they'll say "add a bit of delay" after they hear it... or not). You have to prove your point by doing it twice: their way and your way, they'll pick the best *for them*. Remember, it's their vision and way to conceive the song, not yours; you can give *ideas*, that's all.
This is true, however 1) I'm not being paid 2) I'm doing the song for my portfolio as well as his/her own benefit.

I think this person just hates reverb :/
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:21 PM   #12
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Okay, I'm going to let go of this whole which is better thing now.

It would be appreciated if you all could give me some pointers on where to improve the mix please. I know I'm going to have trouble with the bass because of room reflections, but that can be resolved with referencing elsewhere.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:36 PM   #13
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i always thought sending folk drafts/updates was a good idea to show you've been working and to check on 'direction' etc. but the unfortunate fact is your regular non engineery type has little concept of 'draft' or unfinished, and it can scare people or put them off or have them worried about random things.

for example you may have spent forever fixing a 5 second section and sent a clip over and he moans about stuff at the end which you haven't sorted out yet.

so many times i've found people who were all with me and loving how we were going have turned into pita doubters due to a single rushed out clip version that wasn't the helpful progress indicator i hoped for! u then have to go into full explanation mode to ensure things go smoothly.


the overall mix may be thin compared to his full, since he e/g stuffed it through some mastering preset, whilst you didn't do any of that as its a mix in progress. 'full' doesn't tell anything about the constituent parts of the mix. comparing apples with oranges folk will find a difference.


either you do as mercado said and be his bitch (nah) or you ignore him and us mostly and just listen afresh on many systems.

tbh u get advice overload here which i doubt is actually helpful. ,i'd run away and back yourself.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:43 PM   #14
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i always thought sending folk drafts/updates was a good idea to show you've been working and to check on 'direction' etc. but the unfortunate fact is your regular non engineery type has little concept of 'draft' or unfinished, and it can scare people or put them off or have them worried about random things.

for example you may have spent forever fixing a 5 second section and sent a clip over and he moans about stuff at the end which you haven't sorted out yet.

so many times i've found people who were all with me and loving how we were going have turned into pita doubters due to a single rushed out clip version that wasn't the helpful progress indicator i hoped for! u then have to go into full explanation mode to ensure things go smoothly.


the overall mix may be thin compared to his full, since he e/g stuffed it through some mastering preset, whilst you didn't do any of that as its a mix in progress. comparing apples with oranges folk will find a difference.


either you do as mercado said and be his bitch (nah) or you ignore him and us mostly and just listen afresh on many systems.

tbh u get advice overload here which i doubt is actually helpful. ,i'd run away and back yourself.
Thanks for that BenK, I did point out to him it was a draft for where I'm going with it. He also even said that he thought my use of reverb was pointless and I also mentioned that I had not had time to reference it on different monitors or rooms yet. But yeah I guess your right about the whole being scared thing.

I'll just work on it for my own enjoyment then post it on youtube and get more views lol.

I bet you won't be able to find the clarinet and various pianos in his mix, but you should have little trouble doing so with mine.

Also, I asked him what he was listening to it on and he never told me... I wonder why? o.O

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Old 03-05-2012, 09:53 PM   #15
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either you do as mercado said and be his bitch (nah) or you ignore him and us mostly and just listen afresh on many systems.
Man, I hate to be their bitch when working with new clients but once you've gained their trust, it's funny how everything you do sounds great for them heh

I give him this advice because I've been there so many times. I've spent hours automating, tweaking a filter, adding fxs, etc., just to delete everything the next day because they didn't like it. That's why I've approached this situation from a different angle: be their bitch I can spend more time on stuff I *do* enjoy after they live with a happy face because I * satisfied* their needs lol
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:21 PM   #16
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This is true, however 1) I'm not being paid 2) I'm doing the song for my portfolio as well as his/her own benefit.

I think this person just hates reverb :/
Then just stop working with that person, you're wasting your time and, from a creative and personal enrichment point of view, you won't gain anything good for your portfolio.
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:31 PM   #17
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Then just stop working with that person, you're wasting your time and, from a creative and personal enrichment point of view, you won't gain anything good for your portfolio.
I would just hate to walk away and feel like I'm no good at what I love doing and have been for years :/

I picked this one up because I thought a good composition was going to waste because it sounded so dull and lifeless, and then I get told the other one sounds fuller -_-

(For obvious reasons I can hear why it sounds fuller...)
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Old 03-05-2012, 09:35 PM   #18
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I would just hate to walk away and feel like I'm no good at what I love doing and have been for years :/
It's not you, it's him/her.

His/her vision of the song doesn't match your ideas and working on something you don't feel comfortable with is a pain you shouldn't live, even more when he/she isn't paying to "at least" make it worthwhile.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:43 PM   #19
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This is true, however 1) I'm not being paid 2) I'm doing the song for my portfolio as well as his/her own benefit.

I think this person just hates reverb :/
Your portfolio shouldn't be full of songs you mixed, it should be full of happy customers to whom you can refer future customers.

"Well, I did this one for this guy. It's not how I would have mixed it, but he loved it," is what you should be after.

And everyone should hate reverb abuse.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:04 PM   #20
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"Well, I did this one for this guy. It's not how I would have mixed it, but he loved it," is what you should be after.
I can't agree with that. It sounds like a noble work ethic for a hooker, but I'm looking to work with artists.

You can't say "It's not how I would have mixed it" about something that you have, in fact, mixed.

Both parties should be happy with the end product. Mixing should certainly be about unveiling the client's intentions, but if a person will only mix in accordance with a client's misinformed directions, then what's he doing that the client can't do for himself?
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And everyone should hate reverb abuse.
Sure, but did you listen to these mixes? I don't hear any reverb abuse....
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:51 PM   #21
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I can't agree with that. It sounds like a noble work ethic for a hooker, but I'm looking to work with artists.
That's all well and good, but as has been noted, you are not the artist here, you're the engineer. You're also working with someone else's art, not your own. You should be looking to fill the artist's vision, not yours.

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You can't say "It's not how I would have mixed it" about something that you have, in fact, mixed.
Sure you can. That is what being a professional is all about. You're performing a service for someone else. You don't have to agree with them, you just have to ensure they're happy.

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Both parties should be happy with the end product. Mixing should certainly be about unveiling the client's intentions, but if a person will only mix in accordance with a client's misinformed directions, then what's he doing that the client can't do for himself?
No, only the customer needs to be happy with the end product. You should be looking to create happy customers. He is using you because you have tools and expertise that will help realize his vision. You weren't asked to produce the song, you were asked to mix it. Those are very different roles.

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Sure, but did you listen to these mixes? I don't hear any reverb abuse....
I haven't, and I'm not saying you've abused the 'verb. I'm saying that if you can discern it as an effect, it's probably too much. It shouldn't be obvious. If it is, you should hate it, too.
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #22
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I hear reverb on vocals, but I think you got just the right amount. They need some pressence though imo to come a bit more in front. And I still think you have a bit too much low end.
Just trying to give some constructive criticism, don't take me wrong please
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Old 03-06-2012, 03:28 PM   #23
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Now, that I can agree with. I think the vocal should come up just a sniff, and the bass should come down two tads. There's also an ugly noise underlying the final sigh, which should be filtered out.
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