In The Studio-One Liners and Horror Stories : LUSENET : 3D Audio's Music Business Forum (SSS Temp) : One Thread

Here's a great idea for a thread. (Thanks PCCTomTrf for the idea. By the way, does that really stand for Tom Terrific? Am I showing my age?) Post your favorite studio jokes and funny experiences here. Along with some of your worst horror stories. If you've been in the studio at all you know you have them. Like the time you were telling the producer how badly the vocalist was doing, without realizing he was holding the talkback button down. Or the time the arranger kept telling the engineer "More horns, More horns!" until the engineer got so mad he took the fader cap off and threw it at the arranger saying "Your turn 'em up yourself!" (These are very real.) Or the time you asked the artist if he had backups of the ADAT masters you were mixing and as soon as said "I've never lost an ADAT tape on MY machines" your ADAT machine eats the vocal slave, with all the background and lead vocals! OUCH! (Don't try and pretend you haven't been there.) Let's hear them, the good, the bad, the out-of-tune. Don't hold back.

Lynn Fuston

-- Lynn Fuston (, February 08, 1998


I remember at a younger age having an engineer show me his xeroxed list of "engineer says/engineer means", and it was what wanted me to get over the sticks. The only one that's sticking out in my head is:

Engineer says: Maybe it's just not the right tone.

Engineer means: Give me that guitar and I'll eat you for breakfast.

It's true though, I've worked with enough bad everyones to learn by now that your being paid just as much to be the guy who taps his foot in feigned interest.


-- the artist formerly known as ai3000jfs (, February 08, 1998.

Advertising client to musician: Well, then could you play it down just half an octave? ******************** Advertising client to musician: Could you play less notes and more of them?

-- fred simon (, February 09, 1998.

I've been asked in mixdown if I could make someone's solid-state guitar amplifier tone sound like a tube amplifier tone. I looked at him strangely.

I did it, though.

I ran the bloody signal out to a tube distortion box, then into an amp, miced it, then sent the miced signal back to the board. It wasn't the most happening tone, but it was good enough for the guitarist.

-- Ken/Eleven Shadows (, February 09, 1998.

I once had a vocalist that required a mirror to record a lead vocal track. I asked him why, he replied: " I can watch myself".

Damn that was a long session...

One more I recall... During a normal, run of the mill karaoke session (you know..the kind where someone comes in after all their friends have told them how good they are and they want to sing "Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love"...) Anyway...this particular woman began singing..I finished the track and asked her if she wanted to come into the control room to hear the playback... two lines into the first verse and she began SOBBING "I can't sing!" She then bailed out of the studio..never saw her again....didn't get paid on that one either...LOL


-- Donny Thompson (, February 09, 1998.

Here's a Nashville favorite:

"That was perfect! Let's do one more.

-- Bert Stevens (, February 09, 1998.

Anyone else ever send a demo DAT to an important, interested cat, only to have him tell you three weeks later that it was blank?, me either.

-- Doug Robinson (, February 09, 1998.

Doug, at least, er, that person who sent a blank tape would know that he had bothered to listen to it!

-- Ken/Eleven Shadows (, February 09, 1998.

I learned the recording craft in the early 1970's in Chicago, at Universal Recording, under some great engineers, among them was Bruce Swedein. When preparing for a session, Bruce would look at the instrumentation list, then instruct the assistant (go-fer) with regard to mic selection and placement, console set-up, etc. He would always end with "and put a blonde under the console." One day, when Bonnie Herman (a knockout vocalist you've heard on a million jingles and maybe a few records, who had looks to match her pipes) was scheduled in, she agreed to hide under the console. At the appropriate moment, she ran her fingers up the inside of Bruce's thigh. A short time thereafter (after Bruce was peeled off the ceiling) he announced his intent to move to California. I still wonder if there is a connection there?

-- Tom Armbruster (, February 09, 1998.


I love optimists!

Hi, Ken.

-- dOUG rOBINSON (, February 10, 1998.

Years ago a client wanted to book 1 hour of studio time to record 45 minutes worth of music. I simply said "You don't want to listen to all of it played back then"?

...and just 2 days ago:

while listening to live drum overdubs to drum machine tracks on tape and noting the mistakes, one of the producers said they were " a faux paux for some other reason".

-- Keith Veshecco (, February 13, 1998.

<> If this is the female singer with "SINGERS UNLIMITED",She has the best pitch of any singer I have ever heard!

-- Jay (, February 20, 1998.

Jay's in the house!

Nice to hear your voice, that's all.

-- Doug Robinson (, February 20, 1998.

>>If [Bonnie Herman] is the female singer with "SINGERS UNLIMITED", She >>has the best pitch of any singer I have ever heard

Yes, she is, and yes, she does. Bonnie has sung on a few of my records, and her intonation is uncanny. And a beautiful clear voice. And fun and easy to work with. A great singer and a real sweetheart.

Bonnie also sings on one of my very favorite records -- composer/bassist Eberhard Weber's "Fluid Rustle" on ECM ... a luminescent and transcendent album.

-- fred simon (, February 23, 1998.

Here's a favorite. Jingle client calls, and they know exactly what they want. "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" plain and simple. One instrument. All acoustic. They're not sure what instrument though. The producer suggests either piano or guitar. So they give the go-ahead and the producer books the talent and the studio. He records two versions of the same arrangement, one on acoustic piano, the other on guitar. He calls the client in Chicago and plays them both over the phone, and then asks "Which do you like better, the piano or the guitar?" The client, slightly befuddled, responds "Which one was the piano?"

Lynn Fuston

-- Lynn Fuston (, March 16, 1998.

Well, the day arrived. I had finally gotten a new workstation (expanded Mr-61) and had unpacked it and set it up with ease. The sound was amazing! Great synth textures, vocal samples, and a few usable loops. Fine. Well to celebrate my "new arrival" I suggested to a friend that we have a couple of screwdrivers. As you can imagine: mine ended up spread across every key, slowly dripping into every crack known to man. After the spill sunk in (pun intended) and my shock ended, I grabbed a box of tissues to try and help the keyboard from drowning. It was horrible, pieces of tissue started disappearing between keys, and of course I ended spending a couple of hundred bucks getting it fixed. G 3 still doesn't work!

-- Joseph Troskie (, March 17, 1998.

My identity must remain secret on this one. I'm not sure if it is funny, sad, or just the universe balancing itself. A studio I do work at sometimes is owned by a sub label of Virgin. They don't handle business very well and don't pay their artists their royalties. Well a certain artist (after two gold records) recently had enough of this treatment and threw a grenade in one of the control rooms. The studio caught on fire and burned up a recently unpgraded C2000 Euphonix, 12 DA-88's, Neumen U47 and 2 U87, and a slew of other preproduction and post production peices. Oh yeah, the tapes of the artist the label is currently working on were ruined too. Now the label has to pay a few artists to do their albums over ranging from the first stages to completed projects. If they would have just paid the guy his royalties they would have avoided paying out to all these other people and rebuilding a studio that was not insured. Some people just don't appreciate what they have.

-- X ( really), March 28, 1998.

Wow... now that's a horror story.... forget the gear and the tapes.. damn..what if someone had been in the studio at the time?? Regardless of the way business was done... I can't conceive of taking that kind of action... and all along I thought it was just Postal workers...


-- Donny Thompson (, March 29, 1998.

I guess this guy had never heard Zappa/s maxim... when in doubt, demand an audit.

-- Kevin Thomas (, April 12, 1998.

I'm sure we have all had our fair share of this one...i recently recorded some young punk rock band...these guys would have been "decent" had they not tried to sing. The guy went in my vocal booth and layed down his track, he was so off I kept searching through all of the tracks on the console and his headphone mix, to see if he was listening to a different guitar tuned a different way then i was...i think he hit one or two correct notes, he walked in the control room and asked me if i noticed any spots to puch in...i felt like responding..."yes, i think you were on key in two spots, would you like to puch those in"...instead i thought that if i played him back the track he could see how bad it was...instead he said..."that sounds great, lets do the next one"

-- (, November 05, 1998.

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