In today´s blog we have the very talented Erik Reichers.
Erik Reichers has produced, mixed, and engineered for some of the recording industry’s most notable artists including Bono, Snoop Dogg, Eric Benet, Ron Fair, Tal Herzberg, Ryan Tedder and DJ Battlecat. In 2011, Erik has partnered up and built the Echo Bar Recording Studios with his friend Bob Horn.
In this blogpost, Erik is answering a question that a lot of young engineers have:
There are so man different techniques and ways to mix and record, it´s overwhelming. What´s the right way? What techniques should I use?
Great question! The answer? You´re about to find out.
Take it away Erik!
“One of the reason I chose audio engineering and music production as my profession was because of the amazing sounds I heard on some of my favorite records growing up. The infamous drum break at the end of Phil Collin’s, “In The Air Tonight”, the epic guitar sounds on Steve Vai’s, “Passion And Warfare”, and the gigantic, lush choir sounds on Michael Jackson’s “Earth Song” and Madonna’s “ Like A Prayer” are not only sonic ecstasy but also great examples of my inspiration for wanting to learn the art of audio engineering and music production.
As a young aspiring engineer, I wanted to learn how these amazing records were made. When I started my internship at the Sound Kitchen in Franklin Tennessee, I asked many, more experienced engineers lots of questions. What’s the best vocal mic? What’s the best compressor for drums? How do you mic a guitar speaker cabinet…etc? What I found was that when I asked the same question to several engineers I got a lot of different answers. This confused me. I thought there would be definitive answers to these questions.
With all the different answers I was fascinated but also a bit overwhelmed. I remember thinking, “Where do I start?” One engineer said, that he likes a Neumann U87 or U47 for recording vocals while another engineer said that he likes a Telefunken 251 or an AKG C12. I thought to myself, the next time I have a vocal recording session which one should I choose? Some engineers would tell me that the dbx 160x was their favorite kick and snare compressor. Other engineers would tell me that the Valley People Dyna-Mite was theirs. I remember thinking, “Is one of these better than the other?” When I started assisting, I observed many engineers utilize their own techniques during recording and mixing sessions. I would make mental notes of these techniques and eventually try them during my own recording and mixing sessions.
I remember reading about a stereo mic technique for recording orchestras called mid side. I thought, “What would this sound like in front of a drum kit?” So, I tired it. I remember watching some engineers strap a pair of Neve 1073’s across their 2 buss to impart the sonic character of the transformers on their entire mix. So I tried doing that on some of my own mixes.
The important part all of this was that I was trying these techniques and making some type of a sonic reference notes in my head. Making a mental note of what things sounded like was key. I could listen to what other engineers told me was their favorite techniques and gear to use but until I had tried these things myself I had no real frame of reference.
Over time, my experience has allowed me to formulate my own opinions on what I like and don’t like and when to use certain pieces of gear and techniques for different recording and mixing situations. In hind site, I realize there really are no definitive answers to those questions I asked when I was young aspiring engineer. And really that’s what this is about, finding your own identity as an engineer, mixer, and producer. Your clients aren’t hiring you for your technical knowledge they are hiring you for your taste. Your taste is based on your experience.”
Want To Learn More?
If you want to learn more from Erik and Bob Horn, we´ve recently released a full course: Producing and Mixing at Echobar Studios.
In this course, Erik and Bob will walk you through their whole process of producing and mixing a song from scratch: Along with in-depth footage of the recording and production process, you´ll get to see both Erik´s and Bob Horn´s approach to mixing the song.
Remember: There might not be a definitive answer to the question: “What´s the perfect approach to recording and mixing?”
But by learning the approaches and techniques of different professionals and applying them in your own music, you´ll grow as an engineer.
Eventually, you´ll be able to find the workflow that suits you and your clients music the best. Artists are going to seek you out for you to get your individual approach and taste.
Producing and Mixing at Echobar Studios is currently on pre-sale, so jump on it now, while the price is still low!
I hope you´ve enjoyed this article.
If you have any questions about Producing and Mixing at Echo-bar studios, please reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We´ll be happy to help!
Have a marvellous time recording and mixing,
It’s all relevant,,, I liked this PLAP community and Warrens youtube channel so much, I vested in a year of PLAP Academy added content… When Warren create the Pro Mix Academy vested in another year of added content,,,
I had / have the same questions as above, and we all do… Years of live experience as a guitar player and sometimes live tech experience, I thought I can do this, I already know quite a bit,,,
Ha !!! ,, another beast all together,,, Sure I was familiar, but, that was all I was after getting into recording and mixing,,, So much more depth into this permanent performance capture,,, Live is ongoing , come and gone, on to the next,,, While this beast is about repetition and complete quality,,,
So how to do it all they way through, is something you learn constantly,,,
I had to say all this, because, the Vested 2 one year content is not even a year, and I really feel I could stop after the year, and know I am on my way with much better results… But here’s the most important thing I learned…
This ongoing PLAP community, with Warrens added content in this academy community will allow me to be in a real time atmosphere, all from in my own little studio room. The in-depth of the Pro Mix Academy is even more… But to me, one is not a replacement of the other…
I am hopeful I can continue to vest in both PLAP and PMA as long as the service is available. I have spent much more on many things, but this gives me so much allowing me To DO, instead of creating Doodoo , lol…
Thank you Warren,,,
Learn and absorb every technique you come across, and over time your personal taste will sift through them and lead you to the sound you prefer, or some might say get your own sound. Do keep in mind that it is a skill set that has a never ending learning experience, the first time I walked into a studio was in 1976 and over the past 4 decades I have witnessed a multitude of formats, (8bit, DAT, DASH) styles of music (Reggae being one of the great ones) Hair do’s (Long, Coffieured, shaved, crewcut, dreadlocks, Porcupined) and HOW BIG IS YOUR SNARE SOUND, not to mention the gated snare, the advent of synthersisers, and Audio that has more bandwith. Despite all of that, It’s only the the quality of Song and Talent that shines through regardless of format , genera, era or budget. Take Warrren for example, he is where he is because of his talent, not because of the SSL, though it may help! Regardless, in the end we are lovers of music, and it’s the performance (it has to be captured in a legible fashion) and what is contained within it that moves us, I love Django Reinhardt and I only have cassetts of him with crackle, pop and hiss (Dubbed from Lacquer) It does not negate my experience of joy and admiration for a man who had less fingers than any other guitar player I know of.
The beautiful thing is that if you can’t be working in a studio with a U47 running through a Neve pre and an 1176 onto tape with a famous recording engineer, you can do so on-line using affordable plugins (for about any budget). You no longer have to be one of the precious few that knows someone at one of a handful of studios to get rolling on rocking a career making great music. It still takes time and perseverance but dang, at least there a chance. In the immortal words of Judy Tenuta, “It could happen.”
Good story but kind of a short conclusion pertaining to the headline I received in the subject line of the email…
“How To Record and Mix “Properly””. dont know who wrote that. At least its not click bate.