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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Aug 2019 > ANDREW DUDMAN

ANDREW DUDMAN

Our Q&A series continues as we put your mixing and production questions to Abbey Road’s in-house engineering talent. This issue: senior recording engineer Andrew Dudman

MT ASK ABBEY ROAD

We’re delighted to bring you the second edition of Ask Abbey Road, in partnership with the iconic Abbey Road Studios. In this series, we ask you to put your pressing production questions to the experts at the world’s most famous studio. This time, we have Andrew Dudman in the hot seat. An Abbey Road Studios senior recording engineer with an incredible 21 years of experience at the facility, he’s earned awards for his work on Disney’s Brave and The Fellowship Of The Ring. He’s also recorded scores for huge films such as Hacksaw Ridge and Baby Driver and games including Killzone 3 and Uncharted 3. His extraordinary résumé goes on to include tracks recorded with Underworld and Elbow and many more classical recordings.

Michael Proulx How would you typically record a live band composed of a drummer, singer/keyboardist and singer/electric guitarist?

Firstly, you find out the style and that would inform whether you went for musicians in the room together. If you think you’ll need to do any tuning or hardcore editing, you’d definitely need to use isolation. If you were going to be giving it to someone else to take on, then you record the band together with spill everywhere, you tie the mix engineer’s hands.

Then, line of sight. It’s good to feel like you’re still playing in a band, even if you’re isolated. It pays to keep the musicians as close together as possible with good lines of sight or rely on cameras and screens doing that job for you. Once you’ve got that out of the way, then you get into mic choices. You probably go for more dynamics if everyone’s together in the room, just to give you a bit more control. If you’re isolated, you can choose what you like. You’ve got a blank page to put out your favourite mics, knowing they’re not going to be affected by spill from other instruments.

Erik Skytt With drums, how do you decide how much processing gets printed in the tracking phase and how much to leave until after the tracking?

If I know the drums that I’m tracking are going to be mixed by someone else, I’ll definitely keep the tracks cleaner – probably with little compression at all, if any. Then, just a tiny bit of EQ to get a good, balanced level to tape. I’ve been doing this long enough to have learned from some great engineers, so I always try and keep my monitor faders all flat.

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