Based in Southend Essex, Bleeding Ear Studios has 3 acoustically designed rooms, each equipped with a drum kit, 2 guitar amps, a bass amp and a PA with as many microphones as you need for your rehearsal. The recording studio is based around a 40 channel A&H Saber console and Pro Tools HD, and a producer/engineer with over 16 years experience.
Recording serivces are £20 p/hr or £140 for an 8 hour day.
Mixing is £75 per song
Mastering £20 per song
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Interview with Dave Merry Bleeding Ear Studio
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working in a field I love. I feel lucky every day.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Too many to choose. Artists like Dave Grohl, producers like Steve Albini, Silvia Massey and Chris Lord-Alge
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: The Noble Jacks 'Gun Hill' EP which I produced. A folk band with all acoustic instruments (upright bass, acoustic guitars, madolin, mandola, fiddle, drums). Really happy with how it came out
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I'm currently working on a single for a indie rock band, and an EP for an acousitic duo
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Hybrid? If I have to choose 1, it'd be digital because analogue recalls can be time consuming (not to mention only 95% accurate at best)
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: That I'll always work to the best of my ability, working to help create the artists vision.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: 'Do you know what all these buttons do?' My normal response is 'No, just these 3'
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: That anyone can do this in their bedroom.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I always ask for a couple of records that they like the sound of, so i know what they are hoping to achieve.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Always check out their previous work
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: a Royer 121 (guitars/drum overhead) a U87 (vocals/most other things) an SM57 a Chandler TG2 an 1176
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I studied for 3 years for a BA(hons) in music production, and then spent the following 2-3 years working for free at various studios. I then built a studio with a friend, worked there for a few years before spending a year working as a sound engineer on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. When I came back, I built my own studio.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I wouldn't say I had a style, I try to hear what the song needs and work to that goal.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Tricky. I'd say the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, as they have a very distinctive style and it would be an interesting process.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Gain stage properly
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I mainly work on rock/indie/blues/punk/folk music. Pretty much anything with a guitar in it
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I am a perfectionist. I often spend longer than I should (or charge for) on my mixes
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A fresh pair of ears, and 16 years experience
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When tracking, I like to get guide guitars/bass/vocals to play along with the click/drummer to keep a live feel, before we go back and overdub the parts. When tracking, I like to get the sounds right (be that with EQ/compression/other) so mixing becomes much easier when the time comes.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: My studio is based around a 40 channel A&H Saber console, and Pro Tools HD. I have a selection of outboard including a UA1176 and preamps like the CAPI VP28. I use UAD, Waves and Eventide plugins among others.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: I own a commercial recording studio. I'd say the majority of my work is tracking and mixing music.