Recording Connection Success Stories, Page 2
January 30, 2016 Student Quotes
Axioms and Accolades
“I have now reached the middle of the course, and things are running like a well-oiled machine. I understand how a studio earns its own identity, how to troubleshoot in a variety of environments, and how to interact with professional clients and colleagues. The practical journey will seemingly ramp up, while the theoretical aspects of the chapters’ interplay always coax good practices.
It is easy to get excited about finishing the course with flying colors and great references, but I am really grounded in the present and appreciate the day-to-day activities. The routines have to be learned, the solid practices need to become second nature, and the skills must be retained. I enjoy the plethora of styles you see with the producers and recording artists. My mentor is very humble, despite some big name clientele and a history of music involvement; and that continually inspires me to do my best and nothing less. The whole Recording Connection experience has been awe inspiring, so I am glad to share the stories with my family and peers”
Getting comfortable with the plugins and virtual instruments that come with Pro Tools
“Really got into depth with plugins with my mentor this week, different kinds, their functions, what situations they work best in, etc. Also discussed inserts and sends more, as well as bouncing, freezing, and automation. I got to sit in on a hip hop mixing session which tied in great with this chapter. Basically the songs were just plain tracks (vocals, add libs, and beat) with no effects so it helped me learn what to do to really make a song sound rich, full, and unique. I’ve been getting comfortable with the plugins and virtual instruments that come with Pro Tools and am having a lot of fun applying what I’m learning into my own music.”
It was a good week and helped me learn more.
“This week I went in twice to the studio and both times learned plenty of things. The first time was learning more on mixing. Josh was just about to start a mix so I got to watch the whole process for him from the beginning. He would explain what effects he would use and why to me in detail. We would solo each track and listen to the difference of every change he would apply to the song. The second time a hip hop artist came in and I got to help them record vocals and guitar parts. It was a good week and helped me learn more what to do with the chapter I just completed.”Andy Weigel, Minneapolis, MN
Timing is everything
“Steve taught me how to fold up cables the right way, vs. the wrong way which leads to knots and time wasted. I have continued to practice folding cables in preparation for live shows and studio work when cables need to be uncoiled immediately. Timing is everything and that crucial step of folding cables is something that isn’t taught in recording schools typically. Steve is currently working on 3 albums and single tracks for artists. I have been observing what he is doing in Protools to bring out the singers in the mix and to make a song stand out. The dude is a genius and I write down everything he says. I don’t want a piece of information left behind.”
February 6, 2016 Student Quotes
Got to the studio and right away got into mixing.
“John loaded a gospel group that someone had sent him in the past to mix. First off he had me label all 50+ tracks then place them in the order we have been working with. Drums and percussion first followed by bass guitar, piano, keyboard, organ, strings, guitars, and finally 6 different vocalist duplicated 4 times each. Next John had me put the tracks in to groups and also make a master fader for each group. After this I mixed the levels and added compression to master fader to effect the whole recording. Before my session was over I started to add EQ and compression to the individual tracks. I didn’t get to finish and John said we would work on the rest of it in the next mixing session. I liked that John told me to add a little compression to the overall mix in the beginning. I think it really helped out making everything blend well.”
January 9, 2016 Student Quotes
“I really enjoyed learning through a digital version of the textbook. Because it is a lot easier for me to understand and to take good notes being able to highlight right on the page so I can always find my more important notes. Also I love having the links to different websites to better understand and still going in to depth of that certain subject. So far so good! I really like this school especially on helpful the staff is that is a big deal to me.”
I have talked to the studio and I may be able to stay on doing some assistant engineering and marketing for them!
“Well time has been flying by, and I am in the studio more and more! I feel like I’m in a pretty weird place. I’m learning so much so quickly… but then at the same time I feel like I don’t know anything. This was the first week that I felt like what I was doing was actually applicable to my future as an audio engineer. The studio had tracked and mixed a track from this weekend with The House of Lewis (who had actually won the studio time from a rap battle pretty big in the SLC scene). He took off all the effects, inserts, and sends that he had put on before and just said “K have at it!” I got to patch in a hardware EQ, distortion, and compression. I had so much fun and it finally felt like it was real! Like this is my future!
I had a blast recording! The band was awesome, and I just got to be there from tracking to final mix! I am loving school more and more! I am beginning to realize that it will end soon. I have talked to the studio and I may be able to stay on doing some assistant engineering and marketing for them! Things are looking up! I would never be here if it weren’t for the Reording Connection… so grateful I stumbled on them in my internet searches. What I have learned through their program is career building! Being in a studio is the way to go when learning about audio engineering. My mentor is a freakin ninja! I got really lucky to learn from someone who is so good at what he does and I can’t imagine learning from a professor in a classroom over someone who loves what he does and does it every day to put food on the table. Can’t wait for next week!”
Learning what a finished song should sound like and what I need to do to get it there.
“As soon as I got to Soul Haven Hall today John threw me in studio B and had me mix the song “All You Need” from the reggae group Strange Roots. There were drums, percussion, 2 guitars, 2 saxophones, vocals, group vocals, 2 keyboards and bass guitar. All in all about 30 tracks. I edited a couple drum fills but most of my time was spent on adding EQ and compression where needed. John popped in and out giving me a couple suggestions like re-amping the bass track and adding compression and EQ to the whole mix using the appropriate signal chain. When I was done we compared my mix to Johns mix of the same song and talked about the differences. Hearing what he did on the mix after I was done mine helped a lot with learning what a finished song should sound like and what I need to do to get it there.”
Yes, I had two full studio sessions this week!
“Week 4 material is an idea that I’ve understood for several years now, that is Connectivity of modules found in a studio. I’ve been working with the many different types of cables for about 3 years now, so I already had a head start on learning the material. As a gigging DJ of almost 3 years and music producer of 5 years, I’ve worked with 1/4 inch TRS cables, RCA cables, and XLR Mic cables in many situations. I also took a music technology class in college that covered the same ideas. Digital information was also covered in this week’s material. Digital information is sent through everyday USB cables and (the not so every day) MIDI cables. I had no problem acing this week’s quiz! But before taking the quiz for this section, I had some extra studio time with Boo!
Yes, I had two full studio sessions this week! The first session went along perfectly with covering the lesson material, as Boo and I set up eight different microphones around a full drum set for tracking! A drum track was needed for one of the tracks that Boo had started with one of his clients. The drummer came in and set up the kit while Boo and I gathered the correct mics and cables to plug them into the patch bay for the TDIF. Once the kit was set up and mic levels were set, it was time for recording! The drummer played the track two times through to decide what we were going to use for the final product. Two more great hours of learning!
The start of the second session, on my regular time and day, began with tuning some vocal harmonies. That didn’t take long between Boo and I working together to see exactly where the harmonies had to be placed. After that, I was back in the hot seat for more instrument recording! Boo and I added tambourine, shaker, and bass guitar tracks to finish up another track for one of Boo’s clients! Another great week of learning and recording!”
November 7, 2015 Student Quotes
Already made me a better musician, as well as an engineer.
“I just completed the Chapter 13 quiz on Equalization, and am still working on the mix(es). I’m focusing on the rock track provided for the assignment and it’s going nicely so far; I’m looking forward to trying out the other songs as well just for practice’s sake.
At the studio today, we recorded a new demo by Roy Hale and did some further work on a song that we’d previously worked on with him. Randy added bass and keys, and will probably add some more instrumentation in as well next time. I really enjoy getting the opportunity to ask questions on musical aspects outside of recording; seeing different chord inversions and theory applied, and being able to get clarification when I need it, has already made me a better musician, as well as an engineer. “
We are currently in Chapter 6 working through mircophone placement. It has been great all of the hands on time I have been able to get being in the studio with John. Last week we set up and miked the drum kit. I was able to play and record samples of drums and listen to the difference of the sound when the microphones were placed or moved around. I was able to see what sound we wanted to capture and what the final placement for that sound was. I look forward to setting up the guitar cabinet and piano microphone placements!
Already found out something I didn’t know!
It’s a very good thing my mentor is a drummer like myself. My drum sound is going to be great! Our first lesson we mic’d up a kit (very simple; kick, 2 overheads, and top/bottom snare mics) and my mentor showed me what the deal is with overheads and why people have phase issues. Why I have phase issues.
I’ve always been told to put overhead mics parallel and equal distances from each other, which is still good, but if your not careful the mic’s will cancel each other out. Chapter 1 said the same thing with waves that are flipped 180 degrees cancel the other out. I’ve spent a lot of time in reaper and logic trying to figure out why my overheads sound bad or are quiet when they should be loud.
I took this home and oh my god what a difference. Same goes with the bottom snare mic (which I’ve been stupidly underestimating). Especially with the particular snare I’m using (a GMS brass/maple hybrid) it was very, very beneficial to use the top mic to gain all my warmth and body, the natural overtones of the drum/head and to use the bottom to get the brightness and actual “snare” sound of my wires against the resonant head.
Can’t wait to learn more!Mike Nolan, Westminster, CO
I cant wait to see where this takes me in my future.
“Week 1 went pretty good, I was nervous at first but once I got comfortable and relaxed Rick made everything seem so easy and thourough. Rick taught me have to track out mics to the channels on the mixing board, and send them to Pro Tools on the computer. I also learned to que in the headphones and seperate the mix in the studio from the headphones out in the booth. The beginning chapter in this program was really interesting. Learning about the human ear and how sound waves react was very nice. I already feel smarter and more comfortable with my own projects after just one week in the program. I cant wait to see where this takes me in my future.”
Here we go folks!
“This past week has been a very exciting and interesting week for sure. It was so thrilling to be back in the studio on Monday… it was very refreshing to be able to be where I was comfortable and have had so many fun times, and continue to have fun times there too of course. Working with [my mentor] has always been a blast and it continues to be one. I will be recording a family friend and his band this coming Monday and I have super stoked for sure. I’ve been told I will basically be heading up the entire project and [my mentor] will be watching me to make sure I’m doing things right, (and probably correcting me if something’s not right haha.) and that is absolutely thrilling to do a recording project all by myself in the live working studio. I have recently been contacted about being mentioned in an upcoming newsletter with The Recording Connection (which has over 80,000 subscribers–Yes you read that, eight and then four zeros!) and I feel very honored to receive an article being rewritten about me and that is extremely exciting.”
My mentor is great about letting me help out
“This week I got to learn how to edit a session by taking out all the clicks, pops, and other unwanted noises. It was pretty cool for me to learn that. Another thing this week was we recorded a full band. I found that to be interesting and also very educational for me to be in that enviroment. My mentor is great about letting me help out and getting to experience the day to day feel of being an engineer. Thanks Anthony!”
I just finished taking my midterm; aced it, woohoo!
“So far I’ve really enjoyed the whole course, from the way the lessons are laid out, to the multimedia aspects of the textbook and the comments that other students have added. I’m really excited about opening up the job placement aspect of the program so I can make some further decisions as to how best to move forward.
The most recent studio session was finishing up mixes on two songs for a previous client; the tracks consisted of two vocalists and an assortment of MIDI instruments (drums, piano, bass, strings, and an accordion). It was a good exercise in using plugins to soften some of the harsher aspects of MIDI instruments and get a more realistic sound. Now I’m looking forward to finishing up the other big mix of real instrumentation we’ve been working on!”
October 10, 2015 Student Quotes
Never be afraid to fail at something new
“This chapter over mic placement was very good food for thought. Even though they recommand certain mics for recording certain instruments and vocals I think it is wise to keep those as “safe points” and not be afraid to venture past that, each ear is different and each mic can perform better at different dbs. Never be afraid to fail at something new, it only means you are trying what others won’t attempt.”
The suspense is killing me!
“My second lesson in the studio was amazing! I got to sit first hand and watch my mentor Patrick record bass and drums in the studio for this group that he is currently working with. It was stunning to see how the process worked. The beginning was rather tedious but as it continued I became more and more intruged with the process. I can’t wait to return and begin working on my own material.”
“So yesterday I was observing a tracking session and when it was done I had a conversation with one of the other students that was there and he told me he makes beats. I make beats as well and we got each other’s phone numbers in case wanted to do collaborations and stuff. When I left the studio I bumped into the Bass player from the tracking session on the elevator. We spoke as I walked to the train and apparently he used to be a recording connection student as well who found a job a recording firm. Things are really starting to look up.”
He’s a great teacher and cant wait to get to the next session!
“My second session with Donny was cool he familiarized my surroundings in the studio. We went over the difference of digital circuits and analog circuits. along with that we sat in front of the mixer and went over alternating and direct current. He introduced me to the sound compressor and showed me what it dose combined with pro tools. Donny has a way of making everything condensed and easy to understand.”
Overall a very good week!
“This week in the studio we had the drummer from Stage Kids come in to record for a track that Pat and the owner of the studio T.J. are currently working on. We also recorded drums for a track that another one of Pat’s students is working on. A very busy and productive week. In the readings we covered automation. It covered everything from the history of automation to the basics of how to automate in daw’s, pro tools specifically.”Joe Cronin, San Diego, California
I finally wrapped up my progressive assignment this week.
“I spent some extra time to finish adding effects and double check the previous sections of the track such as compression, EQ, and levels. My mentor and I then bounced out an mp3 of the track to play in the car to do a comparison and some fine adjustments in regards to where everything sat in the mix on car speaks versus studio monitors. I have now started working on the next assignment involving MIDI. “
I am learning so much and I am having so much fun and experience doing it.
“This week has been even better than the last one. This week was about microphones. The history of them, the different types, and different brands and models. In the studio, my mentor showed me all off the different types of mics and I got to hear what they all sounded like. I learned the different types of mics and what they looked like and even some of the technical specs of them. It has been a very good week. I am learning so much and I am having so much fun and experience doing it. Thank you so much.”Andrew Kline, Oley, Pennsylvania
Things have started to get very interesting and more fun
“Things have started to get very interesting and more fun once you get to know and learn how a studio actually works. This week has been very helpfull to me due to the fact that I have learned so much in the set up process that goes on during the set up for recording. This following week we are expecting TV on the Radio to come and do some recording. I am looking foward to see as it all happens and see how this band is diffent from the rest in regards of personality and spirit. I always seem to find this very important because if you make a musician fell more confortable their recording experience will be a thousand times better.”
This week’s lesson was the best yet
“This week’s lesson was the best yet, mostly because we got to talk a lot about Gear, which is probably my favorite subject. Specifically we talked microphones. Before that however we finished up the lesson from the week before on patch bays. Zack fired up some outboard gear and we patched some pink noise from Protools through a couple compressors, an eq, and a reverb. This helped immensely in understanding how patch bays work in practice as I actually got to shove cables into things.
After that we went into the live room and opened up the microphone locker. We went over different kind of dynamic, condenser, and ribbon mics, Zack giving the history and basic design of each. Beyond hearing about how each works and their general pros and cons, I loved hearing about different models, what they might be used for, and their frequency responses. Beyond the beautiful Royer ribbon microphones, the ones that really jumped out at me were the Sennheiser MD 421, Shure SM7, and the AKG D112. Mostly because they’re microphones I could probably one day afford and they have a number of usable studio applications. I’m excited for next week’s lesson in microphone placement.”