Recording - October 2017 - 16

T H IRTY YE A R S-
ONE WORD
Scott Dorsey, recording engineer and student of all things
audio: The first two things I would recommend to anyone
starting out are to learn how to solder and how to read a
conductor's score. You don't
have to do either one very
well in most cases, but being
able to do some of each can
be a huge savings of time
and trouble.
Scott Dorsey, 1987
Learn how to listen. Spend
(photo by Dave Dintenfass)
an hour a day with an
ear-training class like Dave
Moulton's Golden Ears. There
are others out there. The key
is to stick with it.
Learn to fix things. Everybody wants to mix music, nobody wants to fix the console.
An awful lot of people in the industry started out in the maintenance shop and worked their way into the control room.
If you just have to get involved in pro audio-if you are
compelled by it-realize that the audio industry is far more
than just pop music production. There are jobs out there
recording frogs and editing footsteps for films, jobs working
on dialogue for radio, all kinds of jobs out there that don't
look at first glance like what you thought you wanted to do,
but which turn out to be great fun.
Oh... and the advice that Mr. Fordham gave me in my
first studio job was this: "Never pass up an opportunity to
bill the customer for something."

Sean Shannon, mixing engineer and educator: When it
comes to mixing, there's one thing I wish I had known when I
was just starting out, and that is to feature the feature.
What does this mean? It means that focusing on the lead
vocal or instrument throughout the song, and making sure it is on
top and clear, will help you make a more professional sounding
mix. Nothing says "unprofessional" like a buried vocal. That does not
mean you shouldn't pay attention to anything else, but this approach
puts a finer point on what you should be highlighting in the mix.
If you can imagine the fans in the crowd watching the band
onstage through a paper towel tube, you start to get an idea of
how they listen. The normal listener will focus on what is out front.
They will listen to the singer, and if he's not singing, they will scan
the stage for whoever is taking a solo or instrumental break.
With this in mind, your mix should follow the feature throughout the song. Start at the beginning, and follow the song down
with an ear on what should be featured. For example, the intro
may feature a melodic solo, and then the verses and choruses
will feature the vocal. There may be a solo section, and a breakdown, followed by a chorus tag out. For each section, highlight
the feature and make everything else fill up the space around it,
and you'll be good to go!

Joel Silverman (left)
with Bonnie Raitt and
some of her crew, 1975

Joel Silverman, Millennia
Media: Learn how to use a
voltmeter to test voltage
between your instrument and
mic. It's usually safe until it
isn't. I've measured 240V
between the instrument ground
and mic when things are really
wired wrong.

Dave Derr, Empirical Labs: Select your first Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) wisely. All DAWs have a big learning curve and
you do not want to quickly run into limitations because you didn't spend $300.
Get a notebook or start a notepad and make copious notes. At first you will hit one bump after another, and if you make notes
of the more complex problems, the next time you come up against it, those notes will save you hours.
Surround yourself with people that are better than you, even if you have to work for free or just help out. Most major engineers
were assistants to established major engineers, coming up through the ranks.

Listen (and, sometimes, don't talk)

Joe Chiccarelli, producer and engineer: I'm a listener and a music fan. I try to listen to all types of
music from Classical to Hip Hop to Jazz to Rock, especially genres of music that I might not always
work within. I think having a broad knowledge of music really helps bring many different influences
into my own productions.
I'm always on the lookout for new music, especially from artists who are cross-pollinating multiple
types of music and sounds. I think that's what made some of the music of Rock's Golden Age great.
Artists drew from the Blues, R&B, Classical, and weren't afraid to incorporate it into their own style
of music...
16

RECORDING October 2017

A Joe Chiccarelli action
figure. No, really!



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recording - October 2017

Contents
Recording - October 2017 - Intro
Recording - October 2017 - Cover1
Recording - October 2017 - Cover2
Recording - October 2017 - 1
Recording - October 2017 - 2
Recording - October 2017 - 3
Recording - October 2017 - 4
Recording - October 2017 - 5
Recording - October 2017 - Contents
Recording - October 2017 - 7
Recording - October 2017 - 8
Recording - October 2017 - 9
Recording - October 2017 - 10
Recording - October 2017 - 11
Recording - October 2017 - 12
Recording - October 2017 - 13
Recording - October 2017 - 14
Recording - October 2017 - 15
Recording - October 2017 - 16
Recording - October 2017 - 17
Recording - October 2017 - 18
Recording - October 2017 - 19
Recording - October 2017 - 20
Recording - October 2017 - 21
Recording - October 2017 - 22
Recording - October 2017 - 23
Recording - October 2017 - 24
Recording - October 2017 - 25
Recording - October 2017 - 26
Recording - October 2017 - 27
Recording - October 2017 - 28
Recording - October 2017 - 29
Recording - October 2017 - 30
Recording - October 2017 - 31
Recording - October 2017 - 32
Recording - October 2017 - 33
Recording - October 2017 - 34
Recording - October 2017 - 35
Recording - October 2017 - 36
Recording - October 2017 - 37
Recording - October 2017 - 38
Recording - October 2017 - 39
Recording - October 2017 - 40
Recording - October 2017 - 41
Recording - October 2017 - 42
Recording - October 2017 - 43
Recording - October 2017 - 44
Recording - October 2017 - 45
Recording - October 2017 - 46
Recording - October 2017 - 47
Recording - October 2017 - 48
Recording - October 2017 - 49
Recording - October 2017 - 50
Recording - October 2017 - 51
Recording - October 2017 - 52
Recording - October 2017 - 53
Recording - October 2017 - 54
Recording - October 2017 - 55
Recording - October 2017 - 56
Recording - October 2017 - 57
Recording - October 2017 - 58
Recording - October 2017 - 59
Recording - October 2017 - 60
Recording - October 2017 - 61
Recording - October 2017 - 62
Recording - October 2017 - 63
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Recording - October 2017 - 65
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Recording - October 2017 - 80
Recording - October 2017 - Cover3
Recording - October 2017 - Cover4
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