Ontario’s Juno and GRAMMY Award Factory
GRAMMY and Juno Award-winning and nominated artists are the norm at Sly-Fi Chapel Studio in Quinte West, Ontario, Canada – starting with studio owner and Juno nominee producer-engineer Brent Bodrug.
Situated between Toronto and Ottawa, Sly-Fi is a converted church, or as Brent calls it, “a sound hotel.” Its 1,000 square foot live space with 14-foot ceilings is ideal for tracking drums and guitars. Brent has assembled a remarkable collection of instruments and amplifiers as well. His studio and his skills are very much in demand as evidenced by his award-winning client list.
Brent started his career in a music store in Burlington, Ontario selling ‘porta-studios’ featuring his own creations, and folks started asking him, “Can you do this music for me?” His career grew organically from there, fueled by curiosity and a gear addiction.
“I played some, wrote some, engineered and produced – wearing all of the hats,” explains Brent.
“I was never happy with drum mics, especially for my tom recordings, and about ten years ago I discovered Audix mics after using all of the ‘standard’ mics,” says Brent. “While working at Long & McQuade in Toronto, I went to the drum department manager and asked to borrow any mic that could be used to record toms. Audix D2s and D4s just sounded like my Sonor toms sounded, with no tricks. I tried these mics on other sources and then tried the i5, SCX25A, CX212B, etc. and Audix mics started replacing many of my ‘standard’ mics.”
Sly-Fi Studio features a full mic locker and Audix is now very well represented, starting with the SCX25A large-diaphragm studio condenser. “I am absolutely blown away and infatuated with the SCX25As,” says Brent. “I’ve been using them a bunch in the studio and they’re excelling at absolutely everything!
“First I recorded a bunch of grand piano tracks using the SCX25APS piano system on my Baldwin grand. I set up my usual go-to piano miking system as well, and of the eight songs I recorded, I ended up preferring and using the Audix SCX25APS tracks on seven of them – with no EQ. Amazing! I can see these becoming a really important weapon in my arsenal.”
“Next I tried the SCX25As as drum overheads,” Brent continues. “I usually set up both standard overheads and the Glyn Johns setup when recording drums and choose which I prefer to come mix time. Admittedly I usually use ribbon microphones with the Glyn Johns setup.”
“In this case, I chose the standard overheads recorded with SCX25As in every case,” says Brent. “I was very surprised by this! I’ve made four records for this client, and his comment returning on day two after having listened to bounces of day one was, ‘I’ve always loved our drum sounds, but these are on a whole other level!’”
Adding SCX25As as overheads make Sly-Fi drum sessions a nearly all-Audix setup. Brent uses a D6 on the kick, i5 on the snare top, another i5 on the snare side, and D2s on the toms.
“Finally I recorded a bunch of acoustic guitars: 6- and 12-strings, steel, and nylon,” adds Brent. “I’m happy to report that not only did SCX25As require no EQ, but I was able to get the sound happening and hit ‘record’ in half the time it usually takes. Again the client remarked on how good the acoustic guitars sounded. I think there are some SCX25As in his future for his own home studio!”
Lest bass players feel left out, Brent adds, “The Audix D4 is my go-to bass cabinet mic!”
Brent is also a fan of the Audix OM series dynamic vocal mics, though he has only used them in live performance so far. “The OM7 is a gorgeous sounding vocal mic through a PA,” he says. “It is so smooth and hi-fi for a vocal dynamic. The OM6 really shone for me too. It sounded balanced frequency-wise from top to bottom, required very little EQ to make it sit in the mix, and had a big dose of that clear hi-fi thing that I love so much about the OM7.”
Brent concludes, “I do shoot-outs in my studio all the time, and I would put Audix mics up against anything, regardless of brand name or price. These mics are remarkable. I love them.”
For more information on Sly-Fi Studio and Brent Bodrug, visit slyfichapel.com.