My recording ethos is to achieve a detailed transparent sound, with instruments placed in an accurate perspective, within a beautiful acoustic space.
To achieve this I will use any means at my disposal. I won’t limit myself to a specific type or number of microphones, I use as few, or as many, as I need!
My recording set up is of the highest quality using recent technology, being based around Sadie LRX2 and using high-output low-noise microphones.
The rig is completely portable, as we are always travelling to a location with the acoustics that we require for a great recording.
Live and patch.
Many CDs in recent times are based on a live concert recording, but a subsequently patched from rehearsal recordings and/or a specific patch session, to cover blemishes such as coughs and other flaws in the performance.
The excitement and live event “feel” are not harmed but the recording is “tidied” to bear repeat listening.
This type of recording requires a very different approach, as the sound of an empty concert hall has to be matched to the sound of the full concert.
I have been recording in this way for a number of years now with great success.
Every recording requires a producer as well as a sound engineer. Occasionally, this will be the same person. I am happy to work alongside a producer, or alternatively produce and engineer. When I am producing, my aims are to make sure that we have recorded the best possible version of all the music and to offer musical comment and encouragement as required. Some artists welcome considerable producer input, others have a strong sense of the performance they want to achieve, so prefer the producer to stick to spotting mistakes. A good producer responds to these situations. I have good working relationship with a number of highly respected producers who I can recommend.
Good editing is not just making inaudible edits. It’s all about retaining the musicality of the original performance. One has to be aware of structure, phrasing, dynamics, in fact the same things that the performer has to consider.
Removing an intrusive noise from the best take may be preferable to substituting another, so keeping abreast of the latest sound manipulation technology, and understanding how to use it ,without degrading the recorded sound is very important.
This is the process of taking the final edits of the various pieces that are to make up a CD and creating an integrated final product ready for sending to the pressing plant.
This is the stage when final level judgements are made between tracks that may have been recorded at different times, to give a comfortable listening experience.
Noises such as acoustic hum may be treated at this stage.
CD text is added, along with PQ track markers and ISRC codes.
The final master can be on CD but more commonly and better as a DDP file with error checking.
Good mastering requires top quality monitoring and full professional mastering software. I use Sadie 6 Sound Suite.