'The Mastering Show' (Episode 87) podcast resources page
Following on from my conversation with Ian Shepherd on Episode 87 of The Mastering Show podcast, here are a few resources I’ve collected together to support our discussion.
The ‘Pencil Trick’ For Sibilance Reduction – Does It Work?: If you’d like to hear the audio examples I did testing the efficacy of the pencil trick, you can find them here in the Recording Secrets For The Small Studio Chapter 4 online resources.
Recording Vocals With Loudspeaker Foldback: You can find more information about this, along with audio examples of different methods of foldback-spill reduction here in the Recording Secrets For The Small Studio Chapter 5 online resources.
Miking Distance Comparisons: Ian and I talked quite a bit about how close you should place mics to the instrument you’re recording. Here in the Recording Secrets For The Small Studio Chapter 6 online resources there’s a selection of audio comparisons to back this up, featuring acoustic guitar, electric guitar, snare drum, and grand piano. For more in-depth mic-position comparisons, check my 'Recording Secrets' Library Of Mic Positions, which has more than 450 audio examples covering 20 different instruments.
Electric Guitar Mic-position Comparison: There’s a comparison of different mic positions on a guitar-amp speaker cone here in the ‘Recording Secrets’ Library Of Mic Positions
Guitar Layering Case Study: Here’s an example of what I mean by differentiating sonic layers within an electric guitar texture. Have a listen to this mix of bass and guitars: All Guitars + Bass: WAV/MP3play_arrow. This is built from a bass-guitar part with a main double-tracked electric guitar part Bass + Guitar 1: WAV/MP3play_arrow, on top of which are layered two additional contrasting electric-guitar layers: Guitar 2: WAV/MP3play_arrow Guitar 3: WAV/MP3play_arrow. For more details about this particular production, check out my Mix Rescue December 2009 article.
Stereo Mic Technique: There are lots of audio examples relating to stereo microphone technique in the Recording Secrets For The Small Studio Chapter 8 and Chapter 9 online resources, including this special video I created to explain the important concept of Acceptance Angle:
There are quotes from more than 250 high-profile engineers and producers in Recording Secrets For The Small Studio, and I mentioned a few of them while talking with Ian. Here are the full quotes, with links to the larger interviews they come from.
“That’s always a nightmare, but the way around it is to move the piano as close as possible to the drums, which is contrary to what you’d think… It’s the time delay that’s the problem, not the actual separation.”
“When you’re recording a vocal, you have to think about how you want the vocalist’s voice to sit in the track. If you’re doing a rock tune and you’ve got the singer right up against the microphone, you’re going to have to work really hard with EQ to make it sound like it sits in the track. Something I learned from John Leckie: you record the vocalist where you think you want to position them in the piece of music, and with a rock singer it’s better to record them an arm’s length away so that it seems to sit on that scale in the track.”
- Bruce Swedien talking about using early reflections when recording Michael Jackson’s vocals (along the lines pictured to the right) in this Sound On Sound magazine interview.
“The Tube Trap, to me, is one of the greatest things since sliced bread. Michael loved my Tube Traps — he was fascinated with them. We would try all sorts of different setups with the Tube Traps to get a soundfield that was really interesting. They save a lot of time.”
- Steve Bush talking about recording the Stereophonics’ lead singer Kelly Jones in the stone room at Rockfield Studios in this Sound On Sound magazine interview.
“One thing we discovered on the Sterophonics albums was that if we used the small stone room at Real World Studios all the vocals had a really rich enhanced sound from the room! Normally you associate ambience and the sound of a room with drum kits, but in this instance all the best singing went down in this particular room, because of its sound.”
- Tony Platt talking about layering acoustic guitars with electric guitars for heavy rock in this Sound On Sound magazine interview.
“Once while recording one particular heavy metal band I suggested putting an acoustic guitar on the record. The guitarist’s retort was very Spinal Tap. He said ‘Acoustic guitars in heavy metal? You’ve got to be joking!’ Then I pointed out to him that all the Who albums had acoustic guitars sitting underneath Pete Townshend’s rhythm guitars to make it sound bigger.”
More Free Related Resources!
Here are a few other free resources with more information about some of the topics Ian and I touched on during the episode:
Ian Shepherd On My Cambridge-MT Patrons Podcast! I peppered Ian with thorny mastering questions from my Cambridge-MT patrons in this special free-to-listen episode of my Cambridge-MT Patrons Podcast.
Unmastered Mixes For Mastering Practice: More than 200(!) unmastered mix WAVs for mastering practice can be found in my 'Mixing Secrets' Free Multitrack Download Library – just look for the ‘Unmastered Mix (WAV)’ link to the right of the relevant project listings.
Using Spill To Your Advantage: Here’s an in-depth recording case-study (for which I actually collaborated with Ian at the time!) demonstrating how you can use spill to your advantage while recording. There are audio files of all the mics I used, as well as a series of three free videos explaining how to manage those mic signals at mixdown.
Sculpting Guitar Tones With Multimiking: Another video I put together for the new edition of Recording Secrets For The Small Studio, this one explains how to use multimiking to your advantage when overdubbing electric guitars:
Voiced Consonants: Here’s a brief definition and description of voiced consonants.
Vocal Arrangement Case-study: For a detailed case-study of what I mean by ‘vocal arrangement’ in modern record production, check out my critique of Billie Eilish’s ‘Everything I Wanted’ over on my blog site The Mix Review.
Freeware Stereo Metering Plug-ins: You can find some suggestions for freeware vectorscopes and other stereo meters here in the Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio Chapter 18 online resources