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Record Production In Phoenix
By Michael Daniel
Recording, Mixing and Producing
Major Label Sound At An Affordable Price
Everything Needed To Make Hits


The music industry depends on the hit song, hit record, or hit album. A hit excites and connects with many people. Most music fans like hit records, though all define 'hit' differently. In my experience, I've found there are definitive components that go into a hit recording. I can help provide all of these for you. The biggest secret that I've discovered in all of my musical experiences is that a solid grasp of fundamentals is critical.

First, what a listener hears in a recording is directly the result of the recording's signal chain. If something isn't in the signal chain, no one can hear it. This signal chain is typically:

Instrument/singer --->

Acoustical space --->

Microphone ---cable--->

Microphone preamp ---cable--->

Compressor ---cable--->

Analog recorder or digital converter ---cable--->

Effects processing ---cable--->

Mastering processing --->

CD burner --->

Listeners' ears

The biggest costs for most studios are the cost of a big console, and the cost of creating the space and isolation needed to record live drums. This cost is passed on to the musicians. Most of this expense is wasted in most sessions because, typically, only one instrument is recorded at a time in an isolation booth. I believe it's silly to rent a studio for $125/hr to use one channel of a recording console and an isolation booth. Many big studios with multiple facilities understand this and have a 'Pro Tools/voice over/overdub' room. These typically have the equipment necessary to obtain a first rate signal chain, but have no live room or big console.

Conversely, the equipment strategy of most local demo or budget studios is to acquire the equipment and space necessary to record a live band all at one time. However, they commonly have to make major compromises in the signal chain quality to save money. This is a quantity over quality philosophy, and it often has disappointing results.

My engineering philosophy is not to focus on how many tracks I can record at one time, but to obtain the finest signal chain while recording one instrument. I researched the gear used in 'Pro Tools/voice over/overdub' rooms in the most successful studios in the world. These studios are where many of my favorite (and probably also your favorite) records were recorded.

Abbey Road Studios

Air Studios

Bearsville Studios

Electric Ladyland Studios

Mix This Studios/Bob Clearmountain

Olympic Studios

Real World Studios

Record Plant Studios

Windmill Lane Recording Studio

While I do not have a live drum room, I use the Toontrack Superior Drummer systems for drum sounds. These are extremely realistic, state-of-the-art drum samples. Some of the world's most successful producers use Superior drums for their sessions, even though they could use an acoustic kit. Combined with an expert use of Pro Tools drum sequencing, most listeners are not going to be able to tell the difference from a recording with acoustic drums. If you must use acoustic drums, those tracks can later be added at another full-sized studio. This approach would still realize a big cost savings. Of course, a true 'electronic' drum sound is easily achievable.

Page designed by Michael Daniel and Dale Van Zile
Maintained byMichael Daniel
Content Copyright ©2004 by Michael Daniel
Code Copyright ©2004 by Dale Van Zile
Last modified: June 26, 2017