Show 200 – Monitor Controllers and a look back at 200 podcasts

This week we celebrate 200 episodes with a look back Q & A, and Ryan has a segment on monitor controllers.
Joining us this week is Bjorgvin Benediktsson and Randy Coppinger.

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12 thoughts on “Show 200 – Monitor Controllers and a look back at 200 podcasts

  1. Yeah show 200! I can’t believe I spent so much time listening to you guys. Hah. But in all seriousness, I really do appreciate that you constantly crank out shows for us. Hopefully the next hundred will be just as good or even better!

    I was thinking about recording bands live in a room. I don’t have a headphone amplifier and I don’t plan on getting one because I don’t track too many bands live, but on the rare occasion that I do I would like to have them track to a metronome. I considered just having the drummer play to a click track, then a crazy idea popped into my head. Would conducting a band be far fetched? If aural cues could keep people in time I don’t see why visual cues would be any different. Of course this depends on the band. If the drummer can’t play to a click, at that point is it even worth trying to keep everyone at one tempo? Just a thought. I was also wondering if you ever track people that cannot follow a click. Do you even allow it? It seems harsh but it wastes so much valuable time. If it’s any sort of decent musician, following rhythm shouldn’t be a problem, right?

    I gave up on trying to connect my Tascam US-800 to my Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 via S/PDIF for another two channels of mediocre preamps. I assume ADAT would be the best option for expanding preamps, but the Pro 40s could also be daisy chained. Focusrite has the OctoPre which is essentially the Pro 40 interface minus the Firewire connectivity, but they are the same price. What would be the advantages of getting another interface over a good eight channel preamp?

    I’m getting to the point now where I have to start buying studio basics AGAIN. All of my mic cables are starting to crap out on me, and I would rather spend money on a nice new mic than cables of course. I know soldering my own cables is the cheaper route, but buying Neutrik connectors and cable in bulk seems to add up pretty quickly. It is certainly easier to get that Musicians Gear ten pack of mic cables for $50 rather than spending close to $250 for ten thirty-foot cables, but they don’t last at all. Ryan, I know you mentioned before that you found a great deal on Neutrik XLR connectors somewhere, but I forget if it was just an eBay auction or not. Pointing me in a cheaper direction would be awesome. If not I’ll just have to bite the bullet.

    I could use some business help too. There are some local bands interested in recording with me which is awesome, but when it comes to money and young-aspiring-musicians-who-have-it-all-figured-out, they usually have none. I work rather quickly and my recordings sound fairly good for what gear I use, so I know what my time is worth. My problem is I would like to be compensated fairly for recording, but I don’t want to scare off bands with rates that are less than ideal. I usually charge $100 flat per song (that includes editing, mixing, mastering, and session work if need be) or $40 an hour for tracking plus a flat $35 for editing, mixing, and mastering. I don’t believe that’s too much to ask compared to what other studios in my area charge, but it’s still relatively expensive for music. I constantly ask myself if recording is any harder than working a minimum wage part time job somewhere that would yeild about $150 every two weeks. Another big issue is being paid something up front as insurance. Do you guys usually go half, some sort of collateral, or just get paid after everything is said and done? I usually ask for $50 up front or gear that could be used during tracking, and the bands don’t receive the tracks until they are completely paid for. That part especially sucks because I’m not trying to be a greedy business guy that loses sight of the fun parts of recording, but I don’t want to cheat myself.

    By the way, I just got Valhalla Room and it’s everything I could have ever asked for. The room sounds are amazing. My drum mixes never sounded better!

    Thanks for putting up with my comment!

  2. 200!!! Congrats guys, that’s an amazing feat. I can’t believe I’ve listened to 200 shows. That’s almost as much time as it takes to listen to a dozen “This Week In Tech” podcasts. I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that you have changed the way we look at home recording. Now, if we can get some studio clients who don’t suck, we’re off and running. Thanks for the tips, the time you have put into this show, and for God sake …Let the chicken run free !!!

  3. Hey guys, great show, I learn something new each week. I’m still chewing my way through the archives so I apologize if you’ve already covered this but I’d love to hear any tips you have on tracking, specifically with someone else mixing in mind say I was going to record a song in my Home”Studio” (Converted Bungalow/Grannyflat), then send it to one of you to mix what would you guys like to see when you open up the folder of tracks? maybe easier than that what don’t you like seeing? Thanks for the great show and all the tips and advice!

  4. 200 down and still so much to learn. Will we ever get this recording lark sussed? So much respect to HRS for all the stuff you have taught me and will teach me in the future.
    OK Listen up everybody while you still can, this is important. It was mentioned a few weeks ago but is worth an appropriate volume. “PROTECT YOUR FUCKING EARS”. I know its all well and good being wise after the fact but if you do one thing in your home studio this week make sure its having a new respect for your ears. It doesn’t matter how good your pre-amp is or where you place your $1000 mic if all you can hear is a high pitched ring off everything that no eq tweak will ever fix because its inside your head. I’m sure my story isn’t too different from anyone else out there, drummer from 14 in hardcore bands, music production in headphones for 15 years, gigs, parties etc etc, sound familiar anyone? Now age 39 I’m seriously considering having to give up this whole beautiful thing because of fucking tinnitus. Consider yourself warned.

  5. Congrats guys!

    I haven’t listened to the show as it’s not shown up on my podcast feed nor iTunes yet. Perhaps you missed a tag for the RSS feed?

    Looking forward to it!

  6. Hi guys, just a quick note to say happy birthday and how impressed I am that the show continues to get better when most podcasts would have collapsed in an exhausted heap by show 40. You guys rock. I’ve learned a ton and they are also fun as well as really informative. I just completed a full relisten to all the shows so I’m increasing my monthly donation and also sending 100 US your way for a few beers or an eBow! You can share it. I use mine for 10 minutes a year so you really don’t need one each! KUTGW Jonathan

  7. Hey guys, congradulations on the momentous occasion, heres to the next 200 ay?!!!

    Well done.

    @Eric C, you had alot of stuff in your comment, but first off a quick comment on your business question. If its a band you really want to record a good starting point is to refer them to the time you would generally put into a song, then equate that to the minimum wage someone might get for waiting tables etc i.e. if I’m dropping my rate just because I want to help out a band or if I really want to record them rather them going the diy route or going to someone who won’t do them justice I say that all I ask for is something equivalent to minimum wage, which I feel is a very reasonable request for my skilled labour. Of course I could start pointing out all the industry standard professional equipment I have and the awesome acoustics of my studio rooms, but I think if the first argument doesn’t cut it with them and if they don’t bite having heard previous examples of my work its a battle not quite worth fighting. The main thing that annoys me about losing business most of the time is just the knowledge that someone is going else where and won’t quite get the results I could get them for the same price or even less. But you can’t go worrying about those jobs that could have been, just work twice as hard for the clients that are smart enough to go with you and pay you what you deserve. Create something with those clients that will make them come back time after time, something that will make any bands that passed on your services previously regret and rethink. Ultimately, you can’t really blame a band for passing on you, who knows what reasons they might have, and its tough being stuck for money as we all know.

  8. Only just got around to listening to this episode. Not positive if its a badge of honour or not that I was party too and most probably cause of the most epic fail in the entire history of the show…think it was an ok episode though so no harm done I guess!!

    Hope to contribute again shortly guys, although if you revisit the second place epic fail of all time that was the video streaming I may not be able to part take in that, because if you recall, my internet connection could barely handle a skype voice call!

    On the subject of moniter controlers, that kind of functionality pretty much becomes a third arm its so useful (incert filthy joke here Ryan), in my studio I’ve an RME fire face ufx, which is a great unit, routing various talkback signals headphones alternative speaker outputs etc to my patch bay and beyond…all this is then controled by a *gasp*, behringer bcf2000 control surface, which controls the RME’s on board dsp mixer for routing stuff, talk back and all that kinda stuff, so that’s all going on independent of the computer, so when everything crashes or when i want to run my daw at high latency everything is going on independent at something like 2 milli seconds of latency with tactical control. In fact, there is no computer screen in my studio, but that’s a story for another day!

    And as the above demonstrates, I have no problem with using Behringer gear, I just don’t use any behringer gear to handle audio I want to keep! For example I picked up a cheap behringer vocal channel strip that I use as a pre for my talk back mike, the thing sounds herendous and has all kinds of crap built in, exciters and lord knows what not. I’m sure some day it will provide the exact crap trashy sound I need for a vocal over dub or guitar solo, but till then its firmly in the talkback path!

    Still, long live Behringer!

  9. GSAA
    (*poof insert confetti here*)

    Congrats on the 200th! It was a nice look back at the surface of the monumental achievement of a meaningful 200 episodes. I know the knowledge and entertainment you have given me alone has been priceless and if you can do it for the regnig just image the impact you have had on people who actually have talent and follow through. Yall deserve a big ole pat on the back. I think there is one more fail worth mentioning, It was the foray into selling penis pills and time shares… i mean the wiki.

    As far as monitor controllers go, actually employing one in my “studio” is scheduled some time after my wife allows me to move the studio from in between the washer and the cat litter box into its own room. So for the time being my monitor controller is going to be in the box. Is there a reason to prefer an out board over an in the box controller… aside from having a legitimate reason to play with a giant knob and not making baby Jesus cry. This of course is looking past the convenience and other features on the controller. I am curious if there is an sort of trade off that im not considering in the use of in the box monitor controllers. My m audio card has an in the box solution that comes with its driver. I know yall briefly mentioned the ability to control the volume digitally in your DAW, but are there other variable to take into account like artifacts in digital attenuation etc..

    One mistake i made controlling volume in my DAW was that i had a compressor on my master fader and when i brought the fader down it didn’t engage the compressor and when i brought it up it did. Needless to say that was an awesome troubleshooting adventure in newb land.


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