Beginning in February of 2013 Echo Mountain will be offering a series of Master Classes on the art and science of recording. Working in the world class facility that has produced such records as Rare Bird Alert by Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers, Emotionalism, I and Love and You, and The Carpenter by The Avett Brothers, Cease to Begin and Infinite Arms by Band of Horses, Uncaged by the Zach Brown Band, and Slave Ambient by War On Drugs, participants will be exposed to numerous recording and mix techniques regularly employed by our highly skilled staff of engineers.
Our goal is to offer an opportunity for you to experience our approach, ask questions, and come away with new ideas about tracking and mixing that will help you craft exciting and musical recordings. These are the things we wish we knew when we started making records. Now we want to share them with you.
February 16th & 17th, 2013
Each day begins promptly at 10am and ends at 8pm.
Classes are modular, focusing on five different areas: recording drums, acoustic instruments, and electric instruments;
and mixing for rock and acoustic music. Each class is described in more depth below.
Enrollment is limited in order to ensure that participants have as much interaction with the engineers as possible.
Sixteen people will be admitted and split into two groups of eight, which will rotate through our two building facility
over the course of each day. In order to ensure that classes are affordable to both students and home studio engineers,
all five classes are being offered as a single two-day weekend pass for $300.
Drum Recording Techniques
Beginning with drum tuning and selection, this class will showcase various microphone setups, maximizing both an excellent live room and exploring techniques for getting the best sounds possible in spaces that are less acoustically ideal. Preamp selection and the use of EQ and compression during tracking will also be discussed. A wide range of microphones will be auditioned, including: the AKG C12, Josephson E22S, Sanken CU44X, and various vintage ribbons, among others. Affordable alternatives will also be discussed.
Electric Instrument Recording Techniques
Exploring the finer points of recording bass, electric guitar, synthesizers, and other keys, such as the Hammond B3 and the Fender Rhodes, this class will look at instrument, amp, and microphone selection and dissect the process of transforming DI signals into vibrant and useful tones. Preamp selection and the use of EQ and compression during tracking will also be discussed, paying particular attention to electric guitar and bass. A range of microphones will be explored and discussed for each application, from the Neumann FET47 to the Royer 121, as well as more affordable alternatives.
The API Building also features a control room designed by George Augspurger with a vintage API 3288 console and a wide range of outboard gear. With multiple sight-lines and excellent isolation, the API studio is a superb space for acoustic ensembles.
Acoustic Instrument Recording Techniques
This class examines microphone technique for banjo, mandolin, dobro, upright bass, cello, fiddle, acoustic guitar, piano, and vocals. Preamp selection and the use of EQ and compression during tracking will be explored, as well as listening critically within a tracking space to find the best placement for acoustic instruments. A wide variety of microphones will be auditioned, including the Telefunken Elam 251, Sony C37, Blue Bottle, Neumann KM84, Coles 4038, and many others. Less expensive alternatives will also be discussed.
Mix Techniques: Acoustic Music
Combining the best of both digital audio workstations and analogue consoles and outboard gear, this class will provide an overview of hybrid mixing. Julian Dreyer will take you step by step through the process of mixing an acoustic song, including what to do and not to do with equalization and compression for acoustic guitar, upright bass, mandolin, fiddle, pedal steel, and vocals. Using Melodyne to tune upright bass will also be explored. The importance of placement in the stereo field will be discussed, as well as using volume rides, as opposed to compression, to bring out the nuances of of an acoustic performance.
Mix Techniques: Rock Music
Using a ProTools based approach and summing through our API 3288 console, Jon Ashley and Evan Bradford will help you explore a number of techniques that can be applied to crafting a well-balanced rock mix. Beginning with drums and moving through bass, electric guitars, and vocals, various approaches to equalization, compression, and effects will be demonstrated and discussed. Topics covered include phase correlation, automation, parallel compression, drum replacement and augmentation, tuning vocals, choosing reverbs and delays, and augmenting a poorly tuned tracking space with an artificial room sound, among others.
Jon Ashley has tracked and mixed records for a wide, genre-spanning array of artists, focusing mostly on Pop and Rock and Roll, including: The War on Drugs (Secretly Canadian), Ponderosa (New West), Steve Martin (Rounder), K's Choice (Sony) Azure Ray (Saddle Creek), and The Reason (Universal). He calls Asheville, North Carolina and Echo Mountain Recording his home.
Evan Bradford has been doing freelance audio engineering and production since 2005 and has been working at Echo Mountain since it opened in 2006. He has assisted on various high-profile sessions and lead engineered records for many regionally and nationally recognized artists. Aside from having a strong foundation in engineering and production, Evan excels at advanced mixing and Pro Tools techniques. For more information visit evanbradford.com.
Julian Dreyer worked as the house assistant engineer at Echo Mountain for several years, assisting many great bands, producers, and engineers, such as: Jacquire King, Eric Serafin, Ryan Hewitt, Brian Paulson, John Kelton, Keith Stegall, Phil Ek, The Avett Brothers, Band of Horses,The Zac Brown Band, G Love, Amy Ray, and others. Julian is now the senior staff engineer, lead engineering records for Jeff Sipe, Toubab Krewe, Sythian, Chatham County Line, Laurelyn Dossett, Shannon Whitworth, and Secret Agent 23 Skidoo.