Rusty's Tip of The Week # 3

Rusty's tip of the week # 3 - one simple idea to make the drums stand out.......

Ever wondered how they get that high end high quality sheen on the top end sound to the drums, ?
think of those hifi audiophile recordings,think Pink Floyd, Muse and others.

Well of course you can talk about the room itself, the mics, the preamps and then what the mix and mastering guys do
BUT one of the most forgotten things and the simplest is way back to the source - how about Cleaning and Polishing those cymbals!!

it really does make an immediate and obvious difference, gives that cut through hifi crispness
on the hi hat, ride and crashes -without over eq'ing or compressing!! Which more than ever in the world of digital and plug ins
is very much to the advantage.

Of course if your project is a Lo Fi Grunge affair then maybe do the opposite - Never clean those things - Ever!!

Rusty's tip of the week #2-How to best prepare for a recording session

Pre Production
This really falls into how long is a piece of string category but the basics are - "prepare for your recording session before
entering the studio."
This may seem like common sense but i dont know how many times bands have rocked up and are still deciding which songs to record
and what the arrangements are!
So a couple of quick ideas would be

Read more: Rusty's tip of the week #2-How to best prepare for a recording session

DG's celebrates 30 years -Full History

Damien Gerard Sound Studios celebrates 30 years of recording.

1985-2015 – 30 years of pre-production, recording, mixing, mastering across 3 different studio facilities.

Starting in the pre internet world of the 1980’s with a telephone and a hard copy ‘Booking Book’ DGSS began as a humble rehearsal room in Wattle St Ultimo. 30 years later the studio has hosted the likes of INXS, Hoodoo Gurus, Divinyls, Grimskunk (Canada), Dave Immrgluk (Counting Crows), Randy Jackson (USA), Noiseworks, Steve Balbi, Midnight Oil, Frenzal Rhomb, Died Pretty’s classic Doughboy Hollow album, The Ghostwriters (Rob Hirst) to name just a few. Most recently new Sydney band Big White who starred at SXSW this year and have just been signed to Caroline/Universal.

Read more: DG's celebrates 30 years -Full History

Rusty's tip of the week - one way to ensure the best result for your next guitar session

This applies to both electric and acoustic sessions and is something i've seen time and time again.
Its easy to get it wrong as well so many get half way there and then make it worse than before as well.

Common sense really - 'put new strings on!!'

BUT and it's a big BUT play them in properly, say 2-3 days BEFORE the session, never on the day.
And when you think you've played them in enough, play them in again!

This will ensure correct tone from the guitar, which is after all the source, as well as hopefully
greatly decreasing the chance of breaking a string right in the middle of that crucial take.

its what the pros do, every gig and every session is a new set, but they have stage techs that spend all day playing them in,
which is absolutely vital. If this isn't done properly the instrument will not hold tune and will most likely be worse than with old strings.

If you aren't confident with changing the strings have a music shop or tech do it a few days before the session, then spend the next few days playing them in.

So many times i have seen bands do it on the day in the studio and then we spend the rest of the day trying to keep them in tune, to laments of. 'the guitar was fine in rehearsal with the old strings'.

So be professional, do it right, and you'll be able to listen back and say, 'so glad i put new strings on, the guitar sounds awesome.'

Russ-T-Rok (Russell Pilling) is the chief engineer at Damien Gerard Studios Sydney where he has been pulling guitar sounds for over 25 years.


We finally have one of Russ’ favourite set of EQ’s and Comps from back in the day when he was engineering on SSL Boards – lots of fun new tools and toys ITB and already finding their way onto the multitude of sessions #Russ-t-Rokk is working on. The plugin allows all the different patch variations the consoles have as well as an intriging 'analog' switch which seems to soften things and add some tape hiss. The buss compressor is surprisingly close to the rack / board outboard unit and we'll be hearing that on many mixes to come without a doubt..


Scroll to Top