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Author Topic:  My recording techniques
Wally Moyers


From:
Lubbock, Texas
Post Posted 2 Dec 2016 6:38 am     Reply with quote

I've had several people ask me where and how I record my steel songs.. I have owned a commercial recording studio of one sort or another since the 70s. I started out with a little radio shack 2 track then a Tascam 4 track then 24 track 2"and now record to ProTools.. The photo is my current studio... Most of the songs I'm doing on my project are written and produced in this room.. I have sent some of the tracks to a few of my friends that have added their parts and then sent them back to me.. It's a great and efficient way to work.. Last year I moved the studio to my home so I could spend more time on my personal project..

The steel rig is pretty simple. It's my Zum Hybrid with 710s, Hilton Pedal and Phil Bradbury's Little Walter 89... The tone controls are set straight up except for the bass that is up about 1/4th.. I don't record with any effects so I can control it in the mix.. It helps me hear the tuning better while playing too.. I record using ProTools. I use two mic's, one into the center of the cone and one to the side of the cone. In the mix I blend the two to get the tone I like.. This saves me from having to EQ.. In the mix I use a touch of compression to keep it in the track but not too much so I don't loose the Dynamics.. In the mix use a little stereo reverb and stereo delay.. The delay is set to the tempo of the song. I use 1/8 note on one side and 1/4 note on the other.. The dry steel track is panned to the center.. This creates a nice wide space but doesn't cover up the natural sound of the steel the way too much reverb can...

I hope this helps and answers some of the questions you've had.. In my signature at the bottom are links to two of my songs.



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Jim Cohen


From:
Philadelphia, PA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2016 8:02 am     Reply with quote

Hey Wally,

Thanks for posting that. I just watched/listened to "Let's Talk About It", which is really lovely. You have a beautiful touch and sound on the instrument. (I knew that before but it was a pleasure to be reminded of it again now.) This was particularly touching for me, as I also have a son who is a saxophonist, so that Dad/Son thing got to me... Smile

Have a great day and hope to see & hear you in Mesa.

Jim
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Dale Rottacker


From:
Tacoma Washington, USA
Post Posted 2 Dec 2016 8:46 am     Reply with quote

Wally, since I’ve become aware of you, I’ve been a fan, and love everything I’ve heard you do... I’ve especially been impressed with your tone, which to my ear is about as good as I’ve heard and truly something to strive to achieve... Thanks for giving us all a glimpse into how you do what you do, and get what you get.
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Dale Rottacker, Steelinatune

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Tony Prior


From:
Charlotte NC..
Post Posted 2 Dec 2016 9:58 am     Reply with quote

Really nice Wally, but where are all the cords and stuff on the floor ? Sad

Great tracks and beautiful room as well, thanks for posting.

t
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Emmons Steels, Fender Telecasters
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Bud Angelotti


From:
Larryville, NJ, USA
Post Posted 8 Dec 2016 12:21 pm     Reply with quote

So Wally,
You are writing these songs as well as recording them, Yes?
Goodness, you are a talented man!
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Wally Moyers


From:
Lubbock, Texas
Post Posted 20 Dec 2016 8:31 pm     Reply with quote

Bud Angelotti wrote:
So Wally,
You are writing these songs as well as recording them, Yes?
Goodness, you are a talented man!


Thank you Bud... I'm not sure about talent but givin enough time and work anyone can get lucky every once in awhile:)
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Quentin Hickey


From:
NS, Canada
Post Posted 18 Feb 2017 5:31 pm     Reply with quote

First class stuff all the way Wally!!
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Wally Moyers


From:
Lubbock, Texas
Post Posted 18 Feb 2017 7:18 pm     Reply with quote

Quentin Hickey wrote:
First class stuff all the way Wally!!


Thank you Quentin, I appreciate that!
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 7 Sep 2017 11:00 pm     Reply with quote

Lovely and lot's of quality work. Kudos!

Is that a real AC?
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David Mitchell


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 8 Sep 2017 5:12 am     Reply with quote

Great sounds Wally! I lost count of the years I've run around in a studio like a chicken with his head cut off making sure all the musicians are happy but I've always said thay only pro musicians and audio engineers that make a living or could make a living playing and recording music can recognize the talents of a great recording engineer. The first talent is making sure everyone is relaxed maybe offering a bit of humour before you start. You know the story. A lot more goes into running a studio than meets the eye. Just like learning to play a musical instument a recording engineer works for years on their craft too. To get state of the art sound like you get Wally just takes an experienced trained ear that only comes with audio awareness. Learning what a good sound even is. Kudos friend! Audio engineering at it's finest!
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Dale Rottacker


From:
Tacoma Washington, USA
Post Posted 9 Sep 2017 7:10 am     Reply with quote

David Mitchell wrote:
Great sounds Wally! I lost count of the years I've run around in a studio like a chicken with his head cut off making sure all the musicians are happy but I've always said thay only pro musicians and audio engineers that make a living or could make a living playing and recording music can recognize the talents of a great recording engineer. The first talent is making sure everyone is relaxed maybe offering a bit of humour before you start. You know the story. A lot more goes into running a studio than meets the eye. Just like learning to play a musical instument a recording engineer works for years on their craft too. To get state of the art sound like you get Wally just takes an experienced trained ear that only comes with audio awareness. Learning what a good sound even is. Kudos friend! Audio engineering at it's finest!


Amen David.... I wish I could spend a month with you and Wally and maybe Tommy too... but then if that happened I’d realize that a month wasn’t a tenth enough time
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Dale Rottacker, Steelinatune

*2016 MSA Legend XL Signature 9x6
*1990 Jim Lindsey Special, Quad Original Bill Lawrence 705 PUP’s, 8x8 Gary Hogue Clone
*Black n Gray, Mullen D-10 8x7/ *Blue Sho-Bud Pro 3 Custom 8x6/ *Black Sho-Bud Pro 3 Custom 8x4
*Sho-Bud Maverick 3x1/ *Fender 400
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David Mitchell


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 9 Sep 2017 7:54 am     Reply with quote

Thanks Dale! Guys they play like you and Wally make an engineers job a whole lot more fun.
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Dale Rottacker


From:
Tacoma Washington, USA
Post Posted 9 Sep 2017 8:25 am     Reply with quote

David Mitchell wrote:
Thanks Dale! Guys they play like you and Wally make an engineers job a whole lot more fun.


Just being mentioned in the same sentence as Wally is fun for me... Very Happy Laughing Very Happy Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed
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Dale Rottacker, Steelinatune

*2016 MSA Legend XL Signature 9x6
*1990 Jim Lindsey Special, Quad Original Bill Lawrence 705 PUP’s, 8x8 Gary Hogue Clone
*Black n Gray, Mullen D-10 8x7/ *Blue Sho-Bud Pro 3 Custom 8x6/ *Black Sho-Bud Pro 3 Custom 8x4
*Sho-Bud Maverick 3x1/ *Fender 400
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David Mitchell


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 9 Sep 2017 10:21 am     Reply with quote

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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Wally Moyers


From:
Lubbock, Texas
Post Posted 14 Sep 2017 5:45 pm     Reply with quote

David and Dale, I appreciate all the kind words! As both of you know its all a work in progress. As long as I'm still having fun and learning I hope to keep at it. I've actually moved and built a new studio since this post, this a pic of the new one. Its more of a studio/music room now, this one was last week when I was putting some guitar parts down on the project so its kind of a mess.. Take care!


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David Mitchell


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 16 Sep 2017 7:54 am     Reply with quote

Oh Wally! It's got that cozy Vince Gill studio look with a music store on the side. Love it! You just need a baby API or Neve for your centerpiece. Lol! Everyone knows you can make a hit with a Yamaha board and go shopping in a Ford Fairlane but the nice stuff gives everyone something to talk about and it really does look and sound good. Amazing the sound we can get now with one decent preamp, a microphone, DI box, a convertor and a laptop computer. In 1970 it took $150,000.00 to get the equipment to even begin to sound like a professional production plus tons of know how. It still takes know how but not a whole lot of equipment like in the days when we recorded by brute force and needed a space the size of an aircraft hanger to set up a studio. Great days musicians are living in now!
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 16 Sep 2017 12:55 pm     Reply with quote

David Mitchell wrote:
It still takes know how


And an accurate good room that controls the lows!
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David Mitchell


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 16 Sep 2017 1:33 pm     Reply with quote

Accurate monitoring enviroment is the most important equipment you can own and for that reason I built my last two studios and control rooms with solid concrete walls then spent another $10,000 in the control room building bass traps, speaker soffits stuffed with 2 ft. thick of corning 2" compressed insulation. The last room was flat down to 20hz with zero bass build up and no phase cancellation with non-parallel walls and ceiling. I even built absorbent ceiling clouds that also contained the enviromental lighting.
My very first customer was Ray Price. I didn't even have the interior built when he came to that studio but built a makeshift vocal baffle that he stood in front of that worked like a charm. It killed all the echo and phase cancellation in that solid concrete block room that sounded like an echo chamber. As I said before. Just like a guitar picker learns to play guitar an engineer learns his craft too. Equipment and multi-million dollar rooms are only as good as the operator. I've heard plenty of useless recording come out of them. With that said I still do most of my mixing in the comfort of my living room but I have lots of junk in it to break up the sound and it also has solid concrete walls and foundation. Sometimes and to varying degrees a frame room will start resonating and create bass that isn't on the recording as well as allow an intolerable amount of outside noise in. Just go listen to it in your car. If it doesn't sound the same as what you are hearing in the control room then something is wrong with your room. For those recording at home a good set of powered speakers is essential and you can use bookshelves filled with books for diffusion, drapes, rugs, carpet, etc, to get you a good monitoring enviroment.
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 16 Sep 2017 5:52 pm     Reply with quote

David Mitchell wrote:

My very first customer was Ray Price.


Class act!

Yup studios are expensive and difficult to build.

Today you can get gobs of software that take the work out many mixing jobs but so far the room does not come with it although they try and remove the room from the equation with near fields or a software trick.



Experiments with virtual reality are on going and while that might be something to look forward to, it could be a pandora's box as long as we still use the shells on the sides of our heads..

Sound has a nasty habit of literally going through walls, bass with long wave lengths, hard to tame, builds up in a room.

Room boundaries make it critical for where the speakers are placed for the mix position.

Then getting the phantom image at your mix center is something to achieve.

I used Helmholtz resonators and a raised floor with sand box. The walls and floors are concrete. And yes I made acoustic clouds, slanted ceilings with decompression at the mix position. It wasn't cheap and it didn't happen in a week.

After that it's learning the monitors.

It's an ongoing adventure in sound and one never stops learning.

Mistakes happen just from working on different songs.

Reason why some producers will go from studio to studio to find the studio that best fits the band which may make one band sound good but not another.

Guess that's why it's called a craft.
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ShoBud The Pro 1
YES it's my REAL NAME!
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Wally Moyers


From:
Lubbock, Texas
Post Posted 17 Sep 2017 8:13 am     Reply with quote

The room is important for sure although I've never had the privilege of working in a great one. I've had at least 10 studios since I started back in the late 70s. When I go back and listen to tracks from these studios its interesting to think back to the rooms they were done in. It really all comes down to the quality of the music being recorded. Like you all, I always take them to my car to make final level decisions and to check the low end. One of my favorite sessions was for a friend of mine and great sax player Don Wise. Don and I played together for many years and he played with Delbert McClinton for almost twenty years.

This is a cut from one of his CDs that I did. This project was recorded while I was having a house built with a 1800' basement studio. At the time we had sold our house that had a great garage studio so we were living in a two story duplex. There were two bedrooms up stairs so I had one as the control room and one as the cutting room. I had just got the temporary studio set up when Don called ready to record. Two days later Don along with Delbert's band pulled up at our house and we started recording..
A week later 11 songs were ready to mix. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZl-bGDICSw
this is one that Delbert sang on that we did at another studio about 3 years earlier ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUTwOXzkzVg
Sometimes you have to work with what you got... LOL
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Godfrey Arthur


From:
Philippines
Post Posted 17 Sep 2017 8:56 am     Reply with quote

Wally Moyers wrote:
It really all comes down to the quality of the music being recorded.


Yes a good well arranged song almost mixes itself.
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ShoBud The Pro 1
YES it's my REAL NAME!
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