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Studio Pass: Sylvia Massy

with Sylvia Massy

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  •   01 Class Introduction

  •   06 Drum Mic Placement


Class duration: 9h 32m

See all 27 lessons
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    19 student reviews

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About The Class

learn recording from the engineer that recorded Prince, Johnny Cash and Red Hot Chili Peppers

Over the last 30+ years, Sylvia Massy has built a career as one of the gutsiest and most innovative recording engineers and producers. She has worked with legends like Prince and Johnny Cash, and won awards for her work with bands like Tool, System of a Down and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. In this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you will get a peek inside the recording process of one of rock’s legendary engineers. 

While she is a proficient master of vintage gear, Sylvia stresses that great records come not from having the right gear, but from capturing great performances. Join Sylvia as she records a song in the studio with Seattle alt-rock band Thunderpussy, and learn how to work with an artist to capture that magical take in your own work.

Pulling from her years of experience and sharing stories from her newly published book Recording UnHinged, Sylvia will show you:

  • How to get interesting and vibrant drum sounds, using the room and the drummer to your advantage
  • Capturing great sounding guitars at the source, without editing and reamping
  • Pushing vocalists to deliver their best vocal takes 
  • Mixing both in the box and through a console using outboard gear

Sylvia is also known as a prolific educator, speaking and teaching at some of the best recording schools around the world. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from one of the industry’s most celebrated A-list producers. 

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

  2. 02

    Avast! Studio Overview & Walkthrough

  3. 03

    Sylvia's Recording Philosophy

  4. 04

    Introduce the Band, Thunderpussy

  5. 05

    Drum Setup & Tuning

  6. 06

    Drum Mic Placement

  7. 07

    Drum Micing - Mid-Side Overhead Technique

  8. 08

    Drum Micing - Room Mics

  9. 09

    Drum Micing - Toms

  10. 10

    Drum Micing - Kick and Snare Final Tuning

  11. 11

    Bass Setup

  12. 12

    Guitar Setup

  13. 13

    Vocal Setup

  14. 14

    Band Mic Check

  15. 15

    How Sylvia Plans a Lesson

  16. 16

    Budgets, Time and Planning a Session

  17. 17

    Recap and Intro

  18. 18

    Recording the Band, Thunderpussy

  19. 19

    Mixing the Recording of the Band

  20. 20

    Re-Recording Chorus

  21. 21

    Process for Editing

  22. 22

    Guitar Solo and Overdubs

  23. 23

    Vocal Overdubs

  24. 24

    Creative Studio Techniques

  25. 25

    How to Mix: Drums

  26. 26

    How to Mix: Add Bass & Guitar

  27. 27

    How to Mix: Add Vocals


Meet Your Expert

Sylvia Massy

Sylvia Massy has been Producing, Engineering and Mixing popular music for decades. She’s renowned for her work with Tool, System of a Down, Johnny Cash and Prince. She’s received over 25 gold and platinum records including awards for her work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sevendust and Tom Petty. She’s also an accomplished fine artist, a published columnist, in-demand educator and relentless entrepreneur. But to her many friends, she’s just Sylvia, the Radiant Being. ... read more

See instructor's Classes

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Jimmy Foot

    March 2016

    This Studio Pass episode with Sylvia Massey covers a lot of ground. From fundamentals like correct mic placement and phase to experimentation with amps, cell phone delay and a few extra parts, Sylvia makes it fun! I have been lucky enough in my career to work with a number of great engineers and producers. I haven't had the opportunity to work with her, but Sylvia is certainly in that category, and anyone who gets a chance to work with her would be a lucky person. This broadcast is the next best thing. Great job there at Avast Studio and fantastic camera work! And as for Thunderpussy; you guys rock!

  • Marc Felish

    Marc Felish

    March 2016

    Wow, that was such a blast. Thanks so much Sylvia and everyone else for making this such a fun experience. I picked up so many new ideas that I can't wait to try out! Sylvia is such a creative producer, it was so much fun to be a fly on the wall watching everything. Loved it!!

  • Marcus Soares

    Marcus Soares

    June 2016

    Awesome! A great opportunity to pick into the creative mind of one of the greatest and get that kind of knowledge that you can't acquire otherwise. Highly recommended!

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