Studio wisdom of Ronan Chris Murphy

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Aphorisms and apparent truths about making records.
(a work in progress by Ronan Chris Murphy)

•There is no such thing as over-production, only appropriate and inappropriate production.
•Emulation is always a compromise.
•The only endearing elements of emulation are found within the artifacts of its failure.
•The quality of a recording is governed by the performance.
•Sometimes people who know less than you about making records are right.
•There is often an inverse relationship between the sound quality of a pop rock mix and the number of times over 2 the drummer strikes the snare drum per bar.
•The sound of a mix is seldom the most important element.
•Snare drums that ring are pitched instruments. Just like flutes.
•The abstention of studio effects is an effect.
•Guitars over-driven from digital racks or amp emulators will dominate or be submissive to the group. There is seldom a middle ground.
•Great records are made by great people, not great studios.
•If you don’t have the answer to a recording dilemma, the music probably does.
•If the music does not have the answer it is probably not music.
•What you can throw away is often more important than what you can add.
•The factual integrity of a recording decreases exponentially with every mic and tape track used
•There is always a producer(s) on a record.
•Some of the records you loved when you were younger sound horrible and you never noticed.
•You are making the soundtrack to some one else’s life.
•If you require academics to defend your music, you have already lost Music as an ally.
•Recordings without goals usually go no where. Recordings with goals rarely go where you plan, but they get there.
•Good “composition” does not always result in good music.
•Many people mistake “drums sounds” for “production”
•The fact that the “CD” can hold over 73 minutes of music does not mean that the “album” wants to.
•The general pubic thinks records by famous people sound better then those by non-famous people.
•Perfect recordings seldom make for perfect records.
•Production and adding effects are not synonymous.
•Sometimes not participating is the greatest contribution you can make
•A good producer knows that sometimes going away is a contribution.
•Appropriate production is bringing to the project what it needs, clearing away what it doesn’t, and not touching the rest.
•The question “Why?” should be asked before “How?” or “When?”.
•The music is more important than any one in the studio.

4 Responses to “Studio wisdom of Ronan Chris Murphy”

  1. MMHmmNo Gravatar says:

    Golden nuggets!

  2. MMHmmNo Gravatar says:

    Not sure about the last one though. IS music more important than people? It is the people that give the music meaning …no?

  3. drhillNo Gravatar says:

    well to me its just about trying to serve the song rather than be totally into just one part…like a guitar player who always wants his part louder – and ignoring the context of his part in the song IMO

  4. MMHmmNo Gravatar says:

    Or drummers? 😀

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