Gold Tone Studio's Blog
A blog about our recording studio and mixing engineer services in Brighton and Hove, UK
• Highs and Lows
Studio life is hard. I know there are far harder places to work and our hats go off to all our front line staff, key workers and everyone who is struggling to keep afloat at the moment, it's shit out there. As my friend and collaborator said this morning 'Its like the fun has been turned off'
Well, we like to try and keep things pushing forward here and we have some major successes recently, not least recording for Chris Difford of Squeeze and a project he has put together, off the back of that my first offical producer credit, working with some close friends to make that project happen, having my 1BTN radio show being broadcast on The Face Radio in Brooklyn, New York. Being asked to cover my friend Jean Claudes' (of IF Music fame) on Soho Radio and from that being asked to do a regular show on their platform, which is an honour.
So some really high points, but with these come the inevitable low points. I feel like shit today. But maybe that is OK, to take a little time, accept the way I feel, try and do something positive to change that. The highs and the lows...
Published on 23rd September 2020
• Where is time going?
Blimey, its mid August, we've just had a heatwave, which rendered the studio closed, because it just wasn't comfortable working in extreme heat! It may have stopped physical work in the studio, but it hasn't stopped plans and forward thinking.
After countless hours of faultless service, we are passing on our SonicMunro Speakers and installing a new pair of Focal Twin Be 6 monitors, which we know you'll love. These things are a step up for us and will let you hear every detail of your music, we can't wait!
We are also going to be having some help around the studio, networking, reaching out and generally adding a fresh presence in the shape of Coco O'Brian. We are really excited about getting her up to speed with what we are doing here, getting her running sessions and generally bringing in a fresh perspective.
I am also going to be talking at a couple of places this Autumn, a bit of technique, and lots of general life in the music industry stuff, I'll keep you posted about that...
Speak again soon xxx
Published on 13th August 2020
• Lockdown, how it has been here
I was listening to a friends podcast yesterday (not recorded here, unfortunately) and he was talking about being honest about how things have been through lockdown so I thought I would write a little bit about my experience, because, it seems, more people are struggling than they are letting on...
The experience here has been one of equal parts joy, fear, panic, anxiety, unexpected pleasures, connection and distance. It has been really hard in terms of actually getting in the studio, exacerbated by the fact that there has been loads of online resources being made free to use, so the feeling of being left behind has been strong.
Having to turn into a teacher of three kids overnight, has been really hard, for me as well as the children, not being able to spend the time working in the profession I love, whilst my wife turns the studio into her office has been a real challenge. Plus, I love getting lost in a mix, or spending hours recording talented people in my place and the space it allows my brain to occupy, so losing that for a time is equally difficult.
On the plus side, I have found a little time to increase my skills, I've also found an ability to give myself a break and let things flow a little. I've spent loads of time with my kids, which has been great for the family dynamic, we've enjoyed small pleasures, eaten some good food, eaten some shit food (sourdough attempts haven't gone well) realised I'm way more of a Star Wars geek than my friends.
Studio-wise, I've worked out a load of technical issues so I can work remotely from the studio, so clients can work safely whilst getting professional results, I"ve had a serious time of reflection about how my studio works, I've thought it is shit and thought it is amazing.
So yeah, ups and downs, just like life... x
Published on 12th July 2020
• Socially Distanced Recordings
We have been working hard during lockdown to devise a set up so that you can visit our studio for recording whilst maintaining social distancing. This short video shows how it works and, rest assured, we have this up and running and have been capturing great performances already. So if you have been on a creative spurt during lockdown and now need to get some professional recordings, then we can help...
Published on 5th June 2020
• Free mix advice, it's Feedback Friday!!!
Published on 24th April 2020
• Contactless Recording!!! Yes, you can still get your music, podcast or voice over recorded with professional results... we have options!
Gold Tone Studio is open for contactless recording... you are in the studio on your own, I am up in the house listening and engineering the recording remotely, but close by. For any VO studios in London (or anywhere) whose VO artists are in Brighton, singers or musicians looking to record, or podcasters that need somewhere to produce content, we are here... get in touch email@example.com #singersongwriter #musicians #podcastrecording #voiceoverstudio #voiceoverartist #voiceovers #brighton #recordingstudio #recordingengineer #voiceartist #podcasts
Published on 21st April 2020
• Our mixing services
Published on 19th March 2020
• Update on Coronavirus
Is the world coming to an end? We don't think so, but we are keen to stress that we regularly disinfect the studio, especially the microphone and pop filters...
We take cleanliness seriously, we don't want to attract anything nefarious and we certainly don't want to be a point of infection, but we do want to be a haven in the increasigly maddening world for artists and individuals to be creative. We are happy to chat further about this, so give us a call if you are worried about booking... x
Published on 12th March 2020
• Extra Curricular activities!
One of the things about building your own studio, is that other people eventually want you to help them with alterations with theirs... whist hanging out with good friend Iain Archer in his studio, he mentioned he was taking deliver of a new API console, so I asked him how we was going to integrate it into his setup. We got talking about various solutions and he commisioned me to design and build and new unit, whcih would not only house the new mixing desk, but also some outboard, hide his Pro Tools rig which was making an audible hum, bring his speakers to perfect listening height and look beautiful.
So, last week, we finalised the design of this bespoke piece of studio furniture and spent three days fabricating and building it. We had some design changes last minute, plus in situ cabling solutions had to be made, but after some hard work, long hours, head scratching and cups of tea, we had it ready for his first client this week, a certain Mr James Bay!
Sometimes it is good to stretch yourself in different ways, because working on this project has given me ideas coming back into Gold Tone...
Published on 29th January 2020
• The Current State of Music podcast
One of my self initiated projects is this podcast, talking to some of my heroes, artists, musicians, industry folk, anyone with a connection to music and in some way 'making it' Each episode tells of their career, obstacles they have overcome, highs and lows, where music is for them right now and advice for anyone seeking a similar path.
I didn't realise how much inspiration I would get myself, from these interviews, when I started them, but I"m normally blown away by how candid my guests are and how open they are talking about their battles.
I hope you enjoy them too and if you are thinking about starting a podcast and need some help producing, recording or editing, then just get in touch...x
Published on 6th January 2020
• Yet more live sessions at Gold Tone.
Video two from the incredible Gazel's session for Chris aka 6ft Stereo and his show on 1BTN. Recorded, engineered, mixed, mastered, videoed and put together all on site here at Gold Tone. Contact us is you want the same treatment. x
Published on 28th November 2019
• More Live sessions at Gold Tone.
Video one from the incredible Gazel's session for Chris aka 6ft Stereo and his show on 1BTN. Recorded, engineered, mixed, mastered, videoed and put together all on site here at Gold Tone. Contact us is you want the same treatment. x
Published on 27th October 2019
• Live sessions at Gold Tone.
More from Ferris and Sylvester and new videos from Gazel coming this week, if you want the same treatment, get in touch... x
Published on 27th October 2019
• Live sessions at Gold Tone.
Having a DJ as the owner and engineer at Gold Tone is no bad thing, a few weeks ago he had Kate Tempest on his show and last week I welcomed the lovely and talented Ferris and Sylvester in to record a live acoustic session for his show. I wanted to keep it simple to retain the intimacy and vibe of their music, so pulled out three different Aston mics from our collection and let them go. It turns out they own an Aston mic too, so we chatted about that for a while before getting down to the music. You can see one fo the tracks here, and more if you head to our social media pages...
Published on 24th September 2019
• When booking a recording studio in Brighton (or anywhere)
I always think it is better to work together, collaboration always brings results. Just think, any music of note usually has an artist, a producer, maybe some players, audio engineers, a mix engineer, a mastering engineer at least, not to mention record labels, A&R people, PR people, etc etc... you get the picture. So, down here in Brighton, where Gold Tone Studio is based, there are a number of options for hiring a studio, or working on your music. BUT! You need to think through what you are trying to achieve. There are big studios, with bars, consoles and all that stuff, down to smaller boutique type studios, all doing great stuff, but it depends what you want.
Gold Tone really suits singer/songwriters, producers wanting to listen to their work, or work in, treated surroundings, bands with a couple of members, and especially mixing. Some studios will have drum rooms, practice rooms, tonnes of equipment but that can mean higher overheads, which will have an impact on either time, quality and/or price. That isn't to say that might not be what you need, but it is worth considering when you are looking to hire somewhere.
You also need to consider the people who might be working with you, engineers, for example. Do they understand what you are trying to achieve? Are they working there for the kudos rather than the passion? Do they even like music? What music do they like? Will you value their opinion? Will they go the extra mile for you?
These are really important factors that need to be considered before you rush in, or just book the cheapest. If you need any free advice, then please feel free to get in touch, I'm totally impartial and would rather you found what you need and came back here when it suits, than book you in and never hear from you again...
Speak soon then xx
Published on 17th September 2019
• A little at a time.
It is better to do a little work towards your goal everyday, than to wait until you have a big chunk of time to devote to it. I guarantee you will reach your goal quicker with less stress, even if it is only ten minutes per day. Get going!
Published on 17th Julyl 2019
• Tips and Tricks #11: The Haas Effect.
Published on 11th April 2019
• Tips and Tricks #10: Fades in Logic Pro X.
Published on 25th March 2019
• Tips and Tricks #9: Change up your environment.
Published on 25th February 2019
• Tips and Tricks #8: Using Note pad and pictures in Logic Pro X
Published on 4th February 2019
• Tips and Tricks #7: Reference tracks and analysing them
Published on 28th January 2019
• Tips and Tricks #6: Zeroing plugins and saving as presets
Published on 21st January 2019
• Tips and Tricks #5. Take a break!!!!
Published on 23rd December 2018
• Tips and Tricks #4. Incorporating outboard using the I/O plugin inside Logic Pro X
Published on 17th December 2018
• Tips and Tricks #3. Bouncing sections from Logic Pro X
Published on 10th December 2018
• Tips and Tricks #2. Turning your Juno 60 into a fat monosynth
Published on 6th December 2018
• Tips and Tricks #1. Creating custom Plug In folders in Logic Pro X
Published on 28th November 2018
Let me be clear...
The art of mixing is all about giving the myriad of various elements in any given track clarity. It's like doing a 3D jigsaw puzzle, but with no picture on the box to work from, and no box.
That is where the art comes into it.
A mixing engineer listens to all these elements, decides which tell the story and which ones create the tone, then places them in the relevant places in the soundfield. An example: Recently, I was given the same track to mix as Erin Tonkin (who mixed David Bowies final album Blackstar) and our mixes of the same track couldn't have been more different. Her vision of what the track was to become was really quite different to how I heard it and at the end of the process, it is the artist who decides which one is to their taste, but it is entirely subjective. On this occasion, I got it right, but it could have gone the other way and my vision for the track could have been too safe/too avant garde or just rubbish.
It is worth remembering that the process of mixing your tracks is as creative and as necessary to the process as arrangement, instrumentation and lyrics in order to achieve the clarity your message needs to reach its audience, so choose an engineer who can give you that.
Published on 9th October 2018
• All the Gear
Choices. We make a million choices everyday. How do you know any of them are right?
It certainly used to be the case that your creative decisions were dictated to by what instruments and equipment you had to hand, and could make some sort of coherent noise with. Then the quality of the recordings were dictated by what you had to record them with and the knowledge to which to capture them.
In a modern studio, we can recreate almost any instrument using software, we have limitless editing facilities and all this leads to limitless choices, but does this lead to limitless merit?
It is our job, as engineers and producers to listen to the client and to carefully pick what sounds, instruments and effects they need to help them create their art, to limit choices and to help find creative solutions within those limitations.
Instead of offering everything, like Amazon, we have to refine what we offer in order to serve our client, which seems counter-intuitive.
But if we don’t, we will most likely drown our clients in sound.
Published on 5th October 2018
• Learning to Fail (and being OK with that)
I guess most people don’t like getting things wrong.
I imagine the fear of failure is what drives the majority of people to fall into comfortable routines where failure is unlikely, successes, however small, are easily achievable and there is some sort of fairly well signposted route to that success.
Music and the process of making music falls outside of that realm. Its like making a jigsaw puzzle without a defined amount of pieces, a picture to follow or a box to keep it all in. There is no way of knowing for sure when you have finished, or, if anyone even cares you have made a jigsaw in the first place.Failure lurks round every corner, trying its best to ruin your mood and stifle your enthusiasm, from creating ideas to finding an outlet for your work, failure is right there, all the time.
But music thrives on failure, because it is the mistakes that lead to better things, from learning an instrument to writing a song, to feedback from a client or a harsh review from a fan. It’s a process of constantly making mistakes, so that you learn from each one.
In fact, it could be best to make a shit tonne of mistakes, then you are really learning.
That’s what I’m doing, but I’m getting better all the time…
Published on 28th September 2018