A Sneak Preview of Studio Pass: Kurt Ballou

It may be heresy since I’m about to fly out to NAMM, cover (and hopefully test out) all the new gear there, attend Metal Masters 5… I mean, I’m looking forward to that, but it’s not the Gear Gods endeavor that I’m most excited about. None of that will make me a better person, or a better recording engineer, or make me smell any better.


Well zinc will help with that last part, but otherwise our upcoming Studio Pass: Kurt Ballou takes care of the rest. In case you missed the announcement last time, the gist is that we’re teaming up with creativeLIVE, the folks who just brought you that mind-breakingly informative Eyal Levi drum recording clinic, to bring you two days of recording lessons from Kurt Ballou, straight from God City Studios. Oh, and it’s free if you watch it live on February 3rd and 4th, or just $79 if you preorder the anytime access.

I’m not going to bother waxing for another paragraph or two about how Kurt is one of the few engineers who manages to release recordings powerful enough to make people lose their shit, yet natural enough that old salt and pepper metalheads like yours truly don’t whine about how music used to be played by bands instead of computers. You know his recordings. Instead, I’m going to stop typing and just direct your attention to the video below.

We wanted to give you a teaser video or two so you know what to expect from the class. Kurt polled his Facebook fans to see what they most wanted to see in Studio Pass, and unsurprisingly a lot of them wanted to know how he gets his mammoth-sized guitar and bass tones. So here’s the first of two previews Kurt recorded. This one deals with mic placement and phase. The next one (which will go live next week) deals with amp blending and tones. Enjoy.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.