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Studio Pass: Sylvia Massy

Lesson 17 of 27

Recap and Intro

Sylvia Massy

Studio Pass: Sylvia Massy

Sylvia Massy

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Lesson Info

17. Recap and Intro


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:01:56
5 Drum Setup & Tuning Duration:18:21
6 Drum Mic Placement Duration:09:21
8 Drum Micing - Room Mics Duration:41:25
9 Drum Micing - Toms Duration:22:10
11 Bass Setup Duration:20:20
12 Guitar Setup Duration:36:13
13 Vocal Setup Duration:17:32
14 Band Mic Check Duration:26:05
15 How Sylvia Plans a Lesson Duration:07:29
17 Recap and Intro Duration:04:17
20 Re-Recording Chorus Duration:13:46
21 Process for Editing Duration:18:42
22 Guitar Solo and Overdubs Duration:52:35
23 Vocal Overdubs Duration:32:12
24 Creative Studio Techniques Duration:1:00:11
25 How to Mix: Drums Duration:43:56
26 How to Mix: Add Bass & Guitar Duration:13:34
27 How to Mix: Add Vocals Duration:36:24

Lesson Info

Recap and Intro

Yesterday we had a great day. We started out by meeting the band. The band is Thunderpussy. And we talked about the songs to record. We found a song that we all really like. It's called Speed Queen. And then I started strategizing on how to record it. We chose the microphones for the recording of the band with my friend here, my assistant, Scott, who's been essential in making this thing happen. So we set up the drums, we mic'd up the drums. We set up the base, and mic'd up the base. And we set up a quite an elaborate guitar rig with a splitter box going into four different guitar rigs, I guess. There's two Marshalls, there's a weird projector amp, and then we have a BLACK+DECKER jigsaw being triggered from the guitar also. And we'll do scratch vocals while we're recording. And we'll be doing overdubs later on today. We haven't even started recording yet. All this yesterday was just in anticipation of what we'll be doing today. It's going to be a lot of fun. I've got some surprises in ...

store too. We like adventure recording and we'll be doing some of that. So I think we'll talk to the band now and let them know that we're getting ready to record. Awesome. Okay, I'm gonna go out to the room and talk to the band now. How are ya? Feeling good? Feelin' good. Headphones are happening? Feelin' good, feelin' great. Everyone in the mood? (Thunderpussy cheers) We've got sounds happening. We got the guitar set up. We got the base over there in that room. We've got everyone mic'd up. The drums sound great. We've checked everything and I think we're gonna start recording. Now here's a question. We've given you all click track. And we found a tempo for the song. Now, the song starts with a tempo and then it goes to a double-time. So can we use the same click for the entire song? Yes, we're gonna do that for this take. And if, I don't know, if we feel like it's too slow, maybe we could try the double-time a little faster, if that's okay? Okay, why don't we start with the click, let's see, how have we set this up now? We have a click, can we double-time the click? No problem. Okay. Do you want to start with the double-time? We'll start with the-- It's a hard break. If we had to, could we record it as two sections? Well, what I'd like to do is start with a, with recording the complete song as it is and we'll see if the click works. We'll use a double-time click and we'll see how far we get with it. If we can get through the whole song, great. Yeah. I'd like to, if we need to adjust the tempo, we'll take just separate pieces of the end where it goes to double-time. Sounds good. In case there's any problems. Yeah. How ya doin, Molly? I feel great. Okay, we're going to do scratch vocals. So as you're doing these vocals, it's just for guide so that everyone knows where they are in the song. And so I can learn the song, because I don't, I'm not as intimate with the song as you guys are. So it'll help me. But you don't have to give me like a stellar performance, because we will be rerecording you, for sure. Now if you get a great guitar solo, we're gonna keep it. But in case you don't, we'll be doing overdubs. So we'll have another chance to fix that. And I know that you play a fuzz pedal usually towards the end of the song. When it goes to double time. Right, so let's just not do the fuzz pedal now. It's something that we could do as an overdub or a punch-in. Okay, all right. I think we have a plan. Cool. Let's get started.

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!