GEAR LIST


Computers, Interfaces & Preamps


Apple Mac Pro 12-core 2.93GHz (w/ 32gb of ram)
Acer G257HU Monitors x2
Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56
Presonus Digimax D8 x2
Universal Audio LA-610 MkII
Universal Audio UAD-2 dsp cards

Microphones & Monitors


Audix i5
Audix d2 x3
Audix d4 x2
Audix d6
Brauner Phanthera
Granelli Labs G5790
Manley Langevin CR-2001
Mojave Audio MA-100 x2
MXL V69 Mogami edition
Roland Snare/Tom Triggers x3
Roland Kick Trigger
DDrum Snare/Tom Triggers x7
DDrum Kick Trigger
Shure sm57 x3
Shure sm7b
T.Bone sc180 stereo set

Eve Audio SC208 Monitors
AKG K171 Headphones
AKG K701 Headphones
Audio Technica ath-m40fs
Sony MDR-V900HD Headphones

Backline

Drums :

DW Collectors Series Maple Drumkit w/ 22″ Kick, 14″x6″ Snare, 10″/12″/16″ toms
DW 3000 double bass pedal
Zildjian 14″ Z3 Hi Hat
Zildjian 18″ A custom Projection Crash
Zildjian 20″ Oriental Trash China
Zildjian 21″ Z3 Mega Bell Ride Cymbal
Sabian 10″ XS Splash

Guitars & Bass :

Mayones Custom Regius Baritone Guitar
Mayones Custom Regius Mood Guitar
Revv Generator 120 Head
Engl Savage 120 Head
Peavey 6505 Head
Peavey JSX Head
ISP Technologies Decimator ProRack G
Mesa Boogie 4×12 Rectifier Cabinet

Taylor Acoustic Guitar 214ce
Guitar Salon CM-100S

Ibanez sr1205e Bass

Others :

M-Audio Keystation 88es
Maxon Overdrive OD-808
Maxon Overdrive Pro OD-820
Radial JDI & JCR boxes

Software


Audiofile Triumph
Audiofile Myriad
Steinberg Cubase Pro 9

Celemony Melodyne
East West Orchestra Platinum
East West Pianos
East West StormDrum 2
Eiosis Air & Earth EQ
Eventide Black Hole
Eventide Stereo Room
FabFilter Pro-C2
FabFilter Pro-DS
FabFilter Pro-G
FabFilter Pro-L
FabFilter Pro-MB
FabFilter Pro-Q2
FabFilter Pro-R
Flux BitterSweet II
Flux Epure v3
Flux Solera v3
Flux Pure Limiter v3
Flux Stereo Tools
HOFA IQ-DeEsser
IK Multimedia T-Racks
IK Multimedia CSR Reverb
Izotope BreakTweaker
Izotope Stutter Edit
Knufinke SIR 2 Convolution Reverb
Ohmforce Ohmboyz Delay
Positive Grid BIAS FX
Slate Digital FG-X
Slate Digital Trigger2
Slate Digital Virtual Buss Compressor
Slate Digital Virtual Console Collection
Slate Digital Virtual Mix Rack
Slate Digital Virtual Tape Machine
Sound Radix Drum Leveler
SoundToys Crystallizer
SoundToys Decapitator
SoundToys Devil-Loc
SoundToys Devil-Loc Deluxe
SoundToys EchoBoy
SoundToys EchoBoy Jr.
SoundToys FilterFreak
SoundToys Little AlterBoy
SoundToys Little MicroShift
SoundToys Little PrimalTap
SoundToys Little Radiator
SoundToys MicroShift
SoundToys PanMan
SoundToys PhaseMistress
SoundToys PrimalTap
SoundToys Radiator
SoundToys Tremolator
Synchro Arts VocAlign
Toontrack Superior Drummer
Two Notes Torpedo PI-101
Universal Audio 1176 Classic Limiter
Universal Audio 4K Channel Strip
Universal Audio 4K Buss Compressor
Universal Audio Ampeg® SVT-VR Bass Amplifier
Universal Audio Ampeg® SVT-3 Pro Bass Amplifier
Universal Audio API® 500 Series EQ Collection
Universal Audio BOSS® CE-1 Chorus Ensemble
Universal Audio Cambridge EQ
Universal Audio dbx® 160 Compressor
Universal Audio DreamVerb
Universal Audio EMT® 140
Universal Audio ENGL® E646 VS Limited Edition
Universal Audio ENGL® E765 Retro Tube
Universal Audio Fairchild® 670 Compressor
Universal Audio FATSO™ Jr./Sr. Tape Sim. & Compressor
Universal Audio Helios™ Type 69 EQ
Universal Audio LA-2A Leveler
Universal Audio LA-3A Leveler
Universal Audio Little Labs® IBP Phase Alignment Tool
Universal Audio Little Labs® Voice Of God Bass Resonance
Universal Audio Manley® Massive Passive EQ
Universal Audio MXR® Flanger/Doubler
Universal Audio Neve® 1073 EQ
Universal Audio Neve® 1081 EQ
Universal Audio Neve® 33609 Compressor
Universal Audio Neve® 88RS Channel Strip
Universal Audio Ocean Way Studios Reverb
Universal Audio Precision Buss Compressor
Universal Audio Precision De-Esser
Universal Audio Precision Enhancer Hz
Universal Audio Precision Equalizer
Universal Audio Precision K-Stereo Ambience Recovery
Universal Audio Precision Limiter
Universal Audio Precision Maximizer
Universal Audio Precision Multiband
Universal Audio Pultec Passive Collection
Universal Audio Pultec Pro & Legacy EQ
Universal Audio Roland® Dimension D Plug-In
Universal Audio Roland® RE-201 Space Echo Tape Delay
Universal Audio SPL® Transient Designer
Universal Audio Teletronix® LA-2A Classic Leveler Collection
Universal Audio Teletronix® LA-3A Classic Audio Leveler
Waves L3-MultiMaximizer
Waves SSL 4000 Bundle

ON THE THERMODYNAMIC ENTROPY OF BANDS IN A RECORDING STUDIO SUBSTRATE

hello

Part I: About me and my studio.

First, you can always find my most up to date rates on my homepage – www.thedamageroom.com – and if you have any questions about them, get in touch with me.

An initial deposit is required to book the first session. This deposit will serve to book the days you want and lock the rates in (that way, if my rates do go up before we start working together, you’ll still benefit from the old rates).

I like to be accessible to everyone, and I often do sales, so keep your eye out! I am a very reasonable person, but know that if you want me to record, mix and master your band’s 12 songs for $150…

what? no

Be realistic. Recording music well takes time and once a band leaves the studio there is still a lot of time consuming work to be done before the material is ready.

Now, on to me, and my role in the studio. I am a french person, I am very critical and I am also somewhat of a perfectionist (this is why I’m paid!) so I tend to ask for takes to be done and re-done until I’m satisfied (or you tell me that you want to move on). My goal (and the one I think should be yours as well) is to make the best sounding EP/LP or whatever it is you’re doing and that starts with the performance. If everything is played poorly, regardless of the mixing engineer, this will be the result:

pile of shit
So, understand that the amount of time required to record your songs is entirely up to you, but if you decide to go for speed instead of quality, remember this simple rule: garbage in, garbage out.

As a musician and composer I can also help you add new layers to your music with harmonies, leads, or textures with electronic or orchestral ideas. Of course this only applies to certain bands that are looking for that kind of collaboration, my intent isn’t to mess with your music!

After the recording is done, I move on to the mixing stage. While you are more than welcome to come check out the mix in the studio and give me as many notes as you want (within reason) concerning the mix, you can’t attend mixing sessions.

After that, I take care of the mastering process, which includes the audio pre-mastering, track sequencing, adding the text info to your tracks and making a redbook CD and/or a DDP image. You can attend mastering sessions.


Part II: How to prepare for the studio

This might be painful.

french taunter

Let me first preface this by saying that:
  • I am not trying to sound pedantic or patronizing, I’m only trying to help save you a bit of money because the better you prepare, the more efficient you’ll be in the studio, and I guarantee you, the better the end product will be.
  • I take music, including yours, seriously, and I absolutely do not believe that there’s any kind of music that can benefit from poor performances.
  • All I’m giving you is advice, you are more than welcome to follow none of it.
Step 1: Practice.

Okay, that seems like an obvious one, but I can’t stress this enough, you need to have a comprehensive practice routine. Ideally, you all need to be able to hear clearly what everyone else is playing. For guitar players, that means turning the gain knob down a bit, getting a noise gate and also practicing just with the other guitar/bass players to make sure that they’re playing the same notes (at the same time). I can’t begin to tell you how many times this happens in the studio, everyone unknowingly playing the same riff differently.

fucky

Another thing you need to remember when practicing is that if you can’t play it slow, you can’t play it fast! There are NO exceptions (okay, fair enough, there probably are a few exceptions, but in all honesty, you’re most likely not part of the exceptions). Practice your songs at slower tempo first, you’ll understand the rhythmic intricacies  better and you’ll be a lot tighter.

When practicing individually (and if you can, during band practice), you should always use a metronome (there are apps for that), a click track is essential for today’s music standards.

All (metal) drummers should watch Flo Mounier – 5 Tips To Improve Your Metal Drumming, it’s very insightful and has great advice.

Step 2: Writing your songs down.

blamsuicide

Oh come on! It’s not that hard, and in this day and age it’s almost criminally negligent not to do it! Use a notation software, there are many software options out there, my personal favorite being guitar pro, it’s insanely easy, it’ll help you consolidate what everyone plays (including solos, drum fills, etc.), it’ll show everybody in the band what everyone else is doing, and it’ll make it really easy for you to mess with the structure of the song. It will also teach you a lot about rhythmic notation which helps tremendously with tightness!

You’ll also most likely be able to export the tempos of your songs that way, which will save you some time and money in the studio.

Alternatively, if you find writing your songs down too boring or too tedious, you could also just record a demo version of it, just so you can hear it back for some perspective. Obviously, that’ll require either booking a short amount in a studio (possibly mine?) or buying/owning and operating a DAW.

Step 3: Set up your instruments!

“My guitar makes strange noises sometimes because once, I got drunk and I peed on it, but it’s cool…”

ru4real

Before going to the studio, you should have your instruments set up properly. That means new strings (yes, that includes bass guitars), new heads, tuning those (drums also require tuning!!), the intonation, the neck, the bridge and all that stuff. If you can’t do it yourself, go to a professional! If your volume knob makes noises, fix it or have it taken care of, or else it’ll end up on your music. Bring extra strings, picks, drumsticks, heads, batteries, etc.

Step 4: Pre-Production

It might seem like luxury to you, but even at a very very “low tech” level (meaning even recorded with dirt cheap equipment in questionable conditions), pre-production is essential and can reveal a myriad of problems within your songs (especially if you’ve skipped step 2!). It can reveal all the parts that sound too busy, sloppy, messy, etc. It can also improve the self-awareness you have of your own skills. Being able to hear back what you played can be quite the experience, I remember the first time I heard myself playing guitar, it was depressingly humbling.

giveup

You quickly realize that there is something inherently unpleasant about hearing music that’s beyond the performer’s skills. Obviously, the wider the gap between the person’s skills and the complexity of the music they’re trying to play, the more cringe worthy it gets. Inversely, someone whose abilities are well beyond what the music calls for will be more likely to deliver stellar performances more often. Ultimately, I think simple and well played trumps complex and poorly performed every time!

TL;DR:

  • Practice the fuck out of your songs!
  • Use a metronome whenever possible!
  • Figure out the tempos of your songs!
  • Write down your songs!
  • Set up your instruments!
  • Bring extra everything!
  • Leave your ego at home!
  • Don’t be scared to simplify!
  • And finally… More Cowbell!

Part III: Mixing Notes & How to Give Them

facemelting

Here are, according to me, a few rules that will lead to good and understandable mixing notes:

  •  Make them concise.

Conciseness is key to get your point across. I understand it’s not always easy, or in certain cases, not even appropriate to be concise, but generally speaking it’s a good rule to follow. If you find yourself typing paragraphs for each note you are most likely doing something wrong.

  • Timestamps! Timestamps everywhere!!

Listening for a keyword in the lyrics, or counting how many choruses have already played is a great waste of time, having timestamps with your notes makes things so much easier.

  • Have the entire band review the mix & organize your notes per song.

It’s incredibly frustrating and time consuming to go through individual band member’s notes, especially if they haven’t even discussed this as a band previously – you’ll get, for instance, the guitar player who wants the bass brought down and the bass player asking for the exact opposite. Notes are always more cohesive when the entire band meets to discuss the mix as a whole. Organizing your notes per song will also make my job a lot easier (have a “general” category for notes that apply to all songs).


Part IV: FAQ & Pet Peeves

Do you do live recording? (like the whole band plays together, at the same time).

Absolutely not. I don’t have the facility, the equipment, nor do I have the desire to work that way.

How long is a recording day?

My hours are 9am-7pm. That is it. I’ll keep pushing if we are close to finishing a song, or close to a milestone. Similarly, if it’s 6:45 and we just finished a song (or just completed a milestone), we’ll most likely call it a day.

Can we record without a click?

Yes you can, but that greatly limits my ability to fix any mistakes you might make, and it also greatly limits any post-production FX you might be thinking of. Recording to a click is ALWAYS better.

What should we bring to the studio?

You’re free to bring whatever piece of equipment you want. I have everything that most bands would need to record here, but if you want to record with your amp, your drumkit, etc… You’re more than welcome to do so.

How much of a deposit do you need?

This will depend on the project length, but in most cases, a whole day will suffice as a deposit.

How long is it gonna take us to record our songs?

I don’t know. If you are well prepared, it should be a breeze. If you’re not, it’s gonna be rough, but there is no way for me to know accurately how many days you should book, although I’ll usually be able to give you an average range.

I don’t like the sound of triggers.

Okay, well, that’s not really a question, but I’ll tackle it anyway… This is a strange one that keeps coming back, mostly from drummers (obviously!). There are NO (valid) reasons to ask not to use triggers, unless you just want to limit my tools (and why would you do such a thing!?). And I can hear some of you yell:

But, triggers are cheating!

Triggers are cheating in the same way that recording anything other than the first take is cheating. As far as I’m concerned, that’s not cheating.

But, triggers sound like ass!

That they do… But then again, raw trigger sounds are never (ever) used!

But, you’re gonna use triggers to replace all my drum sounds!

I might, if replacing drum sounds ends up being the better choice, but I really don’t need triggers to do that anyway.

So, why do I care about triggers?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Alright, that’s it… for now.

Kevin – the damage room.

PS: Remember, be nice to your audio/mixing/mastering engineers. We spend a lot of time, in windowless spaces, recording, mixing and mastering your music because we love doing it… We’re good people!