Converge’s Kurt Ballou Needs Your Bad Recordings

If you’ve slept on Kurt Ballou’s Studio Pass online course that we co-presented with Creative Live last year, I feel bad for you. Not only has Kurt made some of the best heavy music albums of the last decade – his resume counts Kvelertak, High on Fire, Nails, Trap Them, Black Breath, All Pigs Must Die, Code Orange Kids, Baptists, and many more as clients at Godcity – but he’s also a fantastic teacher and communicator. So download that course now to prep for his next one!


…which will be vastly different from the first. Kurt just posted a lengthy message to his Facebook page detailing exactly what will be going down:

ATTN: Friends and colleagues – I need your bad recordings!

I’ll be teaching a class on next month called “Fix it in the Mix” which will focus on techniques to salvage poorly recorded audio multi-tracks. Obviously, sample replacement of drums and re-amping of guitars can be effective ways to revive sub-par recordings, but they can also homogenize the uniqueness of the original tracks. In this class, I’ll explore organic approaches to turn your tracks from trashy to classy.

Here’s the type of tracks I’m looking for:
• Bad recordings of good performances. I will not be doing any vocal tuning, beat detectiving, or other performance editing. This is all about sonics, not performance.
• Poor mic placement – see attached photo
• Minimal mic placement – recordings from live shows where there were no drum overheads available, or minimal mic’ing scenarios where there’s only a few mics on the drums are good candidates.
• Excessive cymbal leakage into other microphones.
• Cheap gear that generally sounds bad – could be cheap instruments, mics, mic pre’s, bad drum heads, etc.

Things I’m NOT looking for:
• Bad stereo mixes. These must be mult-tracks
• Bad performances. These need to be tracks worth salvaging!
• Noisy, hissy, hummy, or crackly tracks. While I may address some of these issues, they are outside of the scope of this class

If you have any multi-tracks that you think will work well, please email a SHORT sample to You, of course, must have the blessing of the artist and engineer. Any work I do to the tracks you’re welcome to keep for free.


Needless to say this should be pretty awesome, and relevant to aspiring and working engineers alike who have to deal with shitty recordings. Creative Live hasn’t posted a registration link yet, so keep your eyes peeled here and on their site. As with all their online classes, it will be free to stream it live, and available for purchase afterwards.

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Max is managing editor of Gear Gods.

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