Thursday, 14 July 2011

Violinist & Engineer duo @ StarMount Studio

Fung Chern Hwei, 1st violinist of Sirius Quartet dropped by StarMount Studio for an interesting project : a duo of violinist and audio engineer. Its about impromptu music played, tracked and mixed at the same time. The beauty is time and space were preserved and printed on the recording. No post editing or mixing allowed after the tracks were recorded. 

Fung Chern Hwei on violin
Alex Tan on the Zen

Monday, 11 July 2011

Dixon Drums-Spider at StarMount Studio

Here's a drum demo of Dixon Drums-Spider. Brought in by Concerto Music Store and played by Danny Chen of Concerto Music Academy. The shells are of mahogany, and they are light on weight and deep in tone. The session was tracked with Audient Zen's mic pre and Metric Halo Channel Strip TDM(Slight Compression).

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Studio Recording Tips- How to keep a smile on everyone's face :)

Most often I got calls and enquiries about studio rates and what are the possible best way to get their songs done in the least time and best performances. I can't give you a price quote when you're not sure of what you want to do in the studio. Well, here are some accumulated experience throughout my days in StarMount Studio:   Sessions can take too long, albums budget went overboard, and musical and artistic differences can put a real strain on band relationships. So I've decided to put up some useful tips for those who are preparing to record at a studio that can help save time, money, and relationships.
#3 – Have a reference and know the sound/ tone you want
I do agree on creativity and keeping an open mind on every project as nobody likes to classify their sound, but it is important to have reference points when trying to explain the tone you’re looking for.  It'll be a great help if you could show us samples or references, for instance - " I like the reverb on this particular vocal track, or I want my drum sound like this reference". And most of all, keep it realistic. A Yamaha Grand Piano will never sound like a Steinway in anyways... If you want to have the sound of a Steinway grand, go get one. Well, to have a clear sound in your mind and be able to kind of reference it to the engineer would speed up the whole set up and tone searching time. 
#2 – Get your gear(s) into shape.
Before coming into the studio make sure your gear is in good working order.  Change guitar strings and drum heads.  Batteries!! Make sure your active guitars/bass/ stomp boxes are fully charged or replaced. It happens when all of us  would be so carried away, looking for the buzz or trying to fix distorted signals and in the end is the caused of a dying battery.   Drummers make sure that you have enough sticks to break, and make sure the pedal is squeak proof.( a lil WD40 spray would do the job)
#1 – Plan your songs
In my opinion, the #1 way to save time and produce the best recording is to come into the studio with your songs prepared.  You don’t want to waste your studio time working out arrangements, especially when you're on budget crunch. Although more time spent means better business to us, but we certainly do not want that to happen. We want to extract and capture the maximum potential of your project, thus putting more time on tracking and mixing.  Sure, there might be some "magical" moments of artistic inspiration happen when you want to try a different harmony or rearrange a chorus, but it should be just a bonus on the already solid foundation. 
It is always good to have a well thought out pre production plan. Then bands/artistes can communicate better with the engineer on voicing out the needs. And if you have your own comfortable ear/headphones, bring along and you won't have to complain on how uneasy you are with a stranger headphones.
Of course, keeping everyone hydrated and well fed is the key of a happy and productive session.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Feshun - Shambe ft Rifga ( The first Maldivian Jazz Music Album )

Le Cute Presents Feshun - Shambe ft Rifga ( The first Maldivian Jazz Music Album ) Live in Maldives - 19th JULY 2011 at Olympus Stage ; Co - Sponsored by Wataniya Telecom Maldives and Bay Watch - Powered byBadhige TM ... Managed by Music House - TICKET Updates coming soon!!!

This is the latest update about the project done previously with StarMount Studio. We are honored to have the band in the studio. The band spent 4 full days on laying down the parts, trying out as a whole and multi-tracking. We had a half day loading and set up, mainly to get everyone comfortable in the studio (which is often an untold secret of successful recordings)

We tried new gears on this project, utilizing JZ's flagship model BH-1 aka BlackHole on the vocals and lead saxophone. Other than the stunning look of a large rectangle hole in the middle, the sonic quality is very unique as well. I personally likes tracking with figure of 8 on this mic as I find that it has the most 'intimate' feeling, yet retaining the smooth and silky highs of the vocals. 

The mic was able to drive the Portico pres up until 4 o'clock and the result is stunning, solid and warm vocals. I think both the Neve Porticos and Black Hole matches well. They complimented each other and especially when the silk button was on, it just made the already silky top end extra creamy! 

The rest of the recording setup were quite interesting as well, but the JZ BlackHole just stole the limelight for now. The band will be coming over later tonight and we'll be discussing on how to put up an ass kicking album launch in Maldives next week!

sneak preview on some of the tracks from the album 

July Promotion!!!!

If you're planning to get your demos done, or lining up for an EP or album, this is the time!
As of this month, July, StarMount Studio is doing a special month promotion on both Studio A and B. 
Attractive package rates from RM 1000 per song (Track and mixed) in Studio A,  and Introductory tracking rates of RM65/ hr in Studio B is on.
Booking period ( 5th July until 31st July). Terms and conditions apply.
Enquiries are welcomed at

First Impression on Solitaire 6a

It looks like a larger sized Solitaire 5a. The unit has the same black wooden finish, and has only power switch and level knob on the back of the speaker (no shelving or boosting features).
Nothing much on the looks of this pair, but what amazes us was that 1 inch difference in driver size can have such drastic sonic presentation!! We're talking about a lot more wider stereo field, deeper depth and almost a full freq band reproduction. This is definitely not sounding or behaving like any other 6 inch monitors we've ever came across.
One of the tracks played was Tracy Chapman's "Baby Can I Hold You". We're able to "see" the sounds, localization has never been easier with these pairs. The impressive stuff is the bass frequency. It can go really low yet very composed and maintaing the clarity of the bass.
We all agreed that the unit needs to be run-in for a few days or at least a week before it can fully open up. So far, the depth was amazing. The reverbs and sound field was just amazing. We're able to hear ADSR of so clearly, especially on the bass and vocal reverbs.
Apparently although they look identical on the outside, 6a was a total restructured unit from 5a. Components used and op amps are different and I would say the designer really maximize the potential of the 6 inch monitor speaker.
Right now the speakers are on the treadmill, so let it run for couple of days and we'll do another round of listening session probably by next week.
If you're interested to listen to the speakers, feel free to contact us at We'll be more than happy to listen to it again and again (provided the studio is free from sessions).

Monday, 4 July 2011

Solitaire 6a is coming tonight!

If you've been to StarMount Studio, most of you would be remember how well the Solitaire 5a performs on the top end and throughout the frequency bands. Just that its a lil bit shy on the bottom end as it can go down to 50hz as claimed.
This post is about, Solitaire 6a is coming to StarMount Studio tonight, 9pm, courtesy of SoundBuzz Enterprise. We'll be having listening sessions on the larger 6a and I'm already excited thinking of how it would perform against the smaller 5a.
Limited seats are available and kindly mail into for your reservation. So far we left 4 seats only.. Hurry!

New Toys for Studio A

We're welcoming new Audient Black Series, SPL Transient Designer into our gear collection in Studio A. We have a full signal chain from mic pres to eqs to compressors, ADC and even master word clock, all nicely fitted in a 3U 10 slot rack. To my surprise, the PSU takes up another 2 U as opposed to other Lunchboxes which has just AC connectors.
Sonic quality aside, the appearance of the Audient Black looks promising. The knobs feels robust and we just love the LEDs, especially the VU meters on the compressors.
The SPL Transient Designer looks simple. With just Attack Release, Bypass and Link available, its pretty much straight forward to start using it. As its only accepts TRS I/Os, we have to make a couple of TRS-XLR cables for the patch work.
The studio is in need of a patchbay for all the gears and I can see it'll be arriving very soon.
Next up would be the test run of the new acquired gears... Can't wait to test them out!!!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Studio B

After a long night of soldering, we finally got Studio B patched up for multi tracking!! 
Getting your materials recorded with high end gears has never been so affordable right now. Promotional rates will be up soon. Please contact us for more information.

Share The Love

Share The Love! 
We were honored to be in this Share The Love movement, started by Julie's biscuits... They really put their heart and soul in baking biscuits and.. (well, just buy their new oligo 25 oat biscuits and you'll find out how tasty they are.)
Together with Adrian Lai and Yuri Wong as producers, we're able to have Asmidar and Bihzhu to do their songs in StarMount Studio. "Langit Biru" by Asmidar and "Heart Way" of Bihzhu. Both are unique and the approach was full of fun and excitements. 
"Langit Biru" has a nice blend of instruments line up. And its always challenging to capture violins and trumpets. Nonetheless, Asmidar's vocal is just superb. 2 takes was all we need...
As for Bihzhu, we took a different and fun approach. Other than vocal, ukelele and double bass, we used non musical instruments to create beats and fills throughout the song. I was surprised to hear the blend of a floor tom with the double bass would have the outcome of a timpani. We discovered some really interesting sounds as well, but grinding sugar with plastic on ceramic plate, and many more...
You can check out the final product here : 
The songs are available for download F.O.C and there are some really good clips too. Enjoy!