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First Attempt at Engineering/Producing on my own Condenser Microphones
Old 17th December 2010
  #1
Deleted User
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First Attempt at Engineering/Producing on my own

Hi Guys,

Just thought I'd post this. At college I have to record a band and acoustic artist as part of my cousework and got a guy who'd on the first year music performance course to record.

It was my first crack at engineering and producing on my own, with a little help from one of my peers, so it was quite daunting, but i'm terribly pleased with the results.

The set-up is as follows.

Vocals:

I used my MXL 909 cardiod condenser microphone for the vocals, running it through the pre-amps of the Soundcraft Ghost LE desk the college has, running through MOTU convertors I believe, down ADAT Lightpipe from a Hard Disk Recorder.

The input channel had Cubase 4's limiter with a -2db Output for what was going in.

Set up a Plate Reverb in Cubase's Roomworks, and set it as a FX return so that I could control the level just like an auxilery on the desk. High Passed the Reverb up to 200Hz so there was no mud, compressed the life out of it using Cubase's compressor. Took maybe 3db out around 3-5khz and added as much as 10db at 10khz.

I ended up using 3:1 ratio of compression on the vocal in the final mix.

Guitars:

I Used the college's SE1000 condenser microphones in an XY pair. Again, running it through the Soundcraft's compressors through the MOTU, hard disk recorder, and then into Cubase.

I used the same reverb as the vocal plate at a lower level, as he recorded the guitar and vocals live, therefore trying to place it in an environment it wasn't actually in!

Going ITB I had used the desks EQ to brighten up the mic's a little bit. Adding around 5db at 8k with a large sweep, and using the low shelving filter to clear up the sound a little more.

Noise:

At the end of the track you'll hear noise, I just forgot to chop it out and fade out the last note, like an idiot! I used the guitar microphones, with the gains cranked on full, to record the empty and silent room, hoping it would add a bit of analogue quality to the track as it was mixed in really low.

Backing Vocals:

I'm a huge Mutt Lange fan, and thought I'd try my hand at some Mutt Lange backing vocals. I got the guy to record the same harmony 8 times, and panned it hard left and right, before bouncing down to a stereo pair.

I wanted to emulate the super hyped top end, so I used Cubase's multi-band compressor to compress the life out of everything above 7khz?

No reverb was added to the backing vocals.

I'm really proud of my first bit of engineering/producing, just a typical 17 year old student!

Jampottt - Bradley Swainston - (It's You I'm) Looking For on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free
Old 17th December 2010
  #2
Registered User
 

for a first track i thought you did good man.

ill offer some things that i heard, some little things just to be conscious of.

it would of been cool if some new elements/instrumentation came in cause it starts to drag on a little bit.. and it lacks a defining structure.. even just looking at the waveform, theres no real dynamics.

i notice a little sibilance on the words that the singer holds, like at 44 seconds "lookin foooooorrrr" it sounds like his voice begins to ever so slightly crackle a little bit. i dont know if thats boosting too much in the highs or just the recording.. but i noticed in on that word and a few others

and at 1:17, the overdubs fall off each other, i dont even know the word he is saying "I see spots" we'll say.. the "spots" on the dub happens before the main vocal says it.

thats a vocalist error, but its your job to go line that up or get another take. or else it sounds amateur/sloppy/distracting even..

but like i said, you did good and its just little things here and there. polishing up off the all the small elements will really add up as you can imagine. keep at it.
Old 17th December 2010
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Good work for your first step into the recording world.
I can really hear the compression at work however, maybe you should lower the gain going into the compressor because it is working hard to lower the peaks on that acoustic guitar.

I like the vocals but guitar is very bright and foward in the mix, where as it may sit better without all the EQ / compression you used. Maybe true to lessen your approach and think.. less is more.

Arrangment is good, I like the chords and the vocals however the mix does not build as the previous poster said, it doesn't get much bigger than when it first starts which is a definite problem, it makes people want to turn it off about half way through... because theres nothing better coming, you've given away your secrets in the first chord....

I enjoyed it, and know you will put out some good stuff... but id start with lowering the gain and use less compression
Old 17th December 2010
  #4
Deleted User
Guest
First Attempt at Engineering/Producing on my own

Thanks for the advice guys! I'm not back in college until the new year now, so when I get back, I'll sort out the issues, thanks very much. I was rushing about too much as I only had 2 hours to get it to where it is, and he recorded another 4 tracks too!

I thought I heard the compressor pumping at the begining. Stupid me. By lowering the gain, do you mean altering the threshold?
Old 19th December 2010
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Andreas Leonhard's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jampottt View Post
Thanks for the advice guys! I'm not back in college until the new year now, so when I get back, I'll sort out the issues, thanks very much. I was rushing about too much as I only had 2 hours to get it to where it is, and he recorded another 4 tracks too!

I thought I heard the compressor pumping at the begining. Stupid me. By lowering the gain, do you mean altering the threshold?
Hi, I like to encourage you to work in this buisness but I´m surprised about
the overuse of compression and other settings. "Compressing the life out of it" means no dynamics and no life and no feeling in the artists performance.
Please think about this.
Old 19th December 2010
  #6
Deleted User
Guest
First Attempt at Engineering/Producing on my own

Hi Buddy,

Thanks for your reply, this has came due to the silly settings I put on the compressor assigned to the Master Bus. It will be reitterated when returned to college. Thanks for your reply though.
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