New Studio Investment!
Tech talk alert! But first… before I divulge (only a small handful) of my new studio investments here’s the none technical part of this blog!
I’m very pleased & excited to share with you that I’ve re-invested in my companies studio audio equipment. With each new year & each new achievement my live music / studio business grows (which I am very thankful for). As such I like to re-invest in new music equipment to keep on the cutting edge of where the industry is & where the industry is heading.
Now for the technical bit! Feel free to tune out if you’re not a massive music nerd (like me… apparently!) & I’ll see you in the next blog!
I’m really please with several of the studio’s investments this year one of which is a new line of rack mounted outboard gear. I’ve invested in a very special selection of outboard compressors optimized for vocals, guitar, drums, you name it.
I’ve always recorded (for most things) ‘in the box’ & have for years wanted to enhance the tracking process with an ‘out of the box’ rack, specifically compression. This rack has made such a difference to my workflow & the wave form produced going into my DAW (for the new guys, a DAW or Digital Audio Workstation = Logic/ProTools/etc).
A word of advice, don’t just jump in with outboard compression for tracking. You really need to know what you are doing. Train your ear & mind to this process & understand what you are working to achieve before the signal hits your DAW. For me I’m looking for signal continuity & clarity of sound. If you get your presets wrong while tracking – it’s wrong forever, you can’t make any adjustments. So spend a lot of time learning about compression before you take the plunge with expensive outboard gear. For years I just used a mic > preamp > DAW & with hard work and dedication achieved sounds I never thought I would achieve with just ‘1 mic’. So if you’re new to sound engineering, my advice would be don’t worry about the expensive gear yet (that will come in time), just rig up a mic & sing your heart out. Rinse & repeat. Until you’re ready to evolve.
I’ve also invested in a new monitoring suite which includes a diverse selection of speakers to help balance the music during the mixing & mastering process. I am particularly enjoying the clarity of the new custom built KRK monitors. Which have been retrofitted with 240v line level feedback suppressors. I can literally hear everything!
A close friend of mine (& my oldest YouTube partner in crime with over a million collective YouTube views) ‘Dave Hunt’ once said to me. At the early stages of learning to produce music it doesn’t really matter what you mix on as long as you get used to the speaker system you are using & reference in lots of different places to learn whats actually happening in your mix. This was so true for me for many years. Then when you do invest in some solid monitors (& once you get used to the specific sonic spectrum of sounds they deliver) you can really gain from the extra clarity they help you hear within your mix. I’ve had a fair few sets of monitors in my time & now reference my mixes on several different systems to ensure translatability for the end listener. Be it on a mobile phone, in a club or a car system with a sub.
Pro tip from Pro Engineer CLA: Monitor at a low level. This really helped me train my ears & hear what was happening with the dymanics of the mix. If a kick drum punches through at low level its really gunna hit you when you turn it up. Boom. Literally 🙂
I’ve also invested quite heavily in acoustic sound enhancement for my tracking room. I’ve spent many years using back end or shell acoustic mic shielding which works to a certain degree (& takes up a lot of room!) but now I’ve taken the plunge to integrate a fully functional acoustic treatment. This includes a high quality close proximity vocal booth mic padding as pictured.
This was a little bit of a £200 ish quid punt for me… the pro’s were impressed & I wanted to get my hands on one and try it for myself. I was very impressed with the end result. This product is a solid solution for some tricky recording environments & situations when sound separation is required & also a big advancement when you are interested in space design. For example using a vocal booth or close proximity padding helps removes the room sound from your recording allowing you more flexibility to dial in a suitable room sound (reverb or delay) later in the mix.
For those interested in studio recording sessions
Due to popularity I’m only taking on a handful of new studio recording clients for 2018. If you’d like to be involved you can submit your request via the contact page on my website: Contact
Thank you for reading this blog & supporting my musical journey.
There is a lot that happens behind the scenes when you are an independent musician. You’re not only a musician. You’re a studio guy/girl too… and I think in this blog that was made a little clearer. There is a lot of depth to the industry I work in & it’s lovely to share just a touch of that knowledge (or depth) with you.
If you create music & found this blog useful, let me know! Tech reviews & advanced recording techniques are something I enjoy sharing from time to time when I purchase a product that is particularly exceptional in its field or have a particular new approach to production that may spark more creativity in other sound engineers.
We will return to our regular, none tech, adventure chat (as per usual) in the next blog!
See you in the next one! 🙂 Matt