The Bruce Swedien Recording Method – Book Review Pt.1

Bruce Swedien Recording Method

Auf die Empfehlung eines Ton-Kollegen habe ich mir dieses Buch selbst zu Weihnachten geschenkt. Volltreffer! Dieses Buch fängt langsam und überschaubar an, aber dann… 🙂 Es bietet einen großartigen Schatz an Erfahrungen eines absoluten Profis mit jahrzehntelanger Praxis an der Spitze des Pop Business. Unbezahlbar. Aus akutem Zeitmangel werde ich es nur einmal lesen und die für mich relevanten Informationen hier in Zitatform notieren.

Mit der ein oder anderen Geschichte oder Eselsbrücke sind Informationen leichter zu merken und Bruce Swedien erzählt schöne und unterhaltsame Geschichten in einem gut lesbaren Stil. Daher kann ich Euch dieses Buch nur wärmstens ans Herz legen.

“Music leaves the speakers – it floats in front of you and all around you.”
“Everything needs to be in peak working condition, up to spec or better.”

“Include and represent the entire sonic frequency spectrum in recordings with the widest range possible.”
“Significant dimensions of successful popular music are a catchy melody, a great rythm track and self expression.”
“Significance of sound quality lies in the human response.”
“Focused and attentive listening gives a emotional response.”
“Setting a standard: record the best musicians in the best situations; if not, not interested.”
“First determine the style of music that we truly enjoy working on.”
“Capture a musically and sonically inspired, emotional vision to make a statement to the world.”

1. Fundamental standards
“Great arrangements, great balance, direction, position and depth of field in the area between the speakers.”
“Create sonic fantasy.”
“192kHz, 24bit.”
“We must let the music tells us, what it wants.”
“Ask yourself: is there any way I can make this music sound better?”
“Be on time, set up, tuned up and warmed up. Take it very seriously.”
“Hear live music from great musicians in great acoustical environment. Understand how great music sounds like in a great room. Find a point of reference, a benchmark for the sound of great music.”

2. und 3. Microphones
“Know precisely what to expect from your mic: linearity of frequency response, their directional characteristics, durability, cost, transient response.”
“Invest in the best microphones you can find, don’t wast on inferior mics.”
“Treat them as if your career depend on them – it does.”

4. Mic techniques
“Always listen to the sound source, place the mic in the spot that sound what you are looking for.”
“If miking from distance, move the mic a little closer than your ears indicate.”
“Use proximity effect for intimacy.”
“Don’t place mic at Dc (Hallradius) or farther away from the person. Omnidirectional mic at 30% Dc, unidirectional mic at 50% Dc from the voice.”
“I’m a big fan of coincident X-Y, (Decca tree) and Blumlein technique.”
“I’m not a fan of M/S and spaces omni pair technique.”
“Control decay so, that early reflections are preserved.”

5. Other tools
“Neve, SSL, API, etc. sound great; use good sounding preamps.”
“Have monitor speakers you trust. No EQ in the signal path between desk and monitors.”
“The mixing space should add the least amount of coloration possible.”
“Set mid-field monitor levels to 93dB SPL(dBa). Set near field monitors to 83dB SPL.”
“When I mix for 2,5 hours and then take a 30 min break, I don’t experience any ear fatigue.”
“For details I use automation to a degree, but only very subtle compression, if any. I want all that transient information in the mix.”
“The perception of space surrounding a sound is extremly important. A blend of intimacy and perception of space and distance are fundamentally important.”
“As a rule: a predelay of 100ms is the shortest I would use, more often in the order of 125 to 132ms.”
“Music is three dimensional: left, right, depth.”

6. Insights for the tracking engineer
“Music touches the heart of every human being.”
“Include a bit of stark sonic reality, buried somewhere in my work, to ground the ear. This anchors the mix and establishes a solid point of reference for everything else in the creative panorama.”
“Become a virtoso. Then your instincts will deliver you to an incredible place.”
“I never finalize any balance in a piece of music, until I’ve heard all it’s musical elements.”
“Bringing the outside world into the musical realm can be extremly effective; recordings of organic natural sounds, etc.”
“My recording method starts with the choice of the microphone and the way it is positioned.”
“Discover the producer’s musical expectations.”
“I recommend that you choose to be genuine, friendly, thoughtful and kind.”
“If a musician is having a great deal on his or her part, take the attention away from the individual by focussing a joke elsewhere.”
“To learn acceptable balances for different types of music, become a fan of many genres.”
“If the music you create doesn’t stir human emotion, you’ve missed the point.”

Teil 2 folgt…

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