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Music Production With Phil Allen, Bob Horn & Erik Reichers

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Music Production With Phil Allen, Bob Horn & Erik Reichers - Warren Huart: Produce Like A Pro
Music Production With Phil Allen, Bob Horn & Erik Reichers - Warren Huart: Produce Like A Pro - youtube Video
Warren: Hello lovely people, hope you’re doing marvelously well. As ever, please subscribe, hit the notification bell, and you’ll be notified when we have new videos. We just spent the day at Sunset Sound with mister Darrell Thorp. That was a lot of fun. So that is coming up in a couple of weeks.

Next week, we’re in Nashville, so it’s going to be crazy, so we’ll probably have a video up the following week, maybe a couple of weeks, but it’s going to be a really amazing video.

Darrell recorded Steve Magiorra, you know Steve, the keyboard player that’s in many of our videos, with Blair Sinta, another guy in many of our videos on drums. Dave Piltch on bass, and mister Justin Norman on guitar, and it was an amazing recording. Darrell brought down his collection of mics, which are Lauten mics, which are some tube, some FET, some really expensive, some inexpensive, and recorded the whole band live, and then — with multiple mics — and then we did one with one mic.

So it’s pretty awesome. You’re going to really enjoy it. We did a little interview, that’s all coming up. It’s going to be very exciting.

This week has been all about production. I’ve been stepping away from just talking about mixing all the time, because let’s be honest, half of what we do when it comes to mixing is, you know, improve the tones that we’ve got, and there’s a lot of talk about this, but it is after all called Produce Like a Pro. If you go to Monday’s video, you’ll notice this cheat sheet, and in that cheat sheet, it talks a lot about setting up a template, and getting your workflow going for recording.

What I wanted to do in this video firstly is to give you the opportunity to win these two production courses that I have. We’ll give away three copies, and one is with Bob Horn and Eric Reichers, and the other one is with my very good friend, mister Phil Allen.

The Phil one was filmed over two days, and the Bob and Eric one was filmed over three days, and they’re very in-depth production courses. So we’re going to have some clips coming up now where you can see some of the production ideas they were doing with the artist.

Phil works with a guy singer that’s really really fantastic, and Bob and Eric were working with the girl singer of the band, Little Empire.

So you’re going to get to see inside of that, get some great tips, and of course you can enter to win. There will be a link down below, and in an email, if you’re in our email list, and all kinds of good stuff.

Speaking of which, join the email list. Go to, and sign up for that email list, and you’ll get to hear about when we do all of these giveaways and all kinds of other fun stuff.

So let’s get on with it. Let’s watch some Phil Allen, and some Bob and Eric production tips.

Phil: Go ahead and play along real quick, just to make sure this feels good.

Male: That’s pretty clever.

[acoustic guitar]

Phil: Feel good?

Male: Nice little groove to it.

[vocals and acoustic]

Yeah, it doesn’t drag, it doesn’t rush, it feels perfect.

Phil: Cool. Feels good with the vocal to me.

Male: That’s 85?

Phil: That’s 85.

Male: Oh. Artifacts.

Phil: It doesn’t drag, it doesn’t rush. We call that the Goldilocks zone. It’s just right.

Male: Just right.

Phil: Okay, cool. So to get this scratch track, honestly, really, I Just grab any mic that’s near. I think right now, we’re using this Sennheiser dynamic mic. It was literally the closest mic to me at the time. We’re just going DI on the acoustic. No one is ever going to hear this tracks except for us. This is just for the band to play along with, so I’m not terribly worried about getting a great sound out of anything.

Male: Just as long as it’s on time, because the drums are going to have to be tracked to it.

Phil: Exactly, it’s just got to make noise. Now, there’s definitely a case to be made for always capturing your scratch as a high quality, because you never know if you’re going to just capture the greatest guitar performance ever and keep it, it’s happened a million times.

There’s also a case to be made for not doing that. Sometimes, I purposefully use the crappiest mic I can find and go DI, because I don’t want you getting demo-itis. I don’t want you hearing that one and saying, “I really love my scratch track.” Sometimes, if you just purposefully record crappy, then you’re going to want to go in and it kind of motivates you to go do a good vocal.

Male: Everyone — it’s possible for everyone to be guilty of demo-itis.

Phil: Oh, it’s a real thing.

Male: “I liked it the way it was.”

Phil: Yeah, “I listened to it 400 times in my car and now I’m in love with it.” So I’m not worried about bleed, I’m not worried about anything, we’re just getting the tones here.

Alright, so this is run it from the top, don’t worry if you screw up, we can just punch it in.

[acoustic and vocals]

Cool. Good enough for a scratch. A couple of flubs here and there, but again, only for timing reference, so…

Male: I said the guitar was out of tune! [laughs]

Phil: Good scratch track.

Male: I feel like any mistakes I made were just towards the end.

Phil: Yeah, that’s fine. As long as we get…

Male: That was the biggest mistake.

Phil: Ultimately, this is for the drummer to play along with.

Male: I’m happy. Bye!

Phil: So one thing I love doing with backing vocals, since backing vocals tend to get stacked a lot, and in this song, we have a gang vocal, which we have just a ton of tracks for backing vocals.

You can save yourself a ton of time by setting up one dedicated track to track onto, and then as the take comes, if you like it, once you hit stop, instead of unarming that track and arming a new track to put your backing vocal on, you can just take the file from that one track, and drag it onto another one.

So for example here, I have a huge stack of backing vocal tracks, and as we’re tracking them, what I can do is put this into record mode…


We can track. Say we like that backing vocal that theoretically is there, I can just grab my hand tool at this point, click it, I like to hold Control just to make sure I don’t accidentally shift it left or right, drag it down onto one of my backing vocal tracks, then do the same thing for your second stack.


Stop. Hand tool. Control, drag. And you can just keep doing that. You save yourself tons of time, because backing vocals can take forever. By doing this too, it really helps you keep organized, because you can flip back and forth between different intervals, different voices, different auxes, and just mentally keep track, or just by track names, what’s where.

So if you need to go back and get a part, you can just record it onto your track, grab it, and replace the piece you want. This will save you so much time and keep organized, as opposed to having to unarm and rearm all of these different tracks and figure out which one you need to go for. Just a little time saving trick.


Bob: So we’re going to run a take of a song. It’s kind of a rough run through, just so Eric and I can hear it as a whole. So far, we’ve only really heard the demo that they’ve sent us, so we’re going to — we’ve got all of the mics up, and all of the technical stuff done, and we’ve gone through all of the mic chains and everything, and we’re just going to start recording.

So you guys ready?

Female: Oh yeah.

Bob: Alright, here we go.


So we’re going to lower the tempo a little bit, and we’re going to try a few different snare drums. That snare may not be the right one.

Gretsch? Yeah. That might be a cool one.


Okay. Alright, we’ll try that, and then we’ll try the Spawn, and then if you want to try any of yours… Okay.


Alright, let’s grab that Spawn and see how that sounds.


Alright, we’re going to go with the Spawn and just tighten the wires a little bit. I’ll come out and move the mic.

Let me fool with it real quick.

It was a little low in pitch, which was also contributing to the snare wires kind of lasting too long. Sustaining too long. So I wanted it to be shorter and just… Not really go too much higher in pitch, but the tension being a little tighter caused the whole drum to tighten up the sustain, if you will.



That’ll work better. Now I think this drum just kind of fits the mood of the song the best. The — what’s that, a Slinger? The Slingerland — the old sparkle was the second closest. I think just because of the depth of the shell, this is what, seven maybe? Or six and a half? This is pretty deep. This might even be a seven. That’s probably five and a half. Just the deeper kind of had a bigger sound, so we’re going to go with this.

Then first verse, you’re kind of doing — can you show me what you were doing first verse?


Alright. So I have an idea. The only thing about that is that it feels a little like… tribal is the wrong word, kind of almost like we said, Hawaii Five-O earlier. If you move your left hand, and I’m thinking snare on every four, just leave the two open. So if you’re like…


Something like that, instead of all on the floor, I think it’ll sound better, and the other thing is the beat overall, I think once you get into — when you move off of the floor tom, there was a little bit of kind of a skip factor in the beat you’re playing, and we might want to even that out a little bit too. What do you play in like, the second verse? Is it back to the same thing?


Alright, well what about the chorus? Maybe I’m thinking about the chorus.


Alright, so the [imitates drums]. Leave out that extra kick. So the one that comes before the snare? Leave that one out.


Yeah. Just because it kind of has this — starting and stop, but it’s not as fluid and forward driving. So I just think those changes might work better.

So if you guys want to try another take like that.

Eric: Rotate the snare a little bit for me. Okay.

Bob: Then we’ll also see — were you guys liking the 128 tempo better? Okay.

Alright, so guys, we’re going to run the song again. See how this new tempo feels and new snare, and the new drum parts. So here we go.


Eric: I’m thinking maybe we should try a different guitar. Yeah, I don’t know.

Bob: He’s using Les Paul humbuckers? Maybe more of a — we could try the Rick, we could try the Strat, or something else he’s got with him.

If you don’t mind, I’m thinking maybe it’s just the humbuckers don’t kind of fit the part as well just in my head. I’ll bring you the — our Rick and our Strat. Maybe you can fool with those, see if we can get something we like.

We can put a guitar stand… So on this guy, as you choose different pickups positions, also turn this all the way one way, and all the way back the other way, because it really affects the tone, and I don’t understand it, it’s just weird and complex. Turn this all the way up.


Not bad. What’s the middle sound like?


Hear that, see what you think. Alright.


That has a lot more character. Little more live.

Eric: Yeah.

Bob: Alright, that’s probably it. If you guys like it, we like it. Okay.

Cool. So we can start going for real takes.

Eric: Alright.

Warren: I hope you liked that. Thank you ever so much for watching.

Don’t forget to enter. There’s a link around here where you can win these two courses, there’s three copies we’re giving away, so please enter to win. Have a marvelous time recording and mixing, if you haven’t yet, sign up for the email list at, you’ll get a whole bunch of free goodies, and have a marvelous time recording and mixing!


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