Los Angeles - GRAMMY U Studio Sessions at Apogee Studios
By: David Brik / GRAMMY U Los Angeles Representative
On Thursday, March 30, 2017, GRAMMY U Los Angeles members were lucky enough to attend an exclusive Apogee Studio Session with GRAMMY-nominated producer, mixer and engineer Bob Clearmountain. Bob Clearmountain has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry including Bruce Springsteen (mixing Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A), The Rolling Stones, Bryan Adams (co-producing Reckless), Bon Jovi, Robbie Williams, David Bowie and many more.
At the start of the event, students were given a brief history of Apogee Studio, a world-class recording studio and live performance facility that donates the profits of each project booked to Corazon de Vida, a U.S. charity providing funding, services and support to aid the plight of Mexico’s abandoned and orphaned children in the 50 orphanages of Baja, California. Then, GRAMMY U members were divided into three rotating groups to start the session.
The first group of students got to see Bob Clearmountain work on a live recording of the band Alabama Shakes. He went over the steps he takes when working on a piece, all while giving students concrete advice on how to work more efficiently. For example, he described his preferences when using parallel compression & EQ and even explained to GRAMMY U members how he color codes and organizes a project’s tracks. Ultimately, his best piece of advice was that the “key to mixing is seeing the big picture”.
The second group was treated to a special activity that analyzed the differences in sound quality from two rare and expensive microphones. Students were lucky enough to record and listen to the timbral quality of sounds produced by both a vintage Neumann M49 microphone (made famous by Miles Davis) and a vintage stereo condenser AKG C24 microphone.
Finally, the third group had a session that talked about how to use iOS devices in the music industry. Students learned from true experts about the different options that exist when looking to record from a Laptop/iPhone/iPad, since Apogee Digital was the first company to launch a guitar audio interface for Mac users.
Overall, it was a very informative and beneficial session for students who learned first-hand the ins and outs of, not only mixing, but also how to record high-quality music. Thanks to Bob Clearmountain and to the Apogee Studio staff for their time and for opening their doors to GRAMMY U!