Studio Quotes & Excuses
a.k.a. "Can we D.I. the Congas?"

Some while ago, I began a small notebook of silly things that were said during recordings..... the book soon filled.
- Mark Dearnley

(I, of course, have been responsible for none of them)
"The accidental distortion adds character"
"That bit's meant to be out of time"
"I bet George Martin never had this trouble"
"But that's meant to happen in Reggae"
"Don't worry, it'll sound terrific when it's double-tracked"
"You're sitting on the wrong side of the stereo. So you won't hear it there"
"The general public will never notice"
"That's alright - I've heard worse on proper records"
"I don't give a fuck, it ain't my song"
"It's no more out of tune than Nigerian records"
"The Out of Tuneness gives it an ethereal quality"
"The more you put on, the less the tuning matters"
"I never equalize, I just correct for deficiencies in the microphone"
"Well, it looks stereo on the meters"
"It'll sound nicer if it wasn't there"
"It sounds better than that really, but the monitors aren't lined up"
"If you get it in balance, way back in echo, it sounds disgusting but nice."
"It's Slinky, not late"
"I can't hear that properly, I'm left-eared"
"Timbales always play behind the beat"
"That's a real headache off my chest"
"I've got a foreskin like a rhino's fanny"
"It was depravity at its best"
"I'd rather have the money than listen to music"
"I like the sheer monotony of it"
"Yes I did hear it but I wasn't listening"
"It'll be so far back that you won't even be able to hear it"
"I know it's a crappy mix, but it's as good as the song"
"This is a performance record"
"They're the sort of thing that if you hear them, they are too loud"
"On this cassette he's no singer but he was a victim of the demo process"
"I don't want it louder, just more of it"
"This track sounds like an album anyway"
"You may not be doing it one too less"
"Hang On, I'm trying to think of something spontaneous"
"The sides seem too loud in mono"
"Can we solo everything"
"It doesn't matter, it's an out of time track anyway"
"It's flat, but not as flat as it sounded"
"If I didn't have a dick, I'd be a perfect human being"
"It's just over maximum"
"Drop in slightly before you drop in"
"The only way to do that song is to get it done"
"No I don't need to tune up because I'm playing lead"
"It's not at the speed that my tongue likes to go"
"It's sharp, but that's a characteristic of the instrument"
"There's no harm in it being early, brass sections are like that"
"It's not frequency - it's the characteristic of the musical content"
"It doesn't sound like it looks"
"LOOK it won't sound in tune - it's one of those chords"
"Don't worry, the hi-hat will be left out at the beginning so it WILL be in time"
"The first fucking bass drum beat's a hook in this song, so don't fucking push it"
"This isn't really a bass song"
"You're pushing it, but it isn't pushing"
"I am politically minded, but I don't really care"
"You'll never hear it if you're not listening to it"
"It's got to be clever, or not clever at all"
"The more out of it I get, the better I'll get the timing"
"Is it true that on these machines you get a lot of treble left and right and the bass in the centre"
"It sounds good, but it's not something that should be used"
"I like it - that's why I don't think it's right"
"I'm good at doubles because I never play the same thing twice"
"I'm not happy 'til you're not happy"
"The best time to work is when you're nearing exhaustion"
"No, I didn't check the alignment of the digital, because every time I do it goes out"
"We never used to listen to the bass"
"It sounds better out of tune - It makes it sound urgent"
"You're obscuring the chickens"
"It's not out of time, it's just the wrong sound"
"Don't take too much of the elephant out of it"
"It's going to be so far back, you won't notice the tuning"
"It either anticipated or I wished it would."
"Without listening, it seemed OK"
"To them you're a legend - to me you're a bum-hole"
"Start fading midway through the bicycle clips"
"It's one of those tracks that if you work on it for too long, you get really annoyed with it."
"Fuck Me - and I thought the Beat were bad"
"I don't like anything that's good for me"
"For once in your life be a producer and not a fucking gumby"
"Your frets are buzzing - Are you using the fretless or fretted bass?"
"That's NOT out of time - It's a cool jerk"
"The strings I was using were in tune"
"It's slightly flat, but it adds a little charm and makes it sound amateur"
"If a track cries out for strings - Put 'em on. If it doesn't - Just put a bit on"
"I'd like a smallish quartet"
"That's a TERRIBLE one..He'll like that."
"I think just single tracked doubled - if you want"
"Let's track that 4 times - It'll make it sound rectangular"
"It doesn't matter what the tune is as long as it goes BASH BASH BASH"
"To give character, you've gotta sing out of tune"
"Let's survey the definite possibilities"
"Wipe that one for now"
"It must be in tune because we're professionals"
"That bass is almost worth keeping"
"It speeds up because that's the nature of the lick"
"I want you to make it more clangy, but don't change the sound"
"Go for spontaneity no matter how long it takes"
"It may have been a little slow, but it's not necessarily out of time"
"What I like about this track is that it's all on tape"
"Having had limited musical training, I'm not exactly sure what I mean"
"I think senility is reeking havage with my brain"
"It sounded in time to me, but then I've not been well"
"It's a shame you have to make decisions"
"It doesn't matter - nobody plays side two of albums"
"Well, if enough people sing it, it will be a chorus"
"I can handle that one - it's naively dull"
"It's got to be somewhere between subtle and audible"
"It's either brilliant or terrible - I can't make up my mind"
"You won't hear that when it's got echo on"
"You're only hearing that because it's got too much echo on it"
"A cymbal overdub will cover that up"
"But the digital CAN'T distort"
"We'll be faded out by then"
"Have you plugged in the window?"
"Calypso songs ARE all over the place"
"I'm enjoying playing with it and anyway you never know what might come up"
"It sounds like it could easily be a mono record"
"Better safe than sure"
"When I shout out the one before, I'll give you the one before"
"G Strings - great on women, rotten on guitars"
"She has the voice of a Siren, and we're not talking Greek mythology"
"She can look like the Elephant Man, as long as she's got a short skirt and high heels."
"That's a great song for a title"
"He's half an hour later than he was a minute ago"
"Even though it's in 6/8 - He's playing in 4's and thinking in 3's"
"I can't see what you're saying"
"You're not metering very loudly"
"I've got one can off, my finger in my ear and all I can hear is my head"
"Have you got the ashtray sussed"
"That's a guitarist's edit that is - in'nit?"
"Why haven't they developed 'reel to reel' cassettes?"
"That's the kind of edit that will sound wrong even when it's right"
"I can always put some decent chords over that"
"You're halfway between sharp & flat"
"Can you D.I. the congas?"
"More bass on the hi-hat"
"Hey Man, these cans are putting the track out of tune"
"The guitars are too loud (MD). NO - The guitars are the right level, it's the bass, drums, keys & vocals that are too quiet. (A&R man)"
"If you speed the track up, it puts the backing vocals out of time."
"David Bowie always sings out of tune"
"You can't sing with your socks down"
"That band couldn't draw fleas"
"My voice sounds like a harmony"
"More like that, but not like that"
"You'll never notice the tuning, 'cos the're all minors"
"Keep them so there's volume in them all the time"
"I find that if I adopt a heavy metal pose - I can play better"
"Your input is very much along the lines that I feel"
"I like getting me into a groove situation"
"My reflexes are like Clive Dunn's"
"That's a funny balance of the vocals, it makes them sound out of tune"
""It's not a bass sound until the windows rattle""

You know you're in trouble when.........
You run the vocal through melodyne................The program thinks it's percussion.
It takes the drum roadie three trips just to unload the tom-toms
You take a trip involving 3 airports to produce a great band, only to discover that the bass player is the only remaining member from the demos you heard - The new singer does not speak a word of English....... (& yes the songs are in English).
Your favourite sounding mixing room has a new maintenance engineer.  He greets you with the news that he has "fixed" the room's acoustics.
You discover that there is a significant 50 Hz hum coming down every line from the multitrack.  The studio manager tells you that it's quite normal & that's why the SSL has noise gates.
The Israeli duo that you have been recording in English has been asked to recut the vocals in Japanese. The producer who is guiding this particular exercise is Italian & doesn't speak Japanese.......... Need I say more.
The guitarist/producer has fallen out with the singer & is supervising the mix. He tells you to cut out every vocal ad lib.......... You are mixing to an already edited video.
to be continued.......

mark dearnley - discography
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