Charlie’s Big Mouth Blog Entries!

A Day In The Studio Life…

A Day In The Studio Life…

Somedays in the studio are pretty straight forward. Maybe it’s a drum session (which are never really straight forward!), maybe it’s a vocal session, or a guitar session, or even a full band tracking live all day. While every session is fun (even if it’s a lot of work) somedays are more unique than others.

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of working with Country artist Kalynne Michelle and producer Max Pfisterer on Kalynne’s debut EP. The sessions have been well organized by Max and for the most part everything has gone smoothly.

The drum, vocal, and guitar sessions were all pretty straight forward in that we were only focussing on one at a time. Then, we had one of those sessions where we were jam packed the entire day recording pedal steel, banjo, keys, organ, fiddle, mandolin, and vocals! It was crazy but very fun!

Here’s how that day went!

Enjoy
Charlie


 

7:30: Wake Up!

My trusty dog Oscar wakes me up every morning to take him out and this day was no different. We did a full day of guitars the days before and I got home a little late so needless to say I was a bit tired.

9:30: Coffee Time!

Now my day can officially start! Lizzy and I hit one of our favorite coffee shops in Santa Monica, 18th St. Coffee. Quad Americano. That’s how I roll. (I had several pots of coffee later at the studio too…)

10:00: Drive To Studio

Not too eventful. Most of my drives to the studio are in silence or spent listening to sports radio for news on my Chiefs. Usually they are in silence though. Something about driving in silence that just prepares me for the day.

10:30: Fire Up the Console

I like having a few minutes to myself before sessions to get everything ready to go. Fire up the console, get the ac kicking, and just to have a few minutes in the studio alone. It’s like meditation for me. All I need is a few minutes and I’m ready for anything!

Federico Angel playing pedal steel at ultimate studios inc for kalynne michelle

11:00: Pedal Steel w/Federico

We started our day with Federico, who is also my assistant, playing pedal steel on a few parts. He’s a talented dude and the song needed it. We still had our guitar rig setup from the day before so we used it for the pedal steel. It sounded great!

12:15: Fiddle w/Jesse Olema

We were in for a treat here. Jesse Olema came in and just wowed us all. It was my first time working with him and he was fantastic. Something amazing about fiddle.

2:00: Banjo w/Gus

Next up was banjo with Augustus Mccloskey. Gus was pulling double duty on this session starting with banjo. He played some really nice parts that worked well with the guitars we did the day before.

3:30 Keys w/Paul

Our day contented with Paul Myint latin’ down keys. Keys really fill things out and Paul played great. I think at this point I was on my second pot of coffee.

5:30: Lunch

In-N-Out. Not sure why Federico and I didn’t go to Chipotle.

6:30: Organ w/Paul

Got to fire up the Hammond M3 and lay down some real organ parts with Paul. Nothing beats a real organ. It’s so freakin’ cool!

Kalynne Michelle recording vocals at Ultimate Studios, Inc

7:30: Mandolin w/Gus

Gus was back up with mandolin this time. The mandolin adds such a neat color. It’s kind of dreamy actually. Gus totally nailed it too.

8:30: Vocals w/Kalynne

Ahh yes. Final to the reason this EP is being recorded. Vocals. Kalynne has a wonderful voice and after recording guitars the day before and spending most of this day recording all the extra elements it was nice to hear the vocals go down. It was nice having the vocals be the last thing we recorded for the day. For the two days actually. It was just a really nice way to end a couple great days of tracking.

10:15: That’s A Wrap!

Done for the day. Federico and I didn’t even bother tearing everything down. We cleaned up a bit and called it a night. I love being in the studio. I love hearing songs go from skeletons to finished pieces. On this day we had people in and out of the studio all day long. And at the end of the day that’s what makes music so damn special…the people. The people that put their heart and soul into making music.

Support music! We can’t live without it.

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Ultimate Studios, Inc Turns 2!

Ultimate Studios, Inc Turns 2!

It was just over 2 years ago when I set out to build a new studio. I had completely outgrown the studio I had in Hollywood and needed a LOT more room. It took us just about 3 months to complete the build including running all the wiring through the walls. It was a HUGE undertaking and I enjoyed every minute of it. Although I do enjoy it much more now that it’s finished! 🙂

A big thanks to Mike Bondra, my contractor, for making this happen. Without him I wouldn’t have a studio. He took my design and made it come to life while at the same time he somehow was able to deal with me and my OCD during the process. We basically spent everyday for over 2 months together and somehow didn’t kill each other!

I also put my partner Ernetso Homeyer to work and without he and Scott Francisco no audio would pass through the rooms. Because of you guys I now know how to wire and Elco patchbay! My gorgeous girlfriend Lizzy Ostro put up with long hours (15-18 hour days) seven days a week and she even helped me hang drywall. She did so much work on the studio that she could probably build one by herself now!

I would like to thank each and every musician, producer, composer, and company that has worked with me at the studio over the past two years. You have helped me make Ultimate Studios, Inc a success and it has been a pleasure working with you all!

Ultimate Studios, Inc Owner, Engineer, and Producer Charlie Waymire

Charlie Waymire in is natural environment

To celebrate the 2 year birthday of the new studio I’m going to post a bunch of photos from the build and add a new one each day on the Ultimate Studios, Inc Facebook page. Here are a few to get started and check the Facebook page each day for more! Be sure to “like” us too!

I look forward to working with everyone to make more great music in 2015!

Charlie

 

 

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Good Vibrations Debuts On DrumMagazine.com! (w/video)

Good Vibrations Debuts On DrumMagazine.com! (w/video)

I am stoked to announce that “Good Vibrations”, a new column on DrumMagazine.com, has officially launched! In each installment I’ll discuss how I work with drummers to get a great sound in the studio. “Good Vibrations” is designed to give you a quick look at how I go for a particular sound to fit a session or song. I’ll be working with different artists in each installment, including some familiar names in the industry.

There are plenty of articles all over the internet that talk just about the gear. I want to focus on “why” I choose to use something and how it relates to the other pieces in the setup and, more importantly, the song. Don’t get me wrong, gear is great and I a super gear nerd but at the end of the day the song is most important and that’s how I’m approaching this column. From the perspective of the song, not the recording gear.

The first episode of “Good Vibrations” features a great friend of mine and an awesome Drummer/Producer Mike Avenaim. We filmed this while working together on a new artist that he’s producing named T’Lark. I hope you enjoy!

Charlie

 

Go to DrumMagazine.com to watch the episode and see complete session notes.

 

Watch “Good Vibrations” EP1 below!

 

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Tita Hutchison Releases “Hello Love”

Tita Hutchison Releases “Hello Love”

I was fortunate to work with one of my dearest friends, Tita Hutchison, on her debut EP “Hello Love”. Throughout the years we’ve worked on many different projects and shared the stage many, many times but this project is the most special to me and I was extremely honored when she asked me to mix “Hello Love”. What I didn’t know then was that it would be so much more than just mixing….

“Hello Love” Available On iTunes

I got to spend about a week and a half mixing, arranging, recording, and re-recording with another one of my best friends Tim Pedersen. We had a blast and did a LOT of experimenting. On two songs we tracked drums using a gorgeous ’67 Rogers drum kit with a 20″ kick, 12″ rack tom, 14″ floor tom, and a 14″ Yamaha Anton Fig snare. Tim let me experiment with some very unconventional micing techniques too. The goal was to capture a sound that fit the emotion of the song with tons of vibe.

Here’s one of the unique setups:

Tim Pedersen recording drums on Tita Hutchison's "Hello Love" at Ultimate Studios, Inc

On the kick we used an SM57. There was no hole in the kick and the 57 gave us a nice punch. We used a pillow against the outside head to make the note nice and short. An Audio-Technica AT4080 ribbon mic as a mono overhead placed above the floor tom, a Shure S55 placed between the rack tom and hi-hat, facing the snare and angled slightly down, and an MXL Cube for a mono room mic. All I can say is WOW! What a cool sound. Tim didn’t use any crashes. He used two rides instead; a Paiste Formula 602 and a Paiste Dark Energy Mark I along with 15″ Paiste Formula 602 hi-hats.

We re-tracked Tita’s vocals on one song too. She is such a fantastic singer and super easy to work with in the studio. We used an Audio-Technica 4060 tube mic going into an Overstayer VCA compressor and GAP Pre73 DLX mic pre. It sounded simply amazing. Of course when you have a great singer recording is easy! 🙂

Tim and I took quite a few chances during the mixing process too. I prefer mixing mostly analog so we had a pretty old school process. We used our hands for automation, we panned things in ways that modern music wouldn’t allow, and we treated mixes likes takes. Doing multiple passes until we got a good one. The entire process was very musically satisfying. I’m very proud of our work and I hope you all enjoy it too.

Tita Hutchison Recording

Tita put a fantastic cast of characters together for “Hello Love”. Michael Thompson on Guitar, Leland Sklar on Bass, Tim Pedersen on Drums (and producing!), Christian Klokovits on Piano, Lao Tizer on Piano, Justin Apergis on Bass, Travis Newlon on Guitar, Tim Mcintyre on Drums, Sahara Thompson on additional backing vocals, Zach Thompson on percussion

I would like to say thank you to Tita and Tim for the opportunity to work with them on Hello Love. I’m really proud of this EP!

Charlie

More info about Tita and links to purchase “Hello Love”.

www.TitaHutchison.com
Tita’s Facebook page
“Hello Love” on CD Baby
“Hello Love” on iTunes

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Marty O’Reilly Live in Studio! (w/Video)

Marty O’Reilly Live in Studio! (w/Video)

I love working with bands live in the studio. It’s such a wonderful way to record. It’s not always easy when you have drums, amps, and vocals in the same room playing at the same time but I love the challenge. When it works it’s just fantastic! Recently I got to work with Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra. They were on tour and had a day off after their show in LA. Derek from PMI Audio had worked with them before and wanted to get them in the studio to track through the Trident 88 console and shoot some video.

Our goal was to capture true live performances of Marty and his band with no overdubs whatsoever. Marty has such a cool vibe and the band really felt comfortable playing together in the room with no monitoring or headphones. Very, very organic.

For this session bleed had to be my friend because everything was bleeding into everything! Because of that I wasn’t too worried about getting a lot of separation and decided to use as few mics as possible. The drums have 4 mics, guitar has 1 mic, vocals, 1 mic, the upright actually had 3 mics but I only ended up using 2. I had 2 room mics, one in the middle of the group about 2 feet off the ground set to omni, and a spaced pair of condensers facing the wall behind the band. Getting the mic placement correct was imperative since I wouldn’t have a ton of control after the fact.

Everything was recording through the Trident 88. See below for a complete list of mics used.

Enjoy the music!
Charlie

 

 

Kick: Audio-Technica AT4047
Snare: Audio-Technica Pro63
Overheads: Studio Projects C4s
Guitar Amp: Cascade Fathead II
Bass Amp: Audio-Technica AT4047
Clipped to Bridge: Audio-Technica ATM350
Mounted on bass: Troll Ribbon Mic
Room 1: Audio-Tecnica AT4047MP set to Omni
Stereo Rooms: Audio-Technica AT4050

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Enjoy some photos!

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Charlie Talks Drum Miking & FREE eBook!

Charlie Talks Drum Miking & FREE eBook!

I absolutely love recording drums! There are so many possibilities to create interesting and unique sounding drums to fit a song’s personality. Finding that sound can take some experimenting but when you find it, it’s plain magical. Experimenting is a BIG part of learning how to find that sound. The more time you put into experimenting the better understanding you’ll have about how drums sound, about what your microphones hear, about mic placement. All of this will ultimately lead you to better sounding drums!

 

Take your drum miking skils to the next level! 4 Twists On Minimal Drum Miking FREE eBook from engineer Charlie Waymire

That’s one of the BIG goals of “4 Twists On Minimal Drum Miking“; to help you understand the drums better and get great sounds without needing lots of gear. By using less gear it really makes you think about what sounds you’re going after and where you’re placing your microphones. These are just a few techniques that I hope will help you not only get better drum sounds but spark your imagination to come up with sounds that are unique to you and your music.

Remember, it’s not just about recording a great drum sound. It’s about recording the “right” drum sounds for your songs, or for your client’s songs. As you experiment with these techniques give them some sort of context so you can learn how they really sound, how the drums fit into the music and how the music fits around the drums.

The recording process can, and should be, an amazing journey. Be creative and experiment as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to try something different and don’t get stuck just recording one way. Whether it’s drums, guitars, vocals, bass, banjo, or any combination of instruments, remember that it’s art. It’s YOUR art.

Have fun and enjoy “4 Twists On Minimal Drum Miking“!

– Charlie

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Ultimate Studios, Inc Installs new Trident 88 Console!

Ultimate Studios, Inc Installs new Trident 88 Console!

The control room at Ultimate Studios, Inc received a major upgrade last week with the addition of the new Trident 88 recording console from PMI Audio. The Trident 88 is a new console that pays homage to the classic Trident sound and quality while adding new features to fit the modern workflow.

 

 

“I am absolutely loving the Trident 88! It sounds great, feels great, and is fun to work on. The folks at PMI Audio and Trident really did a great job of bridging the classic console with features that make it easy to integrate into modern studio setups.

I like the feel of working on a console. Having the ability to turn knobs and push a fader up or down, getting an immediate connection with the music is extremely important to me. I don’t get that from a mouse. Don’t get me wrong, I use the tools that are in my DAW too. However, the Trident 88 has allowed me to use them a lot less as this board sounds amazing and is very intuitive. Bottom line is this console is a beast, a sonic beast.

A HUGE thanks to everyone at PMI Audio. You guys are awesome!” says engineer Charlie Waymire.

 

You can learn more about the Trident 88 at: www.TridentAudioDevelopments.com. We’ll have video very, very soon! In the meantime check out some photos of the new Trident 88 at Ultimate Studios, Inc!

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Potluck Audio Conference & FREE eBook!

Potluck Audio Conference & FREE eBook!

The Potluck Audio Conference is an annual trade show for audio engineers; studio, live, and broadcast. It’s held at the luxurious Hilton El Conquistador Resort in Tucson, AZ. PotluckCon is small and, unlike NAMM, very laid back. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in quality. Among the attendees were Audio-Technica, PMI Audio, Universal Audio, Sweetwater, Neve, API, Royer, Mojave Audio, Empirical Labs, to name a few.

The weekend also featured many great seminars on recording, mixing, acoustics, broadcast audio, DIY room treatment, hybrid studio setups, and all kinds of other audio and studio related subjects. It was a fantastic weekend of learning from some of the best in the business in an environment that made it easy to learn. It was awesome!

Perhaps the best part of the weekend was the “Casita Gear Crawl”. There is a long row of outdoor suites that are turned into mini studios and feature hands on demonstrations, recording seminars, and more.

Charlie's Recording Setup for the Potluck Audio Conference 2014

Charlie's Recording Setup for the Potluck Audio Conference 2014

I was privileged to be asked by Audio-Technica to put on a seminar about minimal drum miking. The setup in the suite reminded me of being a kid and recording on 4-track cassette recording in my parent’s basement and friend’s houses. It was a lot different (and more challenging!) than working at the studio but I had a blast. We were able to make the room sound pretty nice by using about 16 Cylinder Traps from Aural Endeavors. Everyone at the conference was an amazing help in getting all the gear together and having extra help on hand. Luckily I had my gorgeous girlfriend on hand to help me setup too. It’s a little unnerving to put on a seminar using a rig you’ve never used!

I did a lot of experimenting before the seminar to figure out what I would do. Minimal miking isn’t a new concept but Craig Schumacher, PotluckCon’s driving force, asked me to approach it from a modern recording perspective and not from a classic point of view. That proved quite challenging but I think I came up with a few twists on the classic minimal miking techniques and put my ideas down in a handout, “The Art of Recording Drums – 4 Twists On Minimal Drum Miking”, for all the attendees. Since I think there are some pretty good ideas I thought I would share them with anyone interested in recording drums. These techniques don’t require lots of microphones or lots of gear. They will provide some pretty amazing drum tones and are great for home recording enthusiasts as well as the seasoned pros.

I’ve recorded some amazing sounding drums with these techniques and I hope they can help you do the same!

Enjoy!
Charlie Waymire

Get Your Copy of “The Art of Recording Drums – 4 Techniques On Minimal Drum Miking” FREE eBook Here!

4 Twists On Minimal Drum Miking

 

Photos from PotluckCon 2014

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