From The Song To The Sale (August 2014)

OK you have the songs, budget, you are ready and practiced and entering the studio. Most emerging artists don’t have the budget or spare travel time, etc to be really choosy about which studio they use – unless it is a specific need (such as a grand piano, etc), so don’t sweat that too much.

Similarly, please don’t get hung up on “brand names” of gear in the studio. Some of the most successful recordings in the world have been recorded with relatively ‘cheap’ gear and, some of the worst on the best brands known. Even same brand gear can vary over time (eg. a U67 mike produced today has quite a different character to one from the 80’s).

It is not about the brand or even the actual gear they use. It is about working with people that have (or can get) the gear required, know how to use it, and all to, capture as best as possible the most appropriate sound wanted for that particular song on that particular recording. For example, whether we record a vocal on our $5,000 mike or on the $200 2nd hand SM57 depends on the end sound we want (and we have used both and others at times).
A ‘gear list’ on a website of a well used studio is not there for industry people, experienced artists – they don’t care. All they care about is having confidence it will happen, and recording/hearing the end result they want.

One of basic sayings in this area is “the better the source recording, the closer we can capture the sound we want in the end – the better the end product (and less processing needed)”.

So when in a recording session, sure ask why they chose or do something for your own knowledge – but unless you really know what you are talking about, trust the studio engineer to know what they are doing, and concentrate on doing what you are there to do!

It’s a bit like the crew on a yacht… The spinnaker trimmer doesn’t tell the navigator which way to go or vice versa – while they might be interested, when racing they each do their jobs and let the others do theirs.

Till next time.

PS. This is not a sound engineers series but orientated to the artist – so as we move through this section of the process I will only be looking at things from the artists perspective (and not equipment chains etc).

With 37 years experience in the industry, Ian Pav is a producer, mentor and owner of PavMusic (studios and production). Now based in Rosebud, the construction of his new production studio is almost finished. Ian is looking to work with clients around the Peninsula at a discounted rate to help locals from his ongoing clientele around Australia & overseas. You can see more or contact Ian via or learn more music industry business info through his wordpress blog