Over the years, we’ve spoken to hundreds of studio owners and producers all of whom have a wealth of experience and knowledge to pass on. So here we’ve gathered together some of the best studio advice ever and ended up with 70 perfect studio tips, all geared to help you create the perfect environment for music production. Here’s the first 25…
1: The Attic Production
Interviewee – Quentin Fourmond
Contact – www.theatticproduction.com
• Favourite Gear – My Apollo Quad Core interfaces – so easy to use. Anything I track sounds lovely and crisp and the preamps inside give a nice definition from the get go.
• Top Tip – Analyse what you need, buy within a budget and make the most of your gear. Once your ears are in need of something, sell the old stuff to buy a better version. Be curious: listen to music old or new, but something you’ve never heard before.
2: Jefferson Weber
• Favourite Gear – My Yamaha MOTIF XF7. It does everything and does it well.
• Top Tip – Start with the basics: a great computer or keyboard controller, Komplete 10 and Apple Logic or Pro Tools. You can do so much with just these.
3: Jack Morgan
Contact – email@example.com
• Favourite Gear – My Quad 520f amplifier. It is a beautiful amp for passive speakers and holds historical value, as it has been used during some famous recordings in Trident Studios in Soho where I work.
• Top Tip – Be happy with the space you’ve created as it becomes something of a shrine, and remember your studio is always a work in progress!
4: Wilson Flores
Interviewee – Wilson Flores
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Favourite Gear – The Moog Slim Phatty synthesiser, because it’s analogue and I grew up listening to analogue gear.
• Top Tip – Start simple, be patient, and never get rid of old equipment.
5: Olivier Fragne
Contact – through MusicTech
• Favourite Gear – The Kronos 2 88 – it really doesn’t matter what style you want to do, everything is in this synth.
• Top Tip – Get yourself a good music workstation. I started with a Triton about 17 years ago and still use it. Cost-wise, it is the best thing to do.
6: Gabriel Moraes
Contact – email@example.com
• Favourite Gear – The Arturia MiniBrute SE. I also like the SM57, to record vocals and percussion.
• Top Tip – To have the studio as functional as possible. Don’t try to innovate too much…
7: Franky Nero
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Favourite Gear – The Universal Audio LA-610, because I’m more of a singer and it seems to give me very big, warm vocals with my Neumann mic.
• Top Tip – Get to know everything about your equipment and gear inside out – because it’s not about how much you have but about your knowledge of how to use it. Also, when it comes to buying gear, it’s worth saving up to buy one good piece of equipment rather than buy loads of gear just because
8: Jamal/TTF Studios
Contact – meetandjam.com/studios
• Favourite Gear – Simply my laptop, because I would be just completely lost without it, as I do all of my mixing/processing in the box.
• Top Tip – I’d say: price up everything fully before, and expect things to run over budget.
9: Don Goliath
Contact – www.dongoliath.com
• Favourite Gear – 1176 compressors. They make every signal from any preamp sound perfect.
• Top Tip – Get a new sound, work with new genres and with new people and keep on evolving.
10: Aisling Brouwer
Contact – www.aislingbrouwer.com /email@example.com
• Favourite Gear – The Adam A7Xs are incredible. My mixes have improved and they shed a new (not always positive) light on older compositions. I also love my Roland FP 4: I’ve dragged it all over England and the Netherlands (where I’m from), and it’s still flawless.
• Top Tip – Be patient. You learn more about what you really want not by having it all, but by working with the basics and crafting your style.
11: The Room
Interviewee – Brian McNatt
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Favourite Gear – Isn’t that kind of like asking a parent to pick their favourite child?
• Top Tip – Make your studio is interesting and fun. I’ve got sci-fi toys dotting the landscape, posters, TV, videogames – wonderful for writer’s block and when you need to give your ears a rest. The gear doesn’t matter. Some of my favourite albums/songs are being made by kids 15 years younger than me, with a laptop and one MIDI controller. Get yourself a space, make it enjoyable, be creative and never stop having fun.
12: Robert Mash Tomcik
Contact – email@example.com
• Favourite Gear – My favourites are the Technics decks with my vinyl collection and the Dynaudio monitors and RME Fireface 800. They were hard to get but, as I said, every single piece of gear has a place in my heart.
• Top Tip – Get to know someone who’ll show you the beauty of analogue machines and give you advice on what to buy. Invest in a good-sounding interface and monitors. Only then should you go after the gear.
13: Movin’ Music Academy
Interviewee – Jonny Delaney
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Favourite Gear – Ableton, because of its flexibility and ability to handle anything I throw at it. It is also a great program to teach music production with, even though it’s one of the most advanced DAWs on the market.
• Top Tip – Take your time and only buy what you need to get started. Learn how to use it before buying more, otherwise you’ll waste a lot of time and money.
14: The 77TM Project/Christian Gjelstrup
Contact – email@example.com/www.facebook.com/77tm.music
• Favourite Gear – The Roland Jupiter-4 has a special place – just the most amazing character and the best LFO ever. I’m a big fan of the vintage feel of the VC-10 and crazy sound of the Polivox.
• Top Tip – Pay attention to the weakest link. Get knowledge with experience, rather that watching YouTube. Don’t think your music will be better if you just had this or that piece of gear.
15: Shaun Cronin
Contact – meetandjam.com/studios
• Favourite Gear – I like my RØDE NT-1A microphone, because it allows you to record with a balanced sound with very low noise, which is really good for recording pro-sounding vocals. It’s very good value for money, as well. My flat response monitor speakers are great, too.
• Top Tip – Don’t buy expensive equipment immediately. Instead, learn the basics on cheaper gear and learn how to troubleshoot when your setup isn’t working straight away.
16: Laurens Meeusen
Interviewee – Laurens Meeusen
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Favourite Gear – I love my Mackie monitors, mostly because they give such a realistic sound with an amazing bass – the best speakers in that price range for me. I spent a lot of time auditioning speakers, but in the end, the choice was pretty easy.
• Top Tip – Read reviews and try everything before you buy it. At first, I wanted KRK Rokit speakers but I didn’t really like the sound – the bass seemed overdone. The Mackies were much more realistic. I would also advise not to save on your mic – vocals make or break the song (my mic is also one thing I’d like to change). One final tip: get to know people with experience in recording. I signed up to a forum and got so much help from other producers.
17: Steve Broadbent
Contact – email@example.com
• Favourite Gear – My Universal Audio Apollo Twin Solo audio interface. It allows me to monitor all sorts of effects live on the way in, with the option to write the FX to the track. I love the Marshall amps for my guitar. My only regret is that I went with the Solo and not the Duo, as I hit the DSP limit quickly.
• Top Tip – Force yourself to finish almost everything you start. Write for the bin. You can get by with very little; there are plenty of great free plug-ins that’ll do what very expensive plug-ins do. Don’t think if you only had [insert gear here] you could make better music. I think that restrictions and barriers are conducive to creativity; endless options are the opposite.
18: Itay Kashti
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Favourite Gear – My 1176 compressors. They make every signal from any preamp sound perfect, providing you get the right setting, of course.
• Top Tip – My top tip would be not to worry about gear too much. Get a good interface, get comfortable with whichever DAW you’re working with and try different things every day. Get a new sound, work with new genres, work with new people and keep on evolving.
19: Max Saidi/Want Drums
Contact – email@example.com / meetandjam.com/studios/463-wantdrums-com
• Favourite Gear –My snare drums! Changing a snare sound can drastically change the mood and tone.
• Top Tip – It’s worth spending a little extra on gear like mics, so that you won’t have to replace them further down the line.
20: LTL Records/Bobbi Styles
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Favourite Gear – My Dynaudio M2s. They’ve gone into every studio I’ve built or used in the last decade or more and I’ve relied on their honesty of sound for over 15 years.
• Top Tip – Get good speakers/monitors, one decent pre/comp box and treat your space with whatever you can to kill bad audio reflections. Good speakers are essential, but a bad setup or bad room can kill any chance of a good mix.
Don’t chase the loudness – gain-stage correctly and go for mix quality rather than just loudness. Also, stop watching the clock. Don’t end up in a situation where you’re writing your song in the studio while paying for a studio by the hour. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse before you go into the studio. The studio services are free, it’s my sarcastic British humour you’re paying for…
More Tips Coming Soon…