ONLY AUDIO ENGINEERS WILL GET THIS

advice clients mastering

Sometimes clients just have to have their input. Most people these days work remotely, and they probably know what I'm talking about.

You work remotely with a client, and there are times when you can send them back the exact same track – not even turned up or had any changes done to it – and they're going to have feedback. Other times, you could master it, so it sounds ridiculously good – the best thing you've ever mastered in your life – and they'll still come back with a tweak. They just want to have their say. They just want their input.

I get it. I think I've probably done it a lot myself, and it's karma coming back to me. I've built websites and things in the past, and I've asked for loads of tweaks. Now people come and say, "Can you tweak this, can you change that?" I know it sounds great. But they go, "Oh I was wondering if you could add 1 dB at 1.7K to improve the snare," and I'm like, "Oh, my God, whatever." I will then send it back exactly the same, and they'll be happy that they've had their little say-so. I think we all have that ego thing where we want to say something. But it's just bloody annoying when you're on the other end of it doing the tweaking.

Funny story: we used to have a "bullshit box" in the room. We made it look a bit like an SSL Fusion, and it had loads of knobs but no inners. It was our little in-joke at the studio. Now, there was one time I had this really annoying client, who was a regular. He'd fall asleep in the session, and then wake up and go, "Edit there. I thought that'd be a good edit." And I thought "You've been asleep for 20 minutes. How could you even have listened to what I was doing?" But he had to have his say.

The bullshit box was perfect for him. I just pressed buttons on it, and he'd be like, "Yeah, I like that one. I like the red rather than the blue." It was my way of getting back at him. But that was just because the client was a pain. So if you're going to a studio, watch out for their bullshit box. If they start testing you on it, you'll know they're giving you the bullshit box.



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