Some highlights of my music recording career include:
If you have a music recording project in mind, please contact me as far in advance as possible for an estimate. This allows time to plan the best way to meet your needs and acquire any necessary materials or rental equipment.
Every location recording situation is unique. Below are descriptions of some of the recording techniques I use.
A single pair of microphones placed at the sweet spot to capture the sound of the music in the space where it is performed.
Best for: acoustic jazz instrumental, small and large ensemble classical, choral, rehearsals, and archival. This least expensive method delivers a nearly finished product immediately, requiring little post production. Generally not suitable for rock, amplified blues, pop music with vocals, or environments with loud background noise.
|Live Mix to Two-Track
Mixing multiple mics directly to stereo in real time. Note that direct feeds from sound boards often lack musical balance, especially at smaller venues. All the instruments may not be plugged into the board, and the live sound engineer mixes for the room, not the recording. Connecting a separate mixing board and adding supplemental room and spot mics can, with care, result in acceptable live two-track recordings.
Best for: Singer-songwriters and small acoustic groups. This technique is risky, however, because little can be done afterwards to fix imbalances,and it can be impossible to hear well enough to mix live if a PA is blaring. Not suitable for loud amplified music, larger groups, performances without thorough pre-show sound checks, or critical recordings intended for commercial release.
|Multi-Track Recording (4, 8, 16, or 24 tracks)
Separate audio tracks are recorded for each sound source allowing for careful post production mixing to optimize the musical balance and sound quality. For live performances a second recording mixing board is used to allow recording level adjustments independent of the house sound controls. A rough mix may be recorded during a performance, but it is intended for logging and backup purposes only. Extensive post production is required to complete the project. Note that location multi-track recording is not like studio recording. Because the tracks are laid down simultaneously in an open location, instruments and vocals can leak onto different tracks, making post production overdubs difficult.
Best for: Loud amplified music, larger groups, one time only performances, and recordings intended for commercial release. Not suitable for projects with severely limited funding or insufficient preparation time.
|Computer Recording (ProTools)
Using my Macintosh laptop and M-Audio recording interface, multiple tracks can be recorded directly to a computer hard drive as a ProTools session. The session can be copied to another drive as back-up, and loaded into a studio computer for post-production mixing and editing. Tracks can also be made available as .wav files for use with virtually any type of digital audio workstation (DAW). For important events, double recording to another media is strongly recommended. Paired with the techniques listed above, extremely reliable recording can be accomplished at nearly any location.
Currently my post production audio capabilities include ProTools computer mixing and editing, real-time 8, 16, or 24 track mix down, two-track editing, and basic two-track mastering to CD. Several well equipped post production facilities are also available locally that do excellent work. Knowing in advance which post facility you intend to use will help ensure the recorded format of the music is compatible.
|Live Sound Engineering
Many skills used for location recording (microphone selection and placement, for example) also directly apply to live sound engineering. Other elements come into play, however, including PA setup, monitor mixing, feedback control, and general troubleshooting under the time pressures of a live performance environment. Having someone with a good set of ears in the audience, and the skills to make the right adjustments, can significantly improve the sound quality of an event. I enjoy helping musicians sound their best at live events, using the band's equipment or house sound gear.
Bands I've worked with recently doing live sound engineering include: Power of 12, Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald, Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson (Storm Session), Gyan Riley, Rose Tattoo, Lorraine Gervais (and the Burning Sensations), Bill Douglass (Jazz Camp Concerts), Afrodesia, Makana, Sabroso, On the One, Joseph Israel, Emma's Revolution, Beaucoup Chapeaux, Kandkinsky Effect, and many others.