recording guitars

The Sonic Killer…..Phase!

The Sonic Killer…..Phase!

If there is one simple thing you can do to make your recordings better, it’s checking your phase relationships between each of your microphones!

It seems like such a simple task yet I hear recording after recording that has obvious phase issues. On drums maybe it’s the overheads are out of phase, or the outside kick mic, or it could be a multitude of problems with a multiple mic setup. With guitars phase issues usually occur when using 2 mics that aren’t lined up properly (I’m not talking about a phase pedal or effect).

Phase cancellation. happens when one sound hits two mics at different times. When you are likely to get some degree of phase cancellation. Meaning the source will lack body and sound thin. It will also be somewhat quieter. Guitar players that have used phase pedals are familiar with this. When used correctly it can be a very cool effect but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

On drums phase issues will absolutely ruin your tone. Kick drums will lack punch and bottom end, snares will sound thin, and cymbals can sound harsh….and no amount of eq will fix it. Fortunately it’s easy to check if you know what to listen for.

Phase kills tone fast and for some reason I’m hearing this issue a lot lately. I’ve come to think, that for some reason, a lot of people must not know what to listen for so I decided to tackle this subject in a recent Recording Ninja Workshop Live Broadcast Seminar. We setup a simple drum kit and simple guitar setup to demonstrate the effect of phase relationships between multiple mics and how, if left unchecked, they can destroy your tone.

For an excellent, detailed, explanation of phase check out this article from Sound On Sound.

I’ve pulled two different clips from the “It’s All About Phase” Live Broadcast. One focusing on drums and one focusing on guitars. These two videos should help show you what to listen for when checking for phase issues during your next recording.

Happy, phase correct, recording!

Charlie

 

 

Posted by studioadmin in Recording Ninja Workshops, Video Posts, 0 comments
Drew Chadwick Recording Live @ Ultimate Studios, Inc! (w/video)

Drew Chadwick Recording Live @ Ultimate Studios, Inc! (w/video)

Drew Chadwick (formerly of Emblem3) was recently at Ultimate Studios, Inc recording a live version of his song “Jaiden”. He is an amazing talent and is currently working on his first solo release. We’ve been honored to have it at Ultimate Studios, Inc a few times now and captured a great performance, with video, at a session recently. He’s playin’ solo and using a loop box to build his arrangement. It’s pretty cool!

 

 

Charlie’s rundown of the gear!

“I’ve had a blast working with Drew. He is such a talented guy. When we talked about this session it was just going to be a simple acoustic song but he went out of his way to come up with a really cool arrangement using his loop pedal. It’s still just Drew playing acoustic and singing but the use of the loop pedal really allowed him to add some cool rhythmic and vocal layers as the song progresses.”

“For the vocals we used an Audio-Technica 4060 tube microphone. I really like how the 4060 sounds on his voice. We used it on a previous session and loved it. For the vocal that was going through the loop pedal we used a good ‘ol fashioned SM57 and it worked very well. Since it’s not remotely as open and upfront as the 4060 the layered vocals sat well behind the lead without having to do too much to it. We decided to take a direct feed of the guitar instead of a mic since he would be moving around while performing. It sounded good and made it easier for Drew. We split that feed; one direct into the Trident 88 and one to the loop pedal.”

“The loop pedal fed my Bugera BC30 amp. It’s clean and works rather well in a situation like this. We used two mics on the amp. An Audio-Technica 4050 large diaphragm condenser a couple feet away from the amp and an MXL R144 ribbon mic. They provided a nice contrast to each other and blended nicely together.”

“All of the mics and direct signals were recorded through the Trident 88’s discreet class A mic preamps. They are fantastically open and full sounding. Everything just sounds really good through them. I also mixed the song back through the console using a little eq here and there. Not too much but the eq on the T88 is wonderful. A little here and a little there and I get just what I need”

For more information on Drew Chadwick visit him at:
www.facebook.com/truechadwick
www.twitter.com/truechadwick
instagram.com/truechadwick

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Posted by studioadmin in Mixing, News, Tracking, Video Posts, 3 comments
Tracking w/Producer Dean Dichoso

Tracking w/Producer Dean Dichoso

Producer and Multi-Instrumentalist has been at URS recording drums and acoustic guitars for the new Sarah DeFors album. Dean is an uber talented musician and a highly sought after producer with a looong list of credits. For Sarah’s debut album Dean is truly showing that he is a jack of all trades by writing, producing, peforming, and mixing! Check out www.DeanDichoso.com to learn more about this crazy talented dude!

Here’s a little iphone video and some photos from a couple of the sessions. Enjoy!

Posted by studioadmin in News, Tracking, Video Posts, 0 comments
Tracking w/The Toft ATB Console (w/video)

Tracking w/The Toft ATB Console (w/video)

Engineer Charlie Waymire talks about the fantastic sounding Toft ATB console and why it’s at the heart of Ultimate Rhythm Studios. That’s great but we all know that talk is cheap so Charlie brought in an awesome group of musicians to put the Toft ATB through it’s paces.

 

The band features Mike Avenaim (Emblem3) on Drums, Mike Torres (Selena Gomez, Macy Gray) on Bass, and James Kloeppel (Deuce) on Guitar. Charlie Waymire was the engineer, Scott Francisco was the videographer, and Lizzy Ostro was the 2nd Engineer. Everything was captured live in the same room including drums, bass, and guitar. The song was also mixed through the Toft ATB.

Charlie installed a Toft ATB 24 channel console to be the heart and soul of Ultimate Rhythm Studios. “I needed a console that not only sounded great but would be flexible enough to be the hub of my studio. The Toft ATB has exceeded my expectations.” says engineer Charlie Waymire.

When you hire great musicians you also get great gear! And this session was no exception. Here’s the breakdown.

Mike Avenaim's 1965 Ludwig Kit

Mike Avenaim's 1965 Ludwig Kit

Mike brought a beautiful set of 1965 Ludwig Super Classics featuring a 14″x22″ kick, 9″x13″ rack tom, & 16″x16″ floor tom. The snare is a 5″x14″ 1959 Ludwig Pioneer Duco Transition Badge.

All the cymbals are Paiste Cymbals including a 14″ Dark Energy Light Hats, 20″ Twenty Masters Dark Crash/Ride, a 22″ Traditional Light Ride, and a 20″ 602 Modern Essentials Crash.

Drum Microphone setup:

Kick In: Heil PR40
Kick Out: Audio Technica AT 4047
Kick 3: Cascade Fathead II (about 3 feet away from the kick)
Snare Top: Audio Technica Pro63
Snare Bottom: Audio Technica AE3000
Hats: Audio Technica ATM450
Toms: Heil PR30’s
Overheads: Audio Technica AT4047’s
Room Mic: Cascade X15 Stereo Ribbon Mic

 

James Kloeppel's Mesa Boogie Guitar Rig

James Kloeppel's Mesa Boogie Guitar Rig

James’ guitar rig consisted of a 1995 Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier 2 channel with a Mesa Boogie Recto Cab. His axe of choice for the day was a 1980 Gibson Les Paul Standard. Man this thing sounded awesome!

Guitar Mic setup:

1: Audio Technica AE3000 towards the edge of the cone
2: MXL R144 Ribbon mic slightly off the center of the cone

 

 

 

 

Mike Torres' Ampeg Bass Rig

Mike Torres' Ampeg Bass Rig

Mike Torre’s was rocking a classic Ampeg SVR VR and a 2×12 cabinet topped off with a fantastic sounding Lakland bass. This rig had some serious mojo!

Bass Mic setup:

Audio Technica AE2500 Dual Element microphone (one condenser element and one dynamic element).

 

 

Enjoy the full band performance video.

 

Have a look at some photos from the session. Enjoy!

Posted by studioadmin in Mixing, News, Tracking, Video Posts, 0 comments
The Sonic Chameleon Records New EP! w/video

The Sonic Chameleon Records New EP! w/video

Sandesh Nagaraj, known as The Sonic Chameleon, has been working on a brand new EP due out this fall. His writing is anything but predictable and he has enlisted some amazing musicians to add to his already deep musical landscape.

“I love working with Sandesh because I never know what to expect. There are no rules, no restrictions to his writing and he lets me have that approach during tracking as well. We did some experimenting and really created a unique vibe for these songs. He always has great musicians playing with him and I’m honored to be a part of it.” says engineer Charlie Waymire.

The first single off the EP is called “Gini” and we were lucky to get a live performance from Sandesh and the fantastic Katie Campbell on vocals. Enjoy!

Visit The Sonic Chameleon’s Facebook page for more info.

 

Posted by studioadmin in Mixing, News, Tracking, Video Posts, 0 comments