Category Archives for "podcast"

RSR029 – Craig Alvin – Badass Mixer

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RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

If you dig the show I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

RSR029 - Craig Alvin - Badass Mixer 

My guest on the show today is Craig Alvin, a fantastically talented recording and mixing engineer originally from Portland, OR before moving to Nashville TN.


He has been making records for over 20 years, and has an eclectic discography having worked on several Grammy nominated projects. His work spans Contemporary Christian Music on one end of the spectrum, to cool pop, and rock music on the other end.


His credits include Amy Grant, Vanessa Carlton, Lady Antebellum, Frankie Ballard, Chase Rice, Will Hoge, The Features, Butterfly Boucher, Erin McCarley, Hanson, and How I Became The Bomb to name a few.


I’ve known Craig for years as a badass magician of mixing that can take the tracks I’ve recorded and make them sound like what I imagined they could sound like. He has long since mixed with a hybrid of digital and analog gear that brings the best of both worlds together to create a sound that is powerful and compelling.

“I’ve had records that I’ve worked on that have won awards, that have been hits in various markets, that have been nominated for Grammy’s...and none of them are records that I really love, or am proud of, or have on my demo reel. The records I’ve made that I’m really proud of tend to go unnoticed.”

Craig Alvin

“It took me a long time to listen to how [music] makes me feel rather than to think technically about what I was doing” @CraigAlvin

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Craig's Studio: 

I have a Harrison Series 12. It's about 20 years old, its digitally controlled analog. Its sort of like having protools mixing but in analog form. I can take a sound from ProTools send it to outboard gear, then back into the console on a fader. When I work, I start a conversation with the song. It keeps me in a positive mindset and thinking on the thing I’m supposed to be thinking about which is the song, and the song should be speaking back to me. Once you’ve been sitting in the same room for 8 years mixing by yourself, you have to develop some ways to trick yourself into thinking you’re working on music with people.

Harrison Series 12

“Music is meant to be shared and experienced as a group” @CraigAlvin

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Favorite Effects or Outboard Gear: 

1. Distressor (super versatile compressor) I have them set up as parallels for my kick and snare trick I learned from Joe Chiccarelli. On kick it gives me a solid punch sound that I can bring up. On snare, i have it pretty squishy so i can give it more length.

2. I have a AKG BX10 spring reverb that I’m absolutely in love with. It’s the only reverb I ever found where I can drown a vocal in reverb and people still think it's dry.

Gates Sta-Level

3. Gates Sta-level. I bought my sta-level back around 1990. From a guy in Portland in $50, I then traded it to Seasick Steve, he used it for about a year and traded it back to me for a mic that he wanted. That thing has been on every lead vocal of every mix I've done since about 1996.

4.I have a Neve 33609 that lives on my drum bus and that compressor can do no wrong. It doesn't matter how hard you hit it, just running through it makes things sound better.



Favorite Albums He's Worked On: 

Ryan Lindsley’s - White Paper Beds

Erin McCarley -  Love, Save the Empty
Peter Barbee -  Among Savages

Andrew Belle -  Black Bear

“Ryan Lindsley’s White Paper Beds, is one of my favorite records I’ve ever worked on” @CraigAlvin

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Tips for Recording Great Drum Sounds: 

I have a philosophy that some things should be left alone or done with minimal processing such as my close mics. (kick snare, toms, overheads should be set up to get the best sounds without a lot of processing) then I have the opposite where I have mics set up specifically for lots of compression or EQ or distortion to give the kit its character. At mix those can be varied or eliminated. I also tune (the drums) to almost every song.

“Engineering 101: if you’re studying audio engineering, gain staging is everything. What I’ve found, is when I gain stage certain pieces of gear, I start to get this affect where I have optimized everything. I start off every mix by getting my low set, I set my kick drum and bass guitar and they always hit and they always hit the console at the loudest part of the sound at the same meter. Once you have set that, that's where you know your low end sits best, ..I do the low end first because the low end requires the most amount of energy then I start to build up the rhythm section around that. Those two don’t change because we’ve hit the optimal spot for the console”

“You cant just watch a video or read an article and be good at it right away, you have to train your ear and learn the technique” 

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Jam Session 

Q - What was holding you back at the start?
A - I think it was that I wasn’t focused. I wanted to play bass, I wanted to be in bands, I was in school trying to learn theology and I was just not focused on it. I took a decision to stop playing in bands, stop running live sound for everyone, get out of school and just focus on recording.

Q- What was some of the best advice you got early on?
A - The very first time I walked into the studio and Joe (Chiccarelli) was there setting up drums and working on a 24 track we needed as many tracks as we could get. So we decided to mix the overheads with high hat and tom mics and I looked at him and said, “we’re gonna mix these now?” He looked at me like I was the biggest idiot in the world, he said, “We’re mixing right now. We’re always mixing, mixing is our job.” And that was a huge revelation to me. The truth is when you choose a mic, you’re mixing. When you choose a location for that mic, you’re mixing. When you choose a particular musician to play a part, you’re mixing! There’s another bit of advice that I got. I lived in Oklahoma for a few years and my friend Ted, who spent some time in the music business, would always say, “the difference between whether something happened or didn’t happen, it whether it happened or not.” It makes no sense, but what he meant was, if something's not happening in a mix and you choose to let it go by, then that’s your choice. It didn’t happen because you didn't make it happen. I think he said it to make you take responsibility for the situation

“I can now have a studio where the knobs never turn on the outboard gear” @CraigAlvin

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

A - The first thing I do (when it comes to vocals) I believe in the careful care and feeding of compressors. And what you’ll notice when looking in ProTools is that the waveform will be very loud in the bridge and quieter in the chorus. The first thing I do is go through with clip gain and even that out in a general sense so it’s kind of one volume the whole way. I do it visually so it’s more or less the same volume. The reason why is because I want the compressor and the other effects to be more or less in the “butter zone.” I get it so I can set my compressor once and leave it. Then I use automation to turn the volume up and down, after compression. After that I’ll filter out low end rumble and vocal pops with the RX plugin or the linear EQ from waves and use that in audio suite. After that the best thing i’ve learned for a vocal is something we used to do with tape. I have the UAD studer plugin. This the custom "Craig Alvin" setting on that: 456 tape with noise turned off. Then I run it at 7.5” per second, I turn the bias all the way up to make it darker and turn it to +9 to get more saturation. Right above the bias, there’s a high frequency tilt that’s on the record side, and I turn that up till the high end sounds right again. What this does is it gives you tape saturation, but that works in a really beautiful way with s’s. You can get by with so much less de-essing, and it’s probably the best vocal compressor that you can find

Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio
A-
You really can’t underestimate the power of having good delays. Like in particular the PCM41 by Lexicon. They’re kind of looked down upon because the 42 is supposedly the better version. I think its important to have bad gear laying around. The great thing about having bad gear like the PCM41 is that it has built in character. It has a sound that harkens to a particular era. With the 41, I will turn the delay all the way off but turn the mix all the way up and run acoustic guitar through it. You can turn a really nice sounding Martin guitar into a crappy old archtop that way. A lot of old altec consoles have these crazy, really kind of bad sounding mic pres and EQs that are phasey weird spring reverbs and stuff. Those things are fun to record percussion. When I was working on the features Wilderness record, I went around to pawn shops and bought all the old 12 bit audio gear I could find. I found this thing called the Yamaha Rex50, which is a 12 bit version of the SPX90. That became really a big part of of his sound he had to go out and find a couple to keep with him when he tours.

“We have a listening deficiency going on right now. People believe the hype machine, the believe the rumor mill, but they don’t spend the time to be diligent and just go listen to everything” @CraigAlvin

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Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

A - I am completely in love with the UAD tape emulation especially the ampex and the studer. But I found Echoboy from Soundtoys and I turn off the delay and turn the mix all the way up. They have all these filtered sounds that essentially are what I was talking about with the weird audio gear and you can vary them in all kinds of ways and I do that ALL the time. I’m using a delay, but not as a delay, more like a channel strip.

Q - Is there any trick we should know about how to effectively name pre-sets and keep them organized?

A - I remember these in context through the song, so I name them based on the context. I have a reverb named Adam Lester Magic because there was a guitar player names Adam Lester and I found this pre-set that made his guitar come alive. And I use Adam Lester Magic on a lot of guitars now.

“I do some records simply because I have to pay the rent, but I think you should always strive to do meaningful work” @CraigAlvin

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

A - I’m not good with the business side. Honestly the thing that’s helped me the most is getting management to negotiate for me because I always sell myself too cheap.

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 - If I was in that situation, I wouldn’t think of gear yet. I would go find a job someplace where musicians gather maybe a bar, coffee shop, lyft or uber driver, someplace you can meet the people making music. Make a budget and figure out how much money you need a month to live and save until you have 3 months saved. Put that away and do not touch it. Now, by this time you’ve met the musicians, keep doing your job, and get behind those people and push life crazy. Help them record, help make their studios better, engineer for free, help them unload after a gig, do that stuff, make yourself invaluable to that scene and you will succeed. But you have to have money in the bank first so that you don’t go crazy.


“I really believe you get better results when you don’t mess around with the basics” @CraigAlvin

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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 - Practice mixing everyday for hours a day. Seriously, get ahold of track do everything you can to practice making them sound better. Listen and compare your mixes to ones you know are good, and keep working on them until they sound as good as those mixes. You have to discipline yourself and spend a lot of time doing this. But once you do that, you’ll have trained your ear to know what a good sound is. 

Contact: 
facebook.com/craig.alvin
craigalvin@gmail.com

Kevin Ward

RSR028 – Kevin Ward – Mix Coach

(Press play on the green strip above or listen on iTunes with the link below)

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

If you dig the show I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

RSR028 - Kevin Ward - Mix Coach

My guest today is Kevin Ward, a producer, mixer, audio blogger and teacher who has been making award winning records since he moved to Nashville in 1991.


Kevin started with playing guitar at six years old, but later caught the recording bug at eleven, when he discovered that you could take two tape cassette recorders and link them together to record multi track overdubs. He went on to spend a long career in the studio.


Along the way he created Vine Records and has won many Dove awards for the great artists that he produces. His extensive client list includes Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Judy Collins, Dolly Parton, Boots Randolph, Jerry Springer, Vassar Clements, Sam Bush, The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Rhonda Vincent and Richie McDonald of Lonestar.


Kevin then took all his experience and knowledge from years of producing and mixing and decided to help others learn how to record themselves creating an online coaching program called Mix Coach.


There you will find many courses to teach you how to mix in different styles and genres from rock and Jazz to full orchestra and pop country. There is even a complete Pro Tools course to help you really know your DAW before your begin.


And what you’ll really want to check out Rockstars is Mix Coach Pro Membership. In this course Kevin delivers a new song to you each month allowing you to mix alongside both the pros and your peers. So that you can take your mixing to the next level, and learn how to create great mixes across a variety of genres.


In Kevin’s words “You don’t have to be famous to make a living at this”

Kevin Ward's 
The Mix Coach Program

Each month you’ll receive the most cutting edge training and insight to help you mix more professionally. We walk through sessions that have been mixed by professionals and tell you why each plugin is in place.

We give you step by step tutorials and song-specific tricks. No “theory” here.

We show you presets we use, mixing templates.

It doesn’t matter what kind of DAW you use… Pro Tools, Mixbus, Logic or Garageband, Our goal is to make YOU a better mixer.

Check out Kevin's FREE video..
The Top 5 Things Every Great Mixer Should Know 

MixCoach Pro Member 

In addition to receiving great mixing insight, you can also join Kevin's mixing community One of the coolest parts of being in a community like the MixCoach Pro Community is the insight and expertise that each member brings 

These other members are recording and mixing just like YOU and are instantly available to help.

They are waiting to hear from YOU too!

Even though mixing can be a solo sport, you don’t have to do it alone.

Get involved with our members

Jam Session 

Q - What was holding you back at the start?
A - I guess it depends on when I consider myself starting because I consider myself a recording engineer at age 11 when I had two tape recorders. Really the only thing I guess was being in the proximity of fast growth. 



Q- What was some of the best advice you got early on?
A - Back in Asheville, there was a mentor I had named Eddie Swan. I remember him saying, "If it sounds good, it is good." And I thought, man that's about as bottom line as you can get. 


“It's about experience and about being the problem solver” @MixCoach

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Q- Share with us a recording tip, hack, or secret sauce.
A -
There's several things I cover on YouTube videos, but there's a few I can think of instantly. One thing I noticed that happened to me is that what you mix last, you mix loudest. So now I teach my guys to mix backwards and make what's last be the most important thing. So in Nashville, usually you want to make the lead vocal last. That puts everything in the right perspective and it makes you achieve a good balance on a mix really quick. 



Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio
A- I always hesitate to say this because I don't want to discourage anyone, but I just bought a set of Barefoot MM27's and that's probably the most expensive thing I've ever bought for my studio ever. I don't think everyone has to go out and buy huge set of speakers, but it made a difference for me. 

“Nashville would not operate without songwriters” @MixCoach

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Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

A - Melodyne is unbelieveable because it can make a person sound better then the best mic, the best pre, compressor. If they’re flat then it’s just a really good recording of a flat singer

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

A -  I listen to a guy named Michael Hyatt, he’s a great resource for leaders. If you have a recording studio and you are at the helm of helping people with their projects then you are a leader.

“Its very important if you want to be a mixer that you surround yourself with people that will hold your feet to the fire” @MixCoach

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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 - I would get a laptop, Blue Yeti, and some software, and I would go and find songwriters. This town and really the whole music business revolves around songwriters. I would either start writing or start finding songwriters to help. The bottom line is be somebody's problem solver.  

”Consistency is probably the key driver for whether or not you get the next gig” @MixCoach

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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 - Always try to make the guy you are working for look better then they are already. Never call attention to something somebody did wrong. Your pay grade really depends on who you’re making look better. I call it serving up. 

Contact:
http://mixcoach.com
facebook.com/mixcoach
@MixCoach

Chris Mara

RSR027 – Chris Mara – Welcome to 1979

(Press play on the green strip above or listen on iTunes with the link below)

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

If you dig the show I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

RSR027 - Chris Mara - Welcome to 1979

My guest today is Chris Mara owner of Nashville’s Welcome To 1979 recording studio, and owner of Mara Machines; the largest analog tape machine restoration company in the world.

Chris’s passion for recording led to founding the analog-centric Welcome To 1979; which has clients such as Pete Townshend, Eric Burdon, Brendan Benson, The Features, North Mississippi Allstars, The Protomen, John Oats, and Jack White’s Third Man Records among many.


Welcome To 1979

Chris shared the journey he took to start his own unique analog tracking facility. Located in an old record pressing plant, his control room is a whopping 1,200 sq ft featuring an MCI-428 built in 1987.

Welcome to 1979 Control Room 

“The epiphany was: The thing I don’t have will be my greatest asset” @Welcometo1979

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Vinyl Mastering 

Welcome to 1979 also has a beautiful cutting lathe and vinyl mastering department, making masters for Sony Records, Warner Records, Compass Records and Concord Records, along with many independent artists. 

Chris learned from Hank Williams what the vinyl mastering process is and what a cutting lathe is. His studio now uses a Neumann VMS70 to master vinyls in real time. The masters are turned into metal and hot pressed into the vinyl record.

Neumann VMS70

Vinyl master your album at 1979

YOU can send WAV files or tapes to Welcome to 1979, and they’ll send the lacquer master off for metal stamper for you to send to a vinyl pressing plant of your choosing.​

“We’re the only place in the country that you can send a WAV file to and we can ship a metal stamper to a pressing plant of your choice” 

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Mara Machines restores analog MCI tape machines in use all over the world: Canada, Mexico, Greece, Vietnam, England, Brazil and of course, the United States. Mara Machines clients include Pete Townshend, Arcade Fire, Live, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Ryan Freeland, Greg Wells & Justin Niebank.

“I think the coolest thing about a tape machine, is it changes your workflow” @Welcometo1979

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Recording Summit 

Rockstars this is something really cool that you will want to know about. Welcome To 1979 is also ground zero for a yearly Recording Summit inviting you to meet panels of experts that have included inspiring producers like Vance Powell, Richard Dodd, Mitch Easter, Gary Paczosa, Larry Crane, and mastering engineer Hank Williams during previous years.

Chris wanted to bring "AES" and "Potluck" to a more intimate level. His summit has 60 spots consisting of business and music panels, that talks a lot about day to day challenges such as  “the art of production and taxes."

“I decided to have a small, yet high impact summit here” @Welcometo1979

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Tape Camp

Chris also hosts a regular event called Tape Camp where you can spend a weekend in the studio learning all about analog tape, from aligning the machines right through recording a session. He shares how people would email him asking to learn more about tape machines, so he started a camp twice a year where they invite ten people the weekend to come get hands on learning experience recording to tape. A special third day set aside for tape alignment. 

Student at Tape Camp

“My dad taught me, when you’re fixing something, don’t look at your tool box for 10 minutes. Take a look and see what’s going on” @Welcometo1979

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Jam Session 

Q - What was holding you back at the start?
A - I’d say Wisconsin. Being 7 hours North of Chicago, there was no industry or connections, so I moved here (to Nashville).

Q- What was some of the best advice you got early on?
A -Larry Crane is a good friend of mine, and in one of his issues of Tape Op he talks about photography which is a hobby of mine. He had this saying, “if there’s something cool happening, don’t go back to your car to get the better camera, because when you get back the elk is done doing what it’s doing.” So it’s kind of like shooting the shot with what you have. That has helped me very well. If someone is singing and jamming, throw the mic up and go.

“You can’t unring a bell” @Welcometo1979

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

A - So a friend of mine who attended tape camp, we both have a BlueStripe 1176. I went to his studio and he’s like check this out. If you turn this attack knob, it clicks off, and it’ll distort. The very next week Eric Burdon comes here and the producer's like, “man we need a little hair on this” and I had just the right thing. Dare I say the student became the teacher.

Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio
A-
I rarely record without a DBX 160. They make sense to me. I love to use them on kick, snare, guitars vocals, bass, background vocals. Lately I’ve been putting one behind another compressor as a limiter on a vocal especially. When I first started recording, I just became fond of the sound.

Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

A - The Sans Amp has pulled me out of a lot of fires. Echoboy... I started mixing in the box once I found Echoboy. 

“If you’re seeking out instant gratification, you're in the wrong business” @Welcometo1979

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

A - Yoli, my wife, runs the business side. She’s brilliantly smart and financially conservative. She's the one that grew Mara Machines. I just backed into being a business owner. I’ve got a lot of friends and neighbors that are a lot smarter than me. We sit and drink wine and I play golf with them and they teach me things on their business and how they think of things.

“Get to the point, whatever your career is, to be able to choose your tools” @Welcometo1979

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Q- How do you find a great business partner? What should you look out for?

A - Flashy is not the answer. Everyone that I look up to is very unassuming. The best engineers won't tell you what they worked on, you have to pull it out of them.

“If you’re motivated and you can hustle, you can make money” @Welcometo1979

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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 - I think what I would do is find bands and retain a good vocal chain something that I could use on guitars and vocals. 

Q - What if somebody wanted to start with an all analog setup?

A - I would say a one-inch 8 track machine and a small console like a Machey 16 channel, and a 8 channel one for return and a slew of 57’s


“Especially in the studio, listen more than you talk” @Welcometo1979

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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 - Be nice, work hard. Especially in the studio, listen more than you talk

Contact:
welcometo1979.com

maramachines.com

@Welcometo1979

RSR026 – Matthew Weiss – The Pro Audio Files

(Press play on the green strip above or listen on iTunes with the link below)

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

If you dig the show I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

RSR026 - Matthew Weiss - The Pro Audio Files

My guest today is Matthew Weiss, a Grammy nominated, and Spelleman Award winning engineer. He began his career assisting such notable engineers and producers as Bobby Eli, Mark Marshall, Denise Barbarita, and Ron St. Germaine.



His credits include Arrested Development, Snoop Dogg, Dizzee Rascal, Uri Caine, Sonny Digital, Mega Ran, King Midas, Armageddon, Ronnie Spector, and too many more to mention here.


Matthew also executive produced the self ­titled album "Soul Veggies" which debuted at #47 on the Indie Billboard Chart, #97 on the Hip Hop Billboard Chart, and #188 on Billboard's Top 200.


Most importantly for your Rockstars, is that Matthew loves teaching audio recording and mixing. He has appeared as a guest speaker at Cornell University, ProStudio Live, and SXSW. And his audio education tutorials are among the best selling and most highly regarded that you will find.


Matthew has teamed up with The Pro Audio Files to create many courses teaching you everything from mixing Hip Hop & EDM, or Rock and Pop music. He also offers advanced courses diving deeper into topics like mixing rap vocals or Hip Hop beats.


When you are ready to learn by example, you will enjoy Matthew’s Mixthru Series where you get to watch over his shoulder as he mixes an entire song from start to finish in real time. It’s like getting to hang out in the studio with a master mixer for hours during a real mix. Matthew even stops along the way to explain every detail. So you know not only what is going on, but why he is making all his mix decisions.

Learn Directly From Matthew Weiss!

(Keep reading to see the special discount offer created just for your Rockstars!)

MIXTHRU SERIES

Improve your mixing skills by watching a professional mix engineer at work. Learn the what, why, and how as Matthew mixes right in front of you.

MIXING EDM

Learn How To Mix Drums, Synths, Bass, Vocals, transitions, Drops, and More!

MIXING HIP-HOP

Levels, Compression, EQ and everything in between!

THE PRO AUDIO FILES MEMBERSHIP SITE

This is the place to find all of Matthew's tutorials and courses in one place for one monthly price!

The Pro Audio Files have created a special offer just for your Rockstars...

Now you can get 25% off of any Matthew Weiss product. (For a limited time so act now!)

Just use the code RSR25 at checkout​


Jam Session 

Q - What was holding you back at the start?
A - Money! It’s really hard to go places and do things when you’re working at a pizza shop.

“The most important thing in mixing and production is the decision making process” @WeissSound


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Q- What was some of the best advice you got early on?
A - I was backstage at a concert going on at temple university and KRS-One was the headliner and I got a chance to talk to him backstage. I asked him what's the magic key to success. and he said to me, “If you really want to stand in your own light, help someone else stand in theirs”, and that pretty much shaped my whole career.

“The direction of the hustle is a little different… I call it downstream production” @WeissSound

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

A - Understand the instrument you’re recording. If you want to get the best sound sonically speaking from a voice. They best way is to understand the mechanisms that go into vocal performance because if you know those mechanisms you will get such an improvement of sound at the source. You can throw up a bullshit microphone going into a bullshit preamp and still actually get sonically speaking good results.

Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio
A-
I've got a fairchild clone. I love my hardware, a lot of it's modified to do what I want it to do. I got a Bricasti Reverb recently, that thing sounds so good. I picked out all this stuff for very specific purposes, not all of its expensive. I’ve got a drawmer punch gate, I’ve got a Bellari tube exciter and it's been modified, and that's not a very expensive unit, and I have a $7,000 compressor that sounds really, really good.

“I’m miscredited or not credited probably as often as I’m credited” @WeissSound

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Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

A - There's so many of them. Waves Inphase seems to keep making its way into my life. It’s one of the few things that you can do in terms of processing that actually adjusts the source recording. Getting a perfect phase relationship between things like miced bass cabinet and bass DI is pretty irreplaceable.

“If you do your work on the front end, it makes things like mixing a whole lot easier” @WeissSound

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

A - I haven't found too many great resources for the business side of things, so I would love it if your listeners send me their resources! I had been checking out accountants and decided to be my own. I talked to managers and ultimately decided to be my own manager. I’ve had assistants and all of them have been unfortunately fired. So I end up doing everything myself. I write my own contracts because I have yet to find any resource that helps with that. Google is amazing. If you want to know things, like what goes into a split sheet, but you can google it and get a sheet to print, and learn what it is and what it does. Be self-sufficient.

“Bragging rights are great, but nothing beats the experience” @WeissSound

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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 - You need a laptop because you have to be able to communicate with people. Whatever budget that you can get for equipment, but put a good amount toward necessities: an interface, a respectable microphone. My first microphone was an Audio Technica 433 A, I still have it and still use it. When you’re buying gear, try to buy the stuff you are going to keep. And don’t forget to save money for expenses on the way up. Be selective about who you’re working with, but know these are the people who are ultimately going to shape your career.

“Some decisions will turn out to be mistakes” @WeissSound

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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 - Get into the studio. Whatever sacrifices you have to make, trust me. What is going into a studio and buying studio time yourself in the face of that? Whether you’re going to college to get your degree in finance, it's a sacrifice in the beginning. You incur debt or pay out of your own pocket to get an education, to gain access to people, to form connections and network and expand what you’re doing. And after you make that sacrifice, the idea of the investment is it pays off down the road. So be willing to make sacrifices and realize they aren’t as big as they are when you’re making them.

Contact:

theproaudiofiles.com/members

www.weiss-sound.com

www.weissadvice.com

RSR025 – Chad Brown – Grammy Award Winning Mixer

(Press play on the green strip above or listen on iTunes with the link below)

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

If you dig the show I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

RSR025 - Chad Brown - 

Grammy Award Winning Mixer 

My guest today is Chad Brown, an engineer, producer, gear guilder, and Grammy winning mixer living in East Nashville TN, but hailing from the "Birthplace of Country Music", Bristol VA.


He started out at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Phoenix, AZ before moving to Nashville in 1995 where he worked his way up assisting and engineering through various studios on Music Row. In 1996 he was hired at Oceanway Nashville Studios, and learned from some of the best producers, engineers, and artists in the world.


Chad has long since moved on to an independent production, and recording career that has led him to work with many amazing artists like Mike Farris, Gretchen Peters, Ryan Adams, The Righteous Brothers, Bob Seger, Jim Lauderdale, Patty Griffin, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Robert Plant and Bill Medley.


In 2015 Chad received a Grammy Award for mixing "Shine For All The People" by Mike Farris. He mixed the record right here at The Toy Box Studio through the famous MCI console, and the classic sound won the Grammy for Best Roots Gospel Album of the Year

And what is special about this interview is that we recorded it as a live Webinar. So I want to thank the Rockstars who joined us from all over the world for your questions during the interview. Check out the live Webinar Here! 

Chad also created a cool thing to help you learn more about mixing with his MIX COACHING PROGRAM.

Rockstars if you have a mix you’re working hard on and would really like to know what a  Grammy winning mixer would do with it, you can send it to Chad to get feedback and guidance! He offers these super cool mix packages to help you get your record closer to a Grammy winning sound.

For a limited time he offering Recording Studio Rockstars a major discount!

MiX coaching packages

$100 NOW $27 – 1 SHEET MIX REVIEW AND ADVICE ON MIX AND PRODUCTION OF ONE SONG.

$200 NOW $57 – SCHEDULE A 45 MINUTE ONE ON ONE SKYPE CONVERSATION Q&A AND REVIEW OF ONE SONG.

$750 NOW $207 – COMPLETE REVIEW OF YOUR MIX. THEN CHAD WILL MIX YOUR SONG AND MAKE A VIDEO WALKING YOU THROUGH HIS ENTIRE MIX PROCESS AND DECISION MAKING.

“Everything that didn’t work is not a failure, you succeeded in finding things that did not work!”

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Jam Session 

Q - What was holding you back at the start?
A - Maturity and experience. Knowing you have to sit and work to figure out how to be good. It doesn't come naturally just because you’ve been around music. Even if you can’t get something that sounds great, know that you can get something that sounds really cool.

Q- What was some of the best advice you got early on?
A - Sort of back to the experience thing, Eric Seraphin this guy I worked with early on said, there's no substitute for hours behind the desk. Just sitting at the speakers and trying and getting better. The more you do it, the more you get better.

“My failures have forced me to broaden my horizons and open new artistic avenues”

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

A - One of the things I’ve been having fun with is taking a plate or chamber and make it long like 6-10 seconds, typically don’t shave the high end off of it and filter it usually pretty hard. I’ll EQ it to suit, get the pre-delay in time and it’ll just whisk off into the sunset.

Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio
A- 
I have 3 KU3A, it's an RCA ribbon microphone that i really enjoy because it always sounds cool. I have a 15” marching snare that always sound cool as well. I carry digital versions around with me if I don’t actually have access to it, and my speakers, I’m using pro-ax these days, but whatever speakers I have; having something I can trust.

“From a session standpoint, you’re helping making peoples dreams come true”

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Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

A - SoundToys. It's one of those things that once i got it, i can’t live without it. Love it, love it, love it. I feel like they barely made delays before soundToys came out.

Q- What are some favorite reverbs?

A- I’m a big fan of the Lexicon stuff. The native bundle (the PCM series) I typically do a room or a hall, a long chamber, and I typically use a vintage plate.

“If you do your work on the front end, it makes things like mixing a whole lot easier”

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

A - People, man, people. Creating a network of friends, people that you can trust and you can run your struggles by or you can borrow cables or adaptors or rent. Building a network of people that suit how you like to make music.

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 - What I would use is probably not a whole lot different than what I use now. Pro Tools, 57s, kick drum mic, a good stereo pair and a good vocal mic. If you can put together a good 6-8 channels, there's few recordings you can’t make.

“It’s music... it’s subjective” 

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Q- Do you think someone starting out could not have condenser mics?

A- The joy of condenser mics is they capture a certain space around things. I will say while building a mic collection, build your other areas, until you can go to something good. In my opinion there's not a great really cheap tube condenser mics. Pollusa mics are great. I have yet to hear something from them that I didn’t like.They have a 251 copy that's really universal and P58, small condensers that are super versatile.


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

A - Listen, listen all the time. Listen to your clients, listen to what other people are doing, listen to what you are doing. Listen and do a bunch of it!

RSR024 – Jonathan Roye – Woodshed Audio

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

If you dig the show I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

RSR023 - Jonathan Roye - Woodshed Audio

My guest today is Jonathan Roye. He is a producer, mixer, musician, and audio blogger from Nashville TN. In his own words he has grown up obsessed with music, playing drums in garage bands, trombone in jazz bands, and guitar in country bands.


He has produced and mixed indie bands that you’ve never heard of as well as working on number one songs that you definitely have heard of. He has a drive to learn more and more every day to fuel his passion for learning music and recording. And he shares that knowledge with you through his audio blog at JonathanRoye.com and Youtube channel called Mix Notes.


Jonathan’s credits include: Kelsea Ballerini, Owl City, Ester Dean, Fearless Records, Forever The Sickest Kids, The Rocket Summer, Sarah Ross, Caroline Kole, Universal Music Grp, Black River Entertainment, Warner Music, Sony Music Grp, BMG Chrysalis, MTV, Fox Music Supervision.

He is also the creator of Woodshedaudio.com a boutique sample and loop library in Nashville TN. If you are producing music using drums samples you can find a growing library of cool sounds to fill in the sweet spots of your production. With sample packs like Shaker & Tambourine they keep it focused and easy to use. 


Use code RSR15 at checkout for 15% off just for you Rockstars!

GET A FREE SAMPLE PACK FROM

WOODSHED AUDIO

Come check out Jonathan's awesome sample and loop library!! 

“Putting out music consistently is important” 

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Jam Session 

Q - What was holding you back at the start?
A - Easily just not meeting people. Especially back then because the internet wasn’t what it was, Youtube was just a baby. It wasn’t quite as powerful as it is now. I wasn’t going out to clubs enough, I would just sit at home and tinker in Pro Tools/do my own productions. I should have been going to a show every night.

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

A - I remember in high school one of my of my lesson teachers told me, “the sooner you stop approaching music like a student and giving myself a handicap, and the sooner I started living and prioritizing like a professional, the sooner it will happen." I remember he said that and five switches went off in my head, and everything changed

Q- Share with us a recording tip, hack, or secret sauce.
A - Find a mentor. That’s the biggest game changer. It’s so easy now, there's so many podcasts, blogs, youtube videos, pensado’s places, AES conventions. The key is getting the right advice from the right people.

“You don’t need a $10,000 dollar set of speakers. You just need to know one set extremely well” 

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Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio
A- Speakers. Those are the best investment. Its boring, but true. I dont think people put enough value or focus into speakers and placement of speakers. Especially room treatment. You can do so much with room treatment that will cost you no money.


Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

A - I’m a big fan of the Universal Audio stuff. Plug-ins sound so good these days. The Slate stuff is great, Fab Filter, Greg over and Kush Audio makes a lot of great stuff.

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

A - I’m a big fan of Seth Godin. He has a book called The Dip. Its an easy read, it’s a small book. There's a whole saying “winners never quit, and quitters never win.” The book explains how that’s kind of bullshit, because winners quit all the time. They’re just quitting the right things at the right time strategically.

“When Mixing, I’m always thinking, how is what we’re going to add here going to affect the mix in 15 seconds”

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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 - You know you have to have a rig, you have to have a way to record people. I’d probably save up and get a laptop. I’d get an apollo because you can pretty much build an empire with one of those things. I’d get an SM7, and your pick of a 300-500 dollar condenser mic. Then you have to start meeting people and play all the cards you have up your sleeve. Whether that be online stuff or in person stuff.

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

 A - Just work. I always tell kids to go home and put a LLC or a .Inc behind their name, then just learn from everyone, everywhere, and don’t show your cards to anyone. Maybe someone comes along and they’re better than you. It doesn’t really matter. Then you just work. Worry about your thing. Try not to compare yourself to anyone else. Every now and then, stop and see how far you’ve come. You’d be surprised how much you can make happen.

Bob Olhsson

RSR023 – Bob Olhsson – Motown Records

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

If you dig the show I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

RSR023 - Bob Ohlsson - Motown Records

My guest today is Bob Olhsson a master audio engineer and producer with 50 years of experience. Bob has a truly remarkable career path that has led him from Detroit to San Francisco to Space and finally back to Nashville.


He was one of only two people to ever hold every engineering position at Motown Records in Detroit during which he recorded and mastered 100 top ten singles 42 of which were #1 hits. He even recorded Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, Stevie Wonder, and Motown’s first successful rock act, Rare Earth.


Then in San Francisco he mixed dozens of live jazz, folk, and classical broadcasts from Van Morrison to Weather Report at KPFA radio. And built a 24 track recording studio that he managed for over a decade which led to co-producing The Band’s final album for Capitol Records.


Bob also Built the first Pro Tools motion picture post audio system in Northern California and while working as an editor at AW Audio did all of his mixing at Skywalker Ranch (ever heard of the movie Star Wars?).


His freelancing credits in San Francisco included the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, Graham Nash, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Percy Mayfield, Ron Thompson, Harmonia Mundi Records and many others.He also worked with Hearts of Space Records. He mastered their catalog of ambient, electronic and world music. A number of these titles were acclaimed as audiophile reference recordings.


I totally remember loving to hear those recordings on public radio during late night drives!Finally Bob’s career led him to Nashville where he continues to engineer and master records working with clients like Keb’ Mo’, Funk Brothers, Ray Manzarek, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ian McLagan, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Beth Neilson Chapman, Freedy Johnston, BR 549, Old Crow Medicine Show, Suzy Bogguss, Bettye Lavette, many others.


Whew!

Motown Records

The Motown Control Room


                           BOB ON MOTOWN


"Motown was the first really successful black owned record management company in the world. The two most successful labels ever were Motown and A&M owned by Herb Alpert."

"Prior to the early 1950s, major label studios used 4 mics, a selection of RCA 44s and 77s (typically figure8) used as overall pickup and spot mics. The pick up mic typically on the floor in front of everyone, one for soloist, one for rhythm section, vocalist, etc. Glen Miller & Duke Ellington Orchestras, Andrew Sisters, all recorded this way."

"We invented 'Punching in' or 'dropping in'. On an analog machine you couldn’t punch out We were the first place that had multiple sends on the console, used them for three different kinds of echo. It was never called reverb until Lexicon came out, that was a Lexiconism."

"Motown was a photo studio before it was a recording studio. It had a soft pine floor, that turned out to sound freaking incredible."


Jam Session 

Q - What was holding you back at the start?
A - Confidence. like everybody.

Q- What was some of the best advice you got early on?
A - Keep the session moving. Don’t let the musicians get bored, that came from one of my main teachers Cal Harris who came from Goldstar.

Q- Share with us a recording tip, hack, or secret sauce.
A -
Avoid headphones. If you’re overdubbing set up a speaker and a mic. That's how everything was done prior to 1965. Play the track back out in the studio and have the cardioid mic face the singer facing away from the speaker. There was really no risk (of bleed) of playing something that was going to taken out of the mix.

"We used RCA 44s and 77s for everything." - Bob Ohlsson

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Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio
A
The first piece of outboard gear I bought was the UREI-LA3A. It has a switch between compression and limiting. 

Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

A - I use protools for recording and mixing. I use Samplitude for mastering. I use Samplitude because it lets you set up a processing chain in each song file. It's very convenient for recalls. Plugins are like a drawing of an old piece of gear, some of work fantastic on some things and awful on others.

“There's a lot of dumbed down music out there that doesn't have a lot of human interaction that communicates emotion.” - Bob Ohlsson

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

A - Couple basic things to understand, first off the only thing you have to sell is your audience, it's not about selling the music. The music is what you do for the audience but from a financial standpoint the ears are what is for sale. The relationship with the audience is everything. The other thing to understand is the artist is a brand. The artist that has it figured out the best that I’ve seen is Jimmy Buffet

“Human beings make great music” 

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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 - I have no idea. I bumbled into it when I was 16 and I kinda started at the top. It’s been just trying to figure on what the hell is going on since then.

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

 A - Always be the dumbest person in the room. That means go find people who are really talented and find a way to work with them.


RSR022 – Michael Hardesty & Stephen Turney – 24HrRecords

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

If you dig the show I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

RSR022 - Michael Hardesty and Stephen Turney

24HrRecords


Today I have a special show for you with two very cool guests, Stephen Turney and Michael Hardesty. These guys produce, engineer, and mix, both records and music videos. Together they created 24HR Records a Youtube web series that hand picks a team of musicians, locks them in a studio, and tasks them with writing and recording three original songs in 24 hours.


Each episode is brought to you from a different recording studio, and even The Toy Box Studio has been home to one of these creative all nighters. Check the episode out!


The entire bleary eyed, coffee addled, musical journey is captured on film, record, and photos. The entire footage is then distilled down to its very essence to create one 12 minute episode and three music videos.


24HR records is also part of the larger Made In Network, an eclectic Youtube network pairing up cool music themed shows like 24HR Records, Find The Beauty, and Music Video Sins.


Stephen Turney is a producer and engineer based out of Nashville, TN. Originally hailing from the great state of Texas, Stephen moved to Tennessee to attend the Belmont University recording program, and has been making records ever since. Musically he’s a pianist by trade, an engineer by necessity, and a producer by proxy. Stephen has also worked with me at The Hay Bale Studio at Bonnaroo, and various records at The Toy Box Studio.


Michael Hardesty is from Ohio originally having also moved to Nashville for the Belmont University recording program. He is Production Director at Made In Network, and continues to produce and engineer in the studio, as well being the head engineer for the Bonnaroo Hay Bale Studio.

Michael Hardesty

Michael Hardesty

24 HR Records

Stephen Turney

“We bring musicians together that have never met and make them write on the spot” @24HRRecords

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Jam Session:

Q - What was holding you back at the start?

Stephen: Oh definitely myself, hands down. I probably would not be doing recording and production if Michael isn’t as ambitious as he is and would wake me up when we were in college to go down to the studio to learn more. I’m someone who constantly doubts myself and my work, so that’s something that’s perpetually helped me.

Michael: I think what was holding me back was social skills.The fun parts about music and creativity is that it's generally better when more than one are involved. I had to spend a lot of time figuring out myself and how to communicate to other people so that I could talk to bands and get them in the studio and get them excited. That was a huge barrier for me, and I’m still working on it.


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

Stephen: Something that I did not do that I wish I’d done.. As soon as I was out of school and was trying to make a living for myself, was to go get some other gig that had reliable money coming in. No matter what it is, waiting tables or whatever something that's flexible, but still make sure your rent is coming in. I just rolled the dice on that for like two years living paycheck to paycheck and it was really stressful for me. It’s hard to go present yourself and set rates when you’re like begging for money.

Michael: Early on, a lot of people kept reminding me not to undervalue myself because a lot of the toughest situations that I’ve gotten into in the studio really do come down to those rate negotiations. A lot of gigs I took that ended poorly, would have been better if I would have said, you are trying to undervalue me, it’s literally not worth my time to do this.

“There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a project before talking about money” @24HRRecords

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

Stephen: I know a lot of people probably do this, but I love doing it.. a lot of parallel compression on drums when mixing I’ll usually set up three different aux’s. Paralyzed compression is, say you have a snare drum on one track and you create another track with like an 1176 cranking on the same snare track (hard compressing it) and you blend those two signals together. It’s a good way to get away with a lot of compression without it really sounding like you’re really using a lot of compression.

Michael: One hack I enjoy is realistically to use the room and use the bleed. So much of modern recording is ridiculously isolated. It definitely gives you “a” sound, but why not have a bass amp by the drummer? Like that kind of blend can really work to your advantage.


Q - Share a favorite hardware tool for the studio

Stephen: My go-to thing is a distressor it can do so many different kinds of compression. I don’t know how electronics work, but man you can pull off so much stuff with that box.

Michael: I’m an AEA- R84 fan. That is thee overdub mic. It’s not the most expensive ribbon mic in the world, but for some reason it makes sense to me and it stacks really well. We’ve done entire overdub sessions on that mic from guitar to vocal to aux/percussion and at the end of the day you have 20 tracks that all sound amazing together.

“Educate yourself in music. You do that by listening to good music and playing good music” @24HRRecords

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Q - Share a favorite software tool for the studio

Michael: Anything SoundToys. I’ve had the chance to work with UAD, they’re amazing, but not quite affordable. SoundToys is unbelievable. They bridge the gap from technical to creative.


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

Stephen: Actually for me, a lot of the business stuff I stole from you, Lij. I’m a big fan of that Freshbooks accounting stuff. I hate doing accounting and i always loose track of stuff. That thing is nice, not that expensive and works well for me.

Michael: I use a service called ToDoist, all it is is a to-do list, but it’s free and it helps me when I wake up at 4am thinking about things I need to do tomorrow. It’s really simple.


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?

Stephen: As far as finding people to work with, I would start going out a lot of the local clubs and forcing myself to go up and talk to people. I would also start or join a band. As far as gear, I would get a laptop and depending on money I would get an API 4 channel (mic pres), buy whatever interface I could afford, handful mic and mic stands, and try to be mobile and not relying to stay in one place.

Michael: Gotta echo Stephen, go to all of the places where creative people are, shows, art exhibits, coffee shop, get out and talk to people. In terms of gear get one of the boxes with the pre and converter are in one. I might have to sell something to get my R84.

“You can’t stop cool” @24HRRecords

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

Stephen: I think just work really hard. I the people that are really good at recording and producing are the people who stay up all night or all day just playing around with their tools and learning them inside and out so when you’re on a session, you know the answer to whatever problem has come up.

Michael: Keep your musical ties running. I don’t play as much as I want to. Don’t act like it’s just the musicians job to make the music. Be a good musician yourself so when you come into the studio you have the most knowledge about music that you possibly can.

24hrrecords.com

​@24HRRecords

Blessing Offor

RSR021 – Blessing Offor – Songwriter Producer

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

If you dig the show I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

RSR021 - Blessing Offor - Songwriting Producer

Singer on The Voice

My guest today is Blessing Offor an eclectic musician, songwriter, and producer. Born in Nigeria and raised in Connecticut with cultural and musical influences that span continents, cultures, and decades, Blessing has a life story and a message that he has felt compelled to share through music from a young age.


As an artist and songwriter Blessing has mastered guitar and piano as the tools of composition. But his voice has taken him to studios and stages all over. He has been on the TV show The Voice, and appeared at The Kennedy Center on multiple occasions, and is also an international songwriting competition winner.


I have had the pleasure of working with Blessing in the studio many times, and it is a blast. Blessing has a sharp ear as a singer and producer, and uses the tools of the studio in very unique ways as you will learn on the podcast.

“Words are powerful, words put to music are unstoppable” @BlessingOffor

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Jam Session


Q. When you started out in recording what was Holding You Back?

A. I think what was holding me back, was making weird faces when I sang. My first voice teacher said, blessing you have open your mouth. No one looks attractive singing. So you have to stop worrying about looking cute. Opening my mouth was really weird for me.


Q. Some of the best advice?

A. If you don’t feel it no one else will. Real simple. If you’re not into it, who else is going to be into it.

“There’s writing because you’re inspired, and then there’s writing because it’s a practice and a habit.” @BlessingOffor

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

A. The one ear trick. If you’re having a hard time hitting a harmony, or a double, just lift one ear off. You actually have to hear yourself sometimes, as well what you’re matching because you have to tune yourself.


Q. Share with us a favorite hardware tool.

A. My favorite microphone. Neumann U87 or 47. When I hear it in my ears, I’m just like, who is that singing? Oh thats me!

“Everyday, just write something.” @BlessingOffor

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Q. Share with us a favorite software tool in the studio.

A. Apple's got a pretty much covered. If it wasn’t for that voiceover app, we wouldn’t even be here right now. But Logic is also pretty cool.

“On a record, you want to capture something eternal.” @BlessingOffor

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Q. Share with us a favorite tip for the business side of the studio.

A. I have a lot of friends who are much further in the business than I am, and I just pick their brains about everything. I pick their brains about mechanical royalties, what the music industry is doing right now, how to monetize yourself, and how streams of income are happening with streaming.

“Putting out a record that you’re not going to stand behind 100% is going to be the worst feeling of your life” @BlessingOffor

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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. I used to only piano and I thought man, portability is a very nice thing about the guitar. So i started learning guitar. I’m not the best guitar player by any stretch, but I can definitely write and perform on it. I think that my best calling card is my songs and hopefully me singing them. So if i just dropped into a new city, and knew no one I would find the most crowded part of the city and just start playing and I think the rest would just work out on its own. You know, you’d be surprised how many different people that you meet.


“A friend said to me, you know blessing you have to get into the car first before you drive anyone anywhere, and then I thought, well me driving is a terrible idea” @BlessingOffor

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Q. What is the single most important thing that our listeners can do to become a rockstar of the recording studio’s themselves.

A. Become a gearhead… That’s a lie, actually quite the opposite. You should have a sound. Have an idea of what you’re trying to do. Conceptually before you go out and do a bunch of things, just know what you’re looking for. For me it’s been really important to know what the end goal is before you just head of on this Don Quixote quest.


Facebook: Blessing Offor.

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

RSR007 - David Glenn - The Mix Academy

If you dig the show I would be honored if you would subscribe, and leave a rating, & review in iTunes.

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 reverb.com, 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.