On November 5-6 2021, we hosted our first in-studio event for Hardcore Syndicate members in Clearwater, FL.
The purpose of the event was to:
- Connect with the other members in real life to share insights & strengthen networks
- Get hands on experience in a top-notch studio on a real band session
- Give the opportunity for members to experience first-hand what it looks like to track a project from scratch and walk out after 2 days with raw tracks that sound better than most peoples’ final mixes.
- Drum setup – auditioning snares & cymbals
- Went with a bell brass snare + Tama Starclassic kick & toms
- Replacing & tuning drum heads
- Setting up drum mics
- Getting drum sounds
- API & Neve preamps; a little Neve EQ on kick and toms; Distressor on snare top and mono room mic)
- Tracking drums
- Editing drums
- Guitar restring & setup
- Amp + cab mic setup (Diezel head + SM57 on a V30 speaker)
- Tracked a small chunk of rhythm guitars before we ran out of time
- Right back into guitar tracking – finishing rhythm guitars
- Tracking other guitar layers & leads
- Bass setup (DI + Sansamp PSA1 rack)
- Bass tracking
- Vocal setup
- A/B’d a Telefunken 251 clone vs. SM7b. Sounded almost interchangeable, but we went with the 251 for the 10% extra top end
- Thru Neve 1073 + Distressor
- Vocal tracking
- Lots more vocal layers – harmonies, doubles, “ahhh’s”
- Quick rough mix down (< 15min)
- Bounce out rough mix “off the board”
Biggest takeaways from members:
My biggest take-away was the confidence to hit undo after a so-so take and do it again. You don’t need to keep every take just in case. If it’s right, it’s right. If it’s not, it’s not. I come from leaning much harder on the comping/editing phase, which was basically non-existent in our session, and the result sounded just as good, if not better.
Was a great experience to be with you guys in the studio, also, same as Koby, making everything perfect from start will make the song shine, also the little details like the snare has to keep energy on every hit, will make the difference later. I used to edit a little on my recordings but I will minimize it more now.
Getting THE take in the moment and moving on. I have the problem getting frazzled while tracking, questioning takes, so end up keeping everything to comp later by myself.
Also, just want to say how much more confident I am at the thought of going into a studio I’ve never been to before, and knowing I’ll be able pull it off.
I think aside from mechanical take aways (like routing, instrument set up, proper work flow, take management, etc) I’d say that my biggest takeaway is to surround yourself with like minded individuals who excel at what you want to do. This creates a spectacular environment for an individual to grow and learn. That’s what the Syndicate has been and this in-person experience was easily the pinnacle of that.