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One room studio spaces
Old 1st August 2016
Lives for gear
M.S.P.'s Avatar
🎧 15 years
One room studio spaces

Sylvia, thanks for doing this, and the previous QA! I cant wait to receive my copy of your book, for some reason its held up at the Canadian/US border... haha.

My question is, you seem to employ studio spaces that are all one room - not the more traditional live room/control room setup. It totally makes sense that its a huge plus for communication between artist and engineer/producer, but do you feel that it can be compromise in getting sounds and doing things like checking phase on the fly?

Old 4th August 2016
Radiant Being
SylviaMassy's Avatar
🎧 5 years
Open Room Recording

"Open room recording" is better for me, mainly because I'm always hooking up some kind of contraption and studios usually don't have enough tie-lines so I'm having to run cables under doors and such. I like to set up a mic and run the cable directly into the patchbay, or plug an external mic pre directly into the back of the recorder, or console or rack. I like to set up the vocal mic right next to me while I'm recording vocals so I can grab and harass the singer if I need to. I like to yell across the room and be heard if the talkbacks are not yet set up on a session. Or just yell at an assistant to frickin' do something right. I will start throwing chairs if I have to push my way through multiple lead doors to save a $20,000 vintage tube mic from being hooked up incorrectly. And most control rooms are not big enough for all the crap I like to play with.

Plus, if you free yourself from the idea of having a control room, pretty much anywhere can become a studio.

It does take getting used to though. You have to wear headphones a lot. I must have loud and detailed headphones so I can hear what is going on over the din in the room. Here is a bit about the headphones and headphone system I use:


I have gotten very good at recognizing phase differences in drum mics with headphones. I mono the individual mics on a kit and compare two at a time to judge the phase relationships. It takes time, and I usually have the drummer (or assistant if they can play drums) play a simple, steady beat for about 8 minutes while I quickly go through my phase check. Mainly concentrating on kick, snare and overhead mics.

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