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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Making Better Demos by Stacey T. Heydon

Thursday, July 18th, 2002

“When a band or artist is planning to go into the studio, choose a quality product as opposed to an assortment of many songs that may not have had enough time to be completed properly. Handing an A&R person a product that is much more finished, as opposed to a very rough copy of a song, gives one an upper hand in dealing with these individuals. This applies to A&R in record labels, not publishers. Instead of recording five songs as a rush job, I suggest that you record only two songs. Give the A&R people a product which is (production-wise) as close to finished as possible.

You have a better chance of getting a release if you hand these A&R people a demo that sounds more finished, polished and more produced than one that is very rough, live off the floor sort of thing. Remember most A&R people cannot imagine what a finished product will sound like from a rough tape.

Needless to say, remember that the two songs you plan to record should be targeted to a specific market in today’s radio format.

Basically, quality not quantity is the best road to follow when recording a demo for A&R people to listen to.”

Stacey T. Heydon – producer of #1 Billboard hit (sheriff), guitarist (David Bowie).

Studio Reverb by Carl Harvey

Thursday, July 18th, 2002

“As a rule I try to stay away from longer reverb times, especially on percussive type instruments. The accumulative effect of all the different reverbs seem to clutter up the mix, thereby robbing it of transparency. I believe that reverbs, when properly used, can create a three dimensional effect in your mix – giving it height, depth and width. Use reverb to enhance the natural groove of the song by timing the reverb cut off point in tempo with the groove.”

Carl Harvey – producer/songwriter/musician (Messenjah, Leroy Sibbles, Sway, Courtney Morrison, Black Diamond).

Choosing Studios by John Punter

Thursday, July 18th, 2002

“When choosing studios for my projects I try to select the one that has a natural acoustic sound about it. This can range from a vast, acoustically untreated warehouse situation as in The Metalworks Studio Two in Toronto, to a large, acoustically treated orchestral studio as in Air Studio One in London, England, to a smaller, harder and brighter studio as in Venture Studios in Vancouver.

I really like to capture the natural acoustic ambience of a studio in my recordings, not only for the drums but also for guitars, vocals and keyboards. For keyboards I send the dry signal into the soundroom via speaker(s) and using a Neumann 87 or AKG 414, mic the speaker(s) and bring the signal back into the control room. It’s very important in my productions to make the natural ambience of the room work for me, to create more of a three-dimensional effect in my recordings. This gives me a strong sound identity and character to my work.”

John Punter – producer/engineer, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, Japan, Nazareth, Slade, The Spoons, Boulevard.

Discipline is Wings by Ken Tobias

Thursday, July 18th, 2002

“One of the most common complaints I’ve heard from engineers is lack of preparation by artists and producers – lack of homework. The studio can be a magical place, but you can’t expect technology to do it for you. Engineers are there to do their job, you must do yours. Like they say in the East, ‘Discipline is wings’. You must have a plan before entering the recording studio.”

Ken Tobias – writer/artist/producer, Corey Hart, Dan Clancy, Shahira (film) and various TVO film scores.

Live & Spontaneous by Fraser Hill and Rick Hutt

Thursday, July 18th, 2002

Fraser says, “It’s important for me to go see the band performing live, get to know them and participate with them by getting them from live stage to the record – capture the live characteristic of the band in the studio by creating an atmosphere of teamwork and friendship. Enthusiasm can overcome technical shortcomings. I make a record as if I were the artist’s best fan.”

Rick says, “When recording any performance by an individual (when it’s an overdub situation), I prefer to go for the spontaneous personality of the performance. Rather than taking one track and punching in on that specific track, I record several performances on different tracks and then create a composite of the best moments of those performances. As you are often unable to judge at the moment something that is unique or unusual, this method allows the producer to survey the tracks more carefully for the unique qualities of the performance character.”

Fraser Hill and Rick Hutt (The Audio Pals) – Northern Pikes, Tom Cochrane.

In-Your-Face Guitar by Tom Treumuth

Tuesday, June 18th, 2002

“For that “in-your-face” rhythm guitar sound I still haven’t found a better combination than an old Les Paul going through an external Pultec EQ unit with an LA2 or LA4 compressor. I also like miking a Marshall 412 cabinet (a little off centre from the cone) usually with a Sennheiser 421 mic – this will avoid phasing problems. I will then mix the guitars very dry (very little or no reverb). This process will give me that “in-your-face” rhythm guitar sound.”

Tom Treumuth – producer, Gypsy Rose, Honeymoon Suite, Helix, The Spoons, The Look People.


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