Big Blog Catchup!

I really wanted to make this blog a regular feature and sailed through the first 3! Since then the studio has been busier than i could have expected and the blog has fallen by the wayside. Not that this is any excuse because it takes literally a few minutes to write something like this. But anyway i'm gonna give a quick breakdown of some of the stuff we've been up to over the past few months. 

March '13  

Work started on the TruStudios collaboration album when i had the pleasure of working with Jen Normandale (The Karma Heart) Mykl Barton (EnterTheLexicon) and my good pal David Wilkinson. Heres the result of that little bugger

April '13

We welcomed 'Shapeshifter films' and 'We Are Knuckle Dragger' to the studio for the recording of their interviews for an up coming documentary on the recording of the new Knuckle Dragger album!

May '13

We had a great 2 day session with 'Lost Legions' for the recording of their 'Pompeii' E.P. These guys have a fantastic work ethic and really pushed themselves and each other to make a great recording. Check them out

June '13

A very busy month indeed, kicked of by the release of a new TruStudios collaboration tune ft. Phil Bell, Chris Walton and Phil Hodgson 

We had 'The Side Project' in to record their latest single 'Why Not Now' which should be available soon. Had such a good laugh with the guys even if i couldn't handle their chilli! Check em out

Then we had 'Visions Of Madness' (@visionsofmad) the new solo project from former Laconia & Dryll frontman Scott Cavagan. We recorded his 1st single over a couple of sessions with the help of drummer, Ollie Rillands. Plans are already in place for many more tracks so keep your ears open. Here the first offering!

July '13

A couple of old friends Richey & Adam Featherstone came in to do a live recording of a few blues numbers. A really fun session as i got to dep on bass! 

I also finished mixing the latest album by Groove-A-Matics Ft: Johnny Whitehill. A truly great local blues band. The album was tracked at Windy City studios and then all mixing done at TruStudios, these jobs don't come around too often so i enjoyed every minute! 

So that's a bit of a run down...i'll try to be more regular! Thanks to all the great people i've worked with over the past few months. Hope to see you all in the studio again soon :)


Posted on August 13, 2013 .

EnterTheLexicon Session @ TruStudios

Me, Mykl & Craig

Last week i got my first watch of 'Sound City' the recently released Dave Grohl directed film/documentary about the aforementioned Californian studio which looked back at its history and the bands which have recorded there. There's been plenty of hype about this film and i'm sure that anyone who plays, writes, records or has any real interest in music will like this film. I absolutely loved it! And after watching it i couldn't wait for this session. The point of this session was to get as many live backing tracks recorded (guitar,bass and drums) as we could and then go back and overdub vocals. It's the first session in the studio that i've tried to record a band together in the live room with the intention of not going back and re-recording individual parts. Had i not just watched Sound City i probably would have found some other way to approach it but having been well and truly inspired by the film, we just went for it head on. I haven't started mixing the session yet and that will give me an idea of how bad (or good) the bleed is in the live room but the most important thing is that the takes were tight and full of energy, which for this type of recording is always more important than individual sounds, in my opinion. Anyways, it was a really enjoyable session. Will hopefully have some results of it all on here before too long. And check out Sound City if you get a chance, well worth a view and you'll definitely learn something from it.


ETL with the Hulkster on kit

Posted on February 11, 2013 .

Fu Fighters Session @ TruStudios

Me & the guys from Fu Fighters

Had a great weekend in the studio with the guys from 'Fu Fighters'. The lads are working hard to get a reputation on the tribute circuit which can be very lucrative once you have a reputation. The guys wanted a recording that they could pass on to promoters and venues so for me it was important to preserve a live feel to this session. We tracked the bass and drums together with the whole band playing live. We had guitars and vocals DI'd just for monitoring purposes to get as close to a perfomance as we could. Former bass player Chris, who was standing in while the lads find a new bassist, was on a tight schedule which is why we tracked the bass and drums together. Normally i would have just tracked drums and then gone back and tracked bass seperately but it wasn't so much of a problem in this project as we wanted that live feel anyways.

John On Lead

Karl On Drums

Tracking guitars was a lot of fun. John and Kev have some lovely Gibson and Marshall gear so we really went to town trying to match up the tones from the original recordings.  We knew we were never going to find carbon copy sounds, but just getting in to the ball park gave the whole thing an authentic feel, especially when we knew we weren't going to be layering 30 guitars on top of each other. We kept the tracking to a minimum as the priority was to give a true representation of the band as a live outfit. Although when it came to vocals I couldn't resist a bit of double tracking, it just wouldn't have been right to do 'Big Me' without it!

Kev On Rhythm & Vocals

As a side note, the guys are still looking for a bass player so if your interested you can find them here:

Posted on January 29, 2013 .

Experimenting with Mid-Side

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

I spent last weekend experimenting with some different mic positioning. A little gem that came from the session was on the drum kit where i ditched the overheads and went for a 'Mid-Side' technique! It's the first time i'd ever tried this on drums before and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. For those who haven't heard of Mid-Side before, it's a technique used to capture a sound source in stereo using 2 mics, the catch being that the stereo image you end up with isn't really true stereo....i'll try to explain.

In this case i took a large diaphragm condenser mic with a cardioid polar pattern and placed this facing the front of the kit and then took a ribbon mic with a figure of 8 pattern  so that the figure of 8 was capturing sound coming from left and right. Heres a good diagram of the setups polar patterns.


In your recording software you need to set up 3 tracks. #1 is for the cardioid which i had facing the drum kit (you'll pan this down the centre) #2 is for the figure of 8 mic which you will want to pan hard left and #3 is a duplicate of track 2 panned hard right with it's phase revesed. This creates what i call a 'false' stereo image which in the right situation can sound great. The best thing about this technique is that you can adjust the level of track #2 and #3 to get a more or less vivid stereo effect. You can also try different compressions/EQ's and revebs etc on the cardioid and fig 8 mics. For example on the recordings i did on the kit i ended up using the forward facing large diaphragm to articulate all of the highs of the cymbals and punch of the kick drum. The figure of 8 ribbon mic is naturally very warm so just tried to complement this with EQ and compression. The result (i think) was two very different sounding mics working together to capture the drum kit as a whole.

I did back this up with close micing on the snare, hi hats and kick drum, but i found that most of the work was done with the mid-side mics.

You might also notice the home made 'sub kick' mic on the bass drum. A great little project which i'll try to cover in another blog.

click to enlarge

Posted on January 5, 2013 .