About Zen Duder

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Morning at the Boffin Hollow Lodge

 

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Captured a sunbeam on this one

 

The Zen Duder Studio is located on a 10 acre property at the private and exclusive Boffin Hollow Resort, about 14 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina.

Zen Duder is “out in the country” which in this case means basically in the middle of the forest and in a hollow encircled by tall old growth trees, in a beautiful [quiet] and unique area of the NC foothills, just a few miles from the 1800’s Carlolina gold rush ground zero. The property is mostly solar powered, and with a spectacular Carolina mountain spring water well.

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The creek winding through the resort property has several waterfalls this one with purple hues in the afternoon sun

 

Asheville is about 30 minutes west, Marion 15 minutes north, Rutherfordton 15 minutes south, and Morganton about 30 minutes east. We are also very close to Hickory, Boone, Old Fort, Hendersonville, Lake Lure, Lake James, and even Spartianburg SC. The major cities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Atlanta, Nashville and Virgina are easy drives. Even Miami or Chicago is only a one day drive. If you do not observe the speed l ok never mind.

The Boffin Hollow Resort offers reasonably priced [discounted] overnight accommodations for artists who are recording at Zen Duder. The property features both a log cabin and a cottage. There is also a small camping area near the waterfall by the garden and you can pitch a tent for free if you are into nature or are a starving artist. Most of the eastern US is within a long one day drive from Zen Duder, roughly 13 hours from Miami or Chicago for example.

The Boffin Hollow Resort property is picturesque and park like. The Boffin Hollow staff has planted over 1000 trees in the last decade from the NC national forest service program, along with flowering shrubs and wildflowers for the bees. It is a beautiful, quiet, natural environment that is perfect for the arts or just relaxing. It is difficult to get more remote in the southeastern US but at the same time we are only a one day drive from most major east coast cities.

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This photo is called reflections in maxwells pond, the subject of a painting

 

In addition to Zen Duder, at the Boffin Hollow Resort there is also an art studio, organic garden, apiary, rabbit habitat [60-70 rabbits roam the property], footpaths, lodging, and other aspects to the artist enclave at Boffin Hollow such as music and art lessons. Please contact Michelle regarding art and music lessons.

There are no neighbors to speak of [50 people per square mile in our county which is mostly national forest], with the exception that we might have to bring some lemonade to a neighbor out chainsawing a few miles away so we can get a track recorded. Maybe someone laid an egg and is making a big deal about it. Maybe the bunnies are out teasing the dogs and we need to settle that. Every morning around 9am a pair of Canadian geese fly in and land in the pond so we can’t record while they’re honking away. It’s that sort of environment. “are we rolling?…don’t want to get the geese on there…nah leave it, yeah”.

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Maxwell’s pond at the Boffin Hollow Resort – free canopied rowboat always tied to the dock

We spend one on one time with our clients in a relaxed atmosphere that allows you, the artist, to perform at your absolute best.  The natural beauty of the property at Boffin Hollow facilitates the proper state of mind.

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Apiary in the morning at the Boffin Hollow Resort – the bees are relaxing too

The Zen Duder studio itself was specifically constructed for recording.

It is a 900 square foot English Country style stone cottage with 18 inch thick stone walls composed of 4-6 inch thick virginia fieldstone, mortar, 8 inch thick concrete block, and six inches of foam and fiberglass acoustic insulation.

If you are used to the sound pollution of the concrete jungle, your ears will probably ring in the silence at Zen Duder. If you choose overnight accomodation, you can open the windows and listen to the crickets and the frogs at the pond.

Zen Duder is studio A, with a loft which acts as the control room, and an open vaulted 22 foot high cypress ceiling for an incredible open and airy acoustic environment, designed specifically for recording. There are various doors, windows and chambers that can be opened or closed depending on what we are doing. Studio B is a 1600sq foot open space with 25 foot ceilings and large doors that can be opened if desired for an open field type of environment.

The Zen Duder studio itself can accommodate up to four people, and the adjacent log cabin up to six. So your whole entourage will fit.

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an extremely isolated place

the Zen Duder Stone Cottage Recording Studio at the Boffin Hollow Resort

Speaking of extremely isolated places [thank you Ulrich Schnauss], Recording at Zen Duder gives an artist the same or more solitude as the famous Bron-Yr-Aur, located in Machynlleth, Wales.

Pictured below, this is the famous recording studio where Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin recorded Led Zeppelin IV, and one of the most listened to rock and roll songs of all time, Stairway to Heaven. We’re hoping someone does something like that at Zen Duder.

 

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Bron-Yr-Aur, Machynlleth, Wales – a stone cottage, just like Zen Duder

Our goal at Zen Duder is to offer technically excellent, but budget minded recording. In other words, we know what it’s like to live on a budget. Our overhead is low, and we don’t ask for “prestige money”.  At the same time, we offer a selection of some of the best recording gear and instruments that can be found anywhere.

We want to do this because we enjoy bringing professional recording services to artists who might not be able to afford a $500/hr rate at a big name studio in a large building with a big staff and high overhead who has to charge that much to make ends meet.

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working late at night inside Zen Duder with security cam rolling

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UA LA610 MKII vacuum tube preamp with matched set of Avalon VT737SP vacuum tube preamps, Yamaha workstation on top

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Entirely original 1965 Ampeg Jet guitar amp from a CA studio ready to record

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Tracking Electric/Acoustic Guitar and Vocals in studio A on a rainy day

We have the same gear the big studios have, including a substantial investment in outboard preamps and microphones.  Neumann Microphones, high end tube mic channel strip preamps, etc. Studio A is small and intimate, the cables are short, the fidelity is high, and the result sounds spectacular, as good or better than any studio in the world.

 

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2 linked Yamaha AW1600 workstations, 2 linked Avalon VT737SP, API512c preamp, Neve 517 preamp, Ultraasone Proline 650 headphones

 

 

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Neumann U87ai on top of Avalon VT737SP preamp ready for world class vocals tracking world class vocalist today

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Wall of amps including 1964 Fender Vibroverb, 1962 Marshall JTM45, Laney, Vox, JBL, Orange, Marshall 2 x 12 cabinets, pair of custom tunable stereo bass/organ/guitar cabs.

Then of course we have all the computer tools and plug ins for editing, mastering, sequencing, etc. Mr Duder has a collection of computer DAW plug ins that spans more than two decades mostly in VST and several legacy DX format.

On large projects, we typically record on a hardware DAW, then transfer the tracks to computer for mixing and then we do mastering in or outside the box depending on the project. This offers the most flexibility and power in the post production process. We have three dedicated computers for that purpose with a 28 and 42 inch display.

The Zen Duder Summer 2017 upgrade is now complete. We have the capability for 24 track simultaneous 24 bit recording and up to [as high as you need to go] tracks for mixdown, plus a lot of behind the scenes upgrades for state of the art sonic performance including an Italian Rudistor NX03 lab quality headphone amplifier for mixtown monitoring and studio reference standard.

We have a new pair of Yamaha HS8 mixing monitors, several new pairs of reference grade headphones, several new microphones, plus a few new exotic preamps found in the best studios in the world.

We have also acquired several new vintage amplifiers to add to our already large offering, including a 1965 Ampeg B15N, the iconic studio bass amp coming from a motown studio, a 1967 Ampeg Jet guitar amp from a CA studio, and others.

Please see our updated gear list on the more info page.

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Pair of Avedis MA5 70’s UK tone

We can also deliver the recordings digitally to you via anything from a USB drive to an on line file transfer. We are state of the art at Zen Duder.

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Low lighting at night while recording fingerpicked electric guitar

Although we are budget minded in our rates, we enjoy working with established musicians who could afford to record and have recorded at the big studios, but prefer the casual, laid back, private, confidential and isolated environment at Zen Duder. Some artists feel they work better there outside the matrix so to speak, where there is no pressure and not even any vestiges of civilization.

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Vintage Electro Voice Shotgun microphone pictured in Zen Duder studio A with lighted birdhouse seen outside – lights move to the beat inside feathered friends seem to like it –  no extra charge

 

Client confidentiality is important to us. We don’t drop names. You can bring your entourage to record at Zen Duder, take the tapes with you to have your own people mix and master it if you want, and no one will ever know you were here if you are seeking privacy away from the spotlight. This is a Zen Duder guarantee.

Maybe in between tracks you would like to clear your head and go throw sticks for Maxwell the resident Black Lab, dip you feet in the creek or go swimming at the waterfall, then come back and do the best work you have ever done.

Something like that.

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Meet Maxwell [entertainment] and Roxanne [Boffin Hollow Security]

So we work with all sorts of artists, and we usually develop long lasting relationships with our clients who come back to record again and again, some with their producers in tow.

Zen Duder is owned and operated by Craig and Michelle.

please meet your engineer and producer

Craig is an honors graduate with an engineering degree and was employed by IBM in Boca Raton for 10 years working on the original IBM PC before he left for other pursuits.

He is a musician himself, playing guitar, bass, keyboards, and bongos, with a lifelong passion for vintage sound and vintage gear, and is technically extremely competent as your recording engineer and producer, and would probably sit in on guitar if you needed it.

Craig will work side by side with you to get a great sound, a technically excellent sound, and a sound you are really happy with.

 

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Roland XP 30

Zen Duder has an incredible variety of vintage gear, as well as all the modern recording equipment, all impeccably maintained and ready to record. Craig has been designing, repairing and modifying electronics, tube amplifiers and microphones since childhood, and designing computers in adulthood.

Zen Duder has a working top condition Neumann M67 tube mic clone. Even among the big name studios, very few would have one of those. Then of course we have all the studio standards such as the Neumann U87ai.

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If you’ve always wanted to record with the vintage sound of a Marshall JTM45 through a vintage cabinet, mic’ed through Neumann KM 184’s, we can do that. etc.

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1942 tube phono amplifier redesigned by Craig as instrument pre amplifier “Belinda” with vintage Fender Stratocaster and Gibson SG in the background

If you want to hear an original Roger Mayer voodoo vibe hand tuned by Roger himself just like he did it for Jimi Hendrix, we can do that too. We have original vintage versions of many famous pedals at Zen Duder such as an MXR phase 90, MXR Dyna Comp, Ibanez Tube Screamer [a favorite of Stevie Ray Vaughan].

If you want a fender Rhodes or a Hammond B3, we have a large Roland keyboard with all of the vintage synth patches and know how to make it sound right. If deep purple wanted to come record machine head for example, Zen Duder could deliver the same sound. If James Taylor wanted to deliver that sound, we can do that too. We are specialists in the vintage vibe. Almost all of our analog gear uses vacuum tubes.

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If you are a vocalist and would like to record through a RCA 77DX ribbon, we have one that was in service at NBC TV in NYC for 30 years before it was hand restored and re-calibrated by an RCA engineering manager known by Craig and is now sitting in a glass case at Zen Duder. It’s awe inspiring to see the exact microphone that many of your favorite icons have spoken or sang into when you were growing up, and to be able to record with it if you want to.

Craig is a perfectionist and a professional. There will probably be various little things that you don’t even hear or that don’t bother you, and it will bother him, so he will fix it.

Craig probably has spent thousands of hours wearing a pair of studio monitor headphones sitting behind a mixing console during his lifetime. It adds up to experience.

now please meet your Zen Duder hostess

Michelle is the Boffin Hollow hostess, and is always available to meet your needs whether it’s a glass of spring water, some homemade yogurt or some fresh blackberries.

She also acts as assistant if necessary during the recording process.

Michelle herself is an accomplished vocalist, performing and recording with Analog Chill and The Beef, and is also an acrylic artist. Michelle keeps 16 bee hives and sells her honey at the Morganton farmers market. Her favorite saying is “a smile is the prettiest thing you can wear”.

She likes clients to leave with a complimentary bottle of wild mountain honey.

 

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Meet Michelle as profiled in the Morganton News, photographed here selling her own Wild Mountain Honey and natural skin care products at the Morganton Farmers Market, Burke County North Carolina

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Michelle posing in front of her giant sunflowers [about 14ft tall] you should see her beanstalk

 

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Giant sunflower in the morning at the Boffin Hollow Resort

How we operate

We look at it this way. You are the musician. So we want you concentrate on making music while we worry about everything else.

We are resposible for taking the performance, and recording it in a way that is flattering to both you and your audience as well as being a technically excellent recording in the sense that if anyone else works on the masters in the future, they will be saying, “man, this was a technically excellent recording”.

 

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Avalon VT737SP preamp, Yamaha AW1600 Digital Workstation and AKG K702 Headphones in the Zen Duder mixdown lab

Maybe you have a specific sound you have always wanted to get but never could. Maybe you are used to moving your head around while you are singing and playing guitar and have had problems getting a consistent sound. We know how to deal with all of that, all of your idiosyncrasies and allow you to be yourself. It’s cool, don’t worry.

As a musician, you can probably think of a time or two when you were in the zone and you just nailed the song so good it gave you goose bumps. Well, at zen duder we are aiming to provide an environment where you can do it again and again, and get it on tape. The environment we offer here is a big part of that.

We even have clients who like to record seasonally…ie a song good for fall recorded in the fall when the leaves are dropping everywhere and it’s cool and breezy out. We understand that artists are not robots, and that there is art involved in getting everything just right. This is one reason we only take on one project at a time.

 

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We take enough time to get it right, and we have the ears and the gear to do so

 

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always chicks hanging out at Zen Duder

In other words, we are musicians ourselves. We understand that although recording is a science, we are working in the realm of the arts and there is quite a bit or art involved to getting that track nailed in a way that it makes you smile from ear to ear and get goose bumps every time you hear it. If we can do that for you, then we are smiling too.

 

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Sonic perfection. Zen Duder recording with Analog Chill for Big Brother records in 2007 Michelle pictured on the cover – please see our samples page to listen

Summary and rates

So we understand the process. We can make it fun and ensure your recordings meet the highest technical standards as well as to assist in the creative process. Recording is a science, and an art. We are here to help you have a sound that personally satisfies you, the artist. We understand the difference between art and science.

As we tackle the offensive subject of mixing business and music, please note that we are currently only taking on one project at a time. So when you are booked, when you arrive, the studio is configured, set up and ready to go for you. There are probably cables taped to the floor, notes, etc.

In other words, we do a lot of prep work specifically for you before you even get here, to make sure your session goes smoothly and that you maximize how much you can get done while you are here. Our aim is to make it all fun, smooth and stress free while achieving the highest quality result, and importantly, at the lowest expense to you.

So first of all we are progressive at Zen Duder. Michelle is running a resort and she is also into barter; trading wild mountain honey, produce and blackberries with people she knows etc. So if barter is your bag too, if you have a skill or trade there may be some work she is willing to trade for recording. Maybe she needs the lodge varnished and you can come varnish the lodge and record the blues. Chopping wood, if you could. Tending the garden, for a bargain

The possibilities are endless. You may be thinking right now, “what are they going to do with a wooden lake boat or a covered wagon” but you never know until you ask. For example, there is a 24 inch bronze propeller from a motor yacht in front of Zen Duder and a story to how it got there.

Maybe you have some studio gear or instruments you would like to barter for studio time. We are looking to acquire firewood cut to 12″ lengths,  a studio banjo, authentic Moonshine Jug, washtub bass, Gibson mandolin [you may know where we are going with this], Selmer Mark VI saxophone, a martin acoustic, an original fender rhodes electric piano and a pedal steel guitar. That sort of thing. We are also looking for a Yamaha C7 or Steinway M grand piano, a Hammond B3 organ in [almost] any condition with a working or non working leslie cabinet, and a pro drum kit to keep around in case someone loses their drums. It can never hurt to ask.

FALL 2017 Solo/Duo Special – 2 nights at resort, meals and recording included, post production and mastering completed after you leave $450.

Kit offer #1

Our lowest standard kit offer is for up to one hour of on site recording. This can be anything from prose, spoken word, documentation, book reading, acapella, anything that involves a voice and no instrument.

The reason for no instruments in this offer is that when instruments become involved, the setup time involved increases, as does the post production time element.

We will do a professional quality recording in stereo and deliver it to you when you leave. We can sign a non disclosure or not even listen to it if you want. The point being, you speak or sing whatever you want, it can be confidential or not, we record it [most likely using a matched stereo set of Neumann KM184’s, Lewitt LCT 440’s, or possibly Studio Projects C1’s depending on what we are recording] lightly tube compressed, limited, eq’d, normalized, studio quality in ORTF stereo. The recording will sound like you are speaking in the room when played back on a hifi. Very HQ. We also document the date of recording for you, and deliver the finished recording to you. The cost for that is $100. The actual time involved for us is about 4 hours including the session.

Kit offer #2

We maintain a special offer of recording mixing and mastering one track for a solo artist or for a duo [up to 8 live mics and up to two performers] is a special fixed rate at $299. This includes everything including the sound engineer, mixing, mastering, production… everything.

So if you call Michelle and order a #2 lol, you arrive at 9am with $299 in your hand, we have already done all the prep work and are ready to go, and we work late if we need to.

Maybe we start out with some yogurt and a cup of coffee or green tea while we listen to your work or listen to the work of some other artists to agree upon exactly what we are trying to do today, and then we just go and do it.

So you leave maybe tired, but with a smile on your face and instead of the cash you have finished work in your hand. Maybe on the drive home you listen to your CD and can’t wait to get home to upload your awesome mp3. This is a really attractive option for a working musician or a musician with a day job. A one day, one track commitment.

At Zen Duder we have a lot of expertise in mixing, remixing, mastering and remastering. This can all be done remotely and we can speak via email or teleconference. We also have the capability to take any format [such as your CD] and convert to high quality mp3 files for upload. We know how to make your music sound the best that it can as an mp3 and we have special software to do it. We will convert for $10 per track or $60 per cd.

We produced some incredible soundscapes for Analog Chill’s “Pictures in Sound” which included everything from samples from a paris airport to vocoding to recording a scream, which we also uploaded to soundcloud with now 50,000+ downloads.

It was a really good scream [thank you Michelle] recorded in 24/44 stereo ORTF in an improvised sound booth with a matched pair of Studio Projects C1 Condenser microphones. All of the work we did for Analog Chill is now posted on the samples of our work page. The screams are on the track “radioisotope decay”.

Kit offer #3

Remote re amping/re mic’ing service. We can do this remotely via dropbox.

We have recently acquired the ability to translate between all popular software DAW session formats. So we can take an existing session as is, and work with it from that point if you so choose regardless of what you are using.  For those of you who may also be interested in acquiring this same advanced capability, please visit our friends at aatranslator.  This is a unique, one of a kind application designed exclusively for people in the business.

Maybe you are a bass player working on a project and need an authentic motown sound? We have a number of iconic microphones, amplifiers and instruments at Zen Duder. We will take your raw DI samples or tracks, re amp them through a vintage amp of your choice, mic it with the microphone of your choice, record it, and send the sample or track back to you. We can also play your track through our reference monitors, and capture real ambient reverb of our high ceiling studio which can sometimes work wonders for a track. This is particularly good on acoustic instruments and vocals.

The fee for this service is $100 per track or $100 for 10 samples which can include up to 8 variations [gain/mic placement etc]. The track or samples will be sent to you as raw unedited 32bit float/44.1khz wav files but we can convert between any format or send you any format you work in.  This is a great way to cost effectively enjoy the sounds of gear that may be cost prohibitive for you in your own studio. Cutting through the jargon, for $100 we will spend a lot of time on it and make sure you get what you want and you are happy with the result or else there is no charge.

Kit offer #4

On line mixing, mastering, remixing, remastering, clip or track restoration and de reverb/de echo services. We can do it all remotely via the internet and are specifically set up to do it that way, quickly and to your satisfaction. That means if you are not happy there is no charge, but we are pretty sure you will be.

Maybe you have some existing work that is good, but the final mix lacks…..something. Maybe it’s dull and or lifeless which is very common today, maybe the eq is poor, or maybe it’s just hard to put your finger on but it doesn’t make you go wow and you know it could sound better with professional mastering.  We are also pioneering new techniques for vintage material including re amping and re micing and achieving some unique and very good results.

Remastering for one song =$99 or whole CD = $499

Remixing and remastering one song=$249 or whole CD =$2,499

Sonic restoration for whatever reason. Maybe it is an old recording, a vinyl or cassette dub, or just a poor recording that needs drastic improvement. We have special software tools specifically designed to remedy various sonic issues. The cost for a restoration remaster starts at $140.

De-reverb, de-echo, drying out a track.  We have state of the art software tools at Zen Duder to remove ambience, reverb and echo from a track. This is commonly needed in the film industry where a dry voice was desired but the microphone could not be placed close enough without being in the scene. So if you have an instrument, voice or any kind of track that needs drying out, we can do it very well starting at only $40 a track.

Track Effects – $30 per pre mixed track *[this is a high demand service please plan ahead]. Using either our extensive [over 300] plug in library and/or via re amping or other external hardware effects, we will transform the sonic character of any single pre mixed track for a flat rate of $30.

All you need to do is get the tracks to us and we can work together remotely for any work of this type. We typically just set up a dropbox sharing account for this kind of work and pass it back and forth until completion. We can also work via regular mail, you can mail us a USB or sdcard, whatever works for you.

For mastering work, we will discuss what you are looking for, then produce up to 8 variations on a master and you can keep all 8 and pick which one you like best. It will be done using the best pro quality equipment available and a highly trained set of ears. That’s $10 a master. This is a special offer and may not last indefinitely. The general details of our mastering process are given on the more info page….and don’t worry. We are not a corporation. We will work closely with you, the artist, or the producer, to get you the sound you want. It’s not like you drop us a wav and we return a master. We don’t work like that. We are working to get you, the artist, the sound you want, and we have both the software and hardware tools to do it.

Kit offer #5

original copyright free [you will own the copyright] compositions for your movie soundtrack, background music, or any other sort of instrumental soundtrack. We can also do nature sountracks we have plenty of nature to track at the resort including a babbling creek. Prices range from $100 to $1000 depending on the project.

Kit offer #6

We also maintain a band special offer. Recording, mixing and mastering one track for a 4 pc band is a special fixed rate at $999, and includes a full week [50 hours minimum] of studio work at Zen Duder, which works out to < $20 an hour. When you arrive, we will have already spent a full day in preparation for you, the mics will be live, and we will be ready to go as soon as you are.

If you are really together and get everything like you want it in the first few takes, it is quite possible to get several tracks done in a week and maybe a whole CD in two or three weeks.

As a matter of fact, if you want to play loud, turn the gobo’s on and record live like Cream, It is not impossible using this method, to record, mix and master an entire CD in one week. It has certainly been done before and done well…thinking of Deep Purple Machine Head, recorded in a mobile lab while sleeping on mattresses on the floor.

So importantly, the one week rate does not limit you to only one track, it depends more on how you like to work and how much  overdubbing and post production work we do.

Kit offer #7

For off site field recording work we charge $60/hr, travel time included. we have a day rate [9 hrs including travel time] of $400. We haul out all the gear, we set up, we do the recording, and we deliver it to you finished a few days after the event. for example a church or meeting recording, a stand up comic, a live band, an official government meeting, etc.

If you are a musician playing out at night and want us to record your set, this rate may be negotable so please give us a call.

Kit offer #8

We will travel [60 mile limit includes Boone, Asheville, Weaverville, Hickory, Morganton, Marion, Rutherfordton, Old Fort] with our mobile lab to record a singer songwriter live [one solo artist and one instrument, one track, as many takes as you need]. This could be at your home or wherever. We can do this when it is not practical to come to us, such as if you play a grand piano, or maybe even if you are just more comfortable being recorded in a particular space.

We will use up to 6 channels, studio quality mics and preamps, one for voice, a stereo channel for the instrument and an overhead omni for ambience. We will then mix and master it back at Zen Duder. If you would like with this offer, we can record the instrument then overdub the voice. We can do it however you prefer. The finished work will be commercial/professional quality suitable for upload or for sale. $500.

Kit offer #9

One week art and recording workshop. If you are a recording musician or maybe just a musician interested in learning more about the process, maybe the one thing you lack is experience and would like to get a lot of it in a short period of time. Boffin Hollow Resort and Zen Duder offer a one week recording workshop, where you can relax, enjoy yourself, experience some vintage gear, do some recording, and Craig will go through a classroom type one one one instruction to teach you the basics, some important background information you need to know, and tell you all the “secrets” you need to know in order to make excellent professional quality recordings yourself.

In your spare time we have a long list of activities from art lessons to gold mining to picking your own dinner out of the garden to enjoying the many attractions in Asheville, Morganton and near the Blue Ridge Parkway. You arrive on Monday and Leave on Sunday. The offer is good for up to 5 people. The cost including accomodations and meals is $1500 for the first person, $1000 for the second person,and $750 thereafter. So by our calculations $2500 for two people which includes everything or $4750 for 5 people.  We will even pick you up and take you to the Asheville Airport if you fly in.

Hopefully you will leave feeling relaxed but energized, you will be hooked on Wild Mountain Honey, homeade yogurt, and farm fresh eggs, you will have a great memory of the experience of getting out of the matrix for a week, and will now be motivated to go do the best work you have ever done.

Kit offer #10

Learn to record from an experienced professional for $100.

One day crash course in recording. This is a hands on lab type classroom instruction course. The offer is good for up to 3 people. You arrive at 9, and you leave at 4. Lunch is served on the premesis. We go over the basics as well as some advanced topics, and you make a recording yourself.  The cost is $300, which amounts to only $100 per person if you come as a group. Topics include setting proper recording levels, microphone placement, how to properly record instruments and vocals, tips and tricks, stereo mic’ing techniques, mixdown, mastering, overdubbing, effects. Also, personal suggestions for gear specifically suited to your needs and where to get it, along with hands on demonstrations of what good gear sounds like when set up properly. You should leave being capable by referring to your note handouts of making a professional quality recording by yourself.

These are the only template structures we offer, but are happy to quote whatever you want on a custom basis, and to give you a quote that is sensible and that we think you will be really happy with. We can also tweak any of these templates. They are mainly provided as a guide to understand roughly how the pricing element works.

We have an ultra secure professionally monitored facility where you can feel safe leaving your instruments and gear overnight. You can even sleep with it if you opt for overnight accomodation which starts at only $60 per person. We do have indoor plumbing and all the modern conveniences at Boffin Hollow, including a solar and wood powered spa.

We can work in any genre and do any kind of recording work at Zen Duder so don’t be shy about asking. At one time or another, we have done just about everything from sequencing Trip Hop [think morcheeba] to recording live events to very technical X/Y field recordings, to acapella voice recordings. No genre or type of recording is a problem for us, and we have some very high end gear for recording vocals.

We are unstiff, friendly and will give you a considered and courteous, response within 24 hours. All you need to do to get the ball rolling is to call or email Michelle. Our contact info is at the bottom of the page.

We obviously do have a limited capacity, we only take on one project at a time, so there can be [usually is] a lead time in terms of booking. So make sure not to wait until the last minute. Plan on booking us in the winter for a spring session….that sort of lead time, but you never know. Just call Michelle and she’ll tell you whats cookin’.

Unfortunately we don’t offer any walk in type services. The resort property is gated and closed to the public. We do have the capability on site for repair and set up of musical instruments to repair of fine vintage electronics. Give us a call. We know a lot of people and can probably help you out.

In the studio we can do almost anything, including vocoding, real time pitch correction and chorus effects on vocals. Anything you have ever heard about, we can probably do at Zen Duder.

We have MPC type music production centers etc. We have a large compliment of both plug in computer based and hardware post production effects. We can limit, expand, compress, de-ess, fade, flange, sample, resample, filter, phase or do anything else you have ever heard and do it well.If you want your mix to sound like it was recorded in Chicago in 1968 in the studio on tape, or at the montrauex jazz festival, the Duder strives for this level of sonic precision. For those with day jobs, we can also arrange for weekends and nights.

We try to get most of our work done May-September. The noise from heating in winter [wood fire] becomes problematic for long recording sessions. In the warmer months, we turn everything off, even the refrigerator and the electric fence, for a dead quiet 42db noise floor in the Zen Duder recording room. It makes a difference. Most studios [all of the studios in urban and suburban areas] are unable to achieve that level of quiet, where you can literally hear your heart beat, and they must employ less than desirable measures to combat background noise as well as electrical noise. Zen Duder has a specially designed solar “clean” power system which eliminates ground loops and hum and provides a pure noise free sine wave to all the gear.

Below, we have a picture of the anechoic chamber at IBM where Craig worked for a decade. the cost of this room was millions of dollars, and the noise floor is so low you can hear your heart beat, the same as Zen Duder. Noise pollution is real. As urban and city dwellers, we have just become accustomed to it. At Zen Duder a lot of irritants fade away into the dead silence.

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Anechoic Chamber at IBM

Out here in the country at Zen Duder we have 18 inches of stone between us and the birds. You probably have never been in any space that quiet before.

Accommodations

We also have overnight accommodations on premises so those traveling a long distance [usually by car with instruments] can relax and get your head together in a quiet park like environment in the NC foothills. We quote overnight recording on a custom basis so please contact Michelle for details on overnight and week long stays, for example if you are recording an entire CD. The premises feature a stocked pond, an organic garden, hiking trails, a babbling creek, a rabbit sanctuary, a gold mine and no interruptions with professional gated security.

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Miss kitty became a national celebrity with her miss kitty meow collar which she has since lost

Interested artists, please contact Michelle at 561-542-0121 or email Zen Duder via Michelle at m.enterprises.m@gmail.com. We would prefer you to just pick up the phone and call. Michelle is very personable and you will enjoy a conversation with her.

Our terms are COD unless agreed to otherwise for on site work. It just makes things easier. For on line work we usually use paypal but a check is fine too. Thanks for your interest in the Zen Duder Studio at the Boffin Hollow Resort where we are here to serve you, the artist.