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Sound Advice

Live Drums by Jon Erikson

April 18th, 2002

“When getting live drum sounds, I’ll use a good set of headphones (Fostex T20s) and then I’ll take the mix of the drums in the headphones and put it through the PA system, checking it against how the room sounds with a flat EQ. I’ll then take into consideration the boominess or tightness of the room, and then place the bass drum and the bass guitar according to the natural low end of the room. In a boomy room I will place the frequency of the bass guitar above a gated bass drum (the bass drum should have lots of low end). If the room has a tight bass sound I will let the bass guitar carry the weight of the low end and place the frequency of the bass drum tight and punchy. This applies to 100Hz and below.”

Jon Erikson – sound engineer (Rush), head sound technician (Audio Analysts, Kingswood), live recording engineer (Comfort Sound Mobile Studio).

Recording Vocals by David Bendeth

April 18th, 2002

“Sometimes in the studio vocalists have a problem with headphones. They have a problem hearing pitch, because of delay, so I will bring them into the control room and let them sing through the speakers (once I have reversed the phasing on one of the speakers). This allows me to record the vocals live with little or no bleed through to the track. Vocalists should be six to ten feet from the speakers for this to work effectively. Regular settings on the mic (U87 or AKG 414).”

David Bendeth – vice-president of A&R (BMG Canada), producer (Big House, Regatta).

Individual Style by Mike Jones

March 18th, 2002

“Using the proven tricks of the trade is important for speed and to give the artist confidence in your abilities, but what is more important is to develop your own style and your own tricks of the trade. You can only do this by experimentation. Don’t be afraid to try crazy ideas – they may be the key to the success of the whole project.”

Mike Jones – producer/chief engineer (Eastern Sound, Alannah Myles, Glass Tiger, Kim Mitchell, The Box, Moody Blues, Blue Rodeo).

Use Your Ears by Rob Sandolowich

March 18th, 2002

“The sound technicians shouldn’t rely too heavily on a real time analyzer. They should learn to trust their ears. I’ve seen sound techs that were more concerned with a flat curve on their RTA than with good sound.”

Rob Sandolowich – vice president (Westbury National Show Systems).

Staying Fresh by Dennis Hetzendorfer

March 18th, 2002

“Always try to keep the music in mind first. A particular technique used in yesterday’s recording session should not be necessarily used in today’s session. Never try to do the same thing, the same way, every time. Keeping the approach different for different occasions not only keeps you sound fresh and new but also keeps the job from growing redundant and the sounds from growing stale.”

Dennis Hetzendorfer – engineer (The Bee Gees, America, Barbara Streisand).

Easing The Pressure

March 18th, 2002

“When we’re recording an album, we do it in three or four sections (three or four tunes per section, including mixing). This allows us to maximize the specific technical and emotional content of each song. We find that the artist and the production team prefer to work this way, allowing them to ease the pressure of performing a fourteen-tune album all at once, and to reflect on what has been done.”

Bill Szawlowski and Gary Moffet – SCI Productiions (Ray Lyell, Marjo).

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