Killshot sound engineer launches cheat code to streamline recording process
A sound engineer by the name of Ryan Prieur joins the ranks of legendary contributors to the Dallas music industry. Better known as Killshot, Prior has built an impressive resume over his 25 years. He has worked with Bobby Billions, No Cap, Key Glock, and Erykah Badu and graduated from the MediaTech Institute last year as a valedictorian. Now his mission is to help fellow engineers and producers to streamline the recording process.
Last November, Prieur released “Killshot’s Recording Cheat Code”, a stock model for ProTools.
“There are two main things to understand in the world of recording,” says Prieur. “The first would be the flow of signals. The second would be the staging gain. Signal flow is how far the audio travels. And then the gain staging is the volume at a given stage of the signal. I have [Cheat Code] set up, so even if you’ve never recorded in Pro Tools, or know nothing about it, it tells you what to target for your volume. It tells you how other engineers are using the signal flow or how you can take it and develop the signal flow.
“You can spend three hours on YouTube watching videos, or you can spend 30 minutes in my model and watch the tutorial I included.”
Prieur says that Cheat Code is designed “more like a blueprint” than a plug-in. It comes with step-by-step notes and instructions on each feature and audio kit, as well as color coding to help novice users navigate the software more easily and add finishing touches like reverbs and delays to their tracks.
Cheat Code has already become a favorite of producers and artists like J. White Did It, who produced “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion & Beyoncé and MB Kace.
“I really like recording with [Cheat Code]”Says Kace.” It’s a quick recording process, and it’s always the sound I want. It really puts me in my zone when I’m in the booth.
Prieur’s passion for music began at a young age. As a child, he watched his drummer father play and imitated his playing on a “shimmering blue drum set” he had in his room.
In middle and high school, Prieur participated in the drumline and jazz band. While he liked to play percussion, he was more drawn to hip-hop music. He and a group of friends would later record hip-hop tracks in his house.
“It started with me just recording a few homeboys with us,” Prieur said. “We had a crappy $ 15 USB mic, and I had FL Studio on my computer. After enough times we get the end result of a song [recorded], I was like, “Yo, I think I could really learn how to do that.”
Prieur studied music production and audio engineering at the Mediatech Institute, a school founded by Russell Whitaker, who also founded the Dallas Sound Lab. In the late 90s and early 2000s, several artists recorded albums at the Dallas Sound Lab, including Badu, Destiny’s Child, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
“Most of the time, if you’re going to work with an artist, he’s going to show you how many plaques he has, or how many Grammys he has (…) if he can do it and get that level of under the projectors, why not the engineer or the producer? – Ryan “Killshot” Prior
Back then, Pro Tools and other types of recording software had just been introduced to the world, and only a handful of recording studios had the optimal equipment to seamlessly transition from tape recorders to computers. – Dallas Sound Lab being one of them.
“It was a turning point in music,” Prieur explains of this period, “when we had just moved from tape to Pro Tools. The number of facilities across the United States that had a million dollar setup was maybe 10 or 15. Texas just happened to be the middle ground between the East Coast and the West Coast. We were able to attract a lot of people to the city to record here because it was a middle ground for everyone to meet.
Prior also hosts a weekly livestream called Knowledge that kills on Twitch, where he talks to other producers and engineers and helps give them a platform. Like many people behind the scenes in the music industry, Prieur believes producers and engineers don’t get enough credit for their work.
Prieur hopes that Cheat Code will help artists understand the amount of work involved in recording and optimizing the sound of a single track.
“Most of the time, if you’re going to work with an artist, he’ll tell you in your face how many plaques he has or how many Grammys he has,” Prieur says. “It’s not a bad thing, but it’s just to say, if they can do it and get that level of projector, why can’t the engineer or the producer?” ”