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Sound Advice

Musicians & Comfort by Hayward Parrott

June 18th, 2002

“When you’re dealing with a live-off-the-floor situation you have to make sure the magic comes through the glass into your monitors. If the feel is not there in the balancing of what you are doing in the control room, what I do is, go out to the floor to hear the live balance of the instruments. If it is correct and feels good on the floor I will rethink my miking, if not, I will rethink the set-up. This is done to achieve the best feel for the musicians on the floor. This in turn will give me the best reproduction of the recording. The musicians have to be comfortable in the studio, no matter what.”

Hayward Parrott – producer/engineer, Tears Are Not Enough, Joel Feeney and The Western Front, Frank Mills, Roger Whittaker, Bryan Adams (engineer), Chris De Burgh (engineer), Agnes of God, Street Legal.

Great Snare Sound by David Bendeth

June 18th, 2002

“Want to get a great sound on a snare drum using a drum machine in the studio? Take your individual snare drum sound from the drum machine and run it into the studio to and amplifier so that the snare sound of the drum machine comes through the speaker. The amplifier should be laying flat on the ground with the speaker facing you. On top of the speaker, you should put a real snare drum with the snares facing you. Mic the snare drum from the top and bring it back to the console. Everytime your drum machine hits the snare through the amplifier, you’ll get a real snare drum, in time. (Note: You can also try different angles on the mic for desired sound.)”

David Bendeth – vice-president of A&R (BMG Canada), producer, Big House, Regatta. Co-writing credits include songs for Jeff Beck, Joe Cocker.

Focus On The Mix by Tony Crea

June 18th, 2002

“For good microphone techniques, understanding the frequency ranges of all the instruments involved and learning how to use processing equipment creatively and sparingly will help you achieve a good, full-sounding mix – but you must always have a forcus to make it all gel.

The vocal or melody line is always the most important part of the music and should never be lost or buried in the mix. The other instruments, whether they be rich sounding keyboards, searing horns or a driving rhythm section are there to support the melody, but should not be lost or buried in the mix either. Remember, each instrument has its own space and place in the mix.”

Tony Crea – live sound engineer, Lee Aaron, Sheree, The Spoons.

Keeping Values in Check by Aubrey Winfield

June 18th, 2002

“It is important not to impose your own values on what an artist is trying to achieve, but rather creatively enhance their unique qualities. All artists and their songs deserve the same attention. How we treat an artist is not based on their past accomplishments. At Winfield Sound our success is based on ensuring that an artist’s musical vision is not only realized but surpassed.”

Aubrey Winfield – Winfield Sound Recording Studios.

Miking Guitars by Noel Golden

June 18th, 2002

“When looking at the cone of a speaker cabinet (guitar amps) I place the microphone facing the outer edge of the inner cone about 1/2″ from the cabinet grill. If you’re using two mics on the same cabinet, place the second mic in the exact position on the adjacent cone. My present choice for a guitar mic is the Shure SM57. I find this technique gives me the closest reproduction of what I hear directly from the cabinet.”

Noel Golden – engineer, Triumph, Gowan, Rita Coolidge, Paradox (co-producer/engineer).

Television Reverb by Rob Rettberg

May 18th, 2002

“When mixing for television I check all the reverb returns individually for phase. Some reverbs can go as far as 180 degrees out of phase. When a mix is then heard in mono through a television or through some stations’ stereo simulators, instruments can sound almost totally dry because of phase cancellation. Minor alterations of some basic reverb parameters such as delay time, decay or room size can change the phase and bring it closer to 90 degrees or less, which is the safest window for phase in television mixes. (Note: if you do not have a phase meter, always check in mono to see if the effect vanishes.”

Rob Rettberg – producer/composer (CTV, Global, CBS).


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