Category Archives: Music Production & Sound Engineering

Why I Love Recording

James and the lads

Yesterday, after some time feeling decidedly down in the dumps over the horrific year that has been 2020, I dusted myself down, pulled on my engineer’s boilersuit and donned the requisite veil of professionalism to undertake a drum recording session that had been booked, cancelled due to Covid, faffed over and subsequently rebooked. This year […]

To Click Or Not To Click? That Is The Question

Metronome

In the modern era of music recording it is generally accepted practice to use a click track as the basis upon which to construct your impending masterpiece. Ah, the humble click track; that annoying blippy-bloop that has become so much a staple of the music production process. Fun Fact: the first time I ever used […]

How To Prepare For Your Session

Ableton, Synths and other gear

If you have read the post “How long does it take to record a song?”, you will know that I consider a band’s readiness in preparation for their upcoming session to be one of the most defining aspects in determining the quality of the end result. To rock up unprepared with a perennially out of […]

What’s Involved In A Recording Session?

XLR cables being plugged in

If you made it through the post “How Long Does It Take To Record A Song?” you will have found that I prattled on endlessly about the various complications common to recording sessions without actually answering the question. For this I can only apologise, and promise to take a more direct approach here, using a […]

How Long Does It Take To Record A Song?

Guitarist looks at watch

The most common question I am asked by prospective clients upon enquiring about a session has to be some variation of “How long will it take to record x number of songs?”. Perhaps, “Can we record and mix a song in a day?”, or “Can we get our EP done in a weekend?”. The trouble […]

DI Boxes: A Distinction Without A Difference..?

Inside a simple DI box

A good friend of mine recently purchased a new DI box; an Orchid Electronics Direct Inject box – an active DI that retails for about 40 quid. It looks like this: He excitedly proclaimed that for the money the sound was fantastic, enjoying in particular how it interfaced with his bass guitar. I was intrigued. […]

How To Make A Guitar Sound Like… A Guitar!

A piece of postmodern guitar art

It may be an unfamiliar premise to some, but I am fervently of the opinion that the goal of recording audio is to accurately capture and faithfully reproduce a particular sound. Not to fuck around with it, contorting it into something that only dimly represents what was originally going on, but to trust in the […]

MOTU??! Urrgh… *Real* Sound Engineers Only Use Prism Converters, Dontcha Know? Hiffle, piffle, pibble and fwaf.

Patch cables in the rear of a MOTU 828

Earlier this year I visited Steve Albini’s Chicago studio, Electrical Audio, with the goal of not only recording some drums with the man himself, but also scrutinising his mic techniques in order to learn more about how such an incredible drum sound is achieved. The results were as fantastic as you would expect, and I […]

Crushed To Hell: My Thoughts About Mastering

Spinning LP on a record player

For the second time in my life I have realised that reaching out to a mastering studio to put the “finishing touches” on my music is completely pointless. Allow me to explain… Mastering recorded audio became its own discipline after the Second World War, when a “dubbing engineer”, secondary to the recording/mix engineer, was tasked […]

The Bullshittery Of Audio Jargon

Warning: Bullshit!

The topic of audio recording is vast and open-ended, and discussion about associated equipment in particular often gives rise to much heated debate with respect to perceived differences in the sonic performance between devices. It is not uncommon for hostile discussions to be waged pitting the minutia characteristics of this device against that, with all […]

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