STUDIO PROJECT

ASSESSMENT ONE:

There was a total of 8 minutes 28 seconds of drumming recorded. Lots of different styles, sounds, textures, velocity and dynamics.

A few sections were cut and these were looped.

Pre-arranging, to get a few of sounds and levels.

Tom-Tom loop is OverHead mics plus floor tom mic.

Using the Glyn Johns overhead method, http://therecordingrevolution.com/2011/01/10/the-glyn-johns-drum-recording-method/, I did a few 30 second tests of positioning, preferring a higher right hand side OverHead but same ‘Glyn Johns’ snare distance. I did mic up the rest of the kit in case I chose to add other bits.

Used cymbal hit, reversed, flex-time – intro.

The room used for recording drums is far from perfect sound wise, so I set up what I like to call my “Glue Master” chain, to assist with the quality of sound which means minimal plugins engaged before I decide on the direction of the track. I set up a ‘Glue’ Channel with the following (in this order)

  1. GM1 – TR Meter (Native Instruments)
  2. GM1 – FF Pro-L (Limiter)
  3. GM1 – The Glue
  4. GM1 – Passive EQ
  5. GM1 – MaxxBass (s) (Psychoacoustic Bass Emulator)
  6. GM1 – Channel EQ
  7. GM1 – S1 Imager (s) [S1 Stereo Imager]
  8. GM1 – TR Br Lim (T-Racks Brickwall Limiter)
  9. GM1 – TR Meter (Native Instruments)

SCREENSHOTS: 

Here are some shots to further explain/show plugins and set ups I used and how I manipulated them to suit purpose.

COMP/MONITORS

COMP/MONITORS

Glyn Johns OH Method

Glyn Johns OH Method

Mic'd up 4x12 Marshall Cab

Mic’d up 4×12 Marshall Cab

CLA Drums -  Overheads at End

CLA Drums – Overheads at End

CLA Drums - OverHeads for track EXCEPT end

CLA Drums – OverHeads for track EXCEPT end

CLA Bass (adjusted to preference)

CLA Bass (adjusted to preference)

CLA Guitar - ELECTRIC

CLA Guitar – ELECTRIC

Channel EQ - VOX SWALLOW ME UP

Channel EQ – VOX SWALLOW ME UP

CLA Vocal - SWALLOW ME UP

CLA Vocal – SWALLOW ME UP

CLA Vocal - VOX OHH 2

CLA Vocal – VOX OHH 2

CLA Vocal - VOX OHH 3

CLA Vocal – VOX OHH 3

CLA Vocals - VOX OHH 1

CLA Vocals – VOX OHH 1

J37 Tape Machine - VOX TAPE DELAY

J37 Tape Machine – VOX TAPE DELAY

MannyM Distortion - VOX SATURATION

MannyM Distortion – VOX SATURATION

DRUMS SCREENSHOT - Recorded vs Used

DRUMS SCREENSHOT – Recorded vs Used

reversed cymbal and flextime

reversed cymbal and flextime

Saffire Mix Control Window

Saffire Mix Control Window

Arrange Window COMPLETE

Arrange Window COMPLETE

 

Sound Examples:

Examples of a sound I recorded before I added effects and a before and after example.

Raw Drums:

Cymbal Bell Before: 

Cymbal Bell After: 

ASSESSMENT TWO:

 

If there was one band above any other that has influenced the members of the band that I’m a member of it would be ‘Blink 182’. That said there is a wider range of music techniques used by other bands that help in forming the sound the band look for. Principally these would fall into ‘pop punk’, ‘metal core’, ‘post-hardcore’ genre and it is the work of the producers and engineers behind these bands that I hope to emulate to form my own unique sound.

One can feel that the industry is in part using ‘who you know not what you know’ to fill the job vacancies. In researching the producers of the sounds I really like I found that Andrew Wade (producer “Better Off This Way”, A Day To Remember {ADTR} 2010) played in a band “A Wish For Marilynne” who played with ADTR in 2004. He was credited as Producer, Engineer, Mixing and Mastering on their 2005 album, Pre-Production on the 2009 album and Producer and Engineer on the 2010 album. He recently was credited as Producer and Engineer on their 2013 album, “Common Courtesy”. Jerry McKinnon, lead singer and guitarist of ADTR and co producer with Andrew Wade of “Better Off This Way” has produced albums for ‘Veara’, ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and ‘The Ghost Inside’. Chad Gilbert, also credited for production on the ADTR single, has also produced for H2O. Rick Rubin, producer of Slipknot’s hit single ‘Duality’ from their third album in 2004, is famed for the techniques he uses and has a list of credits to his name. In particular he in known for his drum and guitar production sound with tones achieving thickness, warmth and a ‘sound’ double kick. He is famed for his ‘stripped down’ approach in some of his producing where he treats less as more. Strangely, considering this simplicity, he has been criticised for his over use of loudness, the overuse of compression and limiting primarily for the new digital age of listening. Sal Villanneuva, who produced “Cute without the E” for the band Taking Back Sunday in 2002, is another ‘hardcore’ producer with a relationship with Def Jam records, Roadrunner (Slipknot and Nickleback’s label over the years) and Victory Records to name a few. Then there is David Bendeth producing for Four Year Strong who has also produced for ADTR, Kaiser Chiefs, Taking Back Sunday and Paramore. The producer, Neal Avron, for Yellow Card’s “Ocean Avenue” has also worked for Fall Out Boy and Linkin Park. Steve Haigler produced “Quiet Things No One Ever Knows” for Brand New. Known also for his work with Karma To Burn and with the Pixies. I end this list of influencing producers / engineers / mixers with Andy Wallace. As an engineer, mixer and/or producer Wallace has been involved in making many of are now considered classic albums, predominantly by metal, grunge and heavy rock/rap bands. Rick Rubin produced and Wallace engineered and mixed three albums for the heavy rock band Slayer, Wallace co-producing the last of these with Rubin. The start of the metal genre! For me it is good enough to mention his involvement with Slipknot, Feeder and, back to where this blog started, Blink 182.

So probably there is a bit of ‘who you know’ but they do have a common interest in the type of music they are involved in producing.

Gil Norton, co-producer (with composer and band member Grant Nicholas) for Feeder’s “Come Back Around”, talks in a Music Rader interview, http://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/gil-norton-lists-his-favourite-studio-gear-586433, about the recording minimum he expects to handle. He said “… if you’re doing demos, hard-drives aren’t that expensive anymore so you don’t have to record at 44.1khz/16 bit, I think, at the minimum, you should be on 48khz/24bit. … I did go through a phase of doing everything at 96khz sample rate but it was killing the machines!”

Billy Bush, another producer / engineer who has worked with Rick Rubin, said in interview (http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb14/articles/inside-track-0214.htm) “… there are times when sessions with real instruments done in 96k do sound more organic. The Jake Bugg record was one of them, because there definitely was something about the sounds of the cymbals and acoustic guitars that translated better in 96k. … Rick wanted the Jake Bugg album to have an analogue feel and flavour, and this was much easier to achieve for me by working in 96k. Higher sampling rates allow me to get the digital domain to react like the analogue world, and achieve a solid stereo image and great definition and three-dimensional clarity in which it’s possible to hear all the reverb trails.”

 

It is partly this and partly experience that leads to my choice of settings for Bounce / Dithering. The following should explain:

  • Standard for audio CD is 16 bit
  • For distributing work you’d want 16 bit so as to use CD’s
  • Important to remember that mp3 rate is different thing all together
  • Limit @ -0.1 dB
  • ‘Noise-Shaping’ enables the sound to stay close to original, helped by the process of dithering
  • Logic X has a built in ‘dither’ but it is not my personal preference to use it. I prefer to use Sony’s SoundForge.

As the recording has been done at 24 bit it is bounced down at 24 bit so what goes in must come out, otherwise there would be a loss of quality occurring.

Then load the bounce into Sony’s SoundForge (use isotope dithering process) and that creates our 16 bit track with minimal loss in sound quality.

 

 

The Mix

 

Drums: “new age / pop-rock”

  1. Kick Drum – Heavily compressed, high ratio, gives it a thicker texture including air and resonance.
  2. EQ – crucial! Must be apparent in the mix. More top end / treble to provide clarity starting at 700Hz. Hall reverb.
  3. Snare (Top and Bottom) – Heavily compressed, soft / smooth knee, high ratio, attack @ 20ms, threshold low and release set to auto. Main drum compressor “Fab Filter Pro C”
  4. EQ – Top mic, low – mid frequency starting at 200 – 300Hz. Bottom mic, high mids and high EQ raised. Blended deep and sharp to get right sound. On the snare only place hall Reverb on the top mic. The bottom mic needs to be dry.
  5. Toms – Heavily compressed, low threshold, subtle reverb, moderately soft knee, high ratio, compressor attack @20ms
  6. EQ – mid-range. Have a bit of low-mid, larger amount of top-mid. drum compressor “Fab Filter Pro G” with noise gate with fast attack, 250ms of sustain / hold and release of 40ms. High threshold.
  7. Over-Heads – Very small compression, moderate threshold, low ratio, 4:1
  8. EQ – A little low-mid, raise high end slightly.

The process as such is that the drums go into the drum bus / sub-mix which then goes into “The Glue” which is an emulation of a SSL (Solid State Logic) E-Series Bus Compressor. It will smooth out any unwanted transients / peaks. I had a setting on the ratio of 2:1

 

Bass:

  1. Channel EQ in linear phase with a roll off at 50Hz and below to cut rumble. Compress Bass to level off transients. Very small amount of hall reverb.
  2. EQ shaping: Low-End: 200Hz-900Hz (Band 1) / Mid-High End: 700Hz – 3500KHz (Band 2)     NOTE: The Bass was DI’d

 

Guitars:

  1. Layered numerous times to gain a thick texture. Panned 25 degrees both Left and Right to give a wider and more open feel.
  2. Next step on ‘Solo’ guitar post fader stereo bus was a compressor:- Fairchild model 670 emulation. EQ’d with the ‘73’ analogue plugin.

 

MICS:

  • SE2200T
  • SM57’s
  • Audio Technica MB 4K Condenser Overheads.
  • Audio Technica MB 6K Cardioid Dynamic Kick Mic
  • Audio Technica MB 5K Cardioid Dynamic Snare/Tom Mic’s
  • AKG D112 Kick Mic
  • Neumann U87 (Vintage Mid 70’s)

 

SCREENSHOTS:

Here are some shots to further explain/show plugins and set ups I used and how I manipulated them to suit purpose.                                              

Arrange Window

Arrange Window of Finished Project

Drum Bus SSL Compressor

Drum Bus SSL Compressor

FabFilter Drum EQ

FabFilter Drum EQ

Fab Filter Drum Compressor

Fab Filter Drum Compressor

FabFilter Drum Noise Gate

FabFilter Drum Noise Gate

Guitar Bus - Scheps 73 EQ

Guitar Bus – Scheps 73 EQ

Guitar Bus - Fairchild Model 670 Compressor

Guitar Bus – Fairchild Model 670 Compressor

Master Audio Meter

Master Audio Meter

Master Brickwall Limiter

Master Brickwall Limiter

Master Channel EQ - 50 hz Roll-Off

Master Channel EQ – 50 hz Roll-Off

Master Glue - SSL Bus  Compressor

Master Glue – SSL Bus Compressor

Master MaxxBase - Psychoacoustic Bass Emulator

Master MaxxBase – Psychoacoustic Bass Emulator

Master Passive EQ

Master Passive EQ

Master Stereo Imager

Master Stereo Imager

BX Saturator

BX Saturator (vox)

Vocal Rider

Vocal Rider

VOX CLA Vocals - Reverb & Delay

VOX CLA Vocals – Reverb & Delay

Vox Fairchild Model 670 Compressor

Vox Fairchild Model 670 Compressor

VOX Pitch Correction

VOX Pitch Correction

VOX Scheps 73 EQ

VOX Scheps 73 EQ

My Small Hardware Set-up

My Small Hardware Set-up

Mac Mini Used to Record

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment