Clubbo Records > Ask Chucko!

Selected Artists

1962: Clipper Cowbridge

1963: The Swiss Invasion

1965: Marilyn Kaye

1969: The Fold

1970: Yorgi

1971: Devon Shire

1972: Sandee Saunders

1976: Rockfinger

1978: The Spooky Bunch

1979: Decoupage

1981: Bleep

1985: Tiger Love

1985: Laryssa Foxxx

1986: Smasher of Things

1987: Suthrn Cuzn

1989: ~pianogirl~

1990: Razorflesh

1995: Breaker Bear

1996: Action Plus

1998: J Lounge

2001: Eesk

2004: Lazarus Project

Ask Chucko!

By Charles “Chucko” O’Brien Chuck "Chucko" OBrien

Got an audio question?
Email former Clubbo staff engineer Chucko O’Brien.

“Hey Chucko,” people always ask me. “Hey Chucko, could you explain how I can make all those hit records the way you used to do at Clubbo?” Well, when I get asked about that kind of question, I always say the same thing.

I tell them that engineering a record is like driving a bicycle. You have to know how to use the pedals, and you have to know how to use the brakes, too.

It’s kind of a confusing thought, so I’ll explain that idea some more. Just because you know how a hit record should sound doesn’t mean you know how to make all the equipment run. You either need to learn how to do that, or hire an engineer type of person like me to help you.

And there’s another part of it, which is that just because you know how to work all the faders on a mixing board doesn’t mean you know how to listen. But there’s something even more complicated besides that! Because knowing how to listen means that you’re both listening for what you can hear and what you can’t hear. Say if you’re recording a song, and it sounds pretty good, but you can still hear that little extra thing that’s missing, like some little chime sound that should go ding when the second verse comes back.

And you know that chime thing is what kind of noise that’ll make this song a hit. So you see, it’s important to listen to things that aren’t there! So the next time you’re recording in the studio, try something different for a change, and listen for some of the things that aren’t on that track. And I’ll bet my pants that you’ll be surprised by what you don’t hear. Anyway, I told the folks at Clubbo that I’d agree to answer some questions that people might want to ask about making records, and recording, and all the nuts and bolts and secret tricks that go into the music business.

So if you have an answer you want to know about that kind of thing, just send it in and I’ll do my best to help!

Yours truly,