I'm the chief engineer at Circle Recording Studios in Birmingham. If you've made it here you may have previously read my column over on Supajam: Machiavelli's Guide to the Music Industry. While Machiavelli's Guide is aimed squarely at helping artists/musicians to develop so they can get ahead in the music business, this one is a bit more of a personal ramble. Somedays it will be all about the music, on others it will be a wider rant on the state of the business, sometimes it might just be a review of a mic, guitar or amp we have used, occasionally it will be a bit of a geek-out on the analogue/digital issue and how it's affected this industry. Whichever it is feel free to have your say in the box at the bottom of each blog! Cheers, Trev
Recording Studio blog
As recording engineers go, I guess I've always been a 'focus on what's coming' rather than a 'rest on past glories' type. So I hadn't even thought what my last 5 years in the recording studio might look like. The new facebook video feature made me review that. And looking back, I guess it has been pretty eventful. From working with Roger Nichols at Soundscape Studios in NYC to Michael Wagener in Wireworld Studios Nashville and from Pacifique Studios in LA to the hallowed corridors of Abbey Rd in London and back to Circle Recording Studios in Birmingham.
I realised today that using digital plug-ins in recording software when you are mixing records makes you stupid. Now this may seem like a bold assertion to anyone who read my earlier blog on the analog digital debate here: http://circlestudios.co.uk/blog/analogue-v-digital-where-did-it-all-begi.... But read on and you will understand why I think sound engineers and record producers should tread warily.
So today I had a Tanglewood TW1000 acoustic guitar here in the recording studio so I thought I'd do a little review. Apparently it's from their "Heritage Sundance" collection, which is one of the very top models in their range. At around a thousand pounds it's the kind of thing we might expect a good singer/songwriter on a modest budget to consider.
So almost a year ago I heard that a music industry website, Supajam, were looking for a recording studio engineer or record producer to write a regular music industry column for publication on their site. The idea was to provide an insight from behind the glass. Not just the obvious stuff about how to make a record, but insights into the thinking that goes in behind the scenes: how to develop bands, to help them to develop their own fan-base, and to talk about how important brand is to all of that...
So you may have read part 1 of this recording studio blog over on Machiavellis Guide. If not, you should go check it out before you read on: http://www.supajam.com/blog/article/Bands-Never-Mind-the-Bollocks-why-ar.... In the first part of this blog, I suggested that before you book time at a recording studio you should consider what it is you want to achieve. What really is your objective for the recording?
So this whole analogue v digital thing... What's it all about? Why do they call it a debate? Would it be better characterised as a bicker? And is it a good thing or bad for musicians and artists? And where did it all come from?
Recording studio headphone review: we were feeling a bit sniffy when we were first asked to review these closed back headphones from Studiospares. We run a pretty high end set up here and our gut feeling was that this budget offering wouldn't stand up to scrutiny. As a result, we decided we would throw them right in at the deep end and shoot them out against some of the top contenders on the market. What follows is our entirely subjective view on the outcome.
There are some great things about recording studio life. But some things aren't so fun. Like when a 10 day recording session on a metal album finishes at 3am and you are exhausted and all you want to do is go home and die but you know you've got to clean the place up so it's shining like a new pin ready for the voice over for a children's programme coming in at 9am. Or cleaning the toilets. Or making tea all day long. But one of the most infuriating things is when bands or artists extract the urine. I guess that's what set me off on this rant over here: