Show 218 – A studio in a shed and more!

This week Jon interviews Dave Chick at his backyard studio in Vancouver. We talk about the studio, plugins and his composing workflow in Logic.

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42 thoughts on “Show 218 – A studio in a shed and more!

  1. 1. Thanks to Ryan for the info on finding miscellaneous electronic parts. I was able to replace the USB port in my interface. Good as new. Thanks again.

    2. I recently purchased a Vox AC4TV. I wanted a low watt amp so that I could really work the tubes without enough volume to fill auditorium. Having no experience with swapping tubes, is there anything to be gained from attempting to upgrade the stock tubes? On a side note, even at the 1/4 watt setting, this thing plays pretty damn load when the gain is cranked up.

    3. Any pics of Dave’s studio? I been toying with the idea of a shed/studio.

    4. Thanks again.

    • That vox amp is a great small amp for recording. If you’re feeling brave, try the mercury magnetics transformer upgrade kit. It will give the amp way more headroom and make the clean sound much more usable. You would have to crank it a bit more for full on distorted tones, though. If i remember correctly, mine had sovtek 12ax7 and el84 in it. These are as good as most replacements unless you’re gonna spring for NOS american tubes. But it would be fun to swap different types of preamp tubes. I would try 12au7, 12at7, etc. These will give you less gain than 12ax7 and a little less volume, but slightly more headroom and a different texture to the distortion.

        • I’ve been reading up on my next subject of (affordable) gear lust, including tube swaps. I’ve read several places that 12AT7s rarely sound very good for preamp tubes, but are very suited for phase inverter tubes. I’m sure in some amps/to some tastes they sound great, but just wanted to give a bit of a warning for your consideration before you buy NOS 12AT7s for lotsa $$ 😉

    • GSAA guys,

      Regarding tubes there are some issues worth considering.

      First, 12AX7s also come by the type of ECC83 or E83CC in Europe. Some older NOS tubes, such as Tesla, Telefunken etc. might feature this type instead of 12AX7. 12AT7 are labelled ECC81. 12AU7 are labelled ECC82. 12AY7 are sometimes labelled 6072. Sometimes 12AX7 are also labelled 7025. Spend some time in the rabbit hole and happy hunting! It’s worth it.

      Second, coming back to the ECC83 vs. E83CC.
      E83CC are the highgrade type which are suitable for the first position aka v1 in an amp (the AC4 only has one). The highgrade 12AX7 are usually labelled highgrade, selected etc.. They are not manufactured in a different way, but are selected for lower noise floor and other quality related aspects. In some cases they might feature less gain. It is a trade-off. This is also highly relevant to tube mics btw.. Naturally, they are a little more costly.

      Third, the stock tubes in voxes aren’t that bad. They are chinese made (as many are). Some even like them. Some common configurations you find on the net are “vox tone” with some bite are JJs or Tung-Sol for preamp stage. The typical power amp tube are Mullard. Some even call them the voice of vox.

      Fourth, if you do recording sessions a lot make notes.
      Good practice is to record a reamped guitar signal between changes to see how the tubes react in your amp and keep those for future reference. Keep your tubes in a labelled package and keep some note sheets to identify them. Sometimes a specific job may need some specific tube setup. It’s easier than trying to mess with eq afterwards.

      Fifth, if you use preamp tubes in a power section you HAVE to know what you’re doing. Some engineers are highly skeptical about converters as they might heat up A LOT!

      Sixth, regarding power amp tubes consider matched tubes and consider biasing. The Voxes are self-biasing (and the AC4 only has one power amp tube) so no sweat there. Matched tubes might(!) live longer and have a more ballanced output. In Voxes using non matched tubes might result in not being able to turn the volume own to absolute zero (inverted phase volume. I won’t start on this here).

      Keep it up, guys. Good to have you back (To be honest: I was a little worried).


      PS: Sorry, for the lengthy post, Ryan! No “… and he writes in again” this time!
      PS: I think I would like to have a diploma, too. 😉

      • … and he writes in again (goddammit!)! Just to be precise and not confuse listeners.

        The AC4C1-BL has(!) two preamp tubes.
        AC4TV as well as EVJ only have one.
        Modding the AC4TV or EVJ to feature two preamp tubes require changing of the power transformer or your amp will start pumping. Been there, done that.

  2. Hey Scott,

    I’ve got a few posts on my blog about the process in the “Serials” section:

    Had a good time chatting with Jon. As a bonus, got to go back to his studio and checkout some of his new toys and projects. As always, he’s doing some really creative things to get some subtle and not-so-subtle things in his mixes. Jon, LOVE that old Multi-FX box you’ve been using – so many weird options.

    That should be modeled and expanded into a plugin!

  3. Hey guys!

    18 month listener but first time commenter. I’m currently working my way through the archives and I’m 25 shows away from my diploma!

    I’d like to say thank you very much for everything you do. I’m the “producer” for our electronic rock band called Stop Drop Robot from sunny Sheffield over seas in the uk. Although we’re mainly electronic we do track our own drums, bass, guitar, vocal and percussion which the knowlage you pass on has greatly improved the results.

    My question is have you had any experience with the Roland studio capture or the Octo capture interfaces? I’m looking to upgrade from my tascam us16-41. I need enough pre amps to track drums atleast and also need multiple outs for outboard effects and moniter mixes for on the stage. So portability is also fairly important.

    Your advice would be much appreciated and if anybody would like to give any constructive criticism on our tracks there posted here

    Ride the Robot! The chickens a little worn down!

  4. I’m going back through the archives and am enjoying the old shows just as much as the new ones. It’s fun to see you guys grow more confident in yourselves, comfortable with your audience, and honest with each other. Thanks for helping me make better decisions and better music.

    I recently got a better job but no longer have access to my previous employer’s UA Apollo and am in need of an interface of my own. I’m looking to do primarily mixing and overdubs. If I need to track drums or something with a high track-count I’ll rent or go to a local studio. I have a set of Mackie HR825’s, a Neve Portico 5012, and a smattering of mics. Any suggestions? (I’m intentionally not giving a price point because I’d prefer suggestions based on quality not price.) Thanks again for all the hard work.

  5. Jon,

    Hey I got the VLA and the MPA. I was wondering how are you utilizing the VLA? This is how I currently have mine setup. DAW Outs firewire > to inputs 1 and 2 of mixer> Channels 1 and 2 sent to Sub 1 and 2 > Sub 1 and 2s output sent to VLA II > VLAII brought back into channel 15+16. I then record channels 15 and 16 as returns to the DAW. Also, nothing in that above chain is in the stereo buss except channels 15+16

    when I bring this back into the DAW its obviously out of time but just a CoUNTry Hair. Is there a better way of doing this? That you found..after 10 tracks its all F’d up.

    Same with the MPA how are you sending the I/O for that. I love both of the units. I do alot of guitar stuff and I never liked modeling apps. But with the VLA and MPA I am very surprised with the modeling sounds now.

    also picked up and Audix I5 and a Shure SM57 via the Guitar center Used Gear Store.. I got amazing prices for both and they sound great together.. Just FYI
    Werd to that chicken sandwich..

    • Hey dude. here’s how mine is set up.

      MPA out to VLA input (XLR). VLA out to interface 3-4.
      I have output 3-4 of my interface going to the TRS inputs of the VLA.

      I figure this is the best way to set it up. I can use just the preamps with the VLA off and bypassed, or both for recording. I can use the VLA for recording or mixing.

      As for the delay that is to be expected, it depends on the DAW you’re using for the method of compensation. I recommend sending a click through the chain and record on a new track. Figure out the offset in samples.

      Hope it helps.

  6. Hi guys. Love the show! Listening to you guys has difinitely improved the quality of my recordings. I have a question for Ryan. I loved the Dr. Folkman interview and songs on your website. I was wondering if you would mind revealing how you got that awesome lo-fi vocal sound on Dr. Folkman Blues. Is that parallel distortion of some sort? Or maybe the pre-73 cranked up? Thanks to you both for consistently putting out a great show!


  7. Ryan, on my last comment I asked for some sound effects of Dr Roxo. And you said.. Umm? Ok? What is that? I’m just going to simply say… PLEASE say that you have not only heard of but watched the show “Metalocalypse” because Dr Roxo is the insain crazy clown who has appeared in quite a few episodes. I apologize… I thought you guys would have surely known of this. You probably watch MTV don’t you Ryan? Yea, I bet your a MTV marathon junkie aren’t you? You like’n ta watch hipster kids in a real world setting? You probably have a RSS feed on on things “snookie” don’t you buddy? Come on?!! Go ahead and tell everyone how you set your phone for updates on snookies pregnancy… (I do belive she birthed a 4lb baby turd and it looks so much like its mother)
    It’s ok, you do however live in the town of hipster paradise… Lost Angelas… But I still think your awesome and I hope you can break free of watching hipsters lift weights and then ass pound each other in a “real world” setting. but after watching hipster face jizz you should change the channel to adult swim and watch the greatest comedy ever written for musicians… Er…(metal musicians to be accurate)
    …. Oh by the way.. Jon, is it true that Canadians have to eat the heart of a unicorn every 30 days to survive? If not, is it then true if they don’t then they are emediatly sent back to satans scrotum? This is my buddy talkin here but … But… It almost makes sense to me…

  8. Hi Ryan and Jon.

    G.F.P. (Great Fucking Podcast)

    I know you’ve talked about loudness and mastering many times. Until now I’ve come to the conclusion that DR8 on the off-line TT Dynamic Range Meter was about right for limiting my tracks. I got the awesome ToneBoosters TB EBULoudness meter and read the online documentation including white paper links. I’m a smart guy. I don’t understand half of this shit and I’m more confused than ever. I get the concept of EBU R128 -23 LUFS but it is so quiet it is far below any commercial music as far as I can tell (funny to watch Death Magnetic blow the meters up). So what is the right target for music? Also what is the right benchmark; momentary loudness (MLk), short-term loundess (SLk), Integrated loudness, true peak and/or loudness range? And what is K-System V2? Etc. I guess what I really want to know is what are all of the parameters on EBULoundess, how do they respond to some benchmark material and what should the targets be for our productions. I’ll tell you what, why don’t you just get Jeroen Breebaart and Bob Katz on the show and let’s get to the bottom of this thing (that last part is a joke but would be awesome in real life).

    Ride the chicken to the oven. Cause I’mz gonna cooks him and eat him. Cause I lovz me some chicken.

  9. Oh my god!!!
    Y’all have no idea how intoxicated I was When I posted that last comment of mine. I just finished reading it and thought to myself… Yeah… Ryan is definitely going to read this on air And once again It will sound like I have the grammar of a fucking third-grader.
    You know what would be great? Being able to upload a two minute spoken comments here on this fabulous website. I say two minutes because I know if you guys Where to give everyone free reign on the timing of the question, There would probably be over eight hours of questions about audio. I mean didn’t one listener upload like six hours of video talking about his studio? and he Ended up talking about pictures on his wall and when he got them? Hell, I can’t say anything… I would probably begin a question about Multiband compression & One hour later, I’m ending it on a story of my first experience of masturbation. I did actually start playing guitar around that time. And I was… Wait, wait, wait!!! See… There I go.. Ryan, please don’t ever put a option to upload audio for questions.

  10. Too soon for DAW talk?? I’ve decided to be a late adopter for the first time ever and see how the Logic X thing pans out. At this very early point, I don’t see myself sticking with logic as a recordist/mixer/musician?. I was hoping to not learn anything ever again, but reaper…oh reaper. I’m not a spammer.

    • Logic Pro X is amazing. I have had it for a week now and Reaper cant touch it as far as music creation and composition goes

  11. Hey, guys.

    I enjoyed the “Jon interviews Dave” show a lot.

    As a diehard studio DIY guy, I loved hearing about Dave’s converted garage, and how he made it work for him.

    The importance of room treatment is constantly coming up as a subject of discussion on the show, and I think a lot of folks may tend to shy away from dealing with it ‘cause of expense, materials availability, or just intimidation of tackling such a project. Since rooms are all different, and there are so many options, this can be a blurry topic to tackle on a DIY scale, especially on a budget or if you’re in a room you don’t want to alter in a major way.

    I recently finished a recording project in my studio, which is in my converted basement rec room. I’ve been here 3 years, and I’ve been slowly and constantly tweaking, modifying and adapting the room, learning as I go, while keeping to a pretty small budget and pretty much using all DIY materials. I was very pleased with my overall room sound after the last project, feeling I’ve finally achieved a room sound I can reliably use and live with acoustically. It looks decent, too.

    As so many of us are set up in spaces we’ve adapted for studio use (like Dave), I’m sure there must be many stories of clever work-arounds, adaptations, and home-built solutions to problems and issues that crop up in the studio. This would be a great ongoing topic to hear more about, as it’d give listeners great ideas and inspiration for improving their studio spaces.


    If you want to read all this on the podcast, here’s a description of what I did with my room, as it may spark some ideas worth trying out.

    I have a basement room, which started out as a bare room with all block walls, cement floor and a plaster ceiling. The room’s about 28 feet long by 12 feet wide, with a two level ceiling, built to accommodate some furnace ductwork. It also has a “bump-out” in the middle of the long wall, about 7 feet wide by 4 feet deep, which is the same footprint as my vestibule off of the living room upstairs. So while the vestibule extends from the front of my house at ground level, this bump-out is the space excavated below the vestibule. (It’s interesting, as many vestibules on houses of this type are just boxes tacked on the house front as a means of entry, and have no space below them).

    My previous house had a finished basement area that had been converted into a home theater space, in place when I moved in, with ribbed carpet upholstered on the walls, low-nap carpeting on most of the floor, except for some tile providing a bit of a “live” area, and an acoustical tile drop ceiling, and an odd overall room shape. It was ugly and dated, but it was an awesome space, acoustically-speaking. And I learned lots from using it, and I applied what I learned to the construction of the new studio.

    First off, the new room was so horribly reverberant, you couldn’t even have a conversation in it – like a tile bathroom on steroids. So that was issue #1. I wanted to build a drywall “inner shell” with a space I could fill with insulation (probably the best, most “proper” way), but I wasn’t inclined to expend that much money and embark on a big project at the time, as I’d just bought the house and had other issues to deal with. But I needed to make the room into a usable studio, even if it was temporary. I looked into acoustic coverings, like the ribbed carpet I’d had at the old place. Too expensive. Too permanent. Too inefficient, if I was going to glue it to my block walls. Shit.

    So I started wandering Home Depot. Hate it, love it, it’s a treasure trove of ideas.

    As I wandered, my eye was drawn to rolls and rolls of indoor-outdoor, ribbed carpeting in 8 x 10 foot rolls. I looked closer, and damned if it wasn’t the same stuff as the fancy “acoustic wall coverings” I’d been looking at, and the same as the stuff I’d seen in the big-ass pro studio downtown. It was about 20 bucks a roll, and I needed about 12 to cover the entire room.

    Next I picked up “furring strips” – just long pieces of wood, about 2 x 2 inches. A few bucks each, and I needed about 12.

    These strips got nailed directly into the block walls with a nail gun I borrowed from a neighbor. (Depending on the wall material, this may not work, and a different fastening method might have to be employed). They were nailed horizontally along the walls as high as I could go, making a horizontal nailing strip, and, importantly, providing a “standoff” of a couple inches. The carpet rolls were stapled to the nail strip, making sure they were unrolled and “relaxed” so I could hang them straight, then trimmed them as needed with a sharp utility knife. The nail strip not only provided an easy attachment method, but the “standoff” meant they were hanging down IN FRONT OF the block wall. That air space behind the carpeting was essential in making them damp sound. Had they been attached to the walls, they wouldn’t have done much at all. But I was amazed at how effective they were at killing the reverberence. (I eventually put decorative trim strips up to provide a cleaner look to the top edge, but that’s just icing).

    Then I lucked out and found a bunch of Auralex foam on Craigslist for real cheap, and I dragged it home, attached Velcro strips to the top edges of the foam with spray adhesive used for upholstery, and tacked these as needed right onto the wall-mounted carpet. They provided additional absorbtion and diffusion, and they look kinda snazzy and clean. I figured if I needed more wall treatment, I could drop in some semi-rigid fiberglass batts behind the carpeting eventually, but I haven’t need to.

    Next, I treated my “bump-out” space with foam and big bass traps. I purchased foam corner
    bass traps, then later on added more homemade ones for the room corners (more ‘bout that in a minute).

    Then, I found some nice indoor-outdoor carpets, about 7 x 12 feet. Four of these covered the floor. They were about 25 bucks each at Home Depot.

    Then…flutter echoes became apparent – I was afraid of that. Damn plaster ceiling. So…I made
    2 x 4 foot panels by building a wood frame and dropping in the semi-rigid fiberglass insulation batts we all hear so much about. Then I covered them with burlap and stapled it to the frames.
    I needed 6 for the main room, and 1 for the bump-out area. Like the wall carpet, I installed small hook eyes into the ceiling and the panel edges, and hung them with small 2 inch lengths of fine chain (about 10 bucks worth of hardware stuff). Again, providing an air gap between the panel and the reflective hard surface increased the efficiency of the panels. Excellent results, they look great, and echo problem solved! I have about 6 feet 7 inches from floor to panel – I can live with that.

    The panels ended up at about 30 bucks each for materials. You can find them online for 50-60, and they’re worth it from a labor standpoint if you have the money. But they’re made the same way.

    On to the bass traps. I made up additional panels, just like the ceiling panels, hung them vertically from the ceiling using chain and hook eyes again, and mounted them diagonally in the room corners, creating a “V” of airspace about 16 inches deep behind them. Then, I hit a Wal-mart-type store and bought cheapo pillowcases, the big king size ones. I stuffed them with rockwool insulation (wear gloves), stapled them closed and tucked them up in the air gap behind the corner panels. I have enough stuff on the floor, like guitar cases and miscellaneous studio stuff, that I didn’t need to do floor to ceiling traps. The general clutter, bookcases and equipment I have in my studio provides additional room treatment by itself.

    In addition, I’ve made up some movable freestanding gobos from similar panels with feet they’re really handy, lightweight, take up little floorspace, and provide all kinds of ways to add additional
    treatment for vocals and amplifiers, even placing them behind my mix position at some distance to modify the room acoustics.

    My bump-out space, by the way, is my “control room within the main live room”. The bump-out let me inset my recording setup and monitors within the highly damped bump-out room. I sit facing into the bump-out, and my monitors fire into the main room. I have a wide sweet spot, and despite my fears of resonances messing me up, I’ve had little trouble. My main monitors are the venerable JBL 4410 three-way monitors, and have no rear-firing ports, which certainly help avoid some problems in this room configuration.

    I use this space for rehearsing with my band, and for recording myself, my band, and paying clients. It’s also my office space. I had intended to eventually “do it up right” after I settled in here. But I’m so pleased with the overall outcome and the cost that I’ve decided to leave it alone.

    I’ve got a workable, good-sounding room, mixes that translate well, and I haven’t had to eat gruel for 3 years to pay for it.

    Additionally, if I should have to move and do it all again, all of these materials can come with me. They’ve also left minimal damage impact on the room, so these ideas are suitable for adaptation for use in an apartment, a bedroom or other space you don’t want to partially destroy in order to get a workable studio space.

    Thanks for listening to be blab on. I hope it’ll spark some other good ideas and help out!

  12. I don’t comment often but I’ve been listening for a few years now and love it.

    I have a question, I’ve been really getting into delays lately but they have all been software based. With all this talk of building kits and modding, I can’t help to wonder how cool it would be to make my own delay unit/pedal.

    I don’t know how fancy I am with a soldering iron (only done the odd cable now and then) and with it being my first project I have no idea where to look… If there is anywhere to look for this sort of kit.

    The analogue DIY delay route seems to get really expensive really quickly. I can’t find much on the digital DIY ones, most seem to have gone out of production.

    Any recommendations guys?
    Oh and price is a concern, the cheaper the better.

    One last thought, I know it may be “cheating” but what about something like a rasberry pi?

  13. What’s the craic me oul muckers!!

    I’m a long time listener…er…no time poster…anyhoop, I just wanted to say that you guys rock and keep up the good work. I’m sure I echo the thoughts of the vast majority of listeners by saying I appreciate the effort, hard work and variety put into each show and it’s great to see you getting better at it too.

    Also…I’ve listened to the pod casts probably twice through at this stage so I’m wondering if it’s possible to get a Diploma? I predict increased business and profits through the possession of a Home Recording Show Diploma.

    Doggy that chicken,

  14. I heard this story on electronic Stradivarius last night and immediately thought you guys might like to take a listen to it and make some comments. It still needs to be played by a good player, but hey, garbage in garbage out. Link:

    SPOILER: I thought the real one sounded harsh. Would that be from mic choice or would it have to do with the mix of how the real instrument plays with orchestra? Perhaps a bit of both?

    Since you haven’t posted another show in a bit I hope everything is ok…

    • I guess the link was related, but not the actual one that I heard last night. There’s a team trying to use convolution to create a playable electric violin that sounds good. They’re taking impulses by tapping on the bridge of the violins and making all sorts of measurements along the way. I promise it was really nifty. Sorry the link is wrong. I couldn’t find a real link to the story.

  15. Hey Guys love your work!!

    thanks for opening my eyes to the world of home recording, i’ve learned alot over the 218 episodes (enough of the brown nosing)

    I just stumbled across this page and thought a lot of listeners might be interested, its and they have run downs of different artists guitar rigs.
    It covers everything from strings, guitars, pedals, amps and cabs etc.

    pretty sweet, check it out

    Keep up the good work!!


  16. You guys mentioned how it’s nice to have a dedicated studio space that you are forced to go to, rather than have it connected to the house. There’s a flip side to that: When the studio is close and convenient it’s much easier to quickly record every random idea that comes. My studio is only as far as the basement, and I’ve still lost a good idea or two because I was too lazy to go downstairs and record it when it came to me.


  17. GSAA

    Sorry for your loss. I too hope 2013 shapes up. For me Its been one big WTF cake with ‘are you fucking kidding me sprinkles.’

    Is The slap back sound that occasionally happened during the segment due to mixing or micing or a subliminal message to eat more cake. I ate some cake just in case but was curious.

      • To much riding of the chicken gave the penial swine flu… Sorry, gotta keep the useless information standards of the internet alive and well.

        I’m sure they are fine, I was commenting on some stuff they said in the last episode. Jon is tweeting still (said something about moving so may be part of it) Ryan tweeted the other day a well and the face book page posted content a few days back. Just a dry spell.

  18. Hey where did you peeps go? i checked Ebay and didnt see any homos for sell so I guess you are still working.. I want my free podcast and free knowledge now get back to work bitches..

  19. Did you guys happen to catch Tape Op’s review of the Monoprice 600800 LDC? Looking at the specs, this mic seems to be a rebranded version of a cheap MXL mic. However, the reviewer seems to think very highly of it. He claims that it performed exceptionally well on drums, guitar, vocals, and upright bass. He concludes with saying that its a great mic at any price and could easily fetch $1000 with a different brand name. Tape Op seems to be one of the more unbiased recording publications when it comes to gear but my B.S. meter is going off the charts with this one. Opinions?

  20. Hi Guys, thanks for replying to my DIY reamp box question. I’ll definitely be ordering one of those LINE2AMPs from the DIY Recording Equipment when the paycheck comes in. In the meantime I’ve been experimenting with just taking an output directly to my pedals and amp.

    I’m using a Zoom R24 as an audio interface / control surface with Cubase LE6. The only way that I can ‘reamp’ is by having the audio I want reamping to the left output and the everything else panned hard right. I think this is all a bit clunky, and I’m sure that’s not how you both do it. I clearly need to be able to output the audio separately. Can I add another audio interface to my setup to do this? I also have a Zoom H4n that can be used as an audio interface – could this work? I can’t see any way of adding 2 audio interfaces in Cubase LE6, or maybe even Reaper, which I’m just starting to try out.

    A question for Jon, on a show production note – are you using some kind of processing on some of the ‘segments’ that cuts pauses in speech? Those little pauses at the ends of sentences help me to digest what has been said. When there’s no gap its like being bombarded by one of those “can’t get a word in edgeways” people you talk to ONCE and avoid thereafter! 😉 Maybe I’m just too old and slow in this XBox high-speed world!

    Just finished listening to show 198 with Sean Costello – he was inspiring, funny and (as a software engineer) made me smile to hear C++ programming language mentioned on a music show. Now have the Valhallas ready for evaluating.

    Have left a donation as I believe that good people doing and sharing their good work should be rewarded, thanks for doing a great show!

    Surf the Chicken Wave You Crazy Cluckers!

  21. Oh yeah, was looking into backwards-masked subliminal messages, and “the regniG” mentioned it above… any tips on doing this for maximum mind-control?
    ~ nekcihc ~ erom ~ tae ~

  22. Just had a great idea for a segment. “Great” because it’s just the sort of thing I need to learn ASAP.

    How do you go from having the basic idea for a song to actually having a finished arrangement? Being a solo (con?) artist like I am, it seems I pass by this obliviously.

    I usually think of the song as being complete when I have the lyrics, melody and the guitar riffs written. But I’m slowly learning there is a whole chapter (or maybe several volumes) between this step and actually hitting record when you want to take the song from craptastic to fantabulous. See, I usually end up having a riff for the verse, a riff for the chorus and a riff for the bridge. Song done, right?


    The song is stale at this point. Where are the other three riffs that should be coming in on the chorus to add flavour and keep the listener captivated? There’s gotta be more to at least some songs than just riffs being double tracked on each side.

    Sure, I can add filler like little lead licks here and there or stuff like that. But I have a feeling that it’s something that should be addressed before saying the songwriting is done. Possibly quite early in the songwriting process.

    How do you approach and execute this pre-production stage, or whatever it is called? I think that is something that very rarely gets discussed other than to say that it is important…

    This may be one for the songwriting folk hero Ryan. Jon the master mixer and audio geek extraordinaire is also more than welcome to chime in.

    Ryan the Tidy. I mean, ride the chicken.

  23. Hey Ryan, does Porn sound better at 192 or 96k? I know you have been busy recording some various humping activities, but we still need a HRS episode!

  24. So I have these guys that decided to get together just to jam for fun. Then that turned into them wanting to record some of the songs they jamming. Not a problem with the exception of the drums. Drummer is a solid drummer, but he hasn’t played since he quit his last band and sold his kit over a decade ago. He just bought a little cheap kit on ebay for the sake of the jam, not intending to use it for anything meaningful.

    So what I have is a good drummer, a shit kit, and no good space to record it in. This is mostly for fun for them, so they won’t be going to a real studio to record drums.

    My plan was to buy a handful of the cheapest dynamic mics I could find to mic the kit with. Maybe use a pair of SDC as overheads for the cymbals. The idea being that I would replace the entire kit with SS Trigger. The mics don’t have to sound good, they just need to pick up the signal. I can find them for under $10 each.

    It seems to me there might be something already designed specifically for this purpose of triggering the samples other than the ultra cheap mics, but I haven’t found them yet. Probably because I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for or if it exists. Is the cheap mic approach my best option, or is there another product available that fits the bill?

    Thanks again guys.

    • Do a ebay search for Digital reference (they are/were made by audio technical) They are not the greatest but they beat little $10 Dynamic mics (like nady star power). They are fairly cheap and get a pretty decent sound. YMMV

  25. I am not caught up yet, I am listening to old and recent episodes at the same time. I am on episode 112 and I am just wondering what happened with Jesse? I really like his take on things and his love of Logic.

  26. Pingback: 012 Making My Own Music – Remix Episode | Tom Snively

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