Today, I’m joined by my good friend, Mr. Shawn Dealey, the head engineer at Sweetwater Studios, and we’re here in Studio A.
For this Fact Friday, I’m breaking the usual black attire and sporting a Led Zeppelin t-shirt with a suit jacket—relatively smart, right? We’re going to dive into some questions curated by His Highness, Derek Von Ericson.
1. Why are there multiple pairs of speakers in a recording studio?
Shawn emphasizes the importance of a single reference set of speakers for efficient workflow. While having options is nice, he believes that sticking to a trusted set helps him focus without second-guessing.
2. Why go into a studio instead of recording at home?
According to Shawn, a purpose-built studio like Sweetwater offers isolation and excellent acoustics. The space is equipped for spontaneous creativity, providing a distraction-free environment to concentrate solely on the project.
3. What are your top five desert island microphones?
Shawn’s eclectic selection includes the Shure 545, Sheps CMC6 MK4, Soyuz 1973, U 47, and AEA R88. Each microphone serves a specific purpose, contributing to a versatile and well-rounded recording setup.
4. Why are control rooms and live rooms often oddly shaped?
The unique shapes are intentional in professional studio design, aiming to avoid parallel walls that may cause standing waves and frequency cancellations. While square or rectangular rooms may sound exciting, non-parallel surfaces are preferred for optimal acoustics.
5. What does a studio session at Sweetwater include?
Sweetwater Studios offers a full commercial studio experience, including the chief engineer (Shawn) and an assistant (Jason). Clients have access to the well-equipped space, a vast array of gear, and the opportunity to explore additional equipment from one of the world’s largest retailers connected to the studio.
6. What’s your favorite piece of equipment at Sweetwater Studios?
Shawn’s favorite is the Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console, praising its musical and tactile sonic footprint. While the studio has an extensive collection of gear, this console stands out and consistently delivers fantastic recordings.
And that wraps up our Fact Friday at Sweetwater Studios with Shawn.