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Nov 2

Written by: masterblogger
11/2/2010 3:48 AM  RssIcon

BY BOB KETCHUM

This incident happened several years ago here at my studio. I had just earned a couple of gold records working with Krokus (http://clients.oznet.com/cedarcrest/krokus.html) on Arista, and received some album credits as well. A guitarist in Los Angeles had somehow heard about my studio, and wanted to come here to Arkansas and cut some demos for a prospective record company.

This guitarist had an enormous ego and upon arriving at the studio, insisted that he be allowed to engineer the session as well as produce it. In cases like this I simply back off and let the client do what they want. After all, it is what the studio business is all about—making money.

Well, this control freak blew his entire budget fooling around before he even had all the basic tracks done, much less overdubs. It was painfully obvious to the rest of the band that he didn’t know the signal flow of my setup, but he refused any suggestions on my part and waved me away whenever I approached him. I finally shrugged my shoulders and went back to the kitchen, where I spent the rest of the session hanging with the band.

Every once in a while one of the guys would show up in the kitchen with a real scared look and tell some horrific new tale of Mr. Ego’s illfated journey into engineering. I wandered into the control room during mixdown and couldn’t believe my ears. I had never heard something sound so bad coming out of my facility. This guy had EQ’ed all the guitars way off the scale! There was not one channel strip that did not have the EQ cranked all the way up in some fashion.

After the mixes were done, I informed the guy that I would prefer the studio’s name not be included anywhere on the tape box, citing that it was “his project,” not mine. But I felt so sorry for the rest of the band that I actually sat down after they left and remixed the entire project (four songs). I sent those mixes to the other guys in the band with instructions that this was on me and not to tell Mr. Ego. I received several grateful letters of thanks from California about a week later.

Needless to say, Mr. Ego did not get the record deal.

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