Engineer This!

His name is SPENCE PEPPARD. (No relation to George.) He is the engineer at Encore Studios in Nacogdoches, of Willie Nelson fame. He records mostly hard rock and country stuff. He’s a hell of a guy. A hell of an angry guy. A hell of a guy angry in the way that only an engineer can be: at the world.
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So as an addendum to February’s EQ Guide to Getting It’s 100 tips, he offered his following five cents.

1) One of us is not talented, and it’s not me.

2) Pro Tools will allow me to build a decent-sounding guitar solo for you even though you can only play three notes of it at a time. Your “Frankenstein” solo will sound good on the CD, but you will still suck live. One of us is supposed to have lightning-fast fingers, and it’s not me.

3) If you want to use the studio as a $125-an-hour rehearsal space, fine. Bands used to come to the studio ready to record, but whatever. I can fix all sorts of mistakes with Pro Tools. One of us is totally unprepared, and it’s not me.

4) You planned to do the entire rhythm section of your recording with loops. Now you don’t like that it sounds canned? One of us is an idiot. That would be the part of US that doesn’t include me.

5) A little compression makes music sound better. A lot of compression can make a CD sound better when played in a loud environment. I would like to produce just one recording where the client doesn’t insist on every meter being a solid bar, where there are some dynamics, and where everything isn’t compressed into a big, fat crap-cake. One of us will do that every time they’re given the chance. Can you guess which one of us that would be?