Sound Engineering tips from Sam Wheat

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 13 Oct 2011
  • min read
In the latest installment of Make it Happen, M speaks to Sam Wheat, engineer at Metropolis Studios. Since joining Metropolis, Sam has engineered countless sessions with artists as varied as Rihanna and Black Eyed Peas to Maroon 5 and The Fall.  He has some handy tips for aspiring recording engineers.

  • Your approach should be ‘We can make whatever you want happen’ – Recording can be unpredictable, especially if you are working with someone for the first time.  The plans can go out the window in seconds and you have to be able to, and happy to, re-adjust your approach at any time.

  • Manage your set-up and your musician’s expectations by being realistic about the day’s schedule.  Always remember you are recording music, not satisfying a technical brief.  If the band or musicians are ready to go, so should you be.

  • Performance is everything!  Never let anything get in the way of this.

  • Treat artists/musicians with respect and be aware of the pressures they may feel.  Recording and performing your art can be tough, especially in front of a stranger.  People are often very nervous about the whole process so you must be encouraging in everything you say.  When an artist feels at ease, you will get the best results

  • Be bold with your choices in terms of microphones there placements.  This is your chance to put your signature on the recording and make a name for yourself.

Sam Wheat

As engineer for the live vinyl sessions for Channel 4 On Track with SEAT, pioneered and recorded at Metropolis, Sam has also produced recordings for Foals, White Lies, The Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club, The Coral and many more.

About Metropolis Group Ltd
Metropolis Group Ltd houses the most successful independent recording, mastering and production facility in Europe, offering unrivalled services for the Music, Film & TV industries. As well as this, Metropolis are a record label, a music publishing company, produce TV shows (Channel 4’s On Track with SEAT and ITV Legends), and they host industry events and showcases. Some of the most classic albums of all time have been recorded and mixed at Metropolis including The Verve’s Urban Hymns, The Stone Roses’ The Second Coming, Queen’s Made In Heaven and Innuendo, The Libertines’ The Libertines, and Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black. Other previous A-list and recent clients have included Michael Jackson, Prince, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Rihanna, and Maroon 5.