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Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Equalization - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A free download from Audio Masterclass

A great-sounding live vocal mic that you might never have heard of [with video]

The new Apple HomePod smart speaker - what difference will it make to your mixing and mastering?

Today you can buy microphones that were used to record Nirvana's 'In Utero'

"There is background noise in my studio. Should I use a noise-reduction plug-in?"

A simple 8-mic drum mix, with video

Audio demonstrations of distortion produced by compressor plug-ins

Can you hear the subtle effect of the knee control of the compressor? (With audio and video demonstrations)

Do you need more plug-ins? Or more skills?

Q: Should I upgrade my Shure SM58 and use technical solutions for noise and ambience?

Two microphone preamplifiers compared at Abbey Road Studio 2 - tube and transistor

Session musician's view - Andy Duncan

A session musician's view of record production.

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As a drummer/rhythm programmer Andy's credits include Take That, Tina Turner, The Beautiful South and the Manic Street Preachers.

Getting work

"It's all word of mouth recommendation. Agencies try very hard to represent musicians, often fruitlessly because recording is a high cost, high pressure enterprise and no-one wants to recommend someone who is going to make a fool of them.

"Producers generally are very wary of using people that they have never heard of because they don't know what they are going to get when the person walks in through the door."

What the producer asks of a session musician

"All producers have their own methods, but most of the people I work with regularly call me in to be creative.

"They don't just call me in to play an idea that they have got. I have worked quite a lot with Trevor Horn over the years and I said to him that my enjoyment was in being present with a rhythmic puzzle that I have to solve.

"He said that that's the same way he feels about producing, except that he is solving the entire musical puzzle, not just a segment of it."

Fees

"I got into music because I love music, not because I want to make loads of money. I have a ludicrously expensive rate I go out for, but if something sounds like really great fun, I'm quite happy to be negotiable. I often think I'm a very lucky person to be doing this. I'm getting paid to do the thing I would most love to do anyway."

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By David Mellor Tuesday February 1, 2000
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