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Studio Pass: Sylvia Massy

Lesson 1 of 27

Class Introduction

Sylvia Massy

Studio Pass: Sylvia Massy

Sylvia Massy

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Well hello everybody and welcome to CreativeLive. I'm glad that you've joined us. Today you're on the music and audio channel. I'm your host Drew Konzelman and I'm glad that you've joined us. We are in the studio, this is Avast! Recording studio in Seattle, and the class today is Studio Pass with Sylvia Massy. Now, if you don't know who Sylvia is, she is a prolific name in the recording industry. She's worked with bands like Tool, System of the Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty, just to name a few. She's got 25 gold and platinum records. More than 25 gold and platinum records, and we're so fortunate to get some time with her in the studio. So you're really in for a treat and I'm not gonna take up any more time, I'm gonna turn it right over to you, Sylvia. Take it away. Thanks Drew, all right. Hi, my name is Sylvia and we are in Avast!, this is a really great studio to start with and I'm glad we're working here today. It's got a interesting collection of equipment and we have a g...

reat band in today. The band is Thunderpussy. And I did meet them previously. We talked about what music to record today. I like to record in a way where we capture the essence of an artist using their live performances as the basis for recording. Avast! has a great live room and some isolation rooms so that we can set up the band so they can all be in the same room live. Performing while isolating their cabinets. I'll show you that in a moment, how we've got that setup.

Class Description

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. 


Jimmy Foot

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

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

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!