RRFC: So at what point did Recording Connection come into your daily routine in your studio, and what made you want to teach and pass along this knowledge?
Well, a friend of mine actually recommended me…I knew somebody there, and [they] recommended me; I didn’t know anything about it. But it’s something that is getting lost today with recording studios…We’re losing that mentorship that used to happen. A lot of my favorite engineers and producers started as runners, making coffee and taking out the trash, working their way up and learning the craft. Now, you can just get a computer and a couple of microphones and record your own stuff, which is great and opens up a lot of doors creatively, but I think there is a lot of wisdom and knowledge that isn’t getting passed down.
RRFC: Do you ever find yourself having to fix people’s stuff that they try to record at someone’s house? Do you ever get a session of stems that were just recorded poorly?
It happens a lot when I’m mixing. Sometimes I’ll take on a project that was started and not finished, and we will do our best to salvage what’s there and then build on that…I know how they want it to sound, they’ll list things that I’ve done or things that, references that they’ll send me and me, and it’s nowhere close to that. And I’ll be honest, I’ll say, “The drums aren’t tight, or the vocals need a little tuning, or maybe we should re-record this guitar?” But yeah, there’s a lot of rescue going on.
RRFC: Do you ever use those sessions to kinda teach apprentices how to work on things? Do you ever use stuff like that?
Yeah, oftentimes I will bring up something I’m working on currently that relates to the lesson that they’re on or maybe a lesson that’s coming up. Absolutely.
RRFC: What’s the one thing that you think that up-and-coming engineers need to focus on and work hardest at in this day and age?
I think there’s a lot of information out there, technical information about recording, equipment, plug-ins, and all of that; and it’s all great, but it still comes down to music. I think, learn the technical side, absolutely, but remember that it’s still about the music…I’ve done the same thing. I started a musician, I’m still a musician, and I definitely spent many years focusing on the technical side and forgetting about the music. My best work is done when I’m purely listening to music. It’s good to have the tools to get it where you hear it but remember, it’s still about the instrument. You can have the greatest microphone, mic…and compressor in the world, but if the instrument isn’t where it needs to be or the performance isn’t there, it doesn’t matter.
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