Last night I saw the announcement of Larry Crane’s (TapeOp Magazine, Jackpot! Studio) video tutorial at Lynda.com and I immediately signed up for a free trial to watch. I was pretty excited about this short course because of Larry’s extensive experience in recording and mixing, plus it’s filmed in his really fun studio. That’s right – a real engineer in a real studio moving the mics.
While a lot of the content is simplified beginner recording concepts (what is a DI box, mic types), it covers a few thing I haven’t really seen in video tutorials before (how to find the best place for drums in the room, recording a faux ensemble), and interesting tips & tricks that anyone can experiment with (garbage can kick drum, damping drums with blankets). It moves at a pretty good pace never dwelling too long on one topic (the longest segment is only 13min) and we don’t hear the same examples and shootouts over and over. On the other hand, at times more detail, clarification and demonstrations would have been nice for certain topics that felt a little rushed. Larry presents the content clearly and in a fun and really encouraging way and most segments seem to be a single take, mistakes and all (phase/polarity).
Highlights for me are the videos on checking the phase of the drum mics/tracks on the console, mic positions for upright piano (loved the sound of the non-obvious underneath position), and the when they record the handclap ensemble and the one guy messes up every time. Larry has a lot of creative ideas and seems like a really fun guy to work with in the studio. 2hrs 20min flies by and I just want to keep watching. Not to diminish Larry’s great info and tips that will help you get better sounds in tracking but it’s not really a how to be a music producer tutorial that the title might make you believe. Hopefully this is just part 1 and we’ll see Larry hosting more courses for Lynda.com in the future and we’ll see more production and mixing ideas. I’d rate this 8/10, definitely recommended.
Lynda.com is a subscription service and for $25/month you get access to the entire library of video tutorials, which is pretty cool but not everything will be relevant to you.