- Do you want an engineer that understands your musical intentions and can read a score?
- Do you need a producer that 'get´s your sound' and makes the recording situation comfortable?
...You´re looking for a Tonmeister...
Green Hat Music & Sound is a location recording facility specialized in recording all sorts of acoustic music, classical chamber music, jazz, choir, orchestra, big band, folk music etc.
We offer recording, editing, mixing and mastering of your project.
Our point of view is that not one acoustic space can be appropriate for all kinds of recordings, hence we don´t have a recording studio. We get the space that best suits your project, being it a club, church, concert hall, your grandma's kitchen or a studio.
Same goes for microphones, we have a basic collection but rely on rentals for tailoring the best environment and microphone selection for each project. Different microphones suit different instruments, voices and genres. We've put the money where it matters, in a superb recording system, Pyramix, made by Merging Technologies in Switzerland.
Our mixroom is acoustically treated so editing, mixing and mastering can be done with a reliable playback system.
Bottom line; we can offer a lower price and higher standard on your project, giving you the best acoustics for your project and highest quality of equipment without owning it – you don´t pay for downtime and still get the best!
This is where we set the standard of the final product! Even though we can do lot´s in editing and postproduction, it has its limits. Everything needs to be 'there' at least once for the editing to be effective. The selection and position of microphones can vary a great deal, or just by a millimeter and still vastly affect the sound.
Editing is, in effect, the musicians defense of the listeners advantage; to be able to listen to the performance many more times than in concert. Therefore, it´s not in any way more 'cheating' than being able to spin the disc more than once. Edits should be untraceable, if correctly made.
We work with outstanding tools and long experience in advanced editing and will walk the extra mile to make edits perfect, which is to say, undetectable.
In a concert hall there´s no way as a listener to assure how to get the best seat, the best balance of the ensemble. On a recording however, you should always have the best audition of the performance – maybe even better than the real life performance? Mixing is all about the balance of instruments and voices, to make a fine blend and feature the artist in the best possible appearance. Preferably with styling, not make-up.
Mastering is the art of perfecting the product, ensuring that it will make a satisfying performance on as many playback systems as possible and give the listener a comfortable experience at different listening levels – without the necessity of turning the volume up or down between tracks. A great many details go into the mastering work, setting a good sequence of tracks, putting the exact right pause in between tracks and getting all copyright information in the right place. Last, but not least, some polishing goes into making the product stand out to it´s best value!
About the equipment
Merging Technologies Pyramix 9 Digital Audio Workstation with RAID 0+1 disc system, optimized for a large number of recording tracks and simultaneous backup.
AVID Pro Tools 11 DAW
Merging Technologies HAPI networked interface / converter / 8ch very high-end remote-controlled preamp (expandable via rental)
RME Octamic D 8ch high-end preamp
Line Audio 8ch preamp
Presonus Digimax DS 8ch preamp
RME Babyface ultraportable interface with MIDI)
SM Pro Audio HP6e Headphone Amplifier, 6 headphone outputs
ART S8 microphone splitter (1 in, 3 out per channel), 2 x 8 channels for splitting live mics on stage
The purpose of the recording
You want a good result, which requires the best conditions. Not by making haste or accepting poor musical, technical or acoustical solutions.
With good working conditions you can save time in postproduction, use less "make-up", editing and mixing and have a cheaper, better sounding record.
Some of my favourite records are of the late 1950´s – early 60´s, good example of the great environments (studios, concert halls), microphones and engineers who were used to record in mono just a few years before, now equipped with vastly better microphones, preamps and tape machines. Not to mention the commercialy spreading of stereo recordings. They used little to no effects in terms of equalizers (or rather, they were just that), their keen ears knowing where to put the microphones to get the best result.
I´m not a vintage equipment geek (quite the contrary), I just fancy the way they used to turn great music into great records with rather sparse but well used stuff, the sheer craft.
It´s the beauty of genuinly good music in it´s right environment. I´d like to combine the old ways with new technology to achieve this.
The ”performance” state of mind. You should practice before going into recording, but leave practicing behind when the recording session starts. It sometimes helps to record yourself (there´s lots of simple equipment for making simple recordings) to get a more objective perspective – what details needs adressing? You will most probably be doing this job in editing later on and what can be done before recording will save us time and money later – and maybe sort out some hard-to-die errors. Don´t go too hard on yourself, otherwise there´s not going to be any recording in the end anyway.
Playing the material for a select audience (maybe even make a small tour?) might help you relax a little before recording. You get some healthy feedback and maybe get some ideas on changes you´d like to make to your performance – applause can sometimes be enough mesurement of what material works best!
When performing (live or in the studio) you should reach out and feel a strong connection to your fellow musicians – something that usually happens after performing your program a few times. That´s when you stop thinking too much on your own part and lose yourself to the music and the mutual contribution of your ensemble.
Comfortable setup – you need to be able to have auditive and visual contact within the group to feel connected. The acoustics should be helpful, not in the way. Same goes for technology – headphones, microphones, cables – they need to be in a good place to get the best sound but out of the way of the performance. Oh, well, and the engineer, too.
You need the right balance of food, sleep, breaks and whatever other requirements you have, to stay focused. Even the engineer have these needs…
What´s your best location for recording – a concert hall or your granny´s livingroom with boarded floor and the nice sparkle of a fireplace? Does your kids need to be picked up from school or daycare? It all goes into the planning. Only you can decide what´s needed.
What´s your story?
Are you doing a demo, a CD or a concert recording?
If you put time and effort, not to mention money, you should make yourself proud of the product, whatever the purpose of it. Can you sell the left over CD´s along with your next album, or will it be too embarrasing? Will you order another run of CD´s when they sell out, to maximise the revenue?
Or worse – will a bad product hurt your credibility in the future?