In the studio: Is the Customer always right?

Artists compromise at the risk of their art.

Recording engineers compromise at the risk of pleasing their talent.

Now, it’s probably only sensible that, as an engineer on a studio session, you should notify and tactfully let a producer, artist, or other client know if he’s making a mistake. But what if he wants to do it anyway after you’ve briefly explained the situation?

Let’s see how that breaks down for recording engineers working for others:

You can waste time arguing with and trying to persuade the client, possibly sabotaging the relationship between technical staff and producer and/or talent — OR you can please the client now when there’s customer satisfaction and possibly even payment at stake if you don’t.

Of course, for sure there is ALSO the risk of pleasing the talent in the short term — but having them realize years down the road, that your dutch uncle warnings were right all along.

But is that really so bad?

They were happy when they paid you. It’s now a couple years later, they’ve realized maybe you were right when you suggested one path but they took the other and what’s the end result?

Either that makes you look even smarter in their eyes — OR they are the sort of folks who will then turn around and bitterly blame you for not arguing harder to keep them from their mistake — and how much do you really want to keep clients like that?

A note on this advice… 
The words in this blog post above are mine. But the practical wisdom and situational logic it attempts to illuminate are from others who I’ve read or talked with over the years. Just passin’ it along.