|In the LSRR control room, late at night|
As soon as our area went into COVID-19 lockdown, I began contemplating our recording studio strategy for the near future.
I've spoken with the artists that we work with here, and I've spoken with my peers in the business. I'm sure that we can still do what we do here at the LSRR, and we'll accomplish that by doing things safely, and smartly.
This virus isn't going to stop the Lantern Sound Recording Rig from being an organic, friendly, and healthy home for the creation of recorded music, and more.
The one thing we're pushing the [PAUSE] button on, for the time being, is a group of musicians sweating out take after take together, in the same exact space, at the same time, as we record. We're planning out how we can get back to that modus operandi as soon as it's possible.
So let's get right to it by itemizing immediate priorities, and then I'll detail some strategies.
|The LSRR control room got a major makeover April 23-26 when two big equipment racks were installed.|
Recordings-in-progress at the LSRR will be fully finished to artist's satisfaction.
LSRR will field new business smartly, in keeping with latest expert health guidance.
LSRR will embrace new workflows and tech solutions, and we will empower the artist.
|The dedicated Artist's Salon at The Lantern Sound Recording Rig|
Strategy 1: The Recording Studio Will Be Divided in Two.
One side for the performer.
One side for engineering.
On the floor plan of the studio facility below, the red line drawn right through the center of the house divides the recording facility in two. This division keeps performers and I totally separated, each of us with our own dedicated entryways, bathrooms, and studio spaces. Artist-only areas, including the dedicated bathroom, and will be cleaned before and after every session.
|Artist's Area (left), Engineer's Area (right) / drawing: Robert Hargreaves|
Vocal microphones, guitar & bass amps, baby grand piano, instrument inputs, headphone monitoring gear, DI boxes, compression, tuners, anything else the performer may want.
That's where I'll be, in the control room, doing normal knob-twiddling, running the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), and generating the headphone monitoring mix for the performer with my talkback communication.
The "Big Room" is also on this side of the demarcation line, and that's where drum tracking will be done when needed.
|View into Big Room from Artist's Salon.|
|Artist's Salon amps, porch break area beyond.|
|Artist's Salon dead corner for vocals etc.|
|Vintage tube amps in the Artist's Salon.|
|Dedicated landline and telephone interfaces|
for recording remote podcast interviews.
Strategy 2: Remote Mixing / Overdubbing
We've been doing remote mixing for quite a while, and we'll proceed with doing that for every song.
|LSRR control room, Weds 22 Apr 2020|
When we're overdubbing, select types of tracks can be recorded at the artist's location.
|The WeSendIt File Transfer Website|
There are many ways to do online file transfers these days, whether cloud-based or direct-send. Here's a webpage with links to the file transfer tools we use.
Strategy 3: Studio Hygiene.
I'm treating the Artist's Salon as if it were our version a "NASA Clean Room".
Vacuuming, wiping microphones, windows, and surfaces down with antiseptic cleaners, regularly. Full cleanings before and after the day's work. We all know the deal here. Rinse and repeat! We'll be reviewing health safety guidelines with all artists that work here.
But here's an interesting microphone function that we'll be putting to work immediately:
|Shure SM7B mic & windscreens|
|Shure SM7B w/ windscreen & pop filter|
Of course, artists can bring their own microphones.
Singers like Mick Jagger, Bono et al have often cut vocals with quite ordinary dynamic microphones; Bruno Mars did an "Uptown Funk" scratch lead vocal using an SM57 at five o'clock in the morning, then he got on a plane. It wound up on the record!
SOLUTION 4: Free Tech Assistance.
Almost every musical artist with a DAW setup at home will eventually encounter some sort of technical "speed bump", or something that grinds things to a halt!
|The horror... THE HORROR.|
I am here for you - Let's get you through that moment, and back to digging in on the creative process - you've got stuff to do! If I don't have the answer or solution, we'll someone who does. We'll investigate, and solve your problem.
Empowering the recording artist to create at THEIR location means the artist becomes more enabled to participate in the recording process at ALL locations. Everyone wins.
Forty feet should be a safe distance for any conversation.
Message or call me directly to schedule an appointment, and we can chat while we play horseshoes right here outside the Lantern Sound Recording Rig studio, weather permitting.
|Martin, Fender & Vox: The Artists's Salon at LSRR|
|The last time I was on a stage. Bass with Pete Mancini & Hillside Airmen.|