Post Electric Studios, Leith – The FEAST Interview

We were delighted when the guys from Post Electric Studios invited us in for a chat and allowed us to compile a short film. It’s truly a great place to record and the equipment they have down there will be the envy of every studio. Feast met up with studio head, Rod Jones (the same Rod Jones of Idlewild!) to discuss his role at Post Electric Studios and his approach to working with artists. Top Tip: just remember to bring biscuits!

1. What job do you do?
Well….many I guess although I wouldn’t call any of them jobs as I enjoy them too much. I produce records, play and write in Idlewild and my solo work and also am involved in metal health and music charities.
2. How did you get into music?
My parents are both classical musicians so it was in my blood.
3. What do you do for your job?
In producing I work with trying to get the best out if a band or artist and their music. This can involve anything from song arrangements, making them feel comfortable, encouraging them, helping them to envisage and realise their creative vision all the way to setting up microphones and trying to capture the song in the most creative and sonically engaging way.
4. What’s the best thing about your job?
Getting to work with a vast array of creative people from many different backgrounds both sonically and personally.
5. And the worst thing?
The long hours and when the artist forgets to bring biscuits.
6. How do you approach working with a band/artist?
It varies from person to person. An important part of Producing is being able to adapt and make whoever you are working with feel comfortable, inspired and free to create. You have to adapt to different personalities and know when to be good cop / bad cop…..
7. What the best bit of advice could give to band before they come in for a session? Practice!
8. How do you get musicians to perform in the studio? (how do you keep the energy of a studio session?)
Again, its about reading the situation and knowing when to have a break oratory something new. There is no formula unfortunately. You just have to try and become a temporary member of the band almost. If you care as much as they do about their recording / song then that’s a good place to start.
9. What would be the major reasons to go into a professional studio over a home recording set-up?
Quality and Committing to an idea. Home studio set up can be great and creative but often this gives you an open ended session. Sometimes its good to have a set amount of time and be in that moment. Commit to a sound or vision and make it the best to can be. Some things can be recorded well in any home studio but obviously some can’t. Its fairly easy to fake it now but its never quite as good as the real thing.
10. What about the room, what kind of difference does that make?
All the difference. There is no substitute for it. You can have the best microphones and console in the world but all they will capture is what they are in front of (unless they are omni / bi directional….). The same mics in the same position relative to the same drum kit will donut great in one room and awful in the next. A well treated, good vibes room will always make your job easier.
11. What software do you use?
Whatever the project dictates. For recording almost always Pro Tools.
12. What is your favourite compressors, and why?
The SSL bus compressor is hard to beat. It glues a mix together in a great way.
13. What is your favourite Microphone, and why?
Coles 4038 (preferably two of them).
14. What kind of processing to you do to “tape”?
EQ, some compression. Again depends. If we are committing to a specific sound then delay, flange, anything really.
15. Do you edit drums to get the best take?
Sometimes yes. Depends on the drummer and how well they paid attention to answer number 7……

16. What’s the best advice for a vocal session?
Try to get a performance rather than perfection. The vocal is usually the centrepiece and has to have a vibe and life to it.
17. What do you like about the sound of the Duality?
Its super clean and low noise. Its not so much about character as some consoles but it is very versatile.
18. In your opinion, what classifies as a good mix and a good master?
One that engages the listener. Its not about perfection for me, more about making the listener enjoy the song. Dynamics or character are super important.
19. What’s your working style?
Smooth canyon.
20. Who have you been listening to recently?
I’m often listening to old favourites as references for whatever session I’m working on so currently a lot of 90s alternative rock like Dinosaur Jr, Guided by Voices and some modern twists on this like Car Seat Headrest.
21. What qualities should a studio engineer have?
They need to be attentive, focused, personable and patient.
22. What qualities should a producer have?
See above plus creativity.
23. How important is it to you to capture the performance of the band/artist?
Incredibly important. Otherwise you should just type in the song by midi. Vibe and feeling are often overlooked, surprisingly in bedroom recording as there is so much programming and midi involved. Making a record sound real and giving it personality is something that is so much easier when musicians are performing.

Post Electric Studio
100 Constitution St, Edinburgh EH6 6AW

Film by Ewan Petit
Posted by Paul.

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