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Secrets of the newbies,

Hey guys, my name is JoshUA Hamilton and I own and operate a recording studio in Middletown, Ohio called JoshUA Recording Studios. You can check out some demos of my work at .

I am writing this article to maybe help some of you out there with questions you may have about pro recording and how the crap they get such awesome sounds and why your stuff doesn’t sound as good.

Just a little about me, I didn’t go to school for engineering, but I did learn from some of the greats which I think may count for something a little more than a piece of paper. I have been in the recording industry for the past 11 years asking my self the same questions everyone else does when they begin recording bands and such.

This will be part 1 of a 6 part tutorial on how I approach recording.

First things first, you need to record to a click track! If you do not record to a click then you are setting your self up for disaster down the road if not immediately. I usually start by having the guitar player play the song and use tap tempo to figure out the tempo of the song, input that in to your tempo track and have the band follow along with it to make sure it feels right to everyone, including the producer if he’s there. In some cases you may have a tempo change at one point in the song, you’ll need to edit that in the tempo track at the exact point in measure where the tempo change takes place, just because there is a tempo change doesn’t mean you don’t have to use a click.
Once you have the tempo mapped out with correct tempo’s and tempo changes you’ll need to record guitar to the click track. I usually double the guitar scratch tracks to get extra volume in the head phones for the drummer and because it just sounds better, you’ll be hearing these scratch tracks for a while so you might as well make them sound decent! Usually you’ll come across something that isn’t right if you made tempo changes in your tempo track, fix that and then proceed with the guitar scratch tracks. Once you have the guitar scratch tracks recorded and double up panned left and right sounding pretty, you’ll want the band to take one more final listen to the entire song to make sure it sounds the way they intended. Here you are looking for a thumbs up from everyone EVERYONE in the group!
You need to have the drummer set up in a different room than where your main mix speakers are (the control room) so that you can hear what’s coming out of the speakers and not what’s coming from the drums. Once the drummer is set up and ready to go you can start placing your mics or triggers to begin tracking. If you are using microphones make sure and mic the drums in way that mostly only that drum will be heard when its hit and if you are using triggers just make sure you have at least one overhead set up so that you can hear all of the cymbals. NOTE: you need at least one overhead to hear the cymbals, you’ll see why in a bit. After you get the mics or triggers placed have the drummer play the kit and make sure nothing is in his way, for your sake and his, last thing you want is some guy you don’t even know to be banging up your microphones. Here you are looking for a thumbs up from him and once you get it, you need to do a level check. The level check is pretty important for your later editing. You need to have each drum wave look like a spike, but not clipping. This would look like a vertical line from top to bottom, it doesn’t have to be a really thin line but for the most part an up and down line. Once you have all of the levels have the drummer play the whole kit and then readjust all of your levels accordingly, because usually in level checking the drummer won't strike the drums as hard as when he’s actually playing, so you need to make sure and get proper levels no matter how hard he hits the drums and make sure that it never clips.

Now you need to play the click and guitar scratch tracks through the headphones for the drummer to make sure he’s got a good mix and that he can hear it while he plays. You are once again looking for a thumbs up; don’t move forward unless he can hear what he needs to. Also, you need to hear what is happening in the recording so make sure you can hear a decent mix of the drummer playing along to the scratch and click. A talk back mic is crucial because the drummer is going to need your suggestion or command on punch INS.

From here, you just need to have the drummer play for the most part to the click track. This can be achieved by punching in section by section. It’s not necessary for your drummer to play the song from beginning to end, most of them cant. An example would be to play only the intro of the song, listen to it back and make sure its close to the click and its what the drummer intended to play. Through and through you want to get a thumbs up from everyone in the band and mostly the drummer that the parts are recorded correctly. Proceed with the same steps until you have recorded the entire song. At this point you will need to cross fade your punch ins so you don’t get cuts in the sounds and so that the song plays like a song, not a section. Once you have that done, have the drummer listen back to the entire performance and make sure he’s happy with it. And whala drum tracking is done.

This part of the process can be the most time consuming and the most important part of the recording. Have you ever asked the question, why is every song I hear on the radio flawless in timing? Surely not every single drummer in a signed band is perfect at timing, right? Well, the answer is no, they aren’t perfect at all. Granted most of them are great at timing, but none of them are perfect!

So what we need here is perfect timing on the drums! There are several ways to achieve this, but I have been using different methods for years and I will reveal the method I use right now! Things you will need in order to do this, a recording program that has a drum editor used for midi notation. (I use cubase, but nuendo, Pro Tools, logic and others will work) You need a registered copy of drumagog 4.0 platinum preferably with some nice sounding gog files (I use the Andy Sneap gog files) and you will also need toon tracks ez drummer or superior drummer. Don’t worry at the end of this tutorial I will list links where you can purchase everything you need.

First things first, you need to open drumagog on all of your drum channels as a vst insert. The trick here is that you don’t want double triggers or false triggers to occur. You want the track to play back as intended, once you have that then move on to the next step.

Second you will need to turn on the midi out function on the drumagog, you can find this feature under the advanced tab. Set the midi notes to different notes, an examples would setting you kick to c3 and your snare to c3#. You want your drums to play different notes.

Third, you need to create a midi track for every drum track you have. Assign the the drumagog to each midi track so that you get the kick on midi track 1, the snare on midi track 2 and so on.

Fourth, record a segment of the song to the newly added midi tracks to make sure you are getting a midi note recorded for every drum hit on every midi track you created. Once you got that, record the entire song to the midi tracks.

After you have recorded all of your drum tracks to the midi tracks you can now delete the original audio drum tracks, or you can keep them if this scares you, but I trash them as soon as I have the midi on my new tracks.

At this point you will need to open ez drummer or superior drummer to hear the play back of your midi tracks as drums. Go to your midi tracks and select the output to go to ez drummer or superior drummer. You might need to create your own drum map to better suit your needs for drum placement and editing.

If you are lost at this point and you cant get it to work, go back through the steps until you get it right, a suggestion might be to create a copy of the entire project and use the copy to figure this out on, that way you don’t loose anything important.

Once you have your drums playing back on ez drummer, you’ll need to edit them to perfect timing. Note: your overhead mics should be turned off at this point! This part requires a little bit of timing theory, you must know what 4/4 is and 3/4 is, also 8th notes, 16th notes, 32nd notes and so on. Open the drum editor for the midi tracks that are playing your drums. Here you can see a grid to tell if the drum hits are on time and off time. You’ll need to quantize the drum hits accordingly to the timing quantize grid. An example would be if you have a kick snare back and fourth on a 4/4 beat at 120 beats per minute, you’d be able to use 8th notes quantizing to move the note to the grid where it should have been in the first place. If you are in doubt what so ever about where a drum should be on the grid, have the drummer help you, he probably knows a thing or to about timing and will be able to assist you.

Once you have all of the drums edited and they sound perfectly on time there are other functions that midi will allow you to do that audio tracks wont. Typically on a snare track you’d use compression,a noise gate, and a limiter to achieve optimal striking of the drum. In a midi track all you have to do is select the fixed velocity feature and bam your snare hits the exact same level every time. You may not want it to hit the exact same on a snare roll for example, so get out your pencil and draw in the velocity curve so that it plays back the way it was played or intended to be played.

Once you can set back and listen to the drums and not hear anything that sounds off or out of time or dynamically wrong like volume builds, you can move on to the cymbals.

At this point your overheads are so out of whack, it sounds like noise if you play back your perfectly edited drums along with the original overheads, right? So what you need to do is, bring up the overhead track by its self along with drum editor and start placing your cymbals in the midi editor. That’s right; you’re using sampling for cymbals also. This is the part where the drummer doesn’t mind at all to set there and tell you what they like and don’t like as far as hitting cymbals go. Once you have all your cymbals placed where they need to be, you don’t need your over head audio track anymore, so you can trash it or leave it, it’s up to you, but I would defiantly mute it, lol.

So, now you have perfectly timed drums that sound great and is exactly what the drummer wanted, if not go back and fix it. You should be able to set back and listen to the start of a great song at this point and not hear anything that is out of whack, your guitar scratch tracks might sound a little off at points, but remember those are getting scratched and the drums are there to stay.

Cubase 4


Ez Drummer

Superior Drummer
I hope you guys got some questions answered out of this tutorial. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have along the way. You are now one step closer to recording like a PRO!

JoshUA Hamilton


audiokid Wed, 03/05/2008 - 10:23

I agree, and... it almost seems like spam, however, we do appreciate great info for the community so maybe we should move this to where its better served. to the

home recording forum

You've posted this in the gear forum.

Also Joshua, the topic should be edited. Ken Waldon has Pro Tools DVD's out called "Secrets Of The Pros" . If you are on a campaign calling it that name, maybe do a little research befor it ends up conflicting with the DVD's

anonymous Wed, 03/05/2008 - 10:41

Sorry but this method surely can't be the way that all PRO tracks are done!

Choice of mic and mic placement amoungst many other skills are surely how it's done in the "real world"?

Forgive me if i'm wrong as I havent worked in a recording studio before. I am studying at college however and from what i'm being taught and what i'm reading here it would appear i'm wasting my time!

If anything i'd go as far to say that this method of creating a drum track is the complete opposite of how its done. Surely a "scratch" track of the drums mite be made first as a guide then the actual kit would be recorded afterwords?

If this is how it's done why would anyone pay alot of money to go to a recording studio when they can simply do it at home?

ouzo77 Wed, 03/05/2008 - 12:01

i don't really think that most drummers are happy with being replaced by midi tracks. if you use midi drums, why even bother with recording the live drums in the studio. you can let the drummer play in the practice room and just put one mic in front of him to capture the performance. then do the midi. i think it would be faster that way.

or just let him play the drums until he gets it right and leave some "humanity" in the tracks.

Codemonkey Wed, 03/05/2008 - 12:22

That ought to keep the drummer happy.

Here, have some expensive mics tossed around you. You just bang on the kit until we (drummer gets excited and starts, completely ignoring anything else except the freedom to play drums) *shouts* CHECK A FEW THINGS ABOUT MIC PLACEMENT, AND THEN WE'LL TAKE IT FROM THERE, OK?

anonymous Wed, 03/05/2008 - 12:40

This is mainly for quantizing the drum hits which, is done more and more often nowadays. if you don't like it don't do it... but there are some benefits. perfectly timed drums in a relatively shorter time than punch-ins or comping. you also.. don't necessarily have to do this using only midi.... i believe sonar has something called AudioSnap in which you can quantize your audio signal rather than midi. I don't know something for you to look into maybe.

RemyRAD Wed, 03/05/2008 - 13:21

I've made lots of recordings and done lots of broadcast over my 37 plus years in the business. The only time I ever used a click track, was for jingles.

There are as many different ways to make a recording as there are different styles of underwear to purchase. Just the thought of " Sing a thong of sixpence a pocket full of rye. Four and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie..." Seems to take on a dirty connotation? Smell? I won't go there.

My way to make professional recordings:

Step 1) plug everything in
step 2) turn everything up
step 3) smoke a bowl while grooving on the mix
step 4) don't forget to exhale
step 5) I'd like to thank the Academy.....

Almost there 3 times
Ms. Remy Ann David

natural Wed, 03/05/2008 - 14:27

I agree with Remy on this one. (except for her 'steps')

This is NOT the way to make an artistic recording.
It IS a way to salvage a recording made by :
A- Engineers who don't know how to mic a drum kit
B- Drummers who can't play
C- Producers that have WAY more time/money than talent.

here's a few quiz questions.
1- What happens when the gtr player can't play to the clik. (but he can play along with his drummer.)
2- What happens when the drummer can't play to just the gtr/clik, and needs to feel the bass player with him, and interplays with the vocalist ( and perhaps another precussionist or keybordist)?
3- What happens after all the editing to death of the drums, and they don't match up to the 'feel' of the vocals?
4- What happens when after all the editing that the feel of the original drum track is more exciting with the rest of the band (although technicallly it's not in time)?
What do you do?
These are situations that I've had to learn solutions to during years 11-25.

Codemonkey Wed, 03/05/2008 - 15:25

Speaking of that myspace...


Cubase SX3, last I heard, is not a recording interface. Steinberg is a company, not a plugin. "Sure SM57/58 guitars" do not qualify as mics either.

And an aside, the only artist on your client list I've heard of is "Zion", the minister was speaking about it once or twice...or maybe more often.

anonymous Wed, 03/05/2008 - 17:42

Hey guys , I appreciate everyones input and opinions. Only thing I can say is try to keep an open mind about this topic. I have recorded drums the traditional way for years and I KNOW HOW TO MIC A DRUM KIT, NOT TO MENTION REVERSE THE POLARITY ON THE SNARE MICS. But yeah, I was just simply sharing how I do things with you guys and the secrets that I've picked up along the way. You know, lots of bands record their stuff in studios and send it out to be mixed right? Well during that mix guess what happens about 80% of the time, guitars are re router for different tone settings, drums are replaced, vocals are auto tuned and just about anything else you can imagine and then the mix starts. In this business you can be close minded, you have to be willing to do what ever it takes in order to get the song sounding good and if that means replacing drums then so be it. From my experiances, people that talk trash about others dont really know what they are talking about in the first place. I used to work at a multi million dollar studio called refraze recording studios, check it out at This guy refuses to replace drums and just listen to some of his stuff. He is a great guy with tons of expertise , but is not open minded enough to try new opperations, hence a down fall.

P.S. The bands on my site aren't the only genre of music I do, I do everything and I can make anything sound good.

I am just happy you guys are reposting, sorry about posting in the wrong area.


anonymous Wed, 03/05/2008 - 18:07

Tobacco Slammers !!!!!!

There are no rules in recording, only thing you need is great sounds! If you can achieve great sounds by setting up drum mics only then do it. But your down fall will be hoping the drummer is good enough to play in perfect timing. Sure you could use Beat detective or audio snap, but what about the overheads and your room mics, I have used both methods and you can never get the room and overheads to synch up with the rest of the drums. By the way, learn all you can while you are at school because that knowledge will be needed once you have your midi quantized drum tracks. The method I was sharing is a simple way to get perfect timed drums, from there you still have to make them sound the way the artist wants them to in your mix. You dont just quantize and forget about it, ya know. Yeah, but anyways. Where is the real world, because I do this for a living and everyone that comes to me comes to because other studios just hit buttons and dont care. I challenge you guys to try this out and see if your recordings dont turn out a litlle more clean and your clients a little more happy. Any drummer that would be upset that you are making him better by tightning his playing is foolish. When it comes down to it like I already said, all that matters is that it sounds good, what ever it takes to make that happen!

Thanks Guys,

Cucco Wed, 03/05/2008 - 18:11

I don't know whether to laugh or to cry here.

Okay...Joshua - here's the scoop.

1 - it's you who needs to be open minded and open your mind to doing things the right way and not assuming that you have the right answers. You can't have a topic "Secrets of the Pro's" and claim yourself to be a pro when none of the work you've listed or display on your site is of pro caliber. In addition, what makes you a pro? What makes you qualified to perform mastering services.

Joshua wrote:
We offer mastering services that can stack up against Major Label releases!

I don't see anything in your gear list or your qualifications that says anything about mastering, yet you claim to be able to do it at the pro level?? Odd.

2 - Your methods may work for you, but the reality is, you have to replace your drums with samples because the way you're recording drums sucks.

3 - Why double track a guitar scratch? This makes NO sense. It takes (at least) twice as long and the only benefit is that it's LOUDER? Turn up the output on the fader to the band's HP amp.

4 - If a client sends me mix work (and about 10-20% of my studio income comes from long-distance mixing) and I screw around with their tracks by sample replacements or re-amping guitars without their knowledge and/or direct approval, I don't expect I'd have much return business.

I'm sure we're all glad that you're here and trying to take an active role in the experience, but this is one of those situations where it would behoove you to listen and learn rather than to spout off about all that you already (think you) know.

There are some seasoned pros here - those on the board that make their living and income by recording. There are people with awards and hits around here. There are people who are published in the field of acoustics and recording techniques.

Most guys that come around here with studios named after themselves and run out of basements don't typically garner a lot of respect as being the "Pros" that people take hints, tips and secrets from.

Space Wed, 03/05/2008 - 18:28

From my experiances, people that talk trash about others dont really know what they are talking about in the first place.

I beg your pardon?

I hope you guys got some questions answered out of this tutorial.

I didn't have any ;) but I do now. How old is this piece of work? I see "drums" and I see "triggers" but I didn't see [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.electron…"]electronic drums[/]="http://www.electron…"]electronic drums[/]. I know that myself and many a few others use them.

bent Wed, 03/05/2008 - 18:36

Joshua, hell of a first post...

I don't really care one way or the other about what you posted at the top of the thread - we've all been there and done that - but I do take a bit of offense to the following statement a few posts down:

Any drummer that would be upset that you are making him better by tightning his playing is foolish.

In this post you're talking about pretty much all of my clients.
If I started correcting their mistakes like you mention here, not only would they take offense to it, they'd simply call it a do-over and redo their tracks from the top. It's very, very rare to find drummers around here that wouldn't take such "tightening" of their playing as a personal attack.
I know I would.
Of course, there are exceptions - bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, etc. And of course the current string of Hollywood Records acts :( ...

Codemonkey Wed, 03/05/2008 - 18:43

Producers leaning on your shoulders can be a motivator to ruin what you have a passion for.
An amateur band that comes in, records a track and leaves isn't gonna enjoy the idea of having their drums hacked to bits. A big name band who needs to have perfect drums has no choice but to have their kick, snare, toms and cymbals I guess, replaced by samples.
The only reason I'd replace our drummer's sound is cause the odds of me getting a good kick sound are slim...

Also, bent, is that the clock mentioned in the "most essential gear for tracking" thread, the one which doesnt tick, tock or cuckoo...just spins at 1rpm? lol...

anonymous Wed, 03/05/2008 - 19:00


Why? I dont understand why you guys are so defensive and are attacking me when I have done nothing but share with you the way I do things. If its not useful to you then dont use it, but dont tell me I'm wrong. This method works great for me and as long as it keeps working I will continue to use it.


natural Wed, 03/05/2008 - 19:05

I guess we wouldn't mind so much if the title was called:
My Technique of Drum Replacement.
Frankly this is a fairly proven and good technique for doing such, and is layed out here in fairly clear language.
So perhaps we all just got off on the wrong foot due to the title of the post.
But to suggest that this is the way all "Pro's" record is, well, it's just naive.
No doubt it is popular among some genre's of music. In the same way that Hip Hop pretty much uses drum machines and loops. And if you're doing bluegrass music, it's helpful to have a fiddle player in the group.
But when I listen to my fav CD's I usually want to hear how the musician's are playing. How they interact with each other, and how they get sounds out of their instruments. You're not going to replace Buddy Rich's drums or John Bonnom or Bill Bruford, you want to hear these guys play. Mistakes and all, because their mistakes are better than most players best efforts.

Interestingly, I've had to do this occasionally to projects that came out of Recording schools like Full Sail etc. As long as they recorded to a clik we replaced the drums and all was right with the world once again.

So , yes, it's a good post on how to replace drums, but it's a bad post on the propa' way to run a session.

But in the end, as long as your clients are happy, maybe that's all that really matters?

anonymous Wed, 03/05/2008 - 19:14

Ok, I will answer your questions and then I will let you keep slandering my name!

1. I never said I was a pro, I said it was the secrets of the pros! Get it straight! I am still learning everyday and will continue to.

2. Last time I checked people don’t ask to see your degree to master a song, either your good at it or your not, kind of like playing an instrument!

3. What gear is necessary to do mastering, most of my work is done with plug ins that model out board gear. So why do I need the gear?

4. My drum micing skills are the same as yours I'm sure that is if you’re doing it right. This is what I prefer, not what I have to do!

5. Obviously you didn't read the whole post, I record double scratch guitars because 1. it does make it louder in the headphones because of headroom, and 2 because it sounds better. You have to hear the scratch tracks for a while so why not make them sound good.

6. I never said that people didn't get approvals of the recording artist. But do you think it never happens, you know it does.

7. I am here to help when I can and listen and learn, maybe you should try both as well.

8. I am not trying to gain the respect of anyone, just trying to maybe help someone by sharing what I've learned. You could at least appreciate that!

anonymous Wed, 03/05/2008 - 19:19

Hey Natural,

I appreciate you being open mind about the subject and I suppose your right on the post name, maybe it should have been drum replacement, but dont the pro's do drum replacement? Everyone I have ever worked along side of that was any good did. Anyways, you guys could learn a thing or two from Natural! Smart Guy!


hueseph Wed, 03/05/2008 - 19:26

2 - Your methods may work for you, but the reality is, you have to replace your drums with samples because the way you're recording drums sucks.

Classic. :lol:

Anyway, I know that Gene Hoglan replaces his drums with samples(I think he kind of pioneered this) but I don't think he does it to synch his playing. If a drummer can't play on beat there is a problem. When he gets on stage then what? Let him play on practice pads and run a sequencer to the pa?

Anyway, I think what I was trying to get at in my first post(which I guess was lost in translation) is that there are people here who own, work at and maintain high end studios. No, I'm not talking about multiple FP10's.

There may not be any grammy award winners here, that I know of at least, but I'm pretty sure you have heard at least some of the work people have done here whether you knew it or not.

natural Wed, 03/05/2008 - 19:33

Thanks for the props yo.

A lot of metal bands from the 80's had their drums replaced. It was a phase we all went through. They also had a ton of reverb because digital reverb became cost effective around that time.
Times change, Some engineers still want to replace drums, many don't. many do it when they have to. Some drummers like replacement for their style of music, some don't.

Go through these forums here, you'll see that everyone's needs are different. Very different. What works for some people is death to others.

It's always helpful to 'Know your audience'

MadMax Wed, 03/05/2008 - 19:47

Secrets of the Pro’s

I am writing this article to maybe help some of you out there with questions you may have about pro recording and how the crap they get such awesome sounds and why your stuff doesn’t sound as good


My, what big brass nads you have Goldielocks!

Josh, I 'm sorry dude, but I gotta call BS here. The rest of the crew here is pretty civil, restrained and will prefer to take the high road.

Me?!?... I just call it the way it is.

Yes, your "method" is one way to do stuff... and in my opinion, it's exactly what the hell is wrong with our industry. It's the lack of knowledge of music and performance, that goobers like you produce the tripe and garbage that's polluting the airwaves today.

I cannot fathom how in the hell you possibly think that what you put out of your studio is anything that resembles actual music. It's plasticine, lifeless, garbage that's unfit to even line the bottom of my cat's litterbox. But to each his/her own.

Sound replacement, beat detecting and autotuning are for slackassed no talents on BOTH sides of the glass. I take that back... they have their place.... just not in the actual music as entertainment field... Maybe the movies, commercials and the odd video game.

Why don't you try it this way... set up 4 or 5 mics and put the band in the room and hit the red button? BECAUSE YOU DON'T KNOW HOW?!?

I'm willing to bet you could no more record a blues band or a jazz quartet and have it sound like a captured performance than Ralph Nader has a chance at winning the Presidency.

The actual ART of music is in the subtle and the not so subtle accidents and variations of the performance. Oh wait... you already KNOW that...

And don't you dare even try to tell me that I'm not open to new ideas and concepts. Just the opposite is true. YOU are the one who ought to try to make your engineering come up to professional standards. Maybe you should stop taking on projects that require such massive editing.

My clients know that I expect them to give it their very best... just as they expect me to give it MY very best to capture and present their work.

Instead of sound replacing the drums... try investing in a coupla' decent kits... and have a professional come in and tune them. If the drummer can't handle the part... either have the band hire a session cat, or tell them to take the session elsewhere.

Stop screwing up this industry with your lifeless trash and learn the actual art of recording and mixing that truly captures the performance. That's my opinion and I stick by it... just as your ilk stick by the method that's clearly destroyed the actual performance value of real musicianship and artistry.

Space Wed, 03/05/2008 - 20:30

joshuarecordingstudios wrote: somebodys mad at some body and I am thinking its not me! Who did you wrong man? I mean seriously , chill out!

I promise, you dont have to replace your drums, you can just settle for less than perfect, I mean heart felt, lol. What a joke, this guy!

Son, if we lost you right here right now, we lose nothing.

Davedog Wed, 03/05/2008 - 21:05

Lets be honest here....It doesnt take a rocket surgeon to figure out when to replace and when NOT to replace any tracks in ANY recording. One listen will usually do the trick.

THE ONLY TIME YOU NEED TO REPLACE when the artist is unavailable, or the studio dudes have all gone home and theres a budget with a schedule.

As a 'Pro' it is not the BEST way to build a song. It NEVER will be. It is a way, just not the best......

Perfection is not necessary if the song is great, the performance inspired, and the musicianship squarely rooted in professionalism.

I agree with Max. I always do. Just because you accept money from others to operate your gear in a service does not make you an expert. It doesnt give you a ticket to the 'hear me orate olympics' simply because you own studio recording gear.

I looked at your list. MOST of the folks on here have twice as much gear as you, and still they come here asking questions, giving opinions when they care to, help when they can, but mostly they read and learn. They dont belly up with their crap hanging out and suppose to 'educate' folks they've never met, never had conversation with, never had any sort of interchange with what-so-ever.

And then when those that REALLY DO KNOW call you on your "SECRETS OF THE PROS" and point out methodology that conflicts with YOURS yet is as viable and real, you think you're being picked on.

Ya see, being part of a community, (which we all are and especially those who have answered you), isnt all about shoving your opinions at people from the start. Its about hanging around and getting to know one another and learning to trust what points are coming from them. Its about sharing, and yes, you're obviously trying to do that, You just arent understanding the subtleties and the community practices established here long before you bought your first set of semi-crappy monitors.

I could give a large Rats-ass about what methods work for you. I pity those that are giving up their budgets if this is all you got to offer them. In my room theres one hard and fast rule........ "That sucked......Do it AGAIN....."

BTW./ The SONGWRITER lays down the foundation for the feel. These are the 'pre-production tracks'....You've heard of em.....havent you??? Any project thats going to become something more than a Demo needs to get there through a definite plan of procedure towards an end PRODUCT. Thats when you get to record the rehearsals. As an engineer you learn at these settings who to rely on for tempo, who has the best pitch, who has the groove solidly set in them.....

THEN you record the songs. Generally you wont have to replace anything if everyone knows their parts. Got a songwriter who can write and sing but cant play a lick??? Studio musicians. Hire em ....get em a cola or some tea....Whatever it takes.

If you THINK you are really MASTERING through the use of plugs you are living a dream of your own construct.

Hey....know what....WE'VE got a Mastering Forum right here at R.O. I suggest you go in there and repeat that crap out loud. Most of the Mastering Engineers that reside there DO have many awards, most have their businesses' ads in all the Majors.....yep, they're really pros. Go ahead. You'll fit right in.

You think your ass is chapped from this bunch?????

Davedog Wed, 03/05/2008 - 22:37

Dude....We ALL understand exactly what you're doing.....not everybody agrees with it being some secret formula for professional nirvana.

You didnt invent this.....I did about 35 years ago! :twisted:

I'm just saying.....along with a LOT of my colleagues, that your methodology leaves a lot to be desired as far as bringing the proper Kwaa to tracking.

And you sound a lot like a troll.

Did I mention that I AM the designated troll killer here at R.O.???

Tell ya what. You have the ability to edit your own posts. Suppose you go back and EDIT that frikkin TITLE to something a little less .............errr........challenging to the sensibilities of the general populace around here and I'll let you live one more day.


(could this be JP in disguise??????)

anonymous Wed, 03/05/2008 - 23:02

I dont want to live , please kill me now! If you guys really knew me you'd know I never meant to upset anyone and I had all the good intentions of becoming a part of this forum family. I do strive to learn everyday and I have read every single one of your guys reply's. I am really just kind of speechless to find such a rude group of people that are suppossed to be here for help. So if this is what its all about, then please remove me Mr. Dave.


Cucco Thu, 03/06/2008 - 05:04

Joshua -

As a moderator of this forum, it is my duty to make sure that you are welcomed to RO and that all sides of the party are being appropriately civil and that the conversation does not stray outside of the topic at hand.

1 - Welcome to RO.

2 - Here's the rest of that stuff-

The biggest problem here isn't what you said (although, it's way off base), it's how and when you said it.

It's incredibly presumptious, rude, arrogant and ballsy to walk into a forum that you obviously have not observed for a while and have your first post be an authoritative post in which you claim to be letting out the secrets of the pros but are merely telling one way (a convoluted one at that) of doing things. Add to that the fact that several pros have already come into this topic and denounced this, you tell them that they don't know what they're doing or talking about and tell them they should keep an open mind.

Take a step back and listen to yourself for just a minute - this is really one of the most arrogant things I've seen in a while.

The reality is, any flaming you get is well-deserved.

Add to that the fact that your suggestions do NOT represent the "pro" way of doing things and by no means should be the course by which younger/less experienced engineers aspire to work.

I'll let this debacle continue for a bit, but if it looks like we're going in circles, then I'll shut the post down.

I do hope you'll take a step back and see why everyone is getting so pissed. It's not that we don't have an open mind. It's not that we don't know the "pro" way of doing things. It's that, about every 3 months, some jackass pops up on this board claiming to know stuff they don't. You're the jackass du jour.

You can salvage this though and have a happy, healthy life on RO. I should know. I joined a long time ago and had several "arrogant" introductions like yours. I also got slapped down from some of the people on this here board (one of whom IS a multi-Grammy award winning engineer - anyone interested in knowing who this is who forehand and backhand pimp slapped me - PM me).

As I've gotten older, I've discovered that arrogance of any kind in a public forum is about as useless as tits on a bull.

Stick around, pay attention and keep an open mind and you'll grow and learn.


MadMax Thu, 03/06/2008 - 05:24

Joshua (and your technique of killing the life in music),


You've gotten your ass cheeks handed to ya' on at least two different forums for posting your "Secrets". Yes, indeed you have.

After having your lungs ripped out at one forum, you then come here and pose as some "insider with the goods" of how it's done by the big boys.

You say you strive to learn every day.... So why haven't you learned that what you presented, in the manner you presented it, is just a tad more than being a TROLL!?!

Your "technique" is somewhat acceptable in many circles... namely the high volume rock shops in NYC and LA. This is entirely true. Slippy's Big Blue Meanie is one of the more pervasive of this style... Except they do it cleaner, more legit and it's purpose driven for volume and to keep their doors open to the major labels.

I for one, take serious offense to the method of making records as you describe it.

Do I have gold records on my wall? Nope, and I don't give a rat's ass if I ever do.

Music is a LOT of different things to a LOT of different people. In my corner of the world, (and it's a growing corner BTW) are musicians, producers, studio owners, promoters and fans, that are tired of lifeless, sterile drivel.

Genre's that not only except less than "absolute perfection", but also expect it, are still plenty alive and well; Jazz, blues, gospel, bluegrass, new grass, country, rock, regae, indian, middle eastern and folk are just a few of them.

These styles of music require that musicians play with heart and authority. They are for the most part absolutely dependent upon the performance of the group as a unit. The interaction between the members of the group during the performance is the true soul and life of the music they play.

If the performance wasn't acceptable, they play it again until it is. That is the artistry of which your style of making recordings so needlessly destroys.

You talk about US being rude... You have NO idea what rude is. There was at one time a group of VERY talented and EXTREMELY successful record makers that fought the very ilk of what you represent. The "Shit Brigade" finally tired of it and have decided that it's not worth waisting their time and energy on, when they could just go back to making records and be happy. I would love to see how you would react to a Shotgun and Ded handing your lifeless meat of a brain back to you on a platter.

I for one, am not giving up the fight to shine a light on the disgusting practice of destroying music for the pure sake of destroying it for a wrote methodology of "making a record". Your "way" has cheapened the value of music. It's watered down the pool of talent it takes to make music. It's taken the joy of listening to music to new lows. All you are promoting is a rehash of the same old formula that the labels are hoping will save their asses from bankruptcy.

The labels are just loaded with moron's who wouldn't know what real talent is, much less what a real performance was all about if it slapped them in the head like a 2x4 in a tornado. The labels have let the farm leagues die for want of easy "do it again" regurgitation.

That buster, is where your "secret technique" was derived from... An easy to use formula to get a safe product out there to make as much money as possible... and all at the expense and detriment to the artists.

This is where many of us drew the line... e.g. What's more important? The music, or the money? Because of investments and what technology could do... many tried a compromise and many just went for the money. Those who saw the technology as a new tool attempted to create a new style of music. Good for them... I just don't prefer it for the reason that people like Segovia, Beck and Zappa wouldn't stand a chance at ever being heard in the mass media, unless they had been sample replaced or auto-tuned.

In many people's opinions, the fake talent and fake perfection is the height of technology. For many of us in the industry, it is the pinnacle of what is wrong with the industry.

You posed the snide little comment as to "who wronged me"... You and all like you who value the dollar over the artisty... that's who.

Don't be trite, I KNOW I don't have to sample replace anything, nor do I intend to ever do it as a matter of practice. I can, and will, do an occasional replacement... in an otherwise acceptable performance. That's the one aspect of what digital technology brings to the table that is acceptable.

I do comp things like vocals... but only as a guide track operation for an artist to learn by. Then we will go back and track the entire take. My philosophy in my shop is that it's ALL about the performance... because that IS what the music is all about.

If a group cannot play it in the studio, how can they perform it live in front of an audience? Lest any of us forget... music is ALL about the performance.

Cucco Thu, 03/06/2008 - 05:24

Okay, so let me address some of these since these seem to be the source of much of your confusion:

joshuarecordingstudios wrote:
1. I never said I was a pro, I said it was the secrets of the pros! Get it straight! I am still learning everyday and will continue to.

The title of the subject and some of the text implied that you were a pro. How else would someone possess the secrets of the pros unless they were in fact a pro?

joshuarecordingstudios wrote:
2. Last time I checked people don’t ask to see your degree to master a song, either your good at it or your not, kind of like playing an instrument!

No, they don't and no it's not a matter of being good at it or not. It takes years of practice, serious knowledge (obtained by studying, listening and working). Playing a musical instrument has nothing to do with being good at it or not. Everyone who is good at a musical instrument has worked hard and studied it.

joshuarecordingstudios wrote:
3. What gear is necessary to do mastering, most of my work is done with plug ins that model out board gear. So why do I need the gear?

Well, for starters, you need a dedicated mastering room with a high-quality monitoring environment. My mastering suite cost $17,000 to build and the room sounds phenomenal. The speakers and amps in the room are accurate as hell and I've spent hours tweaking their placement to make sure that they remain that way.

joshuarecordingstudios wrote:
4. My drum micing skills are the same as yours I'm sure that is if you’re doing it right. This is what I prefer, not what I have to do!

NO. They're not.
When I work on drum recordings, I spend time to make sure that the drums are in tune and that all of the mics are placed perfectly to get a cohesive kit sound. I've sound-replaced very rarely, and never due to piss-poor drumming. I've replaced drummers for this, but it's always done tactfully.

joshuarecordingstudios wrote:
5. Obviously you didn't read the whole post, I record double scratch guitars because 1. it does make it louder in the headphones because of headroom, and 2 because it sounds better. You have to hear the scratch tracks for a while so why not make them sound good.

If it's for sound-quality purposes, but you just delete them anyway, it's a fools-crusade. Your clients should be upset that you're wasting their time and money. Do you double track or just copy and past another one on another track?

joshuarecordingstudios wrote:
7. I am here to help when I can and listen and learn, maybe you should try both as well.

See, it's this one that pisses me off. Have you bothered to look at my posts? There are a few.

I help all the time. I learn all the time.

joshuarecordingstudios wrote:
8. I am not trying to gain the respect of anyone, just trying to maybe help someone by sharing what I've learned. You could at least appreciate that!

See my previous post.

anonymous Thu, 03/06/2008 - 06:57

Well , I did check out your website and it seems you mostly master classical music, which I love , but is very different from what I record. I found this on your page, Sublyme Records Mastering Suite is a custom built, underground facility located in historic Fredericksburg, Virginia specializing in high-quality mastering using only the finest outboard and COMPUTER BASED MASTERING GEAR FROM companies such as Manley Labs, Crane Song, Benchmark, Millennia Media and others.

Computer based , me too!

I still dont understand why you guys are so raged at my post!

I am not a pro, I am a student, how many times do you want me to say that? I think some of my work turns out sound really great, but I am not a pro by any means. What qualify's one to call them self a pro any ways, I mean when do you start saying ok, I know everything and everyone must listen to me, thats foolish and also seems to be the way you are coming across.

Do me a favor, get to know me before you give me a bad name! You have no clue what your talking about when you address my personality, ethics,morals, and standards.

Number 1 first and for most, I am a devout christian, and if you know anything about the christian doctrine, you'd know that christians usually stray from being self centered. I am not saying christians are perfect, but they do have those intentions along with a lot of other really good personality trates. I am just trying to be better everyday at what I do, so I will just say this one more time.

I never meant to upset anyone or offend anyone with my post nor did I claim to be a pro! If I am so unexperianced as you say then its very clear I am a student, right!

Anyways, blessings and I hope we can get past this stupid thing because I am tired of defending my self on stupid assumptions.

Contact me personally if you want to discuss this for real!