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Mike purcell has a long list of recording, mixing and mastering credits including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Brad Paisley, Waylon Jennings, and Billy Ray Cyrus. He is a recording artist himself, and has a passion for indie rock. He is also an entrepreneur with many business ventures.
He grew up in Nashville, and started playing guitar when he was 14. He began recording with 2 cassette decks and a Radioshack mixer, and his first recording studio experience in 1988 solidified his passion for recording.
Mike attended Belmont University from 1990-1994. He interned at The Castle recording studio and was offered a job there for $150/week. He later went to LA for a six month trip to record Lionel Richie.
When he returned to Nashville, he got a ProTools rig and was very into digital audio. He did a lot of vocal tuning work at this time. He would also often record using the Otari RADAR II digital multitrack recorder.
A demo recording is done for songwriters who want to pitch something to a recording artist. These songs are often done with session musicians who do not rehearse extensively before the session, because they can sight-read the charts.
At County Q studio, Mike would record a high volume of demos in a single day. Because of his ability and experience as an engineer, and the quality of the session musicians, they were able to record songs very quickly and efficiently.
-What comes next in the recording industry is what you invent. Don’t be afraid to try new things and make mistakes.
-Mike Purcell prefers to find music he loves, and capture it, rather than finding music that he kind of likes and reinventing it.
-Take every job you can if it has anything to do with music. Take the gigs that you’re uncomfortable taking; you’re probably uncomfortable because you don’t know much about it, so you’ll probably learn from the experience.
-Don’t have an ego as an engineer. Try to fulfill the client’s vision rather than your own.
-Get hooked up with someone who is successful and doing something that you want to be a part of. Do the best job out of anybody there, and confess to your mistakes, and you’re likely to be successful.
-what was holding you back at the beginning of your career?
-lack of resources to and access to the good studios. That’s different now, because you can buy ProTools.
-what was some of the best advice you’ve received?
-do it right and do it once.
-What is your favorite recording trick?
-Sidechain compress the bass, using the kick drum as a key input, and squash it down half a dB. It helps keep kick punch through the mix.
-Do you have any book or magazine recommendations?
-Favorite piece of gear that you have?
-Favorite software tool?
-I use an old standalone version of T-RackS (version 3) for mastering. You can get stuff really loud with it.
-Favorite internet resource?
-If you were dropped in a strange city, and could only take a simple recording setup, what would you take? How would you find people to record? How would you make ends meet?
-Take a simple m-box setup with a couple of mics.
-Go to shows to meet bands.
-Deliver pizzas or something like that to make ends meet.
Links to Check Out:
-Mike’s current project, 6minor Films, which creates documentary films about the music creation process:
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