Ever since the proliferation of digital technology within the world of recording, many artists have chosen to get lazy and, often rely on pitch-tuning plugins, or think that there is a plugin for every mistake they're prone to make while recording. They're wrong. As an audio engineer, I can confidently say that, despite the wide array of tools at our disposal, it is ALWAYS a better idea to record something correctly from the get-go. Naturally, not all circumstances allow for fine-tuning during tracking, however, a project will ALWAYS become much more time-consuming and tedious, when corrections need to be made that could've been avoided during tracking. More time equals more money. Plus, any time spent correcting mistakes, and cleaning up sloppiness, is time taken away from honing in on the sound of the final product. Over time, having tracked big name acts, with vocal coaches and vocal producers, I can attest to this fact: Every word, every note, must be completely perfect in terms of pitch, inflection, energy, and desired effect. Many times we will track a single line over and over again with multiple takes, until the line is just right. This is not to say that many artists will not repeat a verse 40 or 50 times (especially with rap) until it is flawless. The artists should be comfortable enough to play the part in their sleep, backwards, forwards, with the ability to be playful because it is so well ingrained. This takes time and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. […]
Tell us about the history of the Fishtank. The Fishtank studios began out of my home when I was working out of my home. I built out a really great room there that was designed by Jeff Headback. It was fantastic and we had great artists, great mixers, come in a do work. Now we've set up a retail store and the front of the store is a showroom/studio so basically we have a ton of the equipment that we sell through our retail shop we have. A lot of it is really high end. Over time we've collected all this stuff and been able to take our time to build out something that really works well. The other thing with the Fishtank is that we've had incredibly engineers come through and I have just so many friends here in the industry who could use the work and are amazing and they're comfortable working here.
How is the Fishtank related to Little Fish Audio, the pro audio retailer? Little Fish Audio, being that it's an online company is based out of the Fishtank. Fishtank is where we demo and cast out gear, shoot videos and stuff like that. When the store closes it becomes a studio at night for recording and production. The cool thing about Little Fish Audio is that it allows us to constantly be talking about gear, answering questions about gear, sometimes fixing gear, and really consulting people on what is the best gear for them. Then when it comes to the Fishtank, a fresh project comes in, we may have already talked to two or three other people this month that have similar needs for gear, so we're ready to explain to you why this certain piece of hardware is going to be the best for your vocal, for example.
Should I have the music recorded and mixed by the same person? It's a tricky question. There are pros and cons to that. If the person who has been tracking has done so in a way that he's been capturing things with the final mix in mind … So he's been using microphone choice, microphone placement, [preamps 00:00:32], maybe a little bit of compression, equalization. If he has a very clear vision of the way the final product should sound, then yeah. Especially if he has good mixes that you can listen to. Otherwise, my recommendation would likely be no, to have somebody else mix the stuff. It's nice to have somebody else's fresh take on a recording and be able to interpret things their own way and mix things their own way with fresh ears. I would definitely not recommend doing the recording and the mixing the same day, because ear fatigue sets in and becomes very difficult to actually hear what's going on and make critical decisions in the mix after recording. I like to separate the two, personally.