Reader Spotlight: Hip Hop Duo Scott & Brendo

2012 Nov 30, 2012

I continue to be amazed by what my readers are churning out in their humble home studios. Today’s reader spotlight is a shining example of the Recording Revolution mentality and raw potential that exists within our grasp as musicians. Hip Hop duo Scott & Brendo have some fast, pumping songs all created with a USB audio interface and Logic 9. Check out this fun video featuring their original song “One Afternoon.”

The Studio Setup

Brenden (of Scott & Brendo) runs a Logic 9 rig using an Apogee Duet as his interface and a Sterling Audio ST59 as his main microphone. Just about all the instrumentation is from Komplete 8 Ultimate. With a little bit of acoustic treatment in his room and his JBL monitors, he’s set.

Right now it’s almost all VI’s for lack of space and also we’re living in my wife’s grandma’s basement, who lives in a condo so the walls are touching with our neighbors so it’s not ideal nor polite to bring in a drum set/guitar amps and play that all the time. – Brenden Bytheway

Unbelievable. If these guys can make professional sounding tracks in grandma’s basement, what’s your excuse?! This kind of stuff just gets me amped to churn out even more music! A simple, clean setup and great ideas. Love it.

Taking Tips To Heart

Brenden has such a humble attitude about his productions, but he’s living proof that the tools are available and just a little bit of knowledge goes a long way. Here are some of the tips he put into practice the most:

I think things I always do first that I learned from you is to put high pass filters on things that don’t need low end. This always instantly clears up the mud in the mix and allows me to work with lower end instruments without having to worry about crowding or mudding anything.

LCR panning was a HUGE mind opener for me. I started analyzing pro recordings and realized how much they did it. I then figured out how to layer our music so it didn’t sound like it was obviously panned in one ear vs the other.

The video on the “muddy” range around 300. I always ALWAYS do that the second I hear my mix sounding muddy and it almost 100% of the time clears up my mix. I used that on our last song Reverie and instantly fixed what was wrong

Mixing at a low volume. I feel like this was an extremely helpful tip because it helps you be able to make sure the most important things are being heard in the mix and helps you get a feel for what’s too loud/too quiet. When you’re mixing loud you can’t always identify that.

Adding crunch to the bass to bring it out in the mix. Simple but mind blowing. – Brenden Bytheway

I’m sure sometimes the tips or suggestions I make in my posts and videos might seem simple, but every little simple tweak adds up to big improvements in your mixes if you just implement them as Brenden has. Awesome stuff!

You Can Do It

The interesting thing about Brenden and his music is that all it took for him was a little motivation and encouragement. He had the tools and the creative ideas, he just needed to know the truth, that nothing is holding him back from making pro recordings at home.

I think the most helpful thing overall was your attitude toward recording/mixing. You are so encouraging when it comes to the “you can do it” attitude. It really helped me get a confidence boost and believe in myself, which is a huge part of it.

I realized that I am capable of making music that sounds like the pro’s and I don’t need crazy expensive gear. You taught me that the difference between a $100 mic and a $1,000 really isn’t worth 10 times the amount of money. I learned to be able to make professional sounding music with what I have. I don’t need to spend tons of money to get “that sound’ because that sound comes from small and simple edits throughout the mix.

Your videos and ideas helped me mix smarter and faster, with more purpose and understanding of what I am doing. Rather than cranking a bunch of knobs and tweaking things to make it “look good” you’ve helped me make it “sound good.” – Brenden Bytheway

This is a guy who gets The Recording Revolution. This is fire I want all of you to catch. That bug that just won’t let you stop making music and eliminates the excuses that we tend to fall for. If you have a great musical idea, get it out there. It might be messy at first, but over time you’ll get better. Trust me.

For more great music from Scott & Brendo subscribe to their YouTube channel, follow them on Twitter, and like them on Facebook.

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