Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Hardware vs Software Mixing Desk

Has the software mixing desk replaced the extremely large and expensive mixing desk.

No doubt this debate has come up in almost every recording studio in the entire world but is it true?

There are hundreds of articles and blogs all over the internet and in magazines giving one opinion over the other with all the pros and cons to each and some conclusion given at the end that puts one slightly ahead of the other.

But here is what we think is the truth.

When it comes to cost and ease of use there is no doubt that software has taken the lead.  For what would be the price of one studio quality mixing desk you could have a whole studio worth of software equipment, all capable of producing high quality recordings.

But come on, lets be completely honest with ourselves, if you walked into a studio, that was anything other than someones bedroom studio, and in there was no sign of a proper traditional mixing desk with all its knobs, buttons and flashing lights but instead a laptop with a few usb controllers hanging out of it you would very likely walk back out.

So which does the job better?


Which is the best?

The big, expensive hardware mixer, because it just looks cool.

Here at Moorcroft Recording Studios based in Leeds, we still believe the hardware mixer is awesome and wouldn't operate without one.

Visit our studio

Friday, 28 February 2014

The art of the Loop Pedal

Lets be honest, the one man band was a terrible idea, some guy stood in the street with a Hi-Hat on his head, a bass drum at his feet, jangles hanging from his elbows, a Harmonica strapped around his face and a guitar looking uncomfortable amongst the mess.

With the exception of a small few super talented folk, it nearly always sounded like a car crash.

Well the one man band is back and sounding awesome thanks to the loop pedal.

If you don't know how a loop pedal works, its quite simple, whatever is recorded into the pedal is put into a loop and plays over and over until told not to.

Here's a basic three step guide on the simplicity of using a loop pedal

Step 1. Record a small piece of music into the pedal and let it loop.
Step 2. Record a complementary piece of music over the last loop and let them loop together.
Step 3. Same as step 2. repeat repeat repeat as desired.

This simple procedure is the bases of the first loop pedals, however the loop pedal has evolved.
The Multi Track Loop Pedal
The multi track loop pedal gives the ability for one person to get even more creative by being able to record different sections to separate channels. Although getting it right is far from easy the pay off is being able to create a song with build ups, break downs, intros and endings, all by the work of one individual
Operating the loop pedal
Different loop pedal manufacturers take a slightly different method of operation but they all have the same principle, they must be able to be operated using the feet leaving the hands free to play the instrument

There is only usually only 2 or 3 pedals on a multi track loop pedal so each pedal has several functions. This is where it can get a little confusing, to get the pedal to do a desired command usually means either tapping the pedal, holding the pedal for a short while, tapping it twice quickly, or pressing two pedals together.

Learning curve
There is generally three main things to learn when it comes to mastering the loop pedal

  • Creating the seamless loop :- Probably the one thing that will make the difference between a great sounding loop pedal performance and a bad one is getting a nice seamless loop, the same loop will be played over and over again throughout the entire performance and if it is bad it will not go unnoticed. Most loop pedals have a small delay between pressing the pedal and the loop starting again so the user must get use to this delay and work out when to press the pedal

  • Learning the pedals:- The pedals will have several different functions so learning all the functions and knowing them well is essential

  • Structure:- When performing with a loop pedal the audience will witness the whole song being created from start to finish so unlike a band performing where several musicians can start at the same time and function together the loop pedal artist must learn how to put together a song using all the available features of the loop pedal, this takes some imagination and trial and error but done properly it is possible to create and perform an entire song with a bass line, rhythm, harmonies, percussion, really the possibilities are endless

  • Here at our Leeds and Bradford recording studio in west Yorkshire we regularly have the pleasure of recording a fantastic loop pedal artist, he knows his loop pedal inside out, see the videos below to see some great examples of just how great a loop pedal can be in the right hands
    This video was recorded in our Leeds and Bradford based studio, if you would liKe to use our services please contact us via the contacts page

    The video below again shows our guy demonstrating how to use a loop pedal and has added some instructions to help those wanting to learn how to loop

    Thursday, 27 February 2014

    Moorcroft Studios - Introduction

    Moorcroft Studios is based in West Yorkshire, close to Leeds and Bradford just off the M62.  Since opening 15 years ago we have seen many artists of nearly all genres come and use our services.  We like to provide a  laid back, friendly and stress environment  so you can get the most of your time in Studio.

    The studio is based around a modded Soundcraft Ghost console and MOTU 24 channel interface. This in combination with our high end microphones guarantee excellent results every time. 

    As well as quality Recording and Mixing services we also offer gift experiences which can include a high quality video, a perfect gift for anyone who likes to sing.

    Video below was filmed and recorded at Moorcroft Studios.

    Please contact us via the contacts page