I worked with a band this week who really impressed me. Not because of their musical ability, their great song writing, or their crafted guitar tone (although all those elements were certainly there). But because they had what I think is the perfect 'studio artist' combination! Confidently knowing the sound they wanted, yet being humble enough to allow the producer to shape and better that sound.
The day before, we did a couple hours of Pre-Production (some live passes of the track loosely mic'ed). Although the song was solid, and the parts well written, there were some obvious problems in the arrangement. Some parts weren't locked into the groove, some parts perhaps needed to be simplified in order to create more space for the prominent parts etc. So anyway, as the band came back into the control room, we had a listen back to a couple of the rough live mixes. Then, as the producer of the project, I said "I want to give this track the best chance at being successful, so... can I be brutal with you guys?"
Now, what makes a good studio artist? All five members of the band said "Yes, please be brutally honest with us, we want this to be the best it can be." From this moment I knew we were going to get a good sound out of this track. The band was confident in their own direction, and humble in accepting correction.
The next day as we laid down all the parts over the 8 hours of tracking, we changed a lot of things. We re-wrote a lot of the parts that we're creating clashes or holes in our sound. The guys stayed positive and energetic and were happy to be told, "that take wasn't tight enough, I need you to do it again". They were constantly around and alert, pitching in their own ideas to better the track. At the end of the session we had some really, really good stuff! I am very excited to start mixing this track as soon as I hit 'publish' on this studio blog.
Oh, did I mention these guys are 16 years old!
Band credit - Crimson Royale
The single 'You Drive Me Crazy' will be available in May 2017