Hi Justin gang,
I’ve been going back and forth on whether to write this post or not, for reasons that will perhaps become apparent in the text and linked media, but in the end I decided it would indeed be worth discussing and it might be interesting to a lot of people around here. It was definitely a good learning experience for myself and my band
So, to kick things off - a little while back we were contacted by a booking agency who were looking for a live band to use as part of their “mini festival” package they provide for larger company parties. The idea is that they set up a bunch of tents with bars, an escape room, food trucks, mini arcade hall etc - and then have a live stage with DJ and band.
The suggestion was that we play a first (short) gig for free - the only compensation we would get was a professionally recorded promo video that both they and we could then use on our webpages to promote our band. We had to provide the recorded live performance, and they would then do video shooting and editing.
Since I have a bit of experience recording my guitar covers I volunteered to do all audio recording and mixing/mastering. I’ll talk about my learnings on that in the following posts as well!
It sounded interesting enough to us that we decided to give it a go.
I’m not entirely sure about what I think about the final product - it’s not terrible (I think) but we were perhaps hoping for a bit more. The first slightly surprising things for me, personally, was how short a clip they ended up providing us with. Now, they back this up by saying that these days this is about the maximum length that “normal” people will ever want to watch on social media platforms - and for what I know they could be right. But in my head I had expected a video of the full song PLUS perhaps some shorter versions.
So that’s lesson #1 already: even if you think you have an understanding about what an agreement is, go the extra mile to be very specific!
It’s not all “their fault” though - recording a live performance can be a brutal experience, especially if you’re used to recording in a studio environment with better monitoring and, most importantly, the possibility for redoing parts and laying parts for that more “professional” result. In a live performance like this you hear everything, for better and worse, and everyone in the band has to deliver first time, and the same time. Pretty damn brutal indeed!!
I’ll start by simply linking the video clip here, and then go on to talk some more about the process in some follow-up posts. This is what we got back from them: