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Let Me Screw You Over 'Cause It's Fun
From the book: Music Horror Stories
By Janet Fisher, Goodnight Kiss Music
(more articles from this author)
2001-07-09
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Title: Music Horror Stories
Exhumed and Edited by: Janet Fisher (Goodnight Kiss Music)
Section 4: Songs In The Key Of Screwed
Chapter 23: "Let Me Screw You Over 'Cause It's Fun"
Author: Christina Fasano

"Yes, Christina, those tracks will be fine to use. But I do want to re-record the vocals. Your lead vocal and all the backgrounds as well." I knew this was coming from my perfectionist Producer, but I had no idea it was going to cost me more than redoing vocals on a song should ever cost! My co-writer and I had put together the tracks for one of my songs in his studio and had laid down what I would call demo vocals, so this game plan from my producer was no surprise. She also mentioned wanting to record an additional bass line and a piano part as well.

My co-writer lived in the San Diego County area and my producer lived in LA where we did all of my CD quality recordings, so I had to get the tracks recorded from my co-writers computer to ADAT so we could continue the tracking up in LA.

I met with my co-writer and I watched while he recorded the full music track from his computer onto a cassette tape and then onto an ADAT. (Does this small, seemingly unnoticeable action give anybody a clue about the nightmare that is yet to come?!)

We recorded the 'full music track' onto the ADAT as we only needed it for a guide since we were going to be mixing the song from my co-writers computer, synching up the new tracks we recorded on the ADAT to the previously recorded tracks on his computer.

I took the ADATs up to LA and where we re-recorded all of my lead vocal, background and ad-lib parts. I brought in my background singer and we laid all her additional harmonies. We laid the piano and live bass parts that my producer had heard.

Finally we were ready to mix. I began to try and schedule mixing time with my co-writer. We would schedule a date and he would cancel it. Over and over and over again this happened. I even went to his place on scheduled dates only to have him not be there while we waited and waited and finally had to leave. Something was amiss but I couldn't figure out what in the world was wrong and why he was avoiding mixing this song. I even had a radio station get very excited about the song and offer to play it as soon as I could get it to them. This did not help. My co-writer still seemed to be avoiding mixing this song. I felt like maybe he was afraid to mix it on his own so I finally arranged for my producer to come from LA, and another mixing engineer, besides my co-writer, to be there for the mix date which now seemed to be an actuality.

ADAT's in. Computer up. Something strange happening. The ADAT tracks would not lock with the Computer. Then we figured out that it was actually synching up and locking fine, but the ADAT tracks were off from the meter of the tracks on the computer. What in the ????

After several hours of trying to figure out what was wrong, it came to me in a flash. The inevitable nightmare that I mentioned earlier was now happening. My co-writer had recorded the song onto a cassette before recording it to the ADAT. What does a cassette do? It speeds up and slows down. It is an imperfect recording mechanism. Why in the world did he not record directly to the ADATs? My producer was in shock that my co-writer had done this. EVERYTHING WE HAD RECORDED ON THOSE ADATs, ALL THOSE HOURS AND HOURS OF STUDIO TIME WAS WASTED. It was all unusable because it was out of time. The music track we had used as our guide when recording those new parts was totally out of time. Not noticeable to the ear, but to a computer that was running in perfect time where all the original music tracks had been recorded, it was definitely out of time. The music we recorded on the ADATs would start out in time with the computer tracks, but then would slow down and speed up very subtly throughout the whole tape.

All the money and gas and travel and all that I had done for about a month on this song was useless.

Did he lie to save face? Did he lie out of fear? Or did he get off to screwing people over? He knew the entire time what was up. I don't know if he did it on purpose from the start, or if not, when he figured it out. But by the time I wanted to start mixing, he knew and tried like the plague to avoid this confrontation.

What can I say? I was hurt, sickened, angry, and I actually felt 'hate' for this individual for not only this but for numerous smaller instances along this very same line. The biggest lesson I learned is that I should have listened to the small voice of intuition that was screaming at me when I first started working with this person "NO. DO NOT....DO NOT PASS GO." And now that still small voice, that sometimes screams, called 'intuition,' is my 'executive' decision maker.

MusicDish Bookstore - where print meets digital

"Music Horror Stories: A Collection Of Gruesome, True Tales As Told By Actual Innocent Victims Seeking A Career In the Music Business"
by Janet Fisher
55 true stories from author/musicians around the world. 208 pages of funny, touching, mind-bending stories that are a MUST READ for anyone interested in the music and entertainment industries.


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