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Working in Avatar Studios
Old 14th November 2009
  #1
Working in Avatar Studios

Hey all!

Long, long, long time lurker but first time poster. Thanks a bunch for the free info over the years. MUCH appreciated!

Right, so I'm working for the first time out of Avatar Studio's C room next week. I've worked in many different studios, the current one with an Amek 2520 console, but nothing up to the caliber of Avatar or the massive Neve in C. Needless to say, I'm currently sh*tting a brick or five.

Anyone have any advice, warnings, etc. about walking into the BIG studio for the first time and tracking a jazz/soul 4 piece band demo?
I'll have an assistant that knows the room, but I'd really like to avoid looking like an absolute hack.


Thanks guys!
-jeffro
Old 14th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Empty Planet's Avatar
 

Sounds very cool! Congratulations.

There are some tips here (if that's too basic, please pardon) and Avatar itself has a session tips blog here.

But I'm sure many will chime in.

Have a great session!


Cheers!

Old 14th November 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
talk with the assistant ahead of time

go through the mic list and discuss how to set up

get there early to look over the set up

it should be EASY to work in there, not hard
Old 14th November 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Zep Dude's Avatar
 

I've logged a lot of hours there. You'll be in good hands, obviously, in terms of acoustics, gear etc.

The rules for any session apply here: preparation, preparation and preparation. If you can, visit the room now. There's nothing better than physically being there to get a sense of the acoustics and how you want to set up. Talk to your assistant who likely has logged hundreds of hours in there and get as much info as you can. Ask him where everyone puts their drums (in the back right room with the doors open unless you need isloation). Ask him where the sweet spots are for placing room mics (In studio A there's a specific panel high up where some people like to mic). It's no blow to your ego to ask him what people typically do for a setup like your's. You'll be following the examples of people like Al Schmitt, Ed Cherney and many others -nothing wrong with that.

Reserve the mics you want in advance -everyone shares the floating mics.

Enjoy the experience!
Old 14th November 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Guys, thank you so much. This is all great info!
Old 14th November 2009
  #6
Gear Guru
 
Animus's Avatar
 

Make sure they have plenty of cowbell beforehand too. You can never have too much.
Old 16th November 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Definitely check out the Avatar A76 custom tube mic... if you like it you can ask the head tech if he can make one for you. I was/am absolutely loving it on upright bass and horns. thumbsup

Oh, and another thing... turn off your cell phones. I never got any reception there anyway, but that still doesn't stop the phone from sending out the RF homing signal.
Old 16th November 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 

You're going to enjoy it. Avatar studio c is a nice place. Get your mic and outboard list in soon and have fun.
Old 16th November 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
espen askelad's Avatar
The assistant will be your favorite person on earth. Was in B a few months back and the assistant may as well have been telepathic; he was on any request, question, or problem instantly and effectively. Amazing rooms and staff.
Just be sure to request ahead of time any gear you want in the room outside of what comes with it.
Old 17th November 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Again, thanks for the great suggestions!
I am definitely counting on relying on the assistant!

Unfortunately, the session was a last minute thing, so I have yet to reserve any gear for a session in two days
But, eh....what can ya do?

I will definitely check out that A76. Do you think it will do the job on a sax?
Old 17th November 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
espen askelad's Avatar
Call in the morning before you head down with the mics and any additional outboard and they can probably get you sorted. Worst case, call Dreamhire.
Old 17th November 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Berolzheimer's Avatar
 

Play some recordings that you're familiar with in the control room ahead of time or during setup, to tune your ears to the monitors/room.
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Ah yes, bring my own music to listen to in the control room. Great call!
I'm off to make it happen. Thanks guys for the help!
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #14
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Its a fvcking gig... man up and do the job.

There isn't anything you need to know other than its a gig.

If you don't know how to use something, the assistant will. If you can't figure out a good spot in the room, the assistant will know. If you can't handle the gig, the assistant can... so man up, or get out.

Peace.
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Its a fvcking gig... man up and do the job.

There isn't anything you need to know other than its a gig.

If you don't know how to use something, the assistant will. If you can't figure out a good spot in the room, the assistant will know. If you can't handle the gig, the assistant can... so man up, or get out.

Peace.
You'd make a great coach in most forms of sports.
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Its a fvcking gig... man up and do the job.

There isn't anything you need to know other than its a gig.

If you don't know how to use something, the assistant will. If you can't figure out a good spot in the room, the assistant will know. If you can't handle the gig, the assistant can... so man up, or get out.

Peace.

Ha! Thanks for the...pep talk?

I understand that it's a gig, but for an incredibly small fish in an incredibly big pond, it's a rather significant gig. I'd like to be as prepared as possible, hence the post.

And there you have it
Old 18th November 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
superburtm's Avatar
 

if you you cant dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with bull****

you'll be fine...the assistant will know the room. Have fun and act like you know what your doing

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrorecordsyou View Post
Ha! Thanks for the...pep talk?

I understand that it's a gig, but for an incredibly small fish in an incredibly big pond, it's a rather significant gig. I'd like to be as prepared as possible, hence the post.

And there you have it
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #18
In case anyone was interested:
the session couldn't have gone any better. That studio is truly easy to work out of.
And the drum sounds in studio A: holy amazing.

Again, thanks everyone for the advice. It really helped me out!
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Joram's Avatar
 

Congrats! I'm glad it worked out for you so well.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #20
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrorecordsyou View Post
In case anyone was interested:
the session couldn't have gone any better. That studio is truly easy to work out of.
And the drum sounds in studio A: holy amazing.

Again, thanks everyone for the advice. It really helped me out!
Right, it was a gig.

A studio is a studio... some help, some hinder. When you work in ones that hinder it makes you work harder to get a decent result... when you work in ones that help you will often get amazing results with less effort.

Its just a gig... which last I checked is what we do.

"A" is absolutely effortless... but I thought you had said you were working in "C"?

BTW, if you ever make it up to "Power Station New England" [part of Sonalyst] you're in for a rather weird experience as you're sitting in the control room of "C" while looking out at the recording room of "A". It took me like 3-4 days to get over the juxtaposition.

Glad to hear you had a good time!!
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
drew's Avatar
Reminds me a Chris Rock bit.......


Session went well?........... IT'S SUPPOSED TO!!! That's what you're paid for. heh
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Right, it was a gig.

A studio is a studio... some help, some hinder. When you work in ones that hinder it makes you work harder to get a decent result... when you work in ones that help you will often get amazing results with less effort.

Its just a gig... which last I checked is what we do.

"A" is absolutely effortless... but I thought you had said you were working in "C"?

BTW, if you ever make it up to "Power Station New England" [part of Sonalyst] you're in for a rather weird experience as you're sitting in the control room of "C" while looking out at the recording room of "A". It took me like 3-4 days to get over the juxtaposition.

Glad to hear you had a good time!!

We were upgraded to studio A the day before the session. How freaking cool, eh?

Now if I could figure out how to get *every* gig to record there...
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #23
.

glad to hear it went well - congrats thumbsup

...now get those crappy mp3 files up, so we can hear heh

.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #24
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrorecordsyou View Post
Now if I could figure out how to get *every* gig to record there...
Work with artists who have budgets... as in sell records and care about the quality of the product they release. It is a tried and true process for getting to work in excellent facilities. BTW, as that happens more and more, you can raise your day rate as well.

No ****.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Work with artists who have budgets... as in sell records and care about the quality of the product they release. It is a tried and true process for getting to work in excellent facilities. BTW, as that happens more and more, you can raise your day rate as well.

No ****.
Ah, if only it were that easy!
I tend to spend most of my time with indie rock bands who can barely support themselves, let alone fund large albums. Le sigh.
The joys of rock and roll musicians...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
.

glad to hear it went well - congrats thumbsup

...now get those crappy mp3 files up, so we can hear heh

.
Sure, if you're interested, I'd be glad to post a song once we've mixed it!
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffrorecordsyou View Post
Ah, if only it were that easy!
I tend to spend most of my time with indie rock bands who can barely support themselves, let alone fund large albums. Le sigh.
The joys of rock and roll musicians...




Sure, if you're interested, I'd be glad to post a song once we've mixed it!
.

thumbsup

.
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
superburtm's Avatar
 

good glad it went well...I can imagine the drums sound amazing! That rooms looks incredible
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Faderjockey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drew View Post
Reminds me a Chris Rock bit.......


Session went well?........... IT'S SUPPOSED TO!!! That's what you're paid for. heh
Brotha's always want some credit for crap they suppose to do...
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #29
Lives for gear
 
rhythmtech's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Planet View Post
Sounds very cool! Congratulations.

There are some tips here (if that's too basic, please pardon) and Avatar itself has a session tips blog here.


thanks for that avatar blog. great reading material. thumbsup
Old 23rd November 2009 | Show parent
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faderjockey View Post
Brotha's always want some credit for crap they suppose to do...
.

LOL....i take caruh mah kidz......[whadduyu want, a carrot?.]...keepin' it real....dumb....heh

.
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