MUSICIAN, LIVE & STUDIO ENGINEER
Kildare / Dublin

mix with the masters

Apr 21, 2016Sitting sounds into a mix using Maths.Posted In: mixing, delay, stereo ambience, steve albini, mix with the masters

Sometimes when mixing, you’re trying to make sure that all the different sounds are cutting through clearly and the nuances of the various performances aren’t getting lost. Other times though, the challenge is getting a particular sound to sit back into the mix, so it feels connected to the rest of the instrumentation, rather than sitting on top. A lot of the time it’s because that sound is too dry, maybe due to being recorded direct, and so the disconnect comes from it not feeling like it’s in the same space as the rest of the instruments. Here’s another technique I learned from Steve Albini which uses a multi-tap delay and some good old-fashioned maths to create a stereo ambience effect that works brilliantly in that situation.

Mar 10, 2016Managing Spill: Live Acoustic and Vocal Recording Mic TechniquePosted In: acoustic guitar, vocals, live recording, steve albini, mic technique, mix with the masters

Recording a live acoustic guitar and vocal performance can be a bit of a crap shoot. Depending on the guitar and how the singer projects, you can be looking at both having too much guitar in your vocal mic or too much vocal in your guitar mics. Mic placement might improve things but you could still end up with a really cut down set of options when it comes to mix time. The EQ you need to make the guitar sound great might also emphasise a part of the vocal that doesn't sound pleasant and so on... It can be a tough balancing act of compromise after compromise. Here's a mic technique I learned from Steve Albini at his Mix With The Masters seminar, which gives fantastic isolation.

Nov 02, 2015My Mix With The Masters ExperiencePosted In: steve albini, mix with the masters, recording, mixing, studios la fabrique, engineering

Mix With The Masters is a series of week-long training seminars for audio engineers. For each seminar, a small number of attendees get to spend a week in a residential studio in the south of France learning from one of the world’s top engineers. Earlier this year, when a seminar with Steve Albini was announced, I decided to apply. I filled out the application form, agonised a bit over what examples of my work I would submit, hit the send button and crossed my fingers. Two weeks later, I got confirmation back that I had been accepted. It was a surreal moment. I was simultaneously delighted and terrified…what if I turned out to be out of my depth? Kate reminded me that the work I’d submitted had got me in, so I shouldn’t worry. I settled into a kind of nervous excitement and started figuring out travel plans for getting to Studios La Fabrique.