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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Be Sharpie, Stay Sharpie

posted by on August 14 at 14:01 PM

sharpie2.jpgBrian Nelson from Elliot Bay Recording Company is with us today to talk about the importance of Sharpie markers in the recording process. EBRC Studio is located on Capitol Hill (932 12th Ave). They have an ample 2000 square feet of room to roam around in. The main playing room is 25’X45’X12’ with cement walls for a nice diffused reverb sound. Can you say huge drums? There are three isolation rooms, a big acoustically designed control room, and the Sony DMX R-100 digital console is the centerpiece of the studio. For mics, they have Neumanns, Sennheisers, Royer, and Beyer.

Brian is also a drummer, a very kick ass drummer. (Gorilla, Love Battery.) We spoke:

What is your key to recording and mixing? Where does the magic happen?
Brian: The key for me is having an array of fresh, quality Sharpie markers to color code the mixing board with. I donít know what Iíd do without them. No session can happen unless Iíve got the full spectrum of color available.

The magic doesnít come from mic placement or a secret sweet spot in the live room?
No. The magic comes from the Sharpies. Bass is brown, guitars are green, cymbals are blue, female vocals are red, and male vocals are orange. I can look at the mixing board and instantly know where everything is. Even when I donít look at the mixing board, I can kind of see it out of the corner of my eye. If I see something reddish, I know thatís a female vocal.

Do you ever use any other marker?
Nope. Only Shapries. Marks A Lot are too thick and they smell bad, and hi-lighters donít cut it.

Where do you get your Sharpies?
Anywhere that Muzak is played.

RSS icon Comments


holy shit, fantastic idea. i've never seen someone running sound / in a studio using color coded markers. great idea.

Posted by cosby | August 14, 2008 2:47 PM

agreed. in my hood we call them "charpies", as in "donde esta mi charpie, muthafucka?" "Tienes mi charpie?" "Si, yo la tengo. Estoy muy siento que I took yr charpie. Pls don't kill me."

Posted by bosch | August 14, 2008 2:47 PM

"Estoy muy siento que I took yr charpie."

Yo mama tambien.

Posted by trent moorman | August 14, 2008 2:53 PM

Trent -- next EMP Pop Conference needs a whole day of booking according to your journalistic whims.

Posted by Chris Estey | August 14, 2008 3:04 PM


Posted by Eric Grandy | August 14, 2008 3:18 PM

I fell asleep while reading the headline. Nice stock image of Sharpie markers to aid in it's stupidness.

Posted by i like to read not boring stories | August 15, 2008 9:50 AM

Hey 6, just like I like to not look at boring pictures.

Posted by trent moorman | August 15, 2008 11:13 AM

# 6, if you are going to tell someone they're stupid, you might want to check your grammar cause it makes you look lamer than you already are when you make a mistake.

'its stupidness'

Posted by i like people who don't know their grammar | August 15, 2008 1:31 PM

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