After our recent visit to the wonderful Real World Studios we thought we'd share the top 5 things we learnt during our time there.Each year our FdA Music & Audio Technology and BA (Hons) Music Production & Sound Engineering students visit Real World Studios for a day recording different artists. The team have full use of the amazing facilities getting hands-on with a range of vintage and highly sought-after equipment. Our students are treated to trade secrets and insider knowledge from the in-house engineers. Here are 5 things we learnt and did while recording at Real World Studios.
1. Learn Your Gear
If you have access to a range of equipment you’ll find that some pieces are better suited to certain jobs than others. You will only get to know this is you spend time learning and using each piece properly.
2. Get to Know The Engineers
If you’re recording in a commercial facility, get to know the in-house engineers. A great example is working at Real World Studios. They have are range of compressors that are suited better to different tasks. A friendly chat with the engineer revealed which compressor was best for each job.
3. Communication is Key
One of the standout features of Real World Studios is the ability to have the band record in the same space as the studio engineer. In many other world-class studios of a similar calibre the control room is isolated from the live room. Having everyone in the same room leads to heightened levels of communication and rapport between the band and the producer. This leads to enhanced creativity and a more efficient recording session, thus yielding better results.
4. Kick Tunnel
A great way to capture enhanced or ambient kick drum sounds is to use a kick tunnel. A kick tunnel is a DIY device that builds a tunnel extending from the kick drum into the room. Mics can be placed at the end and at different points in the tunnel as well as inside the kick drum, like usual. Using this technique we were able to capture a more ambient or roomy kick sound without recording spill from other instruments.
5. Prepare Your Session in Advance
Whenever you arrive to work at a new facility the equipment set up will always have a degree of variation to your usual place of work. The i/o settings at Real World are provided ahead of time to allow sessions to get up-and-running faster. They contain the default routing for all of the Pro Tools inputs and outputs in The Big Room. This meant students could build templates for their sessions ahead of time. Real World also sent over microphone lists so selections could be made and brought into the room before the session began - this increases recording time.