WHAT I DO
I am a full, total recording/producing/mixing/anything-that-generally-happens-in-a-studio solution. I do recording, mixing, editing (which really is often made out to be a bigger deal that it should be, but whateva), having fun, overdubs, live, I can't think of any other buzzwords at the moment. This battle station is fully operational and the most powerful weapon the universe. I suggest we use it. [cue Lord vader]
I have done projects in about every method possible, from heavily multi tracked/overdubbed songs to everyone in the room, live at once, hit record. Artists with nothing but acoustic instruments, rock bands, and folks who use heavy synthesis. It's all just music, folks. But the process does kinda depend on the music and the vision of the artist. If you give me a blank slate with a band of say 2 guitars/guitar n keys/etc, bass, drums, vocals, and say "how should we do this", I would cut the basic tracks live. Together. With the musicians looking at each other and playing to each other, not a wall. Then, we can add vocals/dubs/solos over that. But the difference in meh recordings and great recordings has nothing to do with mics or pres, and everything to do with performances. If I had a credo, it would be to capture the performance, and build on that. But again, I have done it a myriad of ways, it depends on the music and what the artist wants. I have 30+ years of being on both sides of the glass in recording studios, from world famous institutions to the most humble of project studios. I know how to get from point A to point B.
Basically, I do anything that involves taking your vision, and turning it into a recording.
DO YOU DO LIVE RECORDINGS?
Why thank you for asking, yes I do. I have a little portable rig I use to record up to 16 tracks. Generally/usually, it is best and easiest if I mix the show, but if that's not an option, I can grab a split and record the show from that. I prefer to do a split, use my own pres, and set the mics up; we just get better recordings that way. I also will mic the room, because it's a live recording; let's get the sound in the room. As always, we will work together to get you what you want. But short answer, yeah, I have a set up for live recordings
An early Neumann lathe (maybe 30s?) that would create a master disc from tape
Do you do mastering?
Well, I can. I have. But my general move on that is to use a mastering engineer, people who are really specialized in that process and maybe more importantly, weren't involved in the recording at all until I send them the final mixes. Mastering has become kind of a voodoo subject, where it really shouldn't be. Back in the days of tape and vinyl, it meant creating a master acetate from the final mix, and making sure the bass didn't pop the needle out of the grooves. Nowadays, it can go as far as a a total remix (well, I don't let that happen; I want my mix mastered, not theirs; but it does happen). A lot of that has to do with the recordings being sent to mastering these days needing a lot more help than they used to, so OK. But there also can be a cases of people who really are more interested in remixing than mastering, and that can be a problem. (I avoid these folks, btw). While I don't feel like mastering needs to be this hazy voodoo process, it is a very specific skill, and the right ears on the 2 mix can really help finalize the vision as well as provide some final touch up and clean up. So basically, if you want me to do a master job, I can. But I encourage folks to look to real mastering engineers for mastering. Not other project studios with a "mastering room". Or wannabe mixers who want to remix everything. Real mastering engineers. People who specialize in mastering.
Do you often ask yourself questions and then answer them?
More than I care to admit.