AE-240-Fall 2014
Instructor: Eddie Ciletti

WEEK-10: Mastering Session

I took the liberty of remixing in the Tech Room because the mixes were distorted.

Here they are...
Blues Jam
mud sample
Blues Jam

WEEK-9: Second try at ODs plus Mixing
Everything we learned from the previous week was successfully applied - session organization, matching OD feel / performance with live, getting better sounds.  We even managed to get a brighter mix although we did not manage the low end. 

In general, I  would suggest the following:

  • Paying even more attention to hearing the necessary bottom in the room, to avoid too much bottom in the mix, for example, we could have turned up the subwoofer.
  • Listening a bit louder to avoid mix creep.  I kept lowering the level to tape and raising the monitor level, but the combination of too much low end and level saturated the tape.
Here are all the RAW mixes - including the first one - I only processed mine to get a handle on how much bottom will need to be shaved.
SANTERIA-4 (raw)
SANTERIA-4 (proc)

Week-8: ODs on Sublime's Santeria
The procers of overdubbing revealed the need for some basic organizational concepts.  In additiona to documenting every measure (into, verse, chorus, bridge, solo, etc) in order to kave a log of good and bad takes, it is also important to document and enter those key times - in minutes and seconds - enter into the Studer's locator, to expedite the locate time.  We learned that it was harder to get the feel right as an overdub compared to playing live.  Also, we need a chorus box (I will bring, unless someone has) and Alex needs to tighten up his performance by muting the strings so notes don't ring out into each other.

Here are two versions of the one mix - raw and processed.  I was surprised that the mix souned better in my control room than it did in class.

Santeria OD
Santeria OD

Week-7: Covered Sublime's Santeria

A very productive day!  Congrats to all. Please provide all of the details you recall, everything you observed and any questions.  I will have some feedback soon.

Blues Jam
Early Take
Middle Take
Last Take
Blues Jam
Early Take
Solo'd Drum Tracks
Middle Take
Last Take
Free Drums

WEEK-6: Studer A-827 Basics

We learned how to thread, locate, store / recal and calibrate.  Connected to the Trident.

WEEK-5: Blitzkreig Flange

This week, the flanging exercise started with two tape machines that we attempted to start as close to 'in sync' as possible.  We then explored 'panning through time manipulation,' by dragging a finger on one flange or the other, while listening in stereo.  The experiemnt was recorded onto the 4-track and then played back in mono.  It was decided that the effect was not right for the track so there is no copy of it.

Since we re-recorded the guiitar for the third time, I did a mix after class.  Below is that mix 'raw,' with only the processing I could do in the analog domain in class.  At home, I 'processed' as if being mastered. I thought it sounded pretty good EXCEPT for the 'tom' during the breaks, so I did three things to make the 'tom' sound better - EQ, multiband processing and reverb.

Give all three a listen, write back about the class and about your ideas for the future.

Bop wk- 5 raw
Bop wk- 5 proc
Bop wk- 5 tom-fix

WEEK-4: BlitzKrieg Bop

Three versions here - the raw and processed versions of the track we did today.  I spent a little time EQ-ing the instruments, plus some mix bus processing.  Then, at home, I did some multi-band processing.  I've also included a 24 track version we did in a previous class.

As always, a full report on the class experience, plus a close listen to all versions with an objective summary of each, as soon as you can.

Raw Bop
Proc Bop
Ye Olde Bop

WEEK-3:  Make a loop, lay it to 4-track, record and overdub

I want some feedback from y'all before I add my comments, but overall, a very productive day.  I did a rough mix of the blues jam going to the CD burner through my stereo busss compressor.  The reason there are two versions here is because one is the raw mix and the other is the same mix 'processed.'  Listen to both, maybe import them into PT, see if you can describe the difference.

Blues Jam RAW
Blues Jam PROC

WEEK-2: More Editing Practice plus visit from Steve Hodge

WEEK-1: Introduction to Analog Tape

Our first class included an overview of magnetic tape recording, starting with Jack Mullen's discovery of the German Magnetophon in 1945.  One Magnetophon can be seen at The Pavek Museum of Broadcasting here in Minneapolis.

The general interest is in the sound of analog tape - of how the tape speed and the track width can affect the frequency response.  Low speeds (7 1/2 IPS and slower) are high frequency challenged and high speeds (30 IPS) are low frequency challenged.  We will be recording at 15 IPS.  The challenge will be getting the sound of tape compression from the last generation of tape and machines.

I showed a visual sample of tape compression of analog versus digital recordings of the same mix.  You should download and import into your workstation, listen closely and compare.  This is a student recording and rough mix from Fall of 2011.

Because tape has non-linear headroom - it tends to saturate differently at low, mid and high frequencies - it is important to incorporate this into your recording techniques.  For example, modern kick drum micing techniques would not fare well with analog - the low frequency proximity effect would saturate the tape, especially at 30 IPS.  It is important to consider the sonic challenges - the ear is bass-starved, the lack of sensitivity to low frequencies is well documented via the loudness curve.  On top of this, most nearfield monitors and many 'studio environments are not optimized for low frequencies.  The result being a lack of our ability to accurately hear low frequencies and the resulting struggle with 'extra bottom' in your early mixes.  Bass Managment is not just for 5.1.

The second half of the class covered tape machine basics, both mechanical and electronic.  BIAS is a high frequency signal between 60kHz and 120kHz that is mixed with the audio signal to get it to tape.  The chart to the right shows the affect bias has on frequency sensitivity and distortion.  The hand-out zoomed in on typical recorder parts and locations.  We learned how to thread three different machines, how to operate, find and mark an adit location, spill the tape between the edits and do the edit.  There are three heads - Erase, Record and Playback - the primary difference betwerent eh record and playback head being the size of the gap.