Tight release dates for unfinished songs - I am stumped...

hotspot

Venerated Member
Can anyone tell me what exactly is the reason for amateurs setting tight schedules to release songs that are far from being even close to being finished?

Hardly any budget, no team in the background, skills that can charitably be described as improvable.
A lyric, a few chords, a bit of melody, 50% of it sung completely off-key. But the song has to be released in January!
What? Why? For what?

Why does any song have to be released at all when people actually need to work hard on their skills? There's already enough half-cooked stuff coming on the portals every day.

I just don't understand it. Maybe I'm just too old and a bit tired, maybe I've been doing this for too long. But I can't always follow the zeitgeist as it presents itself.

Maybe it takes a few direct words to tell people that it's just not there yet.
Most people can handle direct words only a little bit.

I think openness and honesty is one of the bigger challenges of producing other people's stuff these days.

Just had to get that off my chest.
 

BeingHumans

Active Member
Having been to this party,..
I’m going to guess “it’s gotta be out in January man”, is because that’s when some “big show” is and they’re promoting heavy for it & “all they’re fans” will be there to see them and some other “artists”… there’ll be lotsa girls and our drummer who can’t play two consecutive bars at the same tempo without going into his seizure-fills (my blast beats bro) might finally get laid (he won’t).

I like your idea of being more assertive and honest but it is a delicate balance because you’re basically their psychologist/mentor throughout the process and we both know some kids these days can’t take much tough love without flipping the f out (thank you IPhone gifting parents).
It’s touchy and must be assessed at a case by case basis, some will be quite receptive and it will all go smooth, others might make you want to want to question your life choices and possibly even question if you might need to start bringing a gun,.. just in case - because that one mofo is NUTS.

Like I said, I’ve been to that party,

My hat’s off to you in your general direction good sir, I wish for you luck.
Cheers!
 

FutureLegends

Active Member
January seems plenty of time!
I used to introduce new songs to my band at soundcheck and once I booked a show 6 weeks ahead and I had only one song and no band… 😂

But I get that releasing songs that aren’t that good is a waste. But personally I get nothing done unless I have a deadline… I can write a song in a day if there’s a deadline. I can’t write a song in a year if there’s no deadline 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

JamesNorth

Hall of Fame Member
A lot of the time with independent artists there's no release plan or marketing plan - all the money has been sunk into the production process.

As such - a date will often be picked due to sentimental reasons or gig-booking reasons.

you’re basically their psychologist/mentor throughout the process
Believe me, this becomes a burden - I am in a challenging position mentally after 20+ years guiding people through the production process and all the interaction, pressure to come up with parts on the spot, one-on-one forced time with people and their own anxieties etc etc that comes with the job.
 

hotspot

Venerated Member
All music busness deadlines are bullsh*t.
Now that's a statement! Very cool.
All the more true for people who shouldn't expect so much from their release anyway.
And where is actually no reason to rush.

I think I'm going to reject that.
Do you want to put your name to things that you don't stand behind and that you personally wouldn't have released yet?
I don't want to do that.
 

UniversalAudio

Official UA Representative
Now that's a statement! Very cool.
All the more true for people who shouldn't expect so much from their release anyway.
And where is actually no reason to rush.

I think I'm going to reject that.
Do you want to put your name to things that you don't stand behind and that you personally wouldn't have released yet?
I don't want to do that.
It depends. If I am just engineering and it's a "work for hire" situation, then it's not my call in any way.

If I am producing, it's a different and more delicate situation. If you're not happy, you can request to have your name taken off. This has happened a lot in the past.
 

hotspot

Venerated Member
If I am producing, it's a different and more delicate situation. If you're not happy, you can request to have your name taken off. This has happened a lot in the past.
It’s producing in this case.
Yes, remaining anonymous is an option. But since the process also requires a lot of mentoring and I personally stand for something other than these quick throwaways, I would have to lie to myself. Money aside, that doesn't play a decisive role here.
 

UniversalAudio

Official UA Representative
It’s producing in this case.
Yes, remaining anonymous is an option. But since the process also requires a lot of mentoring and I personally stand for something other than these quick throwaways, I would have to lie to myself. Money aside, that doesn't play a decisive role here.
Have you been able to sit with the principals and have a heart to heart? I find that when they know how invested you are in things, their attitude can and often does change.

When they realize that it's impacting you enough to have this talk (do it at lunch/dinner/coffee, not in the studio), it frequently leads to actions/changes.
 

hotspot

Venerated Member
any other product is tested and perfected before it’s announced, let alone mass produced and released. Worry about the product being good first, then plan once you know what you’re dealing with
Very wise, I'll put that in my notes. Thank you!
 

klasaine

Hall of Fame Member
It’s akin to when you were in your first band in high school and the first thing you did, before ever playing a note, was talk about what the band name was gonna be.
 

hotspot

Venerated Member
It’s akin to when you were in your first band in high school and the first thing you did, before ever playing a note, was talk about what the band name was gonna be.
I remember :)
It's probably comparable to today...aren't you on Spotify? Then you're not making music.

Apropos: A new customer recently came in and said: Help me make my songs sound like Spotify and not like Soundcloud like they do now.
Aha, so that's what I do. I make your songs sound like Spotify and no longer like Soundcloud.
Well, if that's not something :)
 

hotspot

Venerated Member
entire albums could still be made before January. Seems like the above is a talent issue, not a deadline issue.
A challenge or just a claim?
Will anyone want to listen to the album?

If there's one thing I've learnt, it's that talent plays a much smaller role than is generally assumed. Especially when producing an album, discipline and resilience are much more important than the best talent.
There are a lot of talented people who end up getting nothing done.
 
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BeingHumans

Active Member
Believe me, this becomes a burden - I am in a challenging position mentally after 20+ years guiding people through the production process and all the interaction, pressure to come up with parts on the spot, one-on-one forced time with people and their own anxieties etc etc that comes with the job.
Which is why I walked away from it years ago and only help record close friends when I’m not recording my own songs.

Back when I was engineering for local bands, it was rare occasions where I had great players coming in recording exciting original material - those moments sadly were not frequent enough for me and hand-holding for hobbyists gets nobody anywhere useful imho.

If all I had were those jazz guys coming in to record I’d probably still be doing it, they absolutely kill it and then thank you for making it sound amazing (pssst, it’s because they sound amazing and know how to deliver a take).

Then the kids come in and it’s all the same equipment but… The beginners are always chasing something most of them cannot begin to be able to describe in any detail and certainly not accomplish quickly. Their results tend to make them ask the question, “can you make it sound cooler?”
Yes I could, if we rewrote everything and had good players tracking it. I’m salty.

have fun!!!
 

hotspot

Venerated Member
The beginners are always chasing something most of them cannot begin to be able to describe in any detail and certainly not accomplish quickly.
Yes, and usually after the 3rd take they are exhausted and get impatient as to why it takes so long to get their takes tight.

But it doesn't necessarily get any easier when you work with bands that have already made 2 or 3 albums and already have a certain reputation. That's where the big ego comes into play and the assumption that they already know exactly how everything works.
It's exhausting to the point where you've pulled the wool over their eyes. It's actually a stupid game, psychological bullshit.

How pleasant it is to work with people who accept that nobody is perfect and simply work towards a common goal in a cooperative and respectful manner.
Dignity.
 

BeingHumans

Active Member
How pleasant it is to work with people who accept that nobody is perfect and simply work towards a common goal in a cooperative and respectful manner.
Dignity.
Those are the absolute best situations and when they happen it’s almost dreamlike because they seem to happen so rarely.

Kinda like those few times you played in a band that was locked in and everyone was almost working via esp, amazing and to be cherished because you sadly just don’t get that every day.

Cheers!
 
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