19 episodes

Seattle's Crackle & Pop! studio and the Fretboard Journal have teamed up for an all-new podcast where we answer your pressing questions about recording, audio engineering, producing, and mastering. Hosted by Johnny Sangster, each episode will feature special guests from the industry lending their expertise on all things recording.

It's just like the FJ's Truth About Vintage Amps podcast, but for recording. Launches January 2021.

Submit your questions and topics via voice memo or email to: podcast@fretboardjournal.com.

The Truth About Recording & Mixing Fretboard Journal

    • Music
    • 4.7 • 47 Ratings

Seattle's Crackle & Pop! studio and the Fretboard Journal have teamed up for an all-new podcast where we answer your pressing questions about recording, audio engineering, producing, and mastering. Hosted by Johnny Sangster, each episode will feature special guests from the industry lending their expertise on all things recording.

It's just like the FJ's Truth About Vintage Amps podcast, but for recording. Launches January 2021.

Submit your questions and topics via voice memo or email to: podcast@fretboardjournal.com.

    Ep 18 - Mark Greenberg on Managing the Wilco Loft

    Ep 18 - Mark Greenberg on Managing the Wilco Loft

    Welcome back to the Truth About Recording And Mixing. 
    Mark Greenberg has been in the Wilco family from back before there was a Wilco. Now he manages and engineers records at Wilco’s Chicago recording studio The Loft. From his time in the band the Coctails to his role as the “everything guy” at Lounge Ax to leading the composer collective Mayfair Workshop and to his current role in Eleventh Dream Day, Mark is a part of the musical fabric of the city. This hilarious and heartwarming conversation sheds a little light on why.
    The Truth About Recording And Mixing is brought to you by the Fretboard Journal from Crackle & Pop! Studio in Ballard Washington and is supported by Izotope. Get 10% off any Izotope product by going to their website and using the code FRET10 on checkout.
    Topics covered:
    0:00:00 Welcome back! Also ... we’re going to Chicago!
    0:02:25 Welcome Mark Greenberg! Mark’s early years learning instruments, starting bands, going to art school, and starting the Coctails. Chicago in the '90s.
    0:08:00 Lounge Ax!
    0:11:00 The Coctails and how that led to making “music for use”. Starting the Marfair Workshop - a multi-composer workshop.
    0:19:45 Getting involved with the Loft. Being called in last minute to work on Jeff’s first record with Mavis Staples.
    0:24:00 The Loft - how’s it set up? How does it work? How do they keep all those instruments functioning? Using tape?
    0:30:30 Listener question about the Loft and the philosophy of having an open plan studio.
    0:32:30 And Zoom froze! ;-)
    0:35:00 Pops Staples' final album. Stripping back the layers and rebuilding it from Pops up.
    0:40:00 Wilco on the Road & what happens at the studio when Jeff Tweedy is out of town. More about the gear at the Loft & the gear that goes out on the road with the band.
    0:45:00 New guitar builders, pedals, amps. Recording gear at the studio. The Neve console that once belonged to Sheryl Crow.
    0:55:00 On the value of being ready for a session.
    0:57:30 Solid Sound and MASS MoCA!
    01:01:40 Eleventh Dream Day and making music now as compared to “then”.
    01:12:00 The Wilco organization and why it works so well. Mindful leadership from the top down.
    01:19:00 Scott McCaughey - Down with Wilco!

    • 1 hr 21 min
    EP 17 - Amy Dragon on Mastering and Manufacturing Vinyl in 2022

    EP 17 - Amy Dragon on Mastering and Manufacturing Vinyl in 2022

    Taram EP 17 - Amy Dragon
     
    Welcome back to the Truth About Recording And Mixing. 
     
    After returning her social workers license with a note saying “don’t call”, Amy Dragon made her way to Portland OR pursuing her love of music to find a new career. She is now digital mastering engineer and vinyl cutting engineer at Telegraph Mastering and was also for many years the general manager at Cascade Record Pressing as they were getting their plant up and running. In this episode we talk about the process of making a vinyl record from start to finish and Amy’s in-depth knowledge and natural curiosity makes for a fun and educational listen.
     
    The Truth About Recording And Mixing is brought to you by the Fretboard Journal from Crackle & Pop! Studio in Ballard Washington and is supported by Izotope. Get 10% off any Izotope product by going to their website and using the code FRET10 on checkout.
     
    Topics covered:
     
    0:00 Welcome back!
    1:00 TARAM will be at the Fretboard Summit Aug 25 through 27.
    2:00 This podcast was recorded using a Universal Audio Apollo Twin and Cleanfeed.com and edited using UA’s LUNA DAW.
    3:25 Welcome Amy Dragon. Early days moving around the country, college and early career as a social worker. 
    12:30 Moving out to Portland and finding new opportunities. Meeting Adam Gonsolves of Telegraph Mastering and starting an apprenticeship there. Telegraph’s history and growth.
    17:20 Working with the Scully lathe as compared to the upgraded Neumann VMS70. Finishing up her apprenticeship become a full fledged mastering engineer.
    24:40 Working at Cascade Record Pressing as they were starting up the pressing plant. Refurbishing vintage record presses and figuring it all out! Getting a pressing plant up to capacity.
    34:00 Leaving Cascade to pursue a full time freelance position as a mastering engineer.
    36:20 Walk us through the steps involved in making a vinyl record from the point where mixes are done to having product in hand. Cutting a proper lacquer and the challenges therein.
    43:45 Electroforming and making stampers.
    46:45 Direct to metal mastering.
    47:45 Stampers arrive at the pressing plant. Next up, test pressings. What happens when there are problems with the test pressings. And what are common problems? Non-fill, regrind ratio, dishing, centerhole is off, walking, warping…
    01:00:00 Our test pressing is approved, now moving forward with the actual production run. Issues that can occur in this phase of the process. Quality control processes at Cascade Pressing.
    01:04:45 How is mastering for vinyl different from mastering for digital? Working with the physical limitations of the vinyl groove and the cutting head.
    01:17:00 What questions should a band or artist be asking when looking to make a vinyl record?
    01:22:30 Are new presses an advantage?
    01:26:30 Should one ask for a test acetate?
    01:28:30 Why does it take so long currently to make a record? Apollo Masters fire, pandemic, supply chain issues, helium shortage, a perfect storm.
    01:34:00 Teaching, outreach & getting more women into audio!
    01:39:00 What’s coming up? Independent Mastering Conference in Portland 2022. Helping out at Soursound Transformers.

    • 1 hr 45 min
    Ep 16 - Scott Bomar

    Ep 16 - Scott Bomar

    Welcome back to the Truth About Recording And Mixing.  In this episode we talk to Scott Bomar of Electrophonic Recording and now the studio manager at Sam Phillips in Memphis TN. Scott came up in Memphis with the band Impala and has had a long career in both recording and creating music for film. His current band the Bo Keys is a collaboration with many Memphis greats past and present. He has worked at Doug Easley Recording, Ardent, Royal, Sam Phillips and continues to carry on the proud tradition of Memphis music making.
     
    The Truth About Recording And Mixing is brought to you by the Fretboard Journal from Crackle & Pop! Studio in Ballard Washington and is supported by Izotope. Get 10% off any Izotope product by going to their website and using the code FRET10 on checkout.
     
    Topics in this episode:
     
    01:20 - The Fretboard Journal announces their Fretboard Summit Aug 25-27 at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago this summer. The Truth About Recording and Mixing will be there!
    02:20 - Send us your questions for Mark Greenberg, manager of the Wilco Loft!
    03:05 - Listener question from Jeff in Ohio.
    04:50 - Welcome Scott Bomar - what’s happening now. Moving Electraphonic into the Sam Phillips Recording building and taking on being studio manager there.
    08:15 - Scott’s path coming up in bands and in studios. His band Impala, working at Doug Easley, recording with Roland Janes at Sam Phillips.
    19:20 - More on the history and the setup at Sam Phillips Recording.
    26:40 - Forming the Bo Keys and working with Willie Mitchell at Royal Studios. Become assistant engineer under Willie at Royal. Assisting on Al Green’s “comeback albums”.
    31:55 - The next chapters at Sam Phillips recording. Keeping the huge collection of incredible equipment maintained and available to the studios clients.
    37:55 - the history of Electraphonic Recording.
    43:45 - Recording strings at Royal Studios
    45:45 - Scott’s tips for recording drums & horns. Working with Howard Grimes.
    49:50 - Working with singer and writer Don Bryant.
    61:05 - Upcoming projects - a solo record in the works.
    62:44 - Getting into making music for film, Hustle & Flow and what that led to.
    75:55 - Why Spectra Sonics? Scott’s experiences and the console that will now be installed at Sam Phillips.
    88:55 - Impala recording at Conrad Uno’s Egg Studio.
    93:26 - Thanks everyone! And a special request for submissions.
     
    Gear Mentioned:
     
    RCA 77s, Neumann U47, U48, Neumann Lathe, Universal Audio 176, Universal Audio 101 preamps, Scully, Spectra Sonics, Electrodyne, Studer, Pultec EQ. 
     

    • 1 hr 34 min
    EP 15 - Steve Dawson

    EP 15 - Steve Dawson

    Welcome back to the Truth About Recording and Mixing brought to you from Crackle & Pop! Studio in Ballard, Washington. This episode is features multi-instrumentalist, producer and engineer Steve Dawson. Steve is an accomplished musician and producer (he's won seven Juno awards!) known for his work in Zubat & Dawson, Birds of Chicago, and numerous other bands. He's also the producer and host of the essential Music Makers & Soul Shakers podcast. This conversation tells his story of coming up in the Vancouver music scene in the '90s to his current home in Nashville. We also dig into some of his techniques for capturing a band in a room.
    0:00 - Welcome back
    01:55 - Listener feedback on overall level of the podcast
    03:05 - Listener question on mics for recording singers, traditional and non traditional
    07:29 - Welcome Steve Dawson
    12:00 - Steve’s formative years in Vancouver BC
    17:20 - Zubat & Dawson, Great Uncles of the Revolution
    21:30 - Bruce Fairbairn
    25:25 - the Factory years leading into
    35:25 - The Henhouse Studio
    44:35 - Touring life with Birds of Chicago & Matt Anderson
    49:00 - Pandemic times & remote setups
    56:00 - The Henhouse Express - a fully remote recorded song in one week.
    60:00 - Steve’s upcoming releases - touring in these late pandemic times.
    68:36 - The Henhouse Hang, a recording seminar at Steve’s in Nashville.
    72:00 - Steve’s approach to a session with a full band. Mic techniques for upright bass, drums, a singer with a guitar, mandolin & fiddle.
    79:00 - upright bass!
    86:00 - a brief aside on the Spectra 610 compressor
    90:00 - recording a singer with guitar
    95:00 - mandolins (and fiddles)
    100:08 - Steve’s podcast Music Makers & Soul Shakers



    Gear mentioned:
    Ear Trumpet Labs Edwina
    Neumann M49
    Neumann KM84
    Coles 4038
    RCA 44
    Royer 121
    AEA 44
    AEA R88
    AKG D20
    Demeter Mic Pre / compressors
    Rolls Summing Box
    Chandler TG-2
    API 512
    Spectra Sonics V610
    Spectra Sonics 600
    Spectra Sonics 712 Amp
    Thank you for listening to the Truth About Recording & Mixing. Please send us your questions - voice memos are great! - to podcast@fretboardjounal.com

    • 1 hr 52 min
    Ep 14 - Jon Ulrigg of Ulrigg Ribbons

    Ep 14 - Jon Ulrigg of Ulrigg Ribbons

    Welcome back to the Truth About Recording and Mixing brought to you by the Fretboard Journal from Crackle & Pop! studio in Ballard WA. This episode we speak to Jon Ulrigg of Ulrigg Ribbons & Shiny Box Microphones. Jon has had a long path in both software and old school hardware and has found himself doing expert work in both areas. We are pleased to have cornered him for an hour of so to hear about all of his many passions.
    1:10 Listener question about where to find the projects recorded at Crackle & Pop! Warning: shameless self promotion to follow.
    3:20: Listener question about Stereo vs. Mono tracks and a question about electronic drums vs acoustic drums.
    9:10 Welcome Jon Ulrigg! And welcome to Jon’s heavy RCA mics which he brought along to record the interview with. A plug for Latchlake stands.
    12:30 Jon’s career path. How’d he get here? From software at Microsoft to working networking at Nordstrom to ATT. Finding time to get back to playing into playing music and then - GEAR!
    22:50 Beginning to build his own equipment and discovering ribbon mics. From a group buy on the audio forums to starting Shiny Box mics.
    34:00 the changing economy and transitioning into Ribbon repair work.
    39:50 Working for Brad Avensen’s company Silicon Audio and their seismic sensor / laser interferometer development program. 
    49:00 Installing these sensors on the ocean floor, on the moon and on one of the moons of Jupiter.
    55:55 - Let’s talk about the different families of microphones - dynamic, condenser and ribbon mics. Let’s start with dynamic mics.
    01:05:00 Let’s talk about condenser mics. 
    01:11:05 What about multipattern condenser mics?
    01:12:30 Listener question about cardioid vs figure of eight and omni patterns and the uses of each.
    01:18:00 Uses for the null of a figure of eight mics.
    01:20:00 Let’s talk about ribbon mics. Design elements.
    01:24:25 Variations in design, hypercardioid ribbon mics, acoustical labyrinths and sound damping.
    01:27:50 - the actual ribbon element in a ribbon mic. Ribbon lengths, materials, corrugating a ribbon. Traditional corrugation vs pistonic corrugation. 
    01:38:00 Beyer mics and their ribbons and parts. Jon is currently servicing Beyer mics. Dual ribbons in the Beyer 160 and 130.
    01:48:55 Sleeper ribbons, affordable vintage ribbons? Octava ML19s. Rebranded Beyer mics.
    01:53:55 Jon’s new microphone designs. 
    01:57:30 Thanks Jon!
    Gear mentioned: RCA 77, RCA 44, Shiny Box, Beyer Dynamic M260 Beyer Dynamic M160 Beyer Dynamic M130, Shure 57, Sennheiser 421, Sennheiser 441, Dynamic Mics, Condenser Mics, Ribbon Mics, Neumann U47, Neumann U48, Octava mics, Altec 639, B&O mics.

    • 1 hr 58 min
    EP 13 Bill Cheney of Spectra1964

    EP 13 Bill Cheney of Spectra1964

    Welcome back to the Truth About Recording and Mixing brought to you by the Fretboard Journal from Crackle & Pop! studio in Ballard WA. This episode we speak to Bill Cheney of Spectra 1964 about the history of the company and the classic circuits that are still on the cutting edge today.

    1:10 - listener comment from Josh Block regarding episode 11 with Timothy Herzog.
    3:05 - listener comments from Bob Knetzger
    4:45 - what is flanging? Johnny gives a demo and a modern technique to achieve that classic sound
    16:45 - Welcome Bill Cheney, Bill talks about his upbringing and how he got into audio. 
    20:30 - Meeting William Dilley and eventually going to work for Spectra
    29:30 - Scully 100 - the Spectra tape machine
    33:00 - 70s era when Spectra is building sound reinforcement when Bill first started working there.
    36:30 - William Dilleys story and his love of the flying.
    41:30 - the gear manufacturing world of the early 60s and how Spectra got into the market. The 101 amplifier and who was building studios using Spectra parts.
    46:30 - William Dilley designing the Minutemen missile launch project. And a side story about William Dilley and Les Paul hanging out. How working on that system informed his knowledge of transistor circuitry. 
    01:00:00 - the development of the product line through the 60s - the 101A and the 500EQ.
    1:06:45 - the 610 comp limiter and the reasoning behind the putting the limiter at the front of the circuit.
    01:14:00 - what other circuits was William Dilley working on in the late 60s?
    01:19:00 Differences in parts from then and now and where the company is headed now. Through hole technology and current manufacturing. Challenges leading to Spectra using SMD fabrication.
    01:33:20 - New products coming out now.
    01:40:00 - More talk of the 610 compressors! And the book of instructions.
    Thank you for listening to the Truth About Recording & Mixing. Please send us your questions - voice memos are great! - to podcast@fretboardjounal.com

    • 1 hr 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
47 Ratings

47 Ratings

SeattleDrums ,

Don’t miss this pod if you want to learn about audio

I listen to a lot of audio podcasts, and this is my favorite. Why?
-Johnny is a great interviewer. On point, nice tone, relaxed yet highly informative
-Good choices of guests from various backgrounds (but all very relevant)
-Love the Q&A from listeners
-It *sounds* great. (Weird how many audio production podcasts have zoom-call-like audio!)

Only wish the episodes came more frequently! :)

mindsketch ,

Season 2022 is a Hit!

I’m a nut for discussions on music making! Podcast on songwriting, music production, and engineering techniques dominate my playlist. “The Truth” continues to be one of my favorites! Though there are some [desirable] topics that get revisited, like Spectra Sonics, I prefer Johnny’s less scripted and sometimes non-linear format that makes it feel like you’re sitting in the intern’s chair just soaking up knowledge wherever the convo leads. Nice job, Johnny! Don’t be such a reluctant podcast rockstar!

dagnew123 ,

Awesome podcast

Really looking forward to this podcast. Great topic with lots and lots to talk about.

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