Why Play to a Click?

1) Why play to a click? There's lots of reasons. A) It helps your band sound tighter. B) It helps me with editing all parts of the music (drums, vocals,etc). C) It presents a more professional image to labels and investors. C) It opens up possibilities for the future.For example, many acoustic duos track to a click, then months or years later add beats, keys and other loops to their tracks. Listen, if you've NEVER done it before, studio day one is NOT the time to learn on the job. I Will work with you BEFORE you get here if you like, to get your drummer clicks to practice to.AND if the band feels weird about it, I can pipe the click to just the drummer and the rest of the band won't even hear it. 

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How much will it cost to do X songs?

I know it sounds coy, but it all depends. There are some folks who can blast through a bunch of songs in a few hours, while others take a bit more time. Neither is good or bad... just different. The more you prep before hand, the cheaper the process will be.Know your tempos. Get me tempo maps a week in advance. Intonate your guitars [LEARN what that means].

Get me sound files of tones you like a week before the session. Bring only what you need. Bring only WHO you need. Plan on doing fewer songs better, rather than a lot of songs half-a$$.Do the drums for all songs at one time. It doesn't matter if its first, last or in between. Just do them all at the same time.I work with artists of all budgets. Just please don't expect a $300 demo to be as thorough as a $3000 record.

The good news? I don't cut corners. I make scalable recordings. That $300 demo is recorded in such a way that it is able to be blown up into a full scale album. Like Jerry Maguier said.... "Help Me Help You" and we can keep the costs down.

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How can we pay?

Cash at the end of each session is MANDATORY!Paypal and Credit Cards are taken but cash is best. Checks? Please don’t,

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Are there special rates or deals?

Are there special rates or deals? Occasionally, I do monthly specials. I don't do per song deals. I find that this rarely works towards the artist's best interest. Imagine I tell you I work for $60 per song. If you're a hip hop artist that can nail 4 songs in an hour, that means you'd owe me $240. OR... my way... you owe me $30.I don't run up the score. I don't stall so we take up more hours. It's in my best interest to make you sound great as soon as possible. That way, you have money left over to record MORE songs later.

I've worked on that model for 12 years here. And my hundreds of clients and thousands of sessions have proven that model works for all of us.If you have a big project and need to work something out, we can talk. If you're a new band that needs to count its pennies, talk to me BEFORE recording starts. We usually can figure something out .

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How can I export files from home so you can mix them?

 This is a complicated subject and I am prepping some videos. For the Pro Tools tutorial, click here. Also, call me at 610-554-9036. I can help you personally via skype/ichat etc.

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Can I get a gear list?

Yes. Click the “gear" link in the MORE! menu.

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What's the difference between a producer and an engineer?

A producer is the person who is in charge of the proceedings. The person directing the artistic vision of the session. An engineer is the person assigned to make the technology work so that the artistic vision is realized.Sometimes those roles are intertwined. Some folks call the beat maker the producer. That's not always accurate. A beat maker is the musical songwriter, and he might be the producer. But not always.An engineer can act as producer. Especially in a situation where he's trying to keep things moving in a positive direction.My point is this, know your roles. And educate me on what you need. If you want me to sit back and hit some buttons and that's it... ok. just let me know beforehand. If you want help in the musical or artistic department, I'm glad to help. I'm a lifelong, educated musician who's got thousands of sessions in many genres under his belt. <--back to top

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What is mastering?

Oh boy. If I had a dollar for every client that says "Yeah but my buddy says the files need mastering now," I'd be a millionaire. Mastering is a process that comes from the olden days haha.You see, the ME started back when folks had to put their master recordings onto vinyl. The ME's job was to EQ the master recording in a certain way such that the needle wouldn't skip.

Fast forward 40 or 50 years. Before Computer recording, band used to record at various studios and with various standards. They might end up with 5 songs, on 4 different styles of master tape (1/4" tape, DAT, CD etc). The ME's job was to take all those formats, and eq/volume match the files so that they sounded like a complete and seemless project. Like it was all recorded at the same place with the same tone/volume standards.Now, people associate mastering with "Make it Loud!" and "Make it Crispy like the radio".

Rest assured, everything leaves here mastered unless you request otherwise. That has always been the case. We will pick some reference songs when we mix.I will say "give me 2-3 modern songs we want to compete with volume/tone wise." I will study and analyze your ref examples and adjust our recordings to match, to the best abiliity our budget allows. There is no extra step. The master files you leave with is your MASTER file. No further processing is required.

If you feel, at the end of our mix process, that you need mastering to make it sound "huge,big [insert weenie word here]" then I advise you to talk to me.... our mix is obvioulsy not done. Mastering should not be a fixing stage. It CAN be. But I like to avoid that.Yes I do mastering for other places. I do so often. I can re-EQ or compress or etc your mix to help it get to a different or better place.

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Does the studio make beats?

For hip hop? Not currently. I admire folks who do.  My job is to make the beats sound amazing. MP3s do not make good sounding beats. PLEASE stop the mp3 madness. I DO have a LOT of beat making gear, and I CAN program drums.  I can also play guitar, bass, keys, etc on your beats.

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Can I intern/shadow at your place?

Can I intern/shadow at your place? Yes if arrangements are made. No snipers. If your goal is to learn how studios run and what the technology does? Awesome. If your goal is to get a client list so you can call em and say 'I can do it cheaper at my house' then be gone with you! 

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Can I (Brian) play on your song?

 Yes. Look, I'm not the second coming of Stevie Ray or Jimi. I'm not John Paul Jones. Or John Bonham. Or John Lord. But I have helped countless artists take their songs from melodies sung to a pitch pipe to gigantic sounding, full blown songs that feature guitars, bass, drums, Hammond, piano, percussion, strings, etc.I can also sing backing vocals and help write harmonies if you need it. I've been playing for 25 years. And I have an arsenal of guitars/basses/keys to get the job done. I can be your band in a box. Does it cost extra? We can figure out a price based on what you need.

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Best place for soundproofing foam?

Check their ebay store too!
DO NOT not use spray to hang foam. Use PL Polyurethane Caulk from Home Depot - black and yellow tube. Spray and glue will stink up your place for months. And it won't hold. And it'll turn your house or place into a literally explosive environment. Foam Factory's foam though, rocks.  And DO NOT USE BED FOAM AS SOUNDPROOFING.  IT IS FLAMMABLE AND LETHAL.  GOOGLE RHODE ISLAND NIGHTCLUB FIRE!!!! 

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Best place to buy music equipment?

Sweetwater- the best warranty and shipping  
1-800-222-4700 ext 1268
Ask for Mike Picotte and tell him I sent you .

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Best place for cable parts?

edco has been around forever.  And they stock only pro bulk parts.  Great service too.

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Best mics/gear for home setup?

 I love my ADK mics and I love the company. I've tried every single mic they've ever made. And they are all fantastic when used properly. That being said, many mics can get the job done. A large diaphragm condensor mic is great on vocals. I love Focusrite preamps and interfaces. Start there!I would advise AGAINST ribbon mics. Too fragile for everyday use.

As far as other stuff?? There's a ton of issues when setting up a home setup. How much money do you have? What are you trying to accomplish? How many tracks do you need? What do you already have? Etc.You CAN have a killer home setup. You CAN get great results if you use your gear properly. That goes for $100 mics and $10k mics. You CAN get great results if you do some minimal acoustic treatment to your recording area. Call me or message me if you have questions.

If you plan on mixing here...CALL ME B4 YOU START! Let's make sure you understand levels and how they translate between systems. Let's make sure you take DI gtr signals. Let's make sure you know how to export what you do properly.

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Brian J Anthony • 610-554-9036 • 1227 2nd St. Catasauqua, PA 18032