Break the winter blues with Jan-Feb classes in music recording, vocal technique

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1


Some music-recording and vocal technique classes you don’t see every day are being offered in January/February at Echo Mountain Recording (downtown recording studio) and the New York Studio for Stage & Screen (River District training center for performance).

Master Classes at Echo Mountain Recording are all day, February 16 and 17, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check out Drum Recording, Electronic Instrument Recording, Mix techniques and more from instructors who’ve worked with Steve Martin, The Avett Brothers, Band of Horses, G Love and more:

Enrollment is limited in order to ensure that participants have as much interaction with the engineers as possible. Sixteen people will be admitted and split into two groups of eight, which will rotate through our two building facility over the course of each day. In order to ensure that classes are affordable to both students and home studio engineers, all five classes are being offered as a single two-day weekend pass for $300.

Drum Recording Techniques
Beginning with drum tuning and selection, this class will showcase various microphone setups, maximizing both an excellent live room and exploring techniques for getting the best sounds possible in spaces that are less acoustically ideal. Preamp selection and the use of EQ and compression during tracking will also be discussed. If you are unsure of the benefits of using a preamp, it would be wise to check out the reviews over at Graham Slee HiFi. A wide range of microphones will be auditioned, including: the AKG C12, Josephson E22S, Sanken CU44X, and various vintage ribbons, among others. Affordable alternatives will also be discussed.

Electric Instrument Recording Techniques
Exploring the finer points of recording bass, electric guitar, synthesizers, and other keys, such as the Hammond B3 and the Fender Rhodes, this class will look at instrument, amp, and microphone selection and dissect the process of transforming DI signals into vibrant and useful tones. Preamp selection and the use of EQ and compression during tracking will also be discussed, paying particular attention to electric guitar and bass. A range of microphones will be explored and discussed for each application, from the Neumann FET47 to the Royer 121, as well as more affordable alternatives.

Acoustic Instrument Recording Techniques

This class examines microphone technique for banjo, mandolin, dobro, upright bass, cello, fiddle, acoustic guitar, piano, and vocals. Preamp selection and the use of EQ and compression during tracking will be explored, as well as listening critically within a tracking space to find the best placement for acoustic instruments. A wide variety of microphones will be auditioned, including the Telefunken Elam 251, Sony C37, Blue Bottle, Neumann KM84, Coles 4038, and many others. Less expensive alternatives will also be discussed.

Mix Techniques: Acoustic Music
Combining the best of both digital audio workstations and analogue consoles and outboard gear, this class will provide an overview of hybrid mixing. Julian Dreyer will take you step by step through the process of mixing an acoustic song, including what to do and not to do with equalization and compression for acoustic guitar, upright bass, mandolin, fiddle, pedal steel, and vocals. Using Melodyne to tune upright bass will also be explored. The importance of placement in the stereo field will be discussed, as well as using volume rides, as opposed to compression, to bring out the nuances of of an acoustic performance.

Mix Techniques: Rock Music
Using a ProTools based approach and summing through our API 3288 console, Jon Ashley and Evan Bradford will help you explore a number of techniques that can be applied to crafting a well-balanced rock mix. Beginning with drums and moving through bass, electric guitars, and vocals, various approaches to equalization, compression, and effects will be demonstrated and discussed. Topics covered include phase correlation, automation, parallel compression, drum replacement and augmentation, tuning vocals, choosing reverbs and delays, and augmenting a poorly tuned tracking space with an artificial room sound, among others.

Learn more about the Echo Mountain series here.

The New York Studio for Stage & Screen announces an upcoming weekend workshop dedicated to vocal technique. Workshop prices range from $60 to $125. Classes are Saturday and Sunday, January 19 and 20.

On January 19th and 20th, 4 top voice & presentation professionals will provide instruction on how to improve one’s voice and delivery for any type of presentational performance – from theater & stage to corporate platforms:

Saturday January 19th:
9:00 – 3:00 pm: Voice for Stage
A taste of the Linklater Technique, known as “Freeing The Natural Voice”, which aims to help develop awareness of factors interfering with the natural voice, as well as provide tools and techniques for freeing the breath, connecting thoughts and feelings to the voice, and freeing sound from the body. (Instructor: Geordie MacMinn, UNC School of the Arts)

3:00 – 6:00 pm: Vocal Technique for Singing
A 3-hour module focusing on voice technique and vocal health for musical theater or aspiring musical theater performers. All participants will come away with specific vocal exercises for warm-ups, breath management, range extension, developing agility, resonance balancing, and tips on keeping the vocal mechanism healthy and fully functioning. (Instructor: Wendy Hayes)

Sunday January 20th:
12:00 – 2:25 pm: Accent & Dialect Reduction
A session geared toward professionals seeking assistance in reducing or neutralizing regional or international accents. Compton P-ESL is a powerful method for accent modification that leads to more effective communication for the workplace or the stage. (Instructor: Kim Linsider, Atlanta-based Speech & Language Pathologist)

Sunday 2:35 – 5:00 pm: Empowering the Speaker
A module aimed at bringing about confidence in the public speaker. ?Among the topics to be covered?: remaining diligent and committed to an outcome?, learning when to begin and how to measure when to stop, employing verbs and other power words effectively?, utilizing pace, pitch, and silence?·, and working with the audience as a collaborator in the communication.
(Instructor: Martin Rader)

Modules are available as a full-weekend package, or can be purchased individually.

Register at For more information, please contact the New York Studio for Stage & Screen in Asheville at [email protected]. NYS3 is located at 2002 Riverside Drive, Loft I, Suite 42-O.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.