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Author Topic: Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix  (Read 12401 times)

Scott Olewiler

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Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix
« on: November 30, 2015, 01:06:15 pm »

I'm curious how everyone feels about this.

I have band client who wants to use me on a half dozen or so shows over the next couple months and quite frankly, I'm a little leery about doing them because I'm afraid their unprofessionalism, poor amp tone, and loud stage volume is just going to make me look bad.  I'm not sure there's a way to create a mix with these guys that's anywhere near the caliber that I'm used to presenting. 

I'm already commited to doing them again this week, so I'll see if I can talk them off the ledge as fara as stage volume again, but is it realy worth damaging my reputation by accepting this work and potentially making myself look bad to other potential clients.  Are clients sophisticated enough to know I'm trying to make lemonade out of lemons or will they just assume I'm the problem?
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Goerge Thomas

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Re: Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2015, 01:19:56 pm »

I'm curious how everyone feels about this.

I have band client who wants to use me on a half dozen or so shows over the next couple months and quite frankly, I'm a little leery about doing them because I'm afraid their unprofessionalism, poor amp tone, and loud stage volume is just going to make me look bad.  I'm not sure there's a way to create a mix with these guys that's anywhere near the caliber that I'm used to presenting. 

I'm already commited to doing them again this week, so I'll see if I can talk them off the ledge as fara as stage volume again, but is it realy worth damaging my reputation by accepting this work and potentially making myself look bad to other potential clients.  Are clients sophisticated enough to know I'm trying to make lemonade out of lemons or will they just assume I'm the problem?

I have passed up clients after working with them and not enjoying them or their show or their talent. It happens.

It all depends on a few things for me. Does the band think I'm doing a great job even if I think they suck? If they do, then at least they may recommend me to other bands by word of mouth! What type of venue is it? High class or dive bar. Most dive bar venues that I have been at working with low talent bands don't bother me as long as the venue doesn't think the sound is bad. Most bars know when a band is bad and not the sound guy in my experience. Also, what type of pay are you looking at and do you need the pay? Sometimes I pass up a $250-$350 bar show when the band just sucks. I'm not usually expecting or rarely have made a high paying gig contact working a $250 dive bar show with a crappy band. Do you frequent this venue often or wish to in the future? My work comes from word of mouth band to band and my outdoor festivals or nicer bars or corporate gigs.

Ask yourself this and weigh the pros and cons.

If you had asked me this question 9 years ago when I just started out with my little starter jbl jrx/mackie system making $125 a night if I was lucky then maybe I would have felt different. I had to start somewhere. Now I can be more picky.

SO for me, do I think the guys are nice enough, do I need the money, do they like my work? Reputation means something yes, but it is relative depending on the gig to me!

On the flipside, be open with them about their stage volume. Amps too loud? Can they not hear themselves? Is that just how they practice? Have them point them across the stage or at their own faces and not at the crowd. This always works for me. Then it's just the drummer who usually is too loud.

Have fun. It's just another band and another show  8)

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Re: Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2015, 01:23:25 pm »

When in doubt, kick them out.
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John Penkala

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Re: Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2015, 01:25:38 pm »

I'm curious how everyone feels about this.

I have band client who wants to use me on a half dozen or so shows over the next couple months and quite frankly, I'm a little leery about doing them because I'm afraid their unprofessionalism, poor amp tone, and loud stage volume is just going to make me look bad.  I'm not sure there's a way to create a mix with these guys that's anywhere near the caliber that I'm used to presenting. 

I'm already commited to doing them again this week, so I'll see if I can talk them off the ledge as fara as stage volume again, but is it realy worth damaging my reputation by accepting this work and potentially making myself look bad to other potential clients.  Are clients sophisticated enough to know I'm trying to make lemonade out of lemons or will they just assume I'm the problem?

     If you would like to work with them albeit under better circumstances as you've outlined, I would have that conversation with them. The problem is when 20 of their best fans tell them that they sounded awesome and you know they didn't. That common scenario is hard to overcome unless you have mature-minded musicians. The best advice I can give you is to seek out Win-Win or No Deal relationships. That means you won't enter into a business relationship if the arrangement doesn't mutually benefit both parties. If its not Win-Win then it's No Deal. You mutually agree not to do the gigs where a Win-Win is not possible. It's hard to take this advice if you are young and/or hungry and need the gig. However, it's a way of thinking to aspire to.
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Keith Broughton

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Re: Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2015, 01:29:26 pm »


I'll see if I can talk them off the ledge as fara as stage volume again, but is it realy worth damaging my reputation by accepting this work and potentially making myself look bad to other potential clients.  Are clients sophisticated enough to know I'm trying to make lemonade out of lemons or will they just assume I'm the problem?
If they havn't arrived at a reasonable stage volume by now, what are the chances of improvement?
The average client will make you the "problem" and don't care for who is squeezing the lemons.
Just the fact you have arrived at this question speaks volumes.
I too have had a client that made the show so much harder and more of a PITA than it needed to be and didn't work the show again.
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Goerge Thomas

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Re: Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2015, 01:37:15 pm »

It's hard to take this advice if you are young and/or hungry and need the gig. However, it's a way of thinking to aspire to.

Well said.
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Bill Hornibrook

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Re: Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2015, 01:38:05 pm »

Are clients sophisticated enough to know I'm trying to make lemonade out of lemons or will they just assume I'm the problem?
Most loud bands have members who just like it loud onstage, and will justify it by saying that they feed off the energy, need it for their "tone", etc.

But most loud bands also have members who would like levels kept more reasonable, but are being quiet about it or are just not getting their way in band meetings. So there is hope here.

If it were me, I'd present it to the whole band - saying that you can't do your job when they are insanely loud onstage, and that if they can't control their stage volume you can't provide sound for them beyond the next two gigs.

But that's me. Life's too short and I don't need the money to put up with hassles like this.

Just out of curiosity... who on earth is hiring them this day in age? Clubs just aren't putting up with this kind of crap anymore. How are they managing to stay booked? Are they going over?

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Keith Broughton

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Re: Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2015, 01:53:25 pm »


 Life's too short and I don't need the money to put up with hassles like this.


Yep  :D
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g'bye, Dick Rees

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Re: Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2015, 02:14:34 pm »

Turn the PA off and when the band complains, tell them you have to run it at that level to get your "tone"...
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Jerome Malsack

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Re: Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2015, 02:52:37 pm »

I have also had the venue telling me to turn down because I was going over the stage volume.  The band was saying turn it up. 
So I turned it down for the venue.  Band eventually fired me for following the venues.   They fired 4 different sound people and then the band imploded. 
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Re: Firing the Client Because They're Hard To Mix
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2015, 02:52:37 pm »


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