Keyboard player and programmer Ian Curnow, together with his engineer partner Phil Harding, came through the Stock, Aitken and Waterman PWL 'Hit Factory' and now have their own studio at The Strongroom which allows them to offer a complete production package to record companies.
On working with the band
"I know musicians who can play fantastic things that can just blow me away, but whether it's right for the record is another thing. It's part of the producer's job to limit players of awesome technical ability to just doing the right thing! Especially drummers."
"Many of the people we work with have problems. Since our PWL days of manufacturing records, as people have accused us of doing, we have got used to working with people who can't actually sing very well. For the last two years we have made full use of Steinberg's Time Bandit with Cubase Audio. Quite often we will only push a singer until we have what we feel is a good performance, knowing that we can retime and retune it later. You can correct tuning, timing and volume with technology. The one thing you can't get from technology is the performance. If the performance is there and the singer is delivering a message to the listener, we can make it palatable by putting it in tune. It's nice if they can sing it in tune, but once you recognise that you are not going to get that, it's a question of going for lots of takes and getting as much of a performance as possible."
The vocal session
"Both of us will sit there during a vocal session. Phil will push the singer to the limit of their performance, while I will consider whether I can retime or retune it. We try and record a vocal quite quickly these days. If we have a performance there in two hours, we'll leave it and and work on it later for six or eight hours. We usually record the vocal in chunks. We'll record the chorus and then tackle the first verse. Anything that is going to be repeated, we will only record once and use that performance each time."Come on the FREE COURSE TOUR
Our specialised professional course in equalisation covers all of the processes of equalization that are in regular use in recording studio operations. The twelve modules cover filters, parametric and graphic equalizers and acoustic equalization. Applications of EQ include individual instruments and voices, blending instruments in a mix, and the equalization of a completed mix. Learn more...
The course adds twelve further practical assignment projects covering topics from drums, through acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass guitar, vocals, background vocals, keyboard and synthesizer arrangement, production and recording. The practical assignment projects work through the imitation of sections of recordings that have had great commercial success. Learn more...
Working with our professionally-made multitrack recordings in your own DAW, you will learn how to mix each one to perfection. Then use the skills you have learned in your own work to create mixes that are full and clear with drive and impact, fully supporting the lead vocal, progressing towards a full commercial-release standard. Learn more...
Great home recording starts with a great home recording studio. It doesn't need to be expensive if you know how to select the right equipment for your needs.