Tag Archives: Barefoot Recording Studio

Dogs On Television

Dogs On Television posted a blog about their recording experience with me last weekend. Check it out HERE

API 8200 Summing Mixer at Karmic Recording Studio

Karmic Recording Studio will be installing an API 8200 16 channel summing mixer into their mix room this week. I try to shy away from reviewing gear on this blog, but this is a huge upgrade for Karmic and I am excited for them.
Barefoot Recording Studio, which is affiliated with Karmic (think A Room/ B Room) has installed a Neve summing mixer this year also. Everyone is jumping on the whole summing mixer bandwagon is seams. The great thing about Karmics’s API mixer is the variation in tone from the Neve summer. We now have two classic console sounds to choose from in the same building.
For mixes that are in need of a warm, subtle distorted kind of character, the Neve summing mixer will be a great choice. For mixes that need some fast punch, with very clear high end, the API mixer will do the trick.

Bring To Life Those Digital Pianos

A real piano is a huge asset to any recording studio. Barefoot, where I work, has a beautiful Knabe grand piano that is used often. If you are stuck using digital keys, there is still hope.

1. Try pumping the digital keys back out into a room and recording the sound of the room. Blend this in to the original digital keyboard track. This works very well if it is the same room that other instruments on the track were recorded in. It helps to “glue” all of the elements together with a cohesive ambience.

2. If you are mixing in a studio with a grand piano, and you want to keep your awesome piano performances, you can re-amp the digital piano signal back into the piano enclosure. This will excite and vibrate the wood and strings of the piano, which is often the element lost in a digital representation of a piano.

3. If you are using fender rhodes, wurli, or synth tracks, it can be a fun effect to run those through the piano enclosure also. Think of it as “pianoverb”

If you want further information on how to get your digital piano tracks to hold up to the real thing, send me an email shaneoconnorrecording@gmail.com

Telefunken AK47 Review

As a continuation of my “geeking out on extremely expensive recording equipment” series, I find it necessary to do a quick review of the Telefunken AK47 reissue. Cleverly named after a blood thirsty gun (kidding) Barefoot Recording Studio has one of these monster tube microphones.

It is possible to find a plethora of reviews about this microphone, but they are usually in reference to other tube mics, and their response to the human voice. I prefer this microphone as part of a “mid side” pair with a Royer 121 ribbon microphone. I often reach for the AK47 with the Royer ribbon because, especially in omni polar pattern, the AK47 has a very smooth, understated top end, and an unhyped low end. This pairs very well with the dark character of the Royer ribbon microphone.

The result is a mid side pair that can be eqed very well to fit into a track. I have had great success with this on acoustic guitars, as well as mid side stereo room mics on drums.

As a general recording experiment, I often question the “standard” uses of microphones on specific sources. This is a great practice to keep recording chops sharp, and to really understand the equipment in use. A 421 on toms often sounds great, but if great can only be defined by records that have been made in the past, the practice is limiting the possibilities of the recorded format.

telefunken ak47

Barefoot Recording Studio Back To Analog Recording

At the end of June, Barefoot Recording Studio (the studio that I work out of most often) will be rewiring to accomodate:

A Neve 8816 Summing Mixer

This unit takes the outputs of protools, and sums it together in the analog domain. Why? you ask…
Analog summing creates subtle, yet important harmonic distortions which are often precieved as wider, punchier, more 3D. Better yet, it is a more elegant way to incorporate the already slick collection of outboard gear to a mix.

This upgrade will also allow for use of the Sony/ MCI 2″ Tape Machine. Why would I want to record to tape? The question is complex, but here are some great reasons:

-Tape has a certain sound. It is an analogy of the incoming signal, not a sample of it (digital). There is a smoothness that cannot be had in digital.

– Tape compression sounds unlike any other compression. Tape naturally compresses music in a pleasing and harmonically rich manner

– There is no undo! You have to commit to your performances. It is a limitation that has created some of the best records in history.

– You can brag to your friends “oh I recorded that to tape man….”

These are just some of the reasons that I could come up with quickly. Have more important reasons why tape is still an important medium, let me know. We will be offering rental reels, so buying tape will not be a problem. hit me up with an email, and we can set up a studio tour of Barefoot and the new additions. shaneoconnorrecording@gmail.com

Shane O'Connor Recording

Shadow Hills Mono Gama Mic Pre Review

I tend to shy away from gear reviews with my blog, in that there are so many blogs who do just that. In the past, I have reviewed free plugins, or odd recording devices that I find interesting. Since I started engineering out of Barefoot Recording Studio in Brighton Massachusetts I have been using more high end gear on a regular basis.

This month I will be reviewing a few pieces that I find extremely interesting.

Shadow Hills Mono Gama in API 500 Series Format

Shadow Hills Mono Gama in API 500 Series Format

The first remarkable thing about the Shadow Hills company is their keen attention to aesthetic design. This mic pre looks like a cross between an Orwellian toaster oven and a crappy NASA experiment. The knobs and switches all feel very solid and have a classy brushed black coat of paint.

The purpose of this pre is certainly not to come anywhere close to clean. In a similar manner to the No Toasters Nice Pair, which I reviewed a couple of months ago, the Gama is a character piece that is meant to be used for instruments that need to stand out in a mix. There are three options of selectable transformers to choose from. The unit that I regularly use is an eight channel version with 4 channels modded for a descrete, transformerless pre. The options are described as Nickel, Iron, Steel, and descrete. Although I have read other reviews that claim on transformer is clean and one is dirty I find this to be a bit of a misnomer.

Depending upon how hard the pre is driven, and what the source microphone is, I find that any of the options can sound “clean”. This is the magical aspect of the Gama. It is very colored, but changes with microphones. I still find new colors and textures coming out of this box every time I plug it in. A U87 in Nickel may sound very smooth and classic with acoustic guitar, but with a growling electric guitar, the same signal chain can appear totally clean.

If this is a preamp you are interested in, I would be happy to bring you into the studio and show it to you. just send me an email: shaneoconnorrecording@gmail.com