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Old 03-15-2013, 04:29 AM   #1
chatterbox272
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Who want's to play a game of guess how much this cost my BL?

I did some recording about a month ago with my band and I've finally got the stuff back and am really not happy with it. Regardless it's what we have so it's what we've got to use and I just thought it'd be interesting to see what UG thinks this was worth.

Information:
Studio was a home studio run by a guy here in Perth, WA called Priam Bacich.
Tracking was done in two ~6 hour days.
Time for mixing is unknown, he did much of it without us there.
Time for mastering is also unknown for the same reasons.
We tracked a mic'd drum kit, a bass, and one guitar line plus overdubs/solos. Each song had 1 - 2 takes per instrument.
We recorded 7 songs.
This is a sample of what we received as the mixed and mastered final version: http://www.masquerade19.com/Music----XOXO-.html
I'll reveal the total price either after I get a reasonable number of guesses, or after it's been sitting a while with only a few posts and starts to die.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:33 AM   #2
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The background noise sounds like it was recorded/mixed through a Behringer product, it has that tell tale sound.

My guess is $100 Australian per song based on what I would expect to pay locally for this quality in Canada. If you paid more than that, the studio owner has an ego and thinks he is a producer of some sort.
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Old 03-15-2013, 06:59 AM   #3
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Jesus christ, that's seriously amateur work. I wouldn't pay more than about 40 for this kind of mixing, though it sounds like the tracking/engineering is usable enough.

- Cymbals and snare are overcompressed and harsh
- Kick doesn't have enough cut and is pretty rough sounding overall
- The toms seem to be about five miles away
- Guitar is mono and dead center - c'mon, double-track it or at least pan it off to one side to leave space for the vocals, that's Mixing 101.
- Bass is flubby and undefined
- Vocals are a little quiet and don't sit well at all. Sounds like a cheap dynamic mic
- Whole mix is lacking in bass and way too forward in the upper midrange, with crap stereo imaging


I recommend you request master tapes off him (as dry, time-aligned wav files). You could hold a mixoff on UG and get better results straight away. I strongly recommend recording a second track of rhythm guitar to get that wide, modern sound.
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Old 03-15-2013, 07:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle62
Jesus christ, that's seriously amateur work. I wouldn't pay more than about 40 for this kind of mixing, though it sounds like the tracking/engineering is usable enough.

You know how I said we are planning on doing the next one ourselves? this and the other 6 tracks we did for this EP are the reason why we're doing that.
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Last edited by chatterbox272 : 03-15-2013 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:37 AM   #5
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Yeah, this really isn't a great result. Somebody else said 40 and $100Aus. So yeah if you paid more than 50 you should probably request the master wav files and run a mile
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
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Honestly, there have been kids in my Audio Engineering High School course that have put out better work than this.

I'm assuming $150 each. + mixing/mastering time. Or $1000 AUS Flat rate for everything.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:13 AM   #7
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I have no idea what the rates are for this kind of work, but it was really thin and just sounded like the mix was desperately trying to hold the song back, if that makes sense. Still, it managed to get stuck in my head so I guess you've succeeded on your part as a band!
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:56 AM   #8
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I know I'm going to forget to do this if I leave it anymore and it gets further down the page so here it is.

The cost of 7 tracks recorded mixed and mastered at that quality was

show


So, who thought it'd even come close to that? I know we didn't
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Old 03-16-2013, 08:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chatterbox272
I know I'm going to forget to do this if I leave it anymore and it gets further down the page so here it is.

The cost of 7 tracks recorded mixed and mastered at that quality was

show


So, who thought it'd even come close to that? I know we didn't

HOLY ****ING MOLY

You're joking. Please tell me you're joking.

How did you agree on the cost? I would personally ask him to break down his costs between tracking, mixing and mastering, and then only pay for the tracking - unless he delivers a mix that's up to standard.


This isn't a naive band expecting unrealistic results or anything like that, this is a mix that both seasoned engineers and casual listeners would describe as 'poor and amateur'. You've got every right to withhold payment until it's done to the appropriate standard - and at You should post to Gearslutz and Reddit too, build up

PROTIP: Anyone who offers 'mixing and mastering' combined, and does it all in the same studio, is an amateur. Mastering on the same monitoring rig you mixed with is bad practice.


This has got to be a joke. For $570 a track you could have easily hired a producer online like Steve Albini (Nirvana/Manic Street Preachers/Iggy Pop) or Chris Brown (Radiohead/Muse/Pink Floyd/Metallica)?


EDIT: Is it this pretentious douchebag ?
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Last edited by kyle62 : 03-16-2013 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:08 AM   #10
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I wish I could say I was joking, at the moment I'm just so thankful that the only loss I make of this is time and whatever share of the CD I would have earned until it's paid off (which will likely be never).
Unfortunately he has already been paid by my BL (who organised the money and recording himself), I'm more after confirmation of my belief that we got ripped and to hopefully make it so a google search of this guy (who is the same one you linked too yes) pulls this story up from somewhere.
I had so many things making me wonder about how legit he was from the second we arrived but I was assured that he was good and the samples I'd heard sounded fine for what we told him we were willing to spend (a total of $2500 for all of it). I mean, his 'studio' was a back room with a few egg cartons haphazardly glued to the walls (they work for treatment, but this wasn't in any kind of treatment pattern, it was totally random). And I was really iffy when he insisted on micing my bass rig and not taking a DI (my rig is a DigiTech BP355 multiFX unit going into the FX return of a Fender Rumble 350 combo, not recording material at all). On top of that there's the fact he was using really old gear I'd never heard of (including a DAW called Paris) on a computer running windows 98. I know they say a great engineer can do great things with crappy gear but that doesn't mean they should be using exclusively crappy gear.

Worst part about it IMO is that from the samples I've heard he's capable of doing much better, which means he took advantage of my BL's trust (which he'd already earned due to having taught my BL guitar for years) and screwed us over big time. I mean if he's charging over $500 a song to sound like that, then we beginners here on UG should be charging $1000 for some of the stuff we knock up in a couple of hours and throw to the Crit My Mix thread.
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:41 AM   #11
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This saddens me, sorry to hear it dude. It's sickening that people like him can make any money, yet some of us (myself included) would offer far more reasonable prices but struggle to find the clients and lack a live studio space
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:02 AM   #12
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I'm pretty sure anyone here has a better 'studio space' than he did. I will be making sure my BL shops around next time we go to do this (not that I think he'll need much encouragement). Hell, if you or kyle didn't happen to be across an ocean I would've got him to check you guys out. Might do so in future, we can track just fine here it's only the engineers that suck.
It must be something in the air around here, professionals charging $4000 for recordings that sound no better than something I could do in my bedroom for less than $500 if I were buying all my gear from scratch, 3rd year SAE students handing in final assignments that sound worse than the first recording I did with no proper EQ and clipping on every track, Perth is balls .

The one saving grace for me personally is it's seriously making me consider grabbing the last few bits I need for my bedroom studio and putting my services up in the classifieds for like $50 a song or something. I'm by no means good but (at least I think) I'm better than what this guy produced and the supply of multitracks would do wonders for me giving me more opportunities to mix a variety of stuff and get artist feedback.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:23 AM   #13
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Dude, based on that guy's website and online presence, he's not trying to scam people...he's delusional.


Frankly your BL (I assume that's Bandleader?) is a bit of a fool too.

You could have had 'name' producers with Neve consoles and racks of outboard for that kind of budget....and instead he blew it on some egomaniacal bedroom hack.

I recommend emaiing or calling the guy and asking for the master tapes - it's your legal right to do so. He has every right to ask for a small fee to cover the time it takes to get the masters bounced down to the format you want, although he'd have a bloody cheek if he did.

By the sound of it his engineering is alright, the raw tracks could probably be fixed up nicely by a mix engineer with half a brain.


EDIT: On a side note, PARIS is pretty old now but it's still a fairly solid DAW, I wouldn't judge someone for using it. It was sold as an integrated system, kind of like Pro Tools - really high end stuff back in the day. There's a few diehards still using it because it apparenetly adds some interesteing colouration, but it was last updated 13 years ago and it's not really worth the effort these days!
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Last edited by kyle62 : 03-16-2013 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle62
Dude, based on that guy's website and online presence, he's not trying to scam people...he's delusional.


Frankly your BL (I assume that's Bandleader?) is a bit of a fool too.

He could have had 'name' producers with Neve desks and racks of outboard for that kind of budget....and instead he blew it on some self-obsessed bedroom hack.

I recommend emaiing or calling the guy ans asking for the master tapes - it's your legal right to do so. By the sound of it his engineering is alright, they could probably be fixed up nicely by a mix engineer with half a brain.

I don't know whether I mentioned it, but our budget was not $4000. Our budget, which he was strictly told to not go over, was $2500. But my BL (you're correct btw, it does mean bandleader) is a major pushover and the guy had the tracks and was already partially paid.
I will most definitely be sending an e-mail, but I don't think I'll be able to get anything off him (looking at his computer I suspect he uses dial up internet and it's a 1.5 hour drive each way if I were to pick them up, not to mention I have a strong urge to punch him in the face). Also looking at his equipment, I don't know whether it's capable of non-destructive editing (Paris is a very old environment, with lots of analogue hardware) which would mean he's screwed them up permanently anyway.
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:10 PM   #15
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Woah, checked out the link (that's the guy, right?)... who the hell advertises that they have Garageband?! And the mic list is... not exactly glowing. Alesis monitors? Euww.

In fact, the only thing on there other than the obvious '57 for tracking guitars/snare at times that I'd consider desirable in any way is the FMR Really Nice Compressor but they're dirt cheap anyway, just pretty cool for the price.

show


If you can get the raw files in any way from him, even if they're already edited by him, you could post them up here for everybody here to have a go and get some practise with the mixing (assuming you'd be OK to do so, I mean you've already spent $4,000 so I don't think you really wanna pay me, Kyle or anybody else on here even more money just to get a mix you're happy with when you could have people on here have a go for free and at the least you're contributing to the community here!).


Edit: Holy huge image, Batman! Yeah, anyway, another thing... on the bit about his production services on his site, why does he list jazz guitar certification as a qualification? What relevance does that have to audio engineering?
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Old 03-16-2013, 12:25 PM   #16
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ah, no I wouldn't be spending another cent on this EP. It's already off being pressed to however many CDs were ordered. I was more talking in future, I mean there's quite evidently nothing worth going near here in Perth.
If I can get multitracks then here comes another UG mixoff for sure. If not then it's only a matter of time, we're already starting to pick out the songs for the next one and I'm sure I'll get at least one tracks worth of DI's and MIDI Drums (which is how we're planning on doing the next one) up here.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chatterbox272
I know I'm going to forget to do this if I leave it anymore and it gets further down the page so here it is.

The cost of 7 tracks recorded mixed and mastered at that quality was

show


So, who thought it'd even come close to that? I know we didn't



I don't mean to laugh, but that's crazy!

For $4000 here, you could get a professional track, mix and master, from an engineer who has major label credits


I mean, I don't even charge half of that, and I'm using gear that has amounted to probably $15,000... Not that quality of gear is really a correlation of how great the end result would be, but if the guy didn't have some major label credits, I'd tell him to **** off at that price if he wasn't running some great gear that at least made it somewhat sensible to pay that much.

That being said, Ensoniq Paris was actually a very well revered DAW in its day, and still is in many circles. Supposedly very "analogue" sounding, but why he'd be using it on Windows 98 is beyond me. It has Windows 7 drivers as far as I know - I don't know any "professional" studio using ANYTHING that old. If anything, I'd upgrade the OS just based on the principal that I'd be embarrassed if a client saw me running such an ancient operating system.

He lists a Macbook Pro on his site - I'd be even more scared of giving a studio that much money if he's going to record me on a laptop. No offense to people using laptops to record, but for $4000, I'd expect to see a desktop with a big monitor or two

I'd also be concerned with the quality of his website and fliers. If he was professional, he'd invest the time and money in making himself look the part. Even studios that are impossible to get into have updated websites that look super professional, even though it makes no difference, as the general public can't get into them. It looks like his website was built back in 98 on Notepad when he bought his computer

BTW, next time you record, check out Ermin from Systematic Productions, he's in Australia, though I have no idea if he's close, and I'd be surprised if he charged much more than that for an EP, let alone just mixing and mastering. He's a regular over at the Sneap forum and while he does seem to specialize in music heavier than yours, I've heard some lighter mixes by him and they were equally as impressive
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:37 PM   #18
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^And he wrote the Systematic Guide To Mixing that, while a bit short, is fairly well-respected both here and on Sneap forum
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:14 PM   #19
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Yeah we might check him out for mixing/mastering. Wouldn't be able to track there though, Melbourne is the opposite side of the country to Perth, it's about a 4 hour flight each way :/
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