We caught up with Dean Nelson over at Generation Studio; an eye-catching space that’s equipped to handle a diverse range of commercial recordings…
Interviewee Dean Nelson
- Soundcraft Ghost LE 32 mixer
- Genex AD/DA converters
- Dynaudio MkII monitors
MusicTech: Tell us about the gear in Generation Studio?
Dean: The studio is equipped with a Soundcraft Ghost LE 32, Genex AD/DA converters, Dynaudio MkII monitors, Twin-Finity mic pres, Lexicon MPX550, ART ProVLA II compressors and a TC-Helicon vocal processor. These are my core essentials for recording.
We also have a great selection of microphones in the studio, from Sontronics, Shure, RØDE, and Sennheiser, as well as Marshall and Fender guitar amps for our clients to use.
MT: Which DAW do you use?
D: I use Cubase in the studio, but do still use Pro Tools on a mobile recording rig. I find using Cubase so effortless and easy to record in, from routing outputs to MIDI editing. Some of the shortcuts are just so useful when it comes to editing and adding FX to audio files within a track.
I’d never really used Cubase until a few years ago, when I was working at another studio before setting up Generation Studio with Geoff, and since then, it’s been my main choice of DAW.
MT: What’s your favourite piece of gear and why?
D: My converters are my favourite. They’re so clean and crisp in the top end, and that’s where the difference is when it comes down to getting great-quality recordings. Getting the sound right with mic placement before hitting record makes the mixing process so much better.
MT: What do you use your studio for, day to day?
D: I’m pretty much in the studio everyday, working with bands and producing tracks for singer-songwriters. I’ve recently taken a short break from it and been on tour in the USA with Kyros, who I recorded my first brass band with for their latest album!
I’ve also recently recorded a fire-safety song for the local fire department, as well as working with a future contestant of The Voice Kids.
MT: Next on your shopping list?
D: Next on the shopping list is a pair of ribbon mics and the Aston Halo. I’m currently trying to choose between the RØDE NTR or the Sontronics Sigma.
MT: What would be your dream piece of studio gear?
D: How can the answer not be an original Fairchild? I’d also love to have some Focal SM9 monitors, the studio I was working at before had them and their clarity is amazing.
MT: Do you have any advice for setting up a studio?
D: Focus on the room’s acoustics before anything else, if you can hear accurately how a track is sounding, it will sound great anywhere. And get the best A/D converters you can within your budget, then worry about what microphones you should get.
There are some great affordable mics from the likes of Sontronics, which are still my favourites. Worry about getting that Neumann or Royer mic in a few years’ time.
MT: Any studio anecdotes?
D: I was recording a brass quartet for prog-rock band Kyros, as I said, and we didn’t have enough music stands, so they went out and got four pink ones. I’m still not sure if they did that by choice or they were the only ones they had – they went really well with the music we were making, though…