The Truth About Recording & Mixing, Ep. 11 with Phil Ek

Welcome back to the Truth About Recording & Mixing Podcast, hosted by Crackle & Pop!’s Johnny Sangster.

This time around, we have an in-depth conversation with producer engineer Phil Ek. Phil is known for his work with Built to Spill, The Shins, Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty, and many others. On this episode Johnny also gives a quick demo on properly mic’ing up an upright piano.

0:45 Listener comment on Timothy Herzog: Recommendations on DIY electronics books
03:15 – Listener comment from Liam and a suggestion to do an episode on the day-to-day of running a studio
06:20 – Audio example on different mic techniques for mic’ing upright pianos
16:40 – Check out pics of these mic techniques on Instagram – @recordingpodcast – please send us your questions to podcast@fretboardjournal.com
16:50 – Welcome Phil Ek! New project – like being a first time dad & a new record with SYML
20:30 – Some thoughts on indie artists and how to navigate the current state of music
24:10 – Phil’s path coming up in recording: Going to the Art Institute, hating it and eventually landing an internship with Jack Endino; the importance of watching Endino at work; running sessions at Word Of Mouth
37:20 – Phil’s relationship with Sub Pop. Also – getting to work with the Muffs!
41:15 – Built To Spill and the doors that opened
50:20 – Echo Mountain, Sunset Sound, Magic Shop and other great studios around the country and in Seattle. Plus some thoughts on the wonderful Seattle studio community
57:30 – Thoughts on interning and having an assistant engineer
1:04:30 – The importance of working in a pro studio with a producer
1:08:20 – Listener question about remote collaborations during the pandemic
1:15:40 – Listener question on mic’ing small bodied acoustic guitars. Thoughts on capturing the space with acoustic, electric guitars & vocals
1:21:30 – Committing and capturing takes. How many takes Comping?
01:25:20 – Recording singers and singers with acoustic guitars! 01:32:00 – Fleet Foxes!
01:38:00 – Do what you like

Our sponsor for this episode is iZotope.

Submit your questions for Johnny by sending us a voice memo or email to podcast@fretboardjournal.com.

The Truth About Recording & Mixing is a bi-weekly podcast produced by the Fretboard Journal magazine, loosely based on our Truth About Vintage Amps podcast.

Images below: Three ways to mic an upright piano, as discussed on this episode.