This got me thinking about my own work flow and what sort of limitations I could impose on myself that would result in having to be more creative in how I record, mix and produce. Restricting the number of microphone I use is a good start. OK, so I now have 3 mics for the kit where I would ordinarily use between 7 and 16. What about the mics? I can only use dynamic or ribbon mics, no condensers. Alright. The backing vocals on the record need to be recorded on an inbuilt laptop mic rather than in a studio. NOW WE ARE TALKING! All effects used during this mix must come from guitar pedals. THE POSSIBILITIES HERE ARE ENDLESS!
Can you imagine how these little tweaks to work flow will change the sound of the record? The character that would start shining through? Do any of them sound like limitations now, or a chance to be super creative? I'll let you know how I get on!
What have you been up to, Garry?
Things have been busy recently with lots of cool stuff happening. Here is a quick run down:
- I have been working on a 3 track EP with Billy Liar. It is coming together very nicely and I mix it all this weekend. It is a big departure from what Billy is known for and I think an outstanding piece of work. More about this soon.
- The Horndog Brass Band album is starting to take shape with 3 or 4 of the songs now mixed. I am hoping to have this one totally done by the end of October. We will see how that pans out.
- In July I was in Castlesound Studio recording a couple projects for the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival in Stuarts place. Both sessions were amazing and featured some of Scotland's top Jazz musicians. I learned loads on these two session, as I always do at Castle. Cant wait to hear them both mixed.
- Euan Burton and myself produced Sean Gibbs first EP at Castlesound. Sean is an amazing upcoming talent so have a listen to his Bandcamp page.
- Kat Healy was in the studio filming this lovely intimate video of 'How Long' to help promote her record which is out next week. For more info check Kat's webpage.
- The Das Contras and Holy Ghosts albums are FINISHED! Should be out soon.
- I have been working with Creative Scotland for the third year helping young upcoming bands to produce and release their first single. Supported through the Cashback for Creativity program it is helping young musicians at the very start of their career. The Proclaimers popped into a session last month to celebrate the fantastic work the project is doing. Jack Hinks, Censor Thoughts, Frink Out and Blueprint Makeover are the bands to keep an eye on.
- I have been mixing some of the upcoming releases from new independent label Strange Fish Records. I mixed and mastered the upcoming Kill The Waves and Battery Face double a-side releases. Great bands and a great upcoming label. Check them all out.
- I produced a single for Soujourner who are a great acoustic / folk quartet. They are talking about supplementing this track with another few and turning it into an EP.
SSL Chris Lord-Alge Masterclass at Real World Studios
A few weeks ago I was invited down to Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios by Solid State Logic for an exclusive Masterclass with one of the top mix engineers in the world, Chris Lorg-Alge.
During the seminar Chris spoke about what drives him as a mixer, his career path and how he approaches his mixes. He mixed some Green Day tracks from American Idiot on the studio's SSL which just seemed to solidify how gifted he is. In less than the time it took for the whole song to play, CLA had the mix close to down and sounding MASSIVE. The funny thing is, he uses less than half the compression people seem to think. Real World is such a stunning studio and the 'Big Room' is truly monstrous! Lots of fantastic tips, tricks and an amazing human to meet in the flesh. Chris, you are a hero.
A very inspiring day and a huge thank you to Mike at RecordProduction.com for the invite.
New Studio Toys
Well, we continue to upgrade the studio at The Depot. The monitoring has just been changed over from my trusty Dynaudios to PMC TB2s. They are sounding amazing! The depth, stereo imaging and detail these speakers provide is just outstanding. Worth checking out the website alone to see the technology that does into a speaker like this. Very impressed.
I also just got a Neve 8803 Eq which, again, is sounding just outstanding. Dual channel EQ from the 88 series with total recall. So far I have used this on every session and it flexibility is just blowing me away. Every mix has had this thing strapped across the mix bus in a classic top and bottom shelf (+3db @ 80hz +3db @12khz) sort of thing.
You should drop by The Depot Studio, have a cup of tea and check it all out. Especially if you have not been in and read this.
There are a couple more gadgets on the way but more about them when they are here.
Anyway, September is super busy with three records I am SUPER EXCITED about, but for now, I must keep them quiet. But, I am SUPER EXCITED about them.
Over and out