Background & Recurring Themes
About this course it's this is this is going to be a peak on how uh I work in the studio and how I worked with with the player with then someone who have worked with for a very long time uh this is all these techniques for the most part, all these techniques will be able to be applied at home. It shouldn't be usually it'll take out of this that you know, whether you have, you know, a council or a bunch of mike priest or justin interface with two mikes or one like, you know, you should be able to take something out of this because it always starts with source whether it's, the player and the player and the guitar it flows from player to guitar to amp and then back to the player so we're going to start with that and dialling are sounds that way and then we'll die we'll start dialing in on the more technical side with the microphones and moving mike's and queuing and all that stuff, and then we'll be able to adjust that within the track we're going to be ableto too ah, we're gonna be able...
tio again it's, it's all symbiotic it's all how everything responds to everything so it all matters, and yet none of it matters that makes any sense it's you know you have tio try to take all this in and pull what you can and hopefully you know, people were downloading this will be ableto go back and listen later and pull techniques out you know? Some of it will move a little bit fast but you know, because I think I don't think we'll be able to cover everything but we're gonna definitely cover a lot um and you can definitely apply all these techniques at home and it's it's again this is more than just recording the after all the technical stuff then it's seeing how the player works with the producer inside the studio and that's a big influence on the guitar sound like just how the player attacks it and that's part of me, my technique and how I work on one on one with the player and really getting coaxing the right performance in the right tone out of the player a taser doesn't hurt I haven't gotten that far yet I've thought about it, but it's I think too that that is a skill that you can't learn like from a book you have to learn that I have to learn by and like screwing up and like just learned the psychology he's learned from dealing with a bunch of babies yeah yeah thisa red having you're just hearing stories and burning yeah and aa lot of it came from you know, on the early days of just having to work very fast and not think about things too much because we would have two weeks to make a record would have a week to make a record we have five days to make a record to tape to tape, you know that's a big thing first record fooling director we did together which people consider like our most technical rather record or something you know, say they will never make a record is technical is our depth does that record we didn't like two weeks to tape with no, you know no, no, no pro tools, no cutting and pasting, you know nothing. You know how we did it. Wait, how did we do that? Because that's how we did it and I played all the guitars almost on it and me and steve played all the base on it, so it wasn't even like we had a like I have no idea how he did it. We should try and do it again sometime. I know, right? Seriously. So yeah, road map of the course. So today, uh, we're going to get into just before you start getting getting everything ready and getting your things prepped, having your guitar in order were dive into that a little bit, um then choosing a guitar and you can see we have actually been brought a few of then brought a few guitars and then these guys were nice enough to procure some various types of you know this more of the standard types of guitars straps and les paul's and like um so just going through and kind of like go through this one characteristics of each guitar and knowing kind of like give it having a little bit of an idea of what you know what you would try to pick for certain types of styles or just based on the player on dh then after we get the guitar choose uh after we choose the guitar then then we'll choose we'll go through ah amps we have ah four different heads that we're going to try it on and go through and go through different characteristics that and then after the heads but then on top with heads we also have three different cabinets and three different styles a cabinet so well it's the combination of the two picking the head and then finding this head and then maybe switching back and forth between the cabinets and seeing how the different cabinets affect the same guitar ahead and vice versa on ben also bringing the cat bringing the head after you do that into the control room environment and then the further tweaking you do want that's what you kind of get the tongue which right because it's not just a part of your process starts at the source but then you're gonna go away from the source and get into bringing into the studio side of things this is our makeshift control room continuously death yeah it's a constant adjusting and tweaking as you'll see and then after the after the guitar tone then we got, uh four different mike's toe to choose from and we're goingto go through the different characteristics of each mike and what that could bring to the sound and then the combination of the different mikes in some instances how that can work with or against each other in a good and bad way on then we'll dive into day two we'll be getting the final tones and that will be applying the mic techniques that I'll be talking about and showing them in fear in actual real theory in actual practice, not just theory and showing how my position affects on the speaker mike position affects the sound and then the relationship between the microphones as faras phase and just proximity and all that how that affects the tone, how you can just different sounds and without even this early in the queue because we don't really have uh we have a little bit of the q on the board, but for the most part it's you know, a lot of the queue is goingto just be based on my technique mike position and phase relation between the mikes how you make that work for you uh and then that will be our our tone finally dialed in with everything and then we'll be delving into tracking a little bit and punching in meaning like inserting into the track one if those who you don't know on then also editing guitars after the recorder and tightening up certain things getting into a little bit of that then we'll deal about we'll deal with three amping which is a technique of taking ah direct recording guitar and throwing it back out to the amp and getting a different sound to either replace or augment the sound that you already have and then premix just really cleaning up your tracks and getting ready for editing and then finally I'll be dealing with um a little bit of getting there think it's hard to sit right in the final mix the ultimate thing okay so re occurring themes through this course and I will absolutely be going back to all these throughout the main theme is commit commit, commit commit I can't say it enough I've gotten uh sessions with just way too many guitar tracks and guitar options for one guitar sound to me uh it's always about committing taking getting the sound you want and saying that's my sound not in this day and age with with pro tools and just play lists and all these plug ins and all these options and right there's there's the you'll never there's the danger of never being done and to me there's a great power in the actual just the simple act of committing and making a standing going that's my sound I'm sticking with it and getting the tone you want in the beginning and not going you know like I said, we're going to dive into ramping but that's not necessarily I'll show the technique but it's not my general philosophy my philosophy is again commit let's get the tone you want at the beginning get to get it right at the source get the amp get the kick tara get the amp right get the player playing right get the sound you want at the beginning and everything should take care of itself from there in theory there's always instances where it doesn't work, you commit and then you go up you know and the net goes which goes to the next thing don't be afraid to be wrong yeah there's always like that that kind of we'll fix it later thing we'll fix it you can't really sometimes you do out of fix it later but like I always feel like a good producer rarely says that, you know, isolate I will fix it later we'll fix that go out to lunch, I'll fix it, I'll never say it that's kind of think you're going down the room we're out yeah you there's there's plenty of guys that that works for and that's great that's not what I do that's not what I'm teaching that's not what I'm bringing to the table sometimes you have to depend on the players depending on the scenario, of course, but it's not. But again, did you commit committing is and I said, don't be afraid to be wrong especially, um, your home, especially for free for years those you have a home set up and you're not the clock's not running and you're not in the studio with, you know you're paying x amount of dollars per day or per hour, then what's what's the fear what's the whole back, you don't know who cares if you're wrong? You've got all the time in the world, tio to get it right, so commit to it and kind of develop that muscle of saying that's it and don't be afraid and just go for it and if it's wrong oh, well, start over, but once you build that that kind of that kind of thought process to go that's it that's it that's it eventually that you know, I mean again plenty of times for me now, you know, all these years later, it's still I'm wrong a lot of the time I don't, you know, only a fool claims to know everything I don't know everything at all I don't think as we get older we learn in general in life like you're just is likely to be right right now as you will be in like two hours or tomorrow so just get it done move just getting not getting any younger you just get it done and move and if you have tio do dubai revision that's great, but just the the constant modeling of like I don't know and you're always tweaking the sound you're always deal I don't see the the value and I don't I don't see the percentage in it all I'm always a big fan of committing and it's on dh trust your gut that's it because you know, nine times out of ten your first instinct is the right one I've found for me anyway that's what always works for me it's like you're your main instinct the first thing you do because a lot of times people just lie to themselves ago that's right question mark you know they don't they don't they don't really know and they don't trust their gut and that usually lead you down the wrong path and experiment don't again and don't be afraid to be wrong just what's wrong what's right experiment and you're going to find some you know by just by just doing weird things with mikes and just, you know turn the mike turn the mic around the wrong way turned like take a condenser that multi pattern that's in cardio and flip it backwards and it's like oh it's weird sound this weird face faizi at a phase bizarre sound but that sound might work really great for sir down that before yeah absolutely I've done it I've done it on records like I said like as an accident like I overstating the mikes facing the wrong way around the assistant said it up or I set it up and it's facing the wrong man like that sounds bizarre but then you that's actually sounds kind of cool like what? What can I you know and you even if you don't use it right then and there and you flip the mic back around and you're using that and you go back and back to your normal thing but it's like huh? Well, maybe this kind of weird kind of uneasily kind of guitar part for this part like and you remember oh yeah when I flipped the mike around that sounded weird it was like but that's another thing that you can just experiment with you know um going into about me and about why I commit um how I learned how it's I'm going to show you is because uh well going into background just a little bit I kind of always wanted to do this since I was little kid six when I was about six years old, I found a real to riel tape machine and old like home, like a web core realtor riel quarter inch tape machine in my parent's addict that they had for, like, whatever home recordings because it was like before cassette recorders were popular, you know? And I found that and I was like, I was, I thread it up and they started, you know, figure out how to thread it just by doing it, you know, a little diagram on the front. I started experimenting with that, and I would make these weird recordings, and I would record my sister playing piano. And then I somehow figured out, like, flipping the tape upside down made it go backwards and was like, you know, this is bizarre, you know, um, I that was it. I was, like, hooked, and I was, like, record do things with, like, a sets and, like, made bounce things like, take two cassette recorders, just, like, put them together and, like, play from one and, like, talk over it and, like, have conversations with myself to record to another tape machine like, you know, just like playing around with audio, and it just always fascinated me, and then I was in bands and I was the annoying guy in the band with the four track. Always wanted to record my band tryingto try toe play in low plus lots of record that again. Like, let me let me move the microphone, let me, you know, like or even with a boom box and, like I would experiment with, like, recording my band with a cover band in high school was like a boom box and, like or the best place to put the boom box in the corner and it's oh, it sounds really good there, like, you know, it's always that would have put a towel over into dampen the sound was the sound was distorting the mike. We're playing too loud in the basement, you know, like and, you know, then I went from a four track too. And then my bed had a little indie deal, and we had a little bit of money. And I got an eight track set up, and I had a little a track was actually eight track cassette task, an eight track cassette recorders, those they had for a little bit, um and a little mixer. And we were making like demos for my band and then, uh I started in a studio in new jersey called tracks east has been was an awesome hair metal band from new jersey by the way we never talk about it but I never talk about huge is there was he it was massive it really wass I believe you but doc in hairspray in that year now never used her straight jack okay, you know that wasn't hairspray got um and then I started at a studio called tracks east in new jersey and my band actually recorded our our first record at tracks east and I was just I was the guy you know and it's so funny because I I hate that I hate and it's usually another bass player and it's for some reason it's usually the bass players that are like the most of the bass players of the studio guys for some reason so money bass players I know our engineers it's crazy um but I was that guy always over, you know, like the eric rachel the guy who own track season who produced our first record like I was the guy over shoulder and then I want up helping him mix our first record manually no automation just on the writing the fighters like you know, and then ah, the band kind of went kaput and then but I started on I called up arrogance and you have a job a love through the floors I don't care and that's how I started really and then it just started from there and I was recording local bands and there's I was fortunate enough the tracks east had a local scene it was close tio rutgers college rutgers university in new brunswick new jersey and there was a local hard core punks and metal scene on bands that would play right through their bands a tw the melody and the court tavern and roxy and some of these bands wound up getting you know, small indie deals it just kind of built from there and then of uh like from the hard core side of things the punk things is that this band called lifetime they were local tea to the new brunswick scene and uh I want up doing their first seven inch single and um going from there then there was ah really just saying thing dead guy's bank called dead guy and they were a local ban from new brunswick they were kind of noisy it's kind of like noise core you want to call it they were just really flag yes lack of insane on the insane was a big one medal there was right punk and metal kind of combined but very noisy very love on guard kind of noise side of things um and they were local to new brunswick I did they're all there's they're singles or seven inches and then there uh, they got signed to the small indie label called engine, and then we want of doing this record called fixation on a co worker, and the label wound up not being able to pay the label what they were just they didn't. They didn't know how to run their label it all, and they wind up not being able to pay for the for the masters. So the mixed record sat in the tape vault attracts east for probably about seven or eight months, and then and then another label called victory, which is a bigger, hard core label. A chicago, um, wound up buying the master the rights to the master and putting out fixation on a co worker. So then that record kind of went on a national scale and influenced a ton of bands, and victory records was really kind of, like, coming into their own at that point in the mid nineties, and I wondered, doing, like, fifteen records for that label, and, you know, deck, I brought me, like, you know, snap case and hey, pre and all this other stuff, but and then how it going to dead guy, which then led me to this guy, uh, I don't know where I see I see in the in the appointment book and see it wasn't the dillinger statement was actually arcane says arcade in the schedule but written down arcane ben lyman with an s on it which is how eric usedto right? He was just like I wasn't really I produced a few records but I really was still more on the local side of things and it was just it was what it was what it wasn't that oh you hire me to produce the record they just went to track ceased and requested me so it was just like I was like the in house producer like no we want to work with steve and then so there was an s next to the benz names like and that's how that guy brought me brought me dillinger because they love the dead guy record and they wanted to work with me and eighteen years later and five albums and talk about commit talking okay? Yeah, only about it but going tio that um oh, well here's a picture of my studio now there's ah it's a kind of combination analog and digital hybrid I have a controlled twenty four which is just a digital controller toe control surface for pro tools but I have an old knee attack siri's one console that I used to get guitar tones up with and also I mix through that some analog and then there's some of the outdoor gear I'm using stuff from like chandler limited and allen smart, rich, farmed universal audio, so have all that, but again, like not everybody's going to have access to a lot of gear like that. So the technique something to show or will be, it will still apply to everybody no matter what that is that's all great, but the principle's the same, it doesn't really I love that, and that stuff sounds great and it matters, but it doesn't matter because, again it's it's all about the techniques that we're going to show you so and based on what I was saying about how I came up and track sees was obviously it's in the nineties and track sees was we've recorded two analog taped to two inch analog tape or a track even still, we would do a track half inches well on certain budget things, but that's, why you you had to commit because tape that's it there's no, fixing it later, you know you can punch in just like you can punch in on pro tools, but you have to commit, and the other thing is you're limited because you had at that point only you had twenty four tracks that's it and really not even twenty four really twenty two because especially later on, we're mixing off of tape with time code that was running the automation on the console, so you're already losing a track there for time code and then the truck very before twenty four twenty three because of cross talk, there would be simply the time cobi bleeding onto the tracks that you couldn't really use that one either because you need to buffer so you know you're limited. We only had, like five or six tracts. Seven maybe to track guitar with because, you know, the drums are going to take up anywhere from seven to twelve, maybe even fourteen, some really elaborate setups. So you had very, very few options and you had to commit you had to get it right. And if you were gonna punch in on something there's no, like on pro tools, you have playlists and you, um you know you khun multiple takes like let's save this tape let's save this guitar taking people do that ask me that all the time. Let's, just say that let's let's do a new place and let's say that that guitar take and I still even though we have that and that's great my always my first instinct well be like, why? Why we're doing it like, commit again? I go back to that same thing it's like, is it you're not going to if you don't like it now you're not gonna like it you're not going to like a half an hour from now you're not gonna like it tomorrow you're never going to go back to that you know I would say it's so rare I would say one in you know like one in one hundred times you'll actually go back and go you know let let's let's go back to that that other take no get it right do you like it a great till you're so exhausted that convince yourself you like it yeah absolutely absolutely you just you know it's always like that and then the same thing for when we're delving into guitar pedals and stuff like that I'm a big proponent of printing guitar effects you know like even like on soul is printing the delay or the river bones get the sound at the source get it right this sounds awesome and it sounds awesome in the track already to me that makes it so much easier in the mix because it's there you already you already got the sound based on what where it's sitting in the manus form in the performance and the performance and the sound and like the petals and everything like that like that it's life you're playing on castle that's going to inspire your performance and even with the tones with distortion boxes and other things you're doing and filters that's going to inspire your performance so if it's feels good now that's it and that it fills me out a lot when you did that really what why why why what can we just let's wait maybe there be some no and then when we did a record with mike patton of locals and that guy did printed all his vocals vocal effects like that who does that like? He bit like the river on the vocal done like the store should he be screaming through like a megaphone or some kind of crazy distortion pedal all that could have been put on later but it affected how he performs so much and from that day on I'm like I'm never I'm that's all I got to do it it looks like you're feeling the situation as you do it and I saw him and exactly just his vocals accordingly so much based on what he's singing through what effects ruin that whatever it really changed right? And maybe why right? And why not? Why doesn't that apply to qatar absolutely applies to guitar it would apply to anything and replied the drums like you know a drummer that's that that's playing on you know like a bad sounding kit is not gonna be inspired, you know guitar player that's playing on just a bland or using a d I and then like playing on whatever it's like that's not that's not create that's not music that's not something you're feeling so if you get a sound up and you're playing with the pedals and I do that so much will be like playing with the pedal as he's playing I'll be like you know, riding a dynamic and I'll like if we have a distortion box I'll be turning the distortion down putting it up and like there's a party's playing harder I'll just cranking while we're playing like it's all the time because it's it's again it's it's a performance and I treated as such and commit to it always so yeah um this is not my studio this is actually just a picture of a bunch of guitars the guitar boat like giving you this actually it's you know it's funny that is actually from olympic studios in london when I was working with the cure and uh not everybody's gonna have that many options on guitar that's great but got ducks on and you know what that right there is on ly a third of the guitars that were there well I'm not even kidding that's one third of the guitar boats that were in the in the live room at olympic when we were tracking the care well there's the curious guitars are the studios know those of the cures guitars uh yeah yeah so not everybody's going to have that many options so we're going to show you to make do with what you have that's ah that's a perfect example and then this is about you well well, he's pretty much led into how we met and I don't go to do too much detail but um I told you a little bit about how his approach influence me and my home recordings and stuff like that and what I learned from that combination of art and science and I was always somebody who was I was interested in the process like he said he was when he was a man but I had ever wanted to know like the charges or the lingo but I don't need to know what you know release gay in this that whatever but I always just played but I found you know, so I was always intimidated about his knowledge of all this stuff and steve never went to school for this and actually I'll preface is I did but I never graduated all right? Well actually no, but it just started some so but that's what I'm saying, you know, I forgot it forgot at that I did go to one of those recording you know, trade schools forever, but I knew already so much of that before I started on a lot of the techniques and I actually had the textbook which anybody can go buy, which is it gives you a good basic fundamentals about like, signal slow and all that stuff it's called the recording studio handbook by john warm and that's almost the that's basically the bible of recording and they had that book and at the school that I was at like we should go by this recording studio and I'm like I already have it but you've already done it but honestly it was it was more of a I was paying for myself and one of becoming a financial thing that I want I'm not being able to finish the school but those schools are great but you learn by doing you know, you know you can especially now in this you know, like I said, you can get that book but there is a you know, a wealth of information on the internet and you know, sometimes you have to take some of it a grain of salt because some people you know, bill they're offering up the internets wonderful for people offering of opinion as fact and so you have to weed through that a little bit but um there's there certainly a ton of information out there and you know, so a lot of stuff that I'm showing you you can find this stuff on the internet as well there's there's a ton of information, but um you have to experiment and you have tio get for by yourself, but you know, like I said, I went to school but I never finished so I don't really count it in my school was my school was my four track may track and tracks east to his hard knocks yeah but anyway sorry we'll know that I mean like I I always I felt that we can't ended up having kind of the same philosophies and approaches even if I didn't know technically exactly how it was being done so it was I thought we were good it was a good combination when we work together but going back to how we met you know I don't want to get too into that side of things but but the fact is is that he was making the records in my look in my area that sounded really good the bands that were the hardcore bands in the punk bands that I was into their records sounded horrible day and you just assume while they don't have huge budgets and then when I'd hear a record that steve did you know they probably didn't have a huge budget but it sounded real that's all I was like this sounds like a real band like a real recording like a money but money money van you know so that's how I judge that was like I want to go to the guy that makes the records that sounds really like sounds like a real adult record label ban that sounds good so I called up and asked christine because he was on the back of the cds I liked it was that simple um and started working with him and I think that's something a cz artists and there's pretty asserts that you should pay attention to when you see how the people that made it, how they look at their path of how they got where they got. So for instance, if you want to say ok nirvana it's very easy you could see their path they may have not realized what they were doing, but you can very easily go back and backtrack their path like kurt cobain was a fan of of of the melvins and he found out where the melvins made their records so he went there and that guy had the year of the record label, you know, I mean, xjak indiana and that guy was doing sub a lot of stuff for the sub pops like you were doing for victory and with label we ended up signing tio it was a label that he had worked for and done records for, so maybe that helped bring exposure to us and all these little decisions along the way get you where you're going as an artist. Um but unlike you know, I think it's still very important to think about geographical location and what's going on scene wise around where the producer is or where you're making records um because I think that's a really good way to kind of differentiate yourself and create a niche for yourself so I think it is really important with whatever you're showing them today for everyone to really consider the fact, like what's going on in your area, how can you be unique? How can you bring something to the table? So people say, I want some that sounds like that I'm going to go to that guy, you know, because of that, because I like the bands they make and I like the style. I like the vibe, and it hasn't it has a feeling of that area and that scene, and I think even in this day and age where everyone can use the same plug ins and watch the same youtube tutorials and use the same gear work remotely it's important to still have that philosophy, I want to bring something new to the table and and I'm stand out. So, um then that's, what I have always been about with my whole career musically and and how we've worked together, it's just continuing continuously branding yourself as something unique by not worry about the trends and just just really constantly evolving and experimenting. So, um, hopefully that's, why I'm here with you today, I guess toe help you out, but what you need so