RSR020 – Shane D Wilson – St Izzy’s Of The East Studio

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

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RSR018 - Shane D Wilson

St Izzy's Of The East Studio

My guest today is Shane D Wilson a Grammy-nominated, chart-rocking, multi-genre

music recording engineer. Starting out in the audio technology program at Indiana University, Shane later relocated to Nashville TN in 1991 (same year that I did) and was soon assisting some of the top engineers in town.

Not long after that Shane was able to establish himself as a principal engineer through his work with Charlie Peacock Productions. His career has led him to work with bands like Switchfoot, David Crowder, Derek Webb, Amy Lee, Owsley, Michael W Smith, Mercy Me and Wes Cunningham among many.

Shane often works from his cozy St Izzy’s Of The East Studio using a creative hybrid of analog and digital technologies to create beautiful sounds. And we will talk about how he likes to record and mix music on the show.

"Music is nothing if not all opinion. I firmly believe there’s more than one right way to do a song"  -SDW

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Things We Talked About 

Adat, Radar, Otari

Tracking vs. Mixing

Streaming Techniques

Avantone Mixcube (modeled after original auratone speaker)

Proximity Effect

Realistic - Pillow Speakers

Cartage - Storage and delivery of music gear

Jam Session:

Q - What was holding you back at the start?

A - The tendency to believe that you know it all... really feeling like you have it all together. You need to be open to new ideas, especially starting out. Go learn about new technology to make it the best it can be even with limitations.

“ProTools. Once it hit.. Man, it was a big tidal wave” -SDW

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Q- What was some of the best advice you got early on?

A - Do your best not to piss anyone off. If you’re really battling a kick drum sound, look around 500 hz. You might find you don’t want it in there so much.

An amazing producer where I was interning leaned on me and said, “I’m going to give you some advice. Whatever you do, it doesn’t matter who the person is, where they are in the pecking order of things, whatever those things may be in your career.. don’t ever piss anybody off. They may be nobody today, but chances are someday they’re going to be somebody and you’re going to need something and they’re only going to remember that you were awful to them.”

Shane D Wilson

Q- Share with us a recording tip, hack, or secret sauce.

A - The first thing that comes to mind is, I remember when I first got started with audio when I was 13 at a little church where a guy let me help with live sound stuff. Later on someone else took over and rewired everything. The new guy’s defense was, “we are gonna break the console, because we aren’t using stuff for what it’s labeled for.” Even at 13 I thought that was stupid. But later on, one of the most fun ways I work on a session is using pieces of gear for things other than what they have been made for. Just because something is labeled that it does X, doesn’t mean it can’t be used for Y. It can open up a whole new world for sound.

“Just because something is labeled that it does X, doesn’t mean it can’t be used for Y” -SDW

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Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio

A- Roland Space Echo RE-201. Love it for tracking, love it for mixing. It is old school, but you can find it on, craigslist, or ebay. There are several models of it.

Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

A - The Soundtoys suite of plugins. Everything that company does makes me smile. I have multiples of their stuff on every mix. They release their free plugin at South by Southwest every year. They started with the Radiator, and Lexicon Prime Time Delay (Primaltap) and a couple others. Keep your eye out on social media around that time for free downloads. I am also in love with the Fabfilter Pro-Q 2 EQ it's a great surgical EQ. You can actually real-time visualize the problem areas while you’re EQ-ing.

“Meekness is hard, regardless of your abilities” -SDW

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Q - Share with us a tip for the business side of the recording studio

A - This is a bit of advice. One of the guys for whom I was an intern for gave me some business advice specifically about taxes. Every check he has a separate savings account that he diverts money to, so if you’re paying quarterly or annually, there’s always something there. I always take about 25% of every check and put it in a savings account and pay my taxes out of that. Don’t forget about self-employment tax! Plan ahead. If you’re worried about stuff, it affects your art. Gear buying is a deductible, same with medical expenses.

Q - If you had to start over what gear would you need? How would you find people to record? And how would you make ends meet while you got started?

A - It really is a great time to be making music, you can be creative almost anywhere now. So if i was starting over, I would get an affordable laptop, the Apollo UA series of interfaces are the most stupidly, ridiculous, cool things that have come along especially with their plugins that model preamps, a Shure SM7, and some good cans. If i had those tools, i think it would be possibly to realize their art in most situations. I would hope to meet them in local clubs and coffee shops. Price yourself accordingly. Don't be afraid to make money doing something that’s not related to your art to make ends meet, but at the same time, don’t put yourself in such a safe place that you lose track of the ability to keep creating.

“To be able to move someone to feel something so much that there’s a physical, emotional response… that’s a good day” -SDW

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Q - What is the single most important thing a listener can do to become a rockstar of the recording studio?

A - Listen. Listen to people for whom you have respect for what they do. Listen to music. It’s easy to stop listening after you’ve been doing this for awhile.

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