My band's been in the studio for months now and it's been a fairly slow process. I've always tracked really quickly in the studio and love being in there, but in this band, my guitarist wrote all the songs and even though I wrote my own melodies/lyrics, he's been in the studio producing me the entire time. It's been frustrating as all hell and we've had a lot of tense evenings that resulted in nothing but lifeless tracks that had to be re-done.
Eventually we figured out how to all work together and we started tracking with the same speed I'm used to. Now we're in the mixing stages and it's just the guitarist and our bassist (bassist owns the studio, I've been recording with him for 10 years now) in the studio....they'll spend 3 days mixing then send me an Mp3.
I'm *really* fucking picky about my vocal effects. I've been a guitarist longer than a vocalist and I know exactly what I want to hear for effects/double tracking. I keep getting mixes that are just bone dry vocals, half the layering I did in the studio is muted, shit I spent forever getting in tune/time.
I love big productions on albums, I'm a huge AIC fan, I love layering, harmonies, all that shit.....Devin Townsend, huge fucking mixes. We're a prog metal band, not the fucking Ramones.
I've explained numerous times that this situation is the same to having your bass player set up your guitar rig, hoping he's going to dial in the right amount of gain, set your delay pedal right, know where in the chain to put it, pray he doesn't put the wah in the effects loop, etc.
The problem I'm running into mainly is that they're getting sick of working on the songs, so by the time I get an Mp3 and have suggestions, they're already thinking it's good to go and I've got to beg that it gets changed. I've asked to be in the studio and it took about 4 mixing sessions on the last song before they let me in.....this newest tune is on it's 3rd or 4th mixing session as well and I haven't been let in.
I'm really not trying to pull the "I'm the fucking singer" card, because I still don't feel like a 'singer', but it's such a bummer to hear these mixes back and it's just so lack luster, so empty and cold sounding, flat....especially after the amount of time I put into these tunes.
I mean, I know every band's creative process is different and some just work better when one or two people make the decisions, but it seems pretty reasonable for everyone to have input, especially on their own parts, and especially if they wrote those parts.
As long as people aren't pulling some bush league nonsense like constantly and unreasonably complaining they aren't loud enough, I don't see why they shouldn't be involved. Someone obviously needs to be in the lead and make executive decisions, but you obviously have a specific vision for how stuff should sound. What's the big deal with having even just one or two sessions where you're there and you try mixing the vocals a few different ways to see what sounds best?