What DAW do you use?
What’s a DAW?
Digital Audio Workstation. It’s the program we use to record on a computer (Mac).
Do you do your own mastering?
Not if I don’t have to, mastering is sort of like proofreading, if you proofread your own stuff you not likely to catch your own mistakes. I think it’s always good to have someone else’s ears on a project. This is not a part of the process I would skimp on.
Can we drink beer in the studio?
Only good beer.
How do you get a great drum sound?
Hire Michael Bland.
I'm a poor singer songwriter, will you still work with me?
Yes, not for free but I do what I can to help you out.
You have great big speakers in your recording studio, why are you always listening to the small ones?
You can hear more detail in smaller speakers. Usually I use the bigs when dialing in sounds and to make sure that the bass is correct, everything else is on the smalls.
Tape or Digital?
More than once I’ve played a tune to someone who say’s “I love that old analogue sound you just can’t beat it”, and then they don’t believe me when I tell them the project never touched tape. It’s just different, you need to know how to adjust. Add some pink noise and most people will swear it's tape.
Really, how do you get a great drum sound?
So yes, really you need to have a great drummer. If you have a great drummer you can throw two mics up in the broom closet and it will sound better then if you have a crappy drummer with all the right mics in all the right places.
The key for me is to get the kick and the overheads to sound good. I like to use two mics on the kick, one for the boom and one for the smack. Fet 47 or sub-kick (boom) 57, or bayerdynamic (smack) I like drummers who leave their beater head loose so that is has a sort of smash sound to it when then hit it. I like overheads to be about a foot apart from each other pointed out at about a 30 degree angle (about 120 degrees between them). That gives a nice wide image that will be collapsed a bit when you add in the other mics. Add just enough snare to give it some presence, I like toms to ring for a long time, it always sounds shorter in the mix. I use PZMs taped to the glass for room mics. Lastly you have to record in a good studio. A bad room is always going to sound bad. If it doesn't sound good in the studio, it's not going to sound good in the control room.
Questions I get when mixing live shows
Do you know what all those buttons do? Yes.
It''s really loud in here!! What....
Can you have the band play ..... ? Sure they'll play it in about ten minutes.
Can you give me a backstage pass? I lost mine, that's why I'm out here..