In the Studio - Winning As a Control Freak - The Artist’s Perspective

Okay, last week we looked at this from the Engineering side of things, now let’s look at it from the artist’s side.

Now a lot of the key things about the engineer working with the artist can be said about the artist working with the engineer.

If you’re the artist and you’re a control freak about the project, you can be a bit more on the up front side of things about the project because it’s your project, what you say is essentially law to a degree, lol. If you’re the artist and you know exactly how you want your project to sound and at least generally how to get there and all you need is someone to operate the tools then wham, bam, thank you ma’am you have all the control!

Since the last post involved feeding the ego and being forward as the first and last topic of discussion the element of demonstrating the tools and the why something is can be a bit more difficult. If you show this level of know-how the engineer or producer might typically think “If you know what you’re doing, why the fuck did you hire me then?” I mean I get it you want it to sound the way you want, but work WITH your engineer to get the sound you’re looking for.

Now let’s talk about FEEDING THE EGO of the engineer.

Feeding the ego of the engineer is about just as important as the engineer feeding your ego as the artist. To feed the ego of the engineer is a bit more tricky because with them armed with their knowledge of the tools sometimes they think they can dictate every little aspect of the sound. Again this is YOUR project therefore you should be in control at least 90% of the time. Let the engineer do that part of it. To feed the ego of the engineer you gotta do the same thing with how you phrase things, but in this case you can use the word “but”… However using the word “but” still isn’t the most recommended. You can say something like - “Okay, I’m thinking X about the sound or what we’re doing here, but can I make a suggestion, I like what you’re doing though.” You can phrase it something like that and 9/10 time your engineer will query you and ask what you have in mind.


As the artist you have to be just as forward and up front as the engineer can be and is some of the time. Sometimes you might run into an engineer bull headed enough to fight you on a decision. There are some decisions where you as the artist has to back down and there are sometimes where you as the artist has to make the engineer back down, but you have to find out what’s worth fighting about and what’s not. 9/10 times the engineer will work with you in making your project come to fruition. Again the key to being forward and up front with your decision making is DON’T BE A DICK! Being a dick gets you nowhere, being forward, up front, but respectful will get you everywhere, you’re stating your opinion you’re stating what you need to happen and you work with with the engineer or producer to make it happen.


Now here’s something interesting that I don’t know if anyone actively thinks about this. Be the idea guy. If you have an idea about your song or project, make it known, it never hurts to try something in the studio. Go research Sylvia Massy, she Miked up a chicken, and ran audio through a pickle, tell me if that’s not creative. Lol But in all seriousness if you’ve got an idea you want to try and you’ve got time left in the session go for any idea you want. Sometimes when you have an engineer that doesn’t think about something you have an idea on, suggest it and see if they’re willing to try it, if everybody is starting to lose interest in the session try something crazy and off the wall, it might spark something ridiculous that’ll make it the best thing ever!

Anyway, this has been two weeks of posts, I hope you liked what I shared!

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