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Why is tuning your drums such a vital part of the preparation for a recording session?

New Drums Need a “Break-In” Period

You know how a new pair of shoes has to be worn a few times before they conform comfortably to your feet? New drumheads can take a while to settle into their optimum position. Experts recommend that you play them for a few days before heading into the studio.

There’s another reason why new drums should get a tune-up right away. Drumheads are mass produced, so they may have a minor imperfection that slips past quality control. The sooner you discover it, the sooner it can be corrected.

Drums Set the Tone

Music producers often prefer capturing the right rhythm track before overdubbing the lead instruments, so drum recording is the first step. In fact, many producers estimate that the drum setup can account for up to 25 percent of a project’s schedule. If drums are out of tune, it can result in costly delays and wasted time.

Tuning Prevents Extraneous Noises

Studio microphones pick up more than musical sounds. Any rattles or squeaks caused by loose screws or other problems can render a track unusable.

Counteract the Effects of Weather

When drums are transported in hot or cold weather, the drumheads can expand or compress accordingly. Tuning is required to avoid compromising the sound.

Aim for Consistency

Jazz, rock, pop and other genres all use different drum setups. In addition, musicians and producers have their own ideas of how they want their projects to sound. Tuning your drums makes it easier to know what you’re going to get so you can achieve your vision each time.

 Getting Great Sounds

What good is a great sounding drum set if it is not captured correctly?  Talk to your engineer and let them know what type of sound you want. Spend the time shopping different drums and cymbals if you have options. Micing and dialing in a drum set will probably take longer than all the other instruments combined so expect to set aside a couple hours for drum tones–even if you’re sampling later!

The experienced staff at Clear Lake Recording Studios can help you take your desired sound from your imagination to a high-quality drum recording or whatever is needed to complete your project. Contact us to learn more about our facility and services.

Pop, rock, jazz and classical are distinctly different musical styles, but there’s an element that unites them. The piano is versatile enough to add a unique element to each, and when it comes to recording, the Yamaha C7 helps you achieve whatever sound you’re looking for.

Grand Pianos vs. Upright Pianos

When it comes to recording, grand pianos are preferable to upright pianos. The larger size of grand pianos accommodates longer strings that vibrate more accurately, resulting in a fuller, richer sound.

In addition, grand pianos have a double escapement action that allows notes to be quickly repeated. This feature allows for more nuanced playing than is possible on upright pianos.

Features of the C7

Yamaha is the gold standard of musical instruments, and their experience making pianos dates back more than a century. The Yamaha C Series of grand pianos is known around the world for its “distinct and beloved character,” culminating with the classic C7.

Thanks to its power and pure tones, musicians frequently ask for the C7 by name. Satisfied users cite its warm, diffuse sound, perfectly pitched bass and range of expression. The superior craftsmanship of Yamaha ensures that the C7 will maintain its superior performance over years of use in the recording studio. 

The Clear Lake Difference

The C7 is just one part of the wide selection of top-quality instruments and equipment available at Clear Lake Recording Studios. Contact us to find out why independent artists come to Clear Lake for a professional recording experience at affordable prices.

Thanks to today’s sophisticated sound recording equipment and software, it’s practical and inexpensive for independent artists to produce music in home studios. You have the facilities all to yourself, without the pressure of being “on the clock.”

But recording at home doesn’t mean you’re limited to whatever you can afford to have on hand. Many artists have achieved incredible results by supplementing their in-home work with sessions at a professional studio.

What benefits can you enjoy utilizing a pro studio?

Wide Variety of Equipment

When you furnish a home studio, you’re restricted by available budget and space. In most cases, you end up choosing a few pieces of equipment with the broadest applications.

On the other hand, pro studios host musicians from all genres of music, so they’re stocked with many different amps, mics, instruments and other equipment to accommodate every style. This is your chance to experiment and find just the sound you’re looking for.

Tracking Intricate Sounds

Drum kits are actually an assembly of several distinct instruments, so recording them can be an involved process. Strings rely on the proper acoustic environment to bring out their full sound.

Tracking drums and strings at a home studio can be a challenge, but pro studios are designed to provide the optimum conditions for capturing the complexities of these vital instruments.

Production Expertise

Experience is the best teacher, but as an independent artist you can’t always afford the luxury of trial and error. Pro studios include the resources of a production team that can offer as much or as little help as you need to achieve your vision.

Why not take advantage of the best of both worlds? Flesh out your songs and arrangements and produce in your home studio, then head to a pro studio to record the major parts and add the final polish to your project.

Clear Lake Recording Studios offer quality equipment and a creative environment at affordable prices. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn more about why we’re the full-service solution for independent artists.

Trident Studios was a legendary British recording facility that hosted a number of iconic musical artists such as the Beatles, David Bowie, Lou Reed and Frank Zappa. When the engineers at Trident couldn’t find equipment to meet their exacting specifications, they decided to build it themselves.

The result was such a hit that it led to the creation of Trident Audio Developments, or TRIAD. With that pedigree, it’s no wonder that the Trident 80b vintage console became one of the most eagerly sought-after pieces of recording equipment.

The Birth of the Trident 80b

In 1970 the original A-Range was rolled out, followed three years later by the scaled-down B-Range. Studio owners requested a line with the same high-quality features that were a Trident trademark but at a lower price point.

TRIAD responded in 1980 with the Series 80, which became their most popular console. Finally, the Series 80b came along in 1983.

What Makes the Trident 80b Different?

The Series 80b is a classic split-design vintage console using a standard configuration of 32 x 24 x 24 with five auxiliary ports per channel.

What really sets the Series 80b apart is the signature sound thanks to its sophisticated mic preamp and equalizer design. In fact, the sound was so distinct that the mic pre/EQs were later made available as a stand-alone channel strip as a rack mount.

Clear Lake: Top Quality at Affordable Rates

Why make do with only part of the Series 80b when we Clear Lake Recording Studios has the real deal? Our Series 80b vintage console is so unique that it comes in a sleek black finish instead of the blonde finish found on most units.

In the true spirit of Trident, our goal is to make great equipment and facilities accessible to independent artists. Contact us to learn more.

Name: Jason Hawk Harris

Age: 20 something

Style of Music: Meta-Apocalyptic Country/Americana

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jasonhawkharris

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jasonhawkharris

Facebook: https://facebook.com/jasonhawkharris

Website: https://jasonhawkharris.com

Short Bio: Jason Hawk Harris experienced his musical coming of age one fateful day in middle school when a friend played him Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”  Indeed, fate seems writ large in Harris’ artistic journey.  He comes from a long line of musicians; a tradition that all but guaranteed a both passionate and vexed relationship with the guitar.  Though classically trained, he considers it perhaps the greatest instrument ever created (and occasionally wants to smash his Martin over the head of its inventor).

Harris’ songs offer nuanced explorations of life’s vagaries; matching determined honesty with vivid imagination.  His upcoming record fuses robust musicianship with a poetic vision inspired by magical realists like Charles Williams and Haruki Murakami.  His music, Harris explains, shares in their “audacious assumption that the physical and spiritual occupy the same plane of existence.”

1. What made you want to be a musician for a living?

The sharp realization that it would feel too strange to do anything else. 

2. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible? 

I am not a “hired gun” type.  I’m just not that good, honestly.  First and foremost, I’m a songwriter.  As a songwriter, I think that you’re out of work a lot more than the type of guys who are so great at their instruments that they basically live in the studio.  I’ve learned to value getting my fingers into other artistic endeavors to shake up my creative process.  The other thing I’ve learned to value is a dependable “side-hustle.”

3. As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that  competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?

I think the greatest way to get the best bang for your buck is to find a good producer that believes in you.  In order to compete with Capital, you need great production quality.  There are a lot of independent producers out there who are really great at what they do, and are working just as hard as you are to get their careers off the ground.  Partner with them.  Learn from them, trust them.  A lot of times they have relationships with studios or other professionals that can lead to discounts on some of the larger expenses involved in making a record (i.e. mastering, mixing, studio time, pre-production).

4. How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?

There is no more important decision when it comes to the recording process.  I don’t like to think about any of the technical sides of “recording” the music when I’m in the studio.  I want to focus on playing. That’s it.  So I think it’s really important to have a great space, and an engineer who knows how to work it.

5. How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?

Ugh… this question.  I get why it’s an important consideration—I really do—but man I hate spending any time on it.  My advice would be to spend as little time as possible on it without neglecting it.  Spend the majority of your time being as great as you can be at what you do.  Then, use an app like Hootsuite or Buffer at the beginning of the week to schedule all your posts at one time so you don’t have to look at it again.

6. How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?

A good rule of thumb is to stop thinking about making connections.  A friend of mine is fond of saying, “Talk about the dip.”  Meaning… if you see Willie Nelson at a party and he’s chowing down on some killer bean dip, don’t hand him a CD with your music on it, talk about how dope the dip is.  But the other important part of this is, you have to actually try the dip before you say anything, or else you’re just a schmuck who’s trying to clandestinely slip Willie Nelson his demo.  People see through that sort of crap.  Networking is for young, neurotic marketing professionals at SXSW with a fistful of sweaty business cards and tote bags of useless garbage.  In music, it’s about shared experience.  Connections are important, sure, but nobody likes the person who’s always trying to “connect” or “make contacts.”

When you’re hitting the road for an exciting tour the last thing you want to be worrying about is damaged or stolen instruments. Whether you’ve got top of the line, modern equipment or a much-loved guitar that’s seen you through the hard times, these tips will help ensure that your instruments stay safe and sound for your next performance.

  • Keep it simple: The less you have to keep track of while you’re on the road the better. Bring only the gear you really need and be sure to check out in-house equipment to simplify your trip even more.
  • Be extra vigilant when loading and unloading: Transporting instruments to and from a venue creates a prime breeding ground for thieves. Always have someone standing guard while your equipment is being loaded and unloaded and make sure the van is locked when your belongings are inside and nobody is around.
  • Pack correctly: Make use of traveling cases and well-designed packaging supplies whenever possible and consider securing your instruments with tie-downs to keep them protected from bumps, scratches and dings.
  • Maintain adequate security: Always opt for parking garages and lots that have security when available if leaving your equipment in the van or bus for a long period of time. If secure parking options aren’t available, consider taking your equipment inside your hotel room with you.
  • Beware of extreme climate conditions: Extremely hot or cold temperatures and damp climate conditions can wreak havoc on your musical instruments.
  • Prepare for the unexpected: Whether you’re traveling by plane, train, or private vehicle, and even if you’ve got your favorite instrument tucked away “safely” in your dressing room, anything can happen. From an unexpected splash of beer on your analog synth to careless baggage handlers, your instruments are vulnerable to damage when you’re touring. Make sure valuable instruments are covered by insurance, and always bring repair kits and extra parts just in case.

 

Name: Nick Lopez

Age: 20

Style of Music: Pop

Bio: From San Francisco, currently live in LA. I am a singer/songwriter.

tinyurl.com/spotifynick

https://www.soundcloud.com/nicklopezmusic

https://www.instagram.com/nicklopezmusic

https://www.twitter.com/nicklopezmusic

whoisnicklopez.com

 

1. What made you want to be a musician for a living?
Not sure what specifically sparked it, but it’s just came very naturally to me. I couldn’t envision myself doing anything else other than music as a career, it just feels right.

2. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?
Save your money! Songwriters and musicians should understand that there are good years and bad years. We don’t have a steady salary or a constant paycheck. So we need to be very aware of that when making financial decisions. To transition out of a down period simply requires hard work and a constant, relentless dedication to achieving your goals.

3. As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that  competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?
I take my time with each song I release. I plan out a strategic release ahead of time. I know which blogs I am going to target, which YouTube channels and Spotify playlists. I also try to get other artists featured on a lot of my songs, because a great collaboration can enhance the song from both a musical standpoint and also a marketing standpoint.

4. How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?
Incredibly important to me. I hate bad mixes, so many of my friends that make music have horrible mixes, and it really just ruins their songs. They could have been great songs if the mix was done right, and now, there’s no chance. Everyone at Clear Lake has given me a consistent sound in the mixes that is an essential part of my presentation – you have to have a good mix to compete with the big dogs.

5. How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?
Image is everything. You need to act, dress, and give off the vibe of an artist if that’s what you are trying to become. 24/7, you need to represent yourself as an artist, with everyone you meet. When you are recording at Clear Lake, you are an artist. When you are doing a photoshoot, you are an artist. When you go to the grocery store, you are an artist.  The point is, you never know who is watching, so your presentation always needs to be at 110%. For social media, you should have high quality, cool photos that represent your personality. You need content apart from just the music, so people can really form an emotional attachment to YOU and not just your songs. This can be done via Instagram and Twitter, and constantly interacting with new fans who discover your music.

6. How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?
Making connections to me happens naturally. People try too hard sometimes to network, which is super annoying. You kind of just have to let it happen. It’s good to write down specific people you want to meet, and kind of map out who knows who in order to get to them, but at the end of the day, you need to make genuine friendships. That’s the only way your networking is going to pay off. Every “connection” I have made happened because I created a true friendship with that person. Just get out there, meet people, and be genuine.

Name: Margarita Monet (Edge Of Paradise)

Age: 26

Style Of Music: Hard Rock/Metal

LINKS:

Website: http://edgeofparadiseband.com/

Facebook: http://facebook.com/edgeofparadiseband

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EdgeofParadise1

Vevo: https://www.youtube.com/user/EdgeOfParadiseVEVO

Bio: Margarita is a singer / songwriter and a pianist. Growing up in Moscow, she started music lessons very young and toured Europe as a pianist. Moving to Houston, she attended High School For The Performing and Visual Arts, for musical theater, later on, moving to NY to attend NYU’s Tisch School Of The Arts. Margarita moved to LA in 2010 where she met guitarist Dave Bates, who was in search of a singer to fill Robin McCauley’s shoes. Soon their music partnership solidified and the band took up the name, Edge Of Paradise.

1. What made you want to be a musician for a living?

I grew up in Moscow and was surrounded by music and art! Every week my mom would take me to see a concert or we would go to a theater, ballet, opera… There was something on every block! I loved it, so I started playing piano at 4, taking singing lessons as well as theater and dance, I was emerged in this world since a young age and I never imagined myself doing anything else! Being a musician and having my own band, I get to create music as well as a visual world! Sharing that with others is very fulfilling! Music, really is, a universal language!

2. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?

It’s definitely not an easy path. But I’m a big believer that if you work hard and you’re great at what you do, then everything else will fall into place. When we started the band, we used to teach all day long, to get the budget to record the CD, so when you’re in between gigs, try to find time to focus on your own music, or perfecting your skill, because the better you are and the better your content is, that will impact, how busy you’ll be as a musician!

3. As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?

Creating music is not easy and you can’t do it by yourself in your room, and compete with major label acts! What we have done, is focus on writing the best possible songs. We approached people that produce major label acts that we like, and if they like your music, you have a good chance that they will work with you and your budget! We were really lucky to have worked with amazing people! Looking back i wish our first songs were better, but that’s all part of the journey, you have to let your music evolve. The advise i would give, is to write the best songs you can, put your heart and soul into it, surround yourself with people who know what they’re doing and invest in the quality of the recording!

4. How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?

It’s very important! You have to feel comfortable in the studio so you can focus on the performance! And working with great engineers can make the biggest difference! That’s why we love recording at Clear Lake! Top of the line gear, amazing staff of engineers who are great people, awesome environment, perfect for creating that next hit 😉

5. How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?

We live in a digital world where everything is over saturated! It’s also very visual, so sometimes people get interested by the imagery first, rather then the music. And social media is a double edged sword in that respect. You have the tools to reach people, but you really have to have the best content that will interest people, both visually and conically. These days you really have to create a world that people will want to be a part of, but in some ways it’s good, because it’ll push you creatively, just be ready to work really hard, and do it because you love it!

6. How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?

Connections are important, you have to be active in your scene, be good to people! But the most important thing is to focus on creating great content because that’s the biggest thing that will help you further your career!

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Name: Anoop Chaganty


Age: 22


Style of Music: Hip-Hop / Rap

LINKS:

https://soundcloud.com/anoop-chanty

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-TYF5t_kmT1LJxIDrLUQQg

https://twitter.com/noanticipation


Bio: I am a composer / rapper from San Jose, CA. Though I mainly play the piano and produce, for the last two years I have been pursuing a career as a rapper as well.

1. What made you want to be a musician for a living?

I grew up in a very artistically progressive home, especially considering my Indian immigrant upbringing. In fact, it was actually my parents who encouraged my brother and I to pursue careers in the entertainment industry. My brother decided to be a director and so I sort of followed in his footsteps. Around high school I realized I didn’t want to make movies myself, but I wanted to make the music for movies. The turning point for me was when I watched the “Lost” Season 4 behind- the-scenes of the making of the score. That shit was so cool.

2. It’s common for musicians to be out of work for long periods of time. How can you supplement this time without work? How can you transition out of this period as quickly as possible?

For a long time, I desperately wanted to study music at a music university. Fortunately, I never got in to any of the schools I applied to, so I was forced to study something else in college. As a result, I (almost) have a degree in International Relations from USC, which qualifies me for a lot more jobs than if I had just gotten a music composition degree. Obviously, I would love for my music to take off right now and be able to support my life, but that is not realistic. In the meantime, I can work (doing a lot of different things) while still making music. I have no doubt that one day, I will see success in my art. Hopefully that day is sooner rather than later, but even if it’s not, I’m still happy.

3. As an independent artist, what have you done to successfully create music that competes with major label big budget artists? What would you have done differently? What advice would you give to other independent artists when budgeting funds?

Work with people who are better than you. Or just collaborate with talented artists. I cannot stress that enough. I made life so much harder for myself by trying to be this all in one music production factory. The best thing you can do to compete with major artists beyond constantly making art and improving is to surround yourself with those who are more experienced and better than you. As a musician, I never really did this, but I did collaborate with talented filmmakers. So my music videos are comparable to major artist music videos, even if my music isn’t necessarily on that level yet.

4. How important is the choice studio/engineer when it comes to recording the music that means the most to you?

A studio / engineer will make or break a project. There’s no two ways about it. An engineer is as much of an artist as any of the musicians on the record are, and you should treat them as such. I’ve had many bad or sub-par experiences with engineers and my music suffered as a result. Find someone to work with who’s cool and likes you / your music, otherwise you’re shooting yourself in the foot.

5. How important is image? How has social media played a role in your image and your career? What advice would you give to other independent artists?

Image is everything, especially in the social media age that we’re currently in. If you don’t have an excellent social media presence, you will be forgotten. It doesn’t matter if you make the best music ever, if people don’t see it and share it, it will be never be heard. Personally, I hate social media, but I still recognize it as necessary evil. I’m currently in the midst of planning my full-scale social media launch so ask me in a few months if I’ve had any success. Right now, I’m a ghost.

6. How do you go about making connections? What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilize them?

Connections are king in the entertainment industry. Often times, its who you know, now what you know that qualifies you for a certain job. Don’t sit in your studio and be that angsty isolated musician. You may make excellent music as a result, but you’ll never have anyone to share it with. Enjoy yourself. Go to open mics, parties, social events, and meet people. Don’t talk to them like they’re potential likes but actually engage with them on a personal level. Soon, you’ll have a reputation for yourself, and that promoter you met in that Uber might give you a call for a gig. Stay patient. This takes time.

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Whether you want to test drive some of our gear in conjunction with your own or you are traveling to Los Angeles and need a fully equipped studio, Clear Lake Recording Studios has you covered! Heres what we’ve added this year!

Guitars

Amps

Drums

Fender Jazzmaster

PRS SE Custom 22

‘60s Supro Dual Tone

’77 Martin D-35

Fender Active Precision Bass        

Fender Deluxe Reverb           

Fender Princeton

Vox AC 15

Mesa Boogie Mark 5

Kemper Profiler

Marshall Silver Jubilee

Avatar 1×12 Cab

Mapex Orion Series 5 piece set

Ludwig Black Beauty

Ludwig Supraphonic

Slingerland Radio King