The drum-kit is perhaps the most frustrating and time-consuming instrument in terms of recording. If you manage to get it right, the rewards are significant because everyone knows that the core of a fantastic mix is a great drum sound. We have compiled four important drum recording techniques and secrets that we think could help you deal with the challenge of drum recording. Drum Recording Techniques and Secrets

Tune the kit

It’s quite unsettling how many people forget to tune their kits before they start drum recording. No drum can produce its optimal sounds unless it has been properly tuned. The skins must be neither too tight nor too slack, and the tension should be even too.

Get your overheads right

It is useful to put a stereo pair in place to check out how the kit sounds and make sure everything is balanced. It is important that you hit the toms with the right intensity and the cymbals with the right frequency so you should fine tune your drumming skills before you even think about getting your overheards right.

Set the mics steep and close

Not everyone agrees on this, but it is often extremely effective to set the mics straight down into the drums at a steep angle of approximately 70 degrees. This way the mics will be able to capture maximum body and weight to the sound. Move the mic around the drum head marginally if you’re not getting your desired results until you find the right spot.

Tune the recording space Drum Recording Techniques and Secrets

Much is often spoken about the importance of tuning instruments, but people often forget that recording spaces also need to be fine-tuned for an optimal result. If the room where you are planning to record your drum has carpeted floors and walls, make sure you make arrangements for some reflective surface such as plywood sheets to place on the walls.

If you want to know more about our drum recording services, visit our Drum Recording page today. What are your drum recording techniques and secrets? Get involved in the discussion below!

Let’s talk about Live Concert Recording Tips

The live music versus recorded music debate has lived on for a long period of time and has no real end in sight. One answer leaves both sides happy – live concert recording. If done properly, live concert recording can balance the feel of being at a concert with the quality that is normally associated with high-quality recordings produced at Nashville recording studios.

The challenges of live concert recording

It’s not easy recording live concerts for a number of reasons. The biggest problem that recording studios face is that they only have one shot to get it right. You can’t ask a vocalist to repeat the lyrics while they are on stage performing in front of a live audience in case you didn’t capture them well enough.

Besides that, Nashville recording studios have to transfer expensive recording equipment to the concert venue. It’s really important to take more equipment than you think you need, because you always need to be prepared for the worst when performing live concert recording. Live Concert Recording Tips

How to create a great live record

It’s very important to know the venue inside out before you actually go to the concert itself. Ideally, you should have a good idea about the band whose performance you are going to be recording so that you know how many musicians there are as well as what their specific roles and needs are.

It is important to set conservative levels too, since unlike in a recording studio environment, at a live concert, musicians tend to play or sing slightly louder than they planned to, or not quite as loud as they had in the trial session. If you have input conservative settings into your recording software, you won’t have to worry about spending forever editing the video to make it acceptable to your clients.

Live Concert Recording Tips

Most Nashville recording studios don’t actually offer live concert recording services, but The Record Shop has a number of packages that are designed for clients with different needs. Check them out and get in touch if you are interested in seeking our assistance for live concert recording.

In an increasingly complicated world of music, musicians have to make lots of decisions. When you are new to it all, it can be overwhelming. One such choice you have to make is deciding whether your album needs mastering. We at The Record Shop strongly believe in the power of mastering music.

 

What exactly is mastering?

People throw around the word mastering, quite frequently not quite knowing what it actually means. Mastering is the process by which recorded audio is prepared and transferred from a source to the master, i.e. a data storage device. Mastering is not a particularly simple process. It entails a number of different processes, including EQ, limiting, noise reduction, compression and stereo-widening.

Deciding Whether Your Album Needs Mastering

Can mastering improve your recordings?

Mastering should always be the last thing on your mind when you are looking to record music. Your main focus should be on getting great records and mixing them carefully. Mastering doesn’t make or break a record the same way the recording and mixing processes do.

Deciding Whether Your Album Needs Mastering

 

 

Why do people master their records then?

Even if it may not make or break a music recording, mastering processes are extremely popular these days. There are several benefits associated with mastering that some people continue to overlook.

Mastering is done by audio engineers, and if you go to a professional Nashville recording studio like The Record Shop, you can rest assured that a competent fresh set of ears will be finalizing your album. During the mastering process, you can have an objective and qualified person judge whether your EQ balance is actually perfect, or that there isn’t too much noise in your track.

It is human nature to get excited when you’re at the penultimate stages of a big project. Those musicians who are releasing their first album might attempt to speed up its completion so that they can release it and see the response they get. Opting to go to a professional Nashville recording studio for mastering your audio will mean that you will have a finished product that is worth bragging about.

Deciding Whether Your Album Needs Mastering

 

How important do you think mastering your album is? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below.

Cari logoHey y’all!  Music City is one of the greatest hubs of creativity in the World, not just for the music for which the city gained its nickname from but for artists of every cree.  The Record Shop is very excited to get to share some of the great local talent that Nashville has to offer.  We had the privilege of chatting with Cari Gray, a local artist who specializes in hand-carved, vinyl record sculptures.  A native of Tallahassee, Florida, Cari moved to Nashville back in 2005 to complete her degree in the Music Business from MTSU, and currently works at Sony Music Nashville.  The Record Shop first met Cari a few weeks ago at the Tomato Art Festival in East Nashville.  Our Master in Chief, Sean Giovanni, saw a piece Cari had carved in the shape of his home state Michigan that now proudly hangs in the confines of our Nashville Recording Studio.

The Record Shop: How long have you been an artist?  What got you started?

Cari Gray: I have always been pretty creative and crafty and I would rather be doing something productive than watching tv or reading a book.  Unless it’s shark week.  Then all bets are off.  I just started cutting records this past December; I’ve made record bowls and bracelets out of vinyl in the past but never just cut one up.  CariI made the state of Texas for a girl at work and it turned out pretty good.  She put it up at her desk and before I knew it 10 other co-workers wanted their home states cut.  Tomatofest was the first time I displayed my records and it was a blast and was super successful. It’s nice being appreciated for your work, especially when you just fall into it like I did.

 

RS: Who are some of your biggest inspirations?

CG: I like all kinds of art and there are so many talented people in Nashville. But I don’t know anyone who hand cuts records like I do. I’ve heard of people laser cutting records because people always ask me if I do, but every record is different because they are hand cut.  And, I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with a laser anyhow.

RS: Do you spare certain, special records from becoming pieces, or are they all fair game?

CG: Everything is fair game.  I try to match the state with the artist or a track on the record as best as I can.  For instance, if I cut a Texas record I would try to find an artist from there like Willie Nelson.

RS: Do you remember the first record you carved?

CG: I don’t remember which artist was on the first record I cut.  I know it was an RCA Victor record though, and we work for RCA.  So, that’s why I chose that one.

RS: How do you decide on what to carve out of a record?

CariCG: I like to cut states out of the records because I feel like most people that I’ve met here aren’t from Nashville so people like to represent their home state.  I know I do.  But, that’s the great thing about Nashville.  Artists come from all over for music and whatever else.  I was a 20 year old once who moved up here to be a singer too, like a lot of other people.

I also like to cut out random silhouettes, animals, and musical artists.  I love Michael Jackson so I’ve cut a few out of him.  I honestly just cut out whatever I like.  It could be a unicorn if that’s the way I’m feeling that day.  I just google whatever I want and try to find an outline for it, and if I can’t Find what I want I just free hand draw it.

RS: What records have you playing, instead of carving?

CariCG: I listen to all kinds of music, literally.  I work in country music, but my husband [Jeff Shields] is the lead singer of two rock bands (Stereoside and Stone Glory) so I listen to his stuff a lot also.  So if I finish something cool, I go in the music room to make sure he thinks it’s just as cool because I am so new at this whole record cutting thing.  Then I return to the craft room with my safety glasses covered in vinyl dust.  So it works out pretty well.  I  have a good collection of vinyl, mostly rock n’ roll, Sam Cooke and Michael Jackson.  Lately, I’ve been listening to The Wild Feathers and a lot of other local bands.  We are so spoiled here in nashville.

Spoiled indeed.  Nashville is a truly remarkable town full of incredibly talented artists like Carilyn Gray.  If you like Cari’s work as much as we do, and how could you not, you can click HERE to go to  her website where you can view and purchase her work!

 

Cari

 

Thank you for spending some time with us here in The Record Shop!  Be sure to follow and chat with us on Twitter, @therecordshop, for daily updates from Gio & the Henchmen.  We’ll see you next time!

Let’s discuss The Importance of Pre-Production

Recording music is a great experience, and it is no surprise that it gets even the most experienced musicians excited. If you are interested in making fantastic music, though, you should take a deep breath and remember that rushing into the recording studio is not always the best idea. You should devote ample time to pre-production, which is perhaps one of the most important parts of the recording process.

What is pre-production?

Before we get into the merits of pre-production, it is important to understand what exactly it is. Pre-production is the crucial planning stage of the recording process. It entails taking a song in its most basic form and working out how you plan on recording music around it. In pre-production, you have to figure out important things relating to the arrangement and composition of your music, such as how many measures there should be between the verse and the chorus.

The Importance of Pre-Production

What does pre-production entail?

Pre-production can entail a number of things. Experienced recording studios know exactly what needs to be done before the recording process can begin. The first thing you should do is determine a tempo for your song. There are various approaches that you may opt for with regards to the tempo of your song. If you are unsure about this, you should consult the recording studio you are planning to record at for some guidance.

Once you have decided a tempo for your song, you should create labels to divide your song into different sections. Most recording software have a marking system, so if you have access to one, figure out the arrangement of your song and mark the different sections.

If you really want to be thorough, you can even ask your recording studio to help you record scratch tracks. These are quick and completely basic recordings of your music that can be extremely useful as guidelines later on in the record production process.

Why is pre-production essential?The Importance of Pre-Production

Well, pre-production isn’t essential, per se, but it can go a long way in improving the quality of your recording. It helps you create a map that you can constantly refer to every time you run into a stumbling block during the record production process..

Now that we’ve discussed the Importance of Pre-Production, What do you think is the biggest advantage of pre-production? Let us know in the comments section!

Getting the most out of your vocal sessions is essential. If you are working on your first record, the process is likely to hit at least a few road bumps if you haven’t done your homework. Here at The Record Shop, we make sure we handle all Record Production to enhance your vocal session experience. Here are some tips on what you can do to get the most out of your vocal sessions.

Learn the song in advance

Lyricists may continue making changes to their songs minutes before they begin their vocal session, but if you have your song ready, it helps if the vocalist is familiar with the song in advance. Not only does it save a lot of time if the vocalist knows the lyrics by heart, but the quality of the recording will also come out better. If you don’t know a song, you may end up constantly moving your head to look to and away from the lyrics sheet and not end up singing into the microphone element. Getting the Most out of your Vocal Sessions

Practice before your vocal session

Remember not to take practice sessions too seriously, especially if you’re not actually practicing in the recording studio. No two venues are the same, so the acoustics are going to vary. However, what you should focus on is the melodic range so that you know you are able to hit all the right notes, as high or low as they may be.

Avoid dehydrating agents

How frustrating would it be if you spent a good dollar on a vocal session at a recording studio only to have to sing with a notably dry throat? Very. That is why it is so important that you avoid any food and drinks that dehydrate your throat at least six hours before your appointment. A dry throat may prevent you from hitting the right notes in your vocal session. Getting the Most out of your Vocal Sessions

 

Those are just some things you should handle on your end. We can help you out with all the technical aspects of vocal sessions at The Record Shop Nashville. Just leave us a message and we will do everything we can to make your vocal sessions perfect.

 

Windows Phones are becoming more and more popular, especially among budding musicians. Having the right apps on your phone can make it easier to record music no matter where you are. There are several useful apps that one can download that will help with editing, tuning and writing music.

SEQUENCER

Sequencer is a powerful music tool that is useful for anyone looking to record music. It comes with several samples, customizable synthesizer wavetables and 7-channel mixing are just some of the features that make this app one of the most robust Windows apps for musicians. It’s most common use, however, is simply to create smooth drum loops.  This app is free of cost.

screen-2

SOUNDFLAKE SYNTH

If you want an app that lets you create loops very easily, SoundFlake Synth is worth a download. Although you can’t save sequences, it’s great fun playing around with the block and seeing just what you can create. This app costs $0.99

GUITAR CHORDS

Guitar Chords is a useful reference app since it gives you easy access to both standard and not-so-standard chords. It’s fairly easy to use. This app is free to download.

ACCURATE TUNER

Accurate Tuner is fantastic for tuning 126 different instruments. Whether you play a guitar or a hammered dulcimer, Accurate Tuner will make tuning your instrument extremely easy. You can choose between a free version and a paid version $2.99, which comes with a tone generator.

windows apps for musicians

ONENOTE

How frustrating is it when you have a brilliant idea for a song but don’t know quite where to write it down? ONENOTE, which comes preinstalled in Windows Phones, gives lyricists the opportunity to create a note specifically to write ideas about songs in. You can pin the note to your Home page and start recording moments of inspiration before they escape your mind.

 

Do you own a Windows Phone? Which Windows apps do you use for your music needs? Let us know in the comments section!

Here is a brief about Understanding the History of Recording Studios.

People didn’t always have recording studios where they could go to help realize their music dreams. Yet, over time, as technology continued to develop and people saw a use for being able to record and playback sounds, recording studios began to emerge. Today, they are an integral part of the global music scene. In this article, we will walk you through a brief history of recording studios as they stand today in modern day America.

The idea of recording music first originated when Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in order to improve the quality of the telephone in the late 1800s. It consisted primarily of cylinders made of foil and was able to record sounds. Soon after, Emile Berliner invented a way to mass-produce recorded discs, which paved the way for great artists to go and have their work recorded.

By 1889, boxes with the ability to reproduce recorded sounds were invented and within the next year, the first recording studio was set up called the New York Phonograph Company. Within the next two decades, several recording studios had popped up that were producing records on wax discs. By the early twentieth century, the hand-cranked Victrola was replaced by the triode, which completely revolutionized the scale at which recording studios could now operate. 

Understanding the History of Recording Studios

Once electronically recorded music became the next big thing, Western Electric came around the corner and began to use amplifiers and microphones for recording purposes. This was a massive change in the history of recording studios since before the use of this equipment, the people making music would have to sit very close together and even closer to the equipment, making for an uncomfortable recording experience.

In the mid-1900s, the recording industry started to use magnetic recording tapes, which meant that recordings could finally be edited. Soon after this development, multi-track recorders emerged, allowing audio engineers to mix different tracks recorded at different times. Of course, now we are in the digital age where much of the recording process is done on computers and the possibilities are quite literally endless.

There’s a whole lot that happened in between all these big inventions that shaped the way we record our music today. When did you first visit a recording studio? Was it before the digital age?

And that concludes Understanding the History of Recording Studios.

Share your experiences with us on Twitter @therecordshop

Although recording music on your iPad may not give you the same recording experience you would get in a professional Nashville recording studio, thanks to a number of incredible apps, it definitely can be done. We’ve highlighted some useful studio recording apps for iPads apps that every budding musician should download if they want to experiment with creating some music.

GarageBand is an essential recording tool and an incredibly powerful app. Even though it might not excel in the fine tuning department, and it doesn’t offer much in terms of mixing, it enables users to create music whenever they feel like it. The app comes with an inbuilt pedal selection and extended app. It’s almost too easy transferring music you create to your Mac, and you can also share music with others directly from the app itself. Best of all, GarageBand is free of cost. Garageband-iPad-2

Music Studio is arguably even more powerful than GarageBand. Although it comes at a steep $14.99, it boasts an intuitive and extensive interface. There are a number of different instruments you can use through this app through a virtual keyboard. There are several tune banks that can be purchased for those seeking more options.

 Another great recording app is MultiTrack DAW. The fantastic thing about this app is that it allows users to record four different tracks simultaneously, and up to 24 tracks in total if you are willing to pay for an upgrade. Single tracks can be recorded in stereo, and two tracks in mono. This powerful app offers an easy-to-use interface and an incredible amount of control over the final sound. MultiTrack DAW can be purchased for $9.99.

AmpliTube may cost $19.99, but it is perhaps the most versatile digital audio workstation out there. It has an incredible array of virtual pedals and amps that could almost make you forget that you’re working on a tablet computer.

There are several other useful studio recording apps for iPads, but this list of apps should be sufficient to give you the opportunity to create some great tunes without having to leave your home! What apps do you use to record music on your iPad? Let us know in the comments section!

A live video of you, or your band, performing is one of the most useful tools an artist can have; shall I count the ways?  For starters, you can attach it as part of your EPK.  This adds a level of professionalism, gives talent agents, promoters, or venue owners a better idea of what it is you do, and may help you book more awesome shows where you can then get more live footage!  It can also function as a promotional tool.  For instance, if you have some upcoming gigs or any record releases, you can post this sucka all over your social sites and blogs thus gaining new fans.  Hell, slap this video on the ol’ YouTube; maybe you’ll be hit the lottery and your video will go viral!  Now, if you’re going to take the time to record yourself live head our advice.  Multi-Tracking your performance is the absolute best way to get the high end audio for synchronization.        (The Godfather of Multi-Tracking, Les Paul)les paul multi-tracking

Multi-Tracking Your Audio

Multi-Tracking your performance is the only real way to go when it comes to live videos.  Yes, these days everyone has their handy cellular telephonic device with a decent camera built in it that can also microwave popcorn in a few minutes.  These cameras though do not provide you with high resolution video, and they definitely do not provide you with high end audio.  Multi-tracking gives you the gift of isolating your sound sources, which in turn will give your audio clarity.  Even better than that clarity is that ability to then take those live tracks into a studio to get properly mixed and mastered before having every synced together!  Be prepared to invest in your video and yourself.  The gear required to multi-track a live performance can get rather expensive.  Luckily there are plenty of wonderful videographers and companies devoted to giving artists the best possible content.  For more information on what gear may be needed, and some helpful tips, follow this link HERE! If you are ready to get started with your next live recording process, we’d love to help. Shoot us a message or visit or Live Production page here…

The Exclusive

We’ve already mentioned a few ways that having a great live video of a song, or a whole concert, is a fantastic tool for an artist, but let us not forget that live videos are also great products for you to sell.  Packaging a whole concert onto a DVD or to be downloaded is a gimmie, but there are new methods to monetizing these videos that have been proven successful by the likes of Jack White and Trent Reznor.  On their websites, Reznor and White each have great content of all ilk for anyone to see, but what these guys also do is reward their fans with exclusive content that only the die-hards who are willing to pay for it can see.  Reznor made history in the early 2000’s with Nine Inch Nails’ album packaging, where the more you pay per package the more exclusive content you get.  White has joined the same ranks with The Third Man Vault, where you can pay for a 3-month subscription that makes exclusive content and products available for Vault Members.  A solo artist or band should look at what these rock n’ roll legends have done with their content to generate hype and reward those fans who care the most.  These of course aren’t the only means of rewarding, or giving fans incentives, to buy your music.  There is a new kid on the block, that The Record Shop and many of the artists we have worked with use to help spread their music and get fans involved in the process.  Have you heard of FanDistro?

FanDistro Multi-TrackingFanDistro And You

FanDistro is a fun, new platform to get your music into the hands and social networks of your fans.  After setting up an account, you can use FanDistro to create gift programs that give your fans and listeners incentives to Share and purchase your music.  For example, if a fan gets X-amount of people to Share your song then that fan gets rewarded with that awesome live music video (which sounds amazing thanks to multi-tracking, right  ;-)), band wallpapers, exclusive tracks, a signed poster, t-shirts, or whatever incentives you want to give people.  FanDistro is one of the best, and easily the most fun, ways of engaging and interacting with the people that make doing what it is you do worthwhile.  Your fans want to be a part of your success, so let them!

 

logo-final1

 

Thanks for spending some time with us in The Record Shop!  Be sure to keep up with our blog, and HEY!  don’t be a stranger.  Follow and chat with us on Twitter @therecordshop for daily updates from Gio & The Henchmen inside our beautiful Nashville Recording Studios!  We’ll see you next time!