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nashville scoring recording studio

The new orchestra room at DRR&P

2015 was just a crazy year with both production and construction. I would never have survived it without the tireless help of the entire team here at DRR&P.

Projects:

We started the year with a full load of productions; Sea Lion High, the new sea lion and otter show for Sea World; new Junior musical versions of Peter Pan (the 1954 musical), Honk, Dear Edwina and Anything Goes; and a new full length musical (and Jr. version) based on the animated film Madagascar! In here somewhere I also managed to mix the score for a video game; more when that’s public.

Construction:

From April to November 2015, we made it through a massive expansion of our studio building, adding a big, new orchestra recording space to studio A and an entire new studio suite, Studio D (complete with another lounge, shop, and two more bathrooms), to our facility. Read the rest of this entry »

A few months back, we built four U-87 clone microphones here at the studio. They’ve since been in regular use in many of the roles an 87 might play in a busy studio; string section, saxes and other winds, lead and group vocals, guitars and amps, and they are fantastic. They have all the depth, tone, accuracy (and inaccuracy) and proximity effect signature of microphones that cost at least 6 times as much.

Since so many people have been asking for details on the build, my friend and colleague Daniel Noga, who headed the whole mic build project, did this great write up on the entire process from ordering parts to listening to the final build. Read the rest of this entry »

A treasured RCA 77 DX

There are so many wonderfully documented mic shoot-outs, comparisons and evaluations (some of which are exhaustive) that it would seem that everything that can be said, has. But recently, after modding one of my pairs of ribbon mics ( I put Lundahl transformers into one of my pairs of Cascade Fat-Head mics), I was setting up for a comparison test between the un-modded and modded mics when I decided to add another 4 different ribbon mics and place them all in front of a guitar amp. Some of the results were just as expected, but a few were surprising, even after using some of these mics for decades, and I felt that this was too fun not to share.

The contestants:

note – Because I was using electric guitar for the test, I left a few of my favorite ribbons out, like Read the rest of this entry »

Pro Tools HD I/O converters in recording studio

New Pro Tools HD I/O converters

Doing the right thing is rarely easy. But,”Am I doing the right thing?”… this was the question that plagued me as I broke the seal on my new Pro Tools HDX card. But let me back up a bit.

I’ve been running a Mac Pro 8 core with a PT HD3 system (48 ins 40 outs) since 2008 and it was a beast of a system. I do mostly audio production (most all of it being done at 96k,) but also do a fair amount of programming and composing so I run Vienna Ensemble Pro with a bunch of high quality (resource hogging) virtual instruments. The 8 core, running PT 8.1 on OS 10.6.8, did a great job keeping up, so I put off upgrading to PT10 as long as I felt I could.

Dan Rudin's Pro Tools HD3 system

Old Pro Tools HD3 system with 192 I/O’s and 8 core Mac Pro

Pro Tools 10 is sexy. I’ve been using it in other studios for quite a while now and while it didn’t blow me away running on an HD system, it is near unstoppable on a good HDX rig. Tracking an orchestra at Ocean Way Nashville recently, Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Rudin marking a score

Producer, engineer Dan Rudin make notes in the score while tracking a recording session

Over the years, I’ve printed a few audio recording, midi and music business tutorials and “how to’s” that have received much positive response from readers. The other day I was having a difficult time locating one of the older posts for myself, so I decided to put together a short list of links to the favorites.

Thanks to those who’ve taken the time to email and continue discussions on these topics.

Midi and Tempo Mapping:

– Midi: Four Letter Word or Composer’s Best Friend?
– Are You Leading or Following
Read the rest of this entry »

Time, Money and Sweat


“Don’t worry, she’ll hold together… You hear me, baby? Hold together!”
―Han Solo, talking about the Millennium Falcon, or me, talking to my Neve V3 console.

I love my Neve desk. The V series is a fat sounding desk with all the functionality of a modern recording console; dynamics and EQ’s on each channel and flexible inline routing. It’s a great mix console; punchy enough for my pop and rock projects and yet musical enough for the orchestra recordings I do. But heat and age dry out capacitors, a crucial component in all audio recording equipment. Dust and dirt render switches and pots useless. A 60 channel console, built in 1989, has plenty of both heat and age. With 223 electrolytic capacitors, 89 switches and countless IC’s per channel, regular maintenance is a must for keeping this console fully reliable and sounding it’s best (and it’s best is wonderful.) Unfortunately, regular maintenance isn’t always possible in a busy production studio…. after all, I’m the producer, engineer AND the tech.

And so it came time for a major renovation of my console. Most all of the channels worked but many had intermittent problems associated with bad caps and dirty switches, so we decided to attack the problem with a total re-cap and clean. Read the rest of this entry »

Dan Rudin recording Disney's Tarzan

Tarzan tracking session

Here’s some bits from recent projects Tarzan, Equinox Jazz Orchestra, Disney’s Peter Pan Jr and SeaWorld’s Shamu’s Rockin’ Creepshow. Each project had it’s own set of challenges and each was uniquely gratifying.

Miking the bass section

Once again, fall has proven to be a very busy time here at DRR&P. Since the first week of October I have produced 2 shows for Disney Theatrical, a junior version of Peter Pan and a definitive recording of Tarzan (great music by Phil Collins), SeaWorld Orlando’s new Christmas spectacular, “O Wondrous Night”, recorded and mixed an album for vocal trio, The Marshalls, and tracked an album for up and coming Ecudoran singer, James Febris. All tracking was done at The Tracking Room, Nashville and at my studio, My Space Recording. Read the rest of this entry »

Indie guide to licensing

Licensing explained for Indie artists and labels

I spend most of my professional life helping artists, bands and other clients through the process of music production. Like most of the people I work with, my love of making music is why I do what I do but it’s foolish to forget that we have business to take care of as well, so here are some thoughts and tools for rounding out your plan for Indie (or even Label) domination.

7 Steps To A Glorious Future

Yes, there is more to making a record than just production. This is why, for decades, people gladly signed over most of their profits (and most of their rights) to Record Labels, because they handled all the dirty work (leaving rock stars free to be rock stars). Let’s look at a rough sketch of the steps involved in making a successful master recording. Read the rest of this entry »

Tracking San Luis at Myspace Recording, Nashville

Recently, Producer Iker Gastaminza came in from Miami with two of the founding members of Venezuelan pop sensation Voz Vies. Santiago and Luis Castillo are finishing production of their first release under the new group name San Luis. Part of the new sound they were looking for was the synergy of great musicians tracking live, something done less and less often in latin pop music. Toward this end Iker suggested coming to Nashville to work with myself and arranger Chris McDonald. Read the rest of this entry »

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