updated 9th April'14
Week-9 Jam Band Session
for your Bass OD
Screaming Guitar Solo
and Edit "Chinese Chicken" by Duke Williams and the Extremes
"Dizzy" by Tommy Roe
Week-3: Recording the
Bass: Evan > P-Bass
split > SWR-LA-8, SM-58, Altec 438.
Drums: Kirk > Modified
Nady TCM-1150 > Altec-1612
Guitar: Chris > Modified
Blues Junior > EV-635a > Neve-1272 with JLM mod
Vocal: Lindsey >
AKG D-12 > modified Pultec MB-1 with optical limiter
more info on the gear
you feel like mixing is more seance than science - and want help!!!
bay layout - not up to date, not on the floor so it's more visible.
Week-4: Recording and bouncing
Overall, a very productive session!!!
and moody piece with tasty and complimentary acoustic instruments captured
in 3D with the lovely Stereo Royer Ribbon mic (through a transformerless
and experimental great River preamp). The piece is very dynamic and
a bit of a challenge to keep under control. I have presented both
Lindsey's soft and loud mixes as they are different. We may need
to take another shot at the bounce as both of these mixes are bass heavy,
plus there are tiems when the vocal is shy of where it needs to be.
Once again, I have applied a simple 4-band compressor-limiter to help tame
the bass and enhance.
Please give a close listen to all of the mixes
as I have a very unique way of using multi-band processing. I highly
recommend the ML-4000 above ALL other plugs. If you have to
spend money - buy this one first. I can teach you how to use the
DYN-3 comp / lim, the 7-band EQ and D-Verb so you can get better mixes
AND save money.
Also, after class, Lindsey was working in studio-2
and encountered axactly the problems I anticipate with the SSL, so I showed
her how to patch around the problem. PLEASE download and print out
the SSL links so we can get a better handle on signal flow and patching.
Flanging, Mixing and Tape Machine Calibration
SUCCESS! A very good sounding bounce,
it played very well in my car on the way home. Once again, raw and
processed versions, listen to both closely and see if you can tell what
was done - there was less to be done.
Our flanging sessin also went very well.
As always your feedback is requested and required.
a mystery track that Evan will be curious about...
Week-6: 24-track mix session in
Setting up for the first time created a
punch list of things to do for week-7.
Once everything was setup, we learned what
the console can and can't do. We printed two different mixes to the
2-track. The primary difference between the two is that bass EQ was
applied to the second mix. The mixes sounded better in the Tech Room
than in Studio-2. They also played well in my car. Listen for
yourselves and include in your report. I have also included a previous
student's mix for comparison. Each have their strengths and wekanesses.
Make space to connect multi-track to the wall
Connect the remote to the tape machine
Patch the 2-track
Assess the monitoring system
Week-7: 24-track recording session
Signal Flow from mic through patch bay to monitors
Advance Prep means picking a song and keeping
Get the preferred 24-track machine and remote
from the closet.
2-inch tape stock should be with the machine
along with take sheet and track sheet.
No 2-track will be used, but do print a rough
mix of the session on the 24 track
Patch directly from preamp out to tape machine
input as per these fine documents...
SSL block diagram
Week-8: 24-track Overdub and FX session
PLEASE document and email the session
- as in - the completel log / story of how the session came to be, the
good, the bad and the ugly.
Recvording engineers have the unenviable
task of optimizing a mix for a wide range of 'playback systems,' from ear
buds to laptops, car and home stereos, clubs and 'decent' headphones.
That is why I wanted to share with you BASS
MANAGEMENT FOR ALL FORMATS, because I feel it requires a holistic approach
- of understanding acoustics, the ear (its Loudness curves as well as the
curves most car and home stereo systems add) and harmonic awareness, of
Bass in particular.
I think the track could come alive with
some creativ guitar parts, like arrpegios in the verse, rather than just
the chord changes. The reverse vocal FX worked nicely as did Some
of the reverse guitar FX.
After every one had left, I got a chance
to listen to the individual tracks and make some EQ and Dynamics choices.
Then the four of us - Lindsey, Chris and Kirk - did mixes you can hear
below. Something that Evan does on the bass (two-note chord?) at
the beginning of the track makes it very thick in the 100Hz to 300 Hz range,
after which it seems to behave in the mix. The processed versions
try to tame the bass.
I wasn't all that happy with the drums
and I hope to be able to show you some tricks that do not require so much
EQ and processing. It's obvious that drums in that small space are
challenging - you can hear the low end buildup from inadequate trapping.
The brightness I needed from the snare and the attack I needed from the
kick brought too much of the wrong kind of cymbal tone into the mix forcing
me to mildly compress and gate them.
Adding treble after the fact - from
tape - only adds more hiss.
There are three options to brightening
the snare. A bottom snare mic being one, putting an old hi-hat cymbal
under the snare stand is two and the crotch mic is three. You can
use ANY omni mic in the crotch position and it helps the kick beater.
I always use a kick mic, but never inside the drum. I do not ever
mic the kick drum head - or the beater - perpendicular to the head - this
simply generates too much proximity mush. ANGLED and aimed at the
beater works much better. If there is no front head, a D-112
works really well from the floor angled up to the beater.
In the future, spend more time getting
better sounds and more level to tape. PLEASE use EQ as a last resort.
Week-9: Jam Band
Doesn't Play Little Wing
Here are the four tracks we recorded week-9.
Kick: akg-414 (omni), Crotch:
(omni), Snare: SM-57, Hat: EV-664 (cardioide),
C:61 (tube) or AKG 451, Guitar: Cascade Fathead,
Royer Stereo Ribbon, Bass: EV RE-20 / SM-58. All using Trident
preamps, no EQ.
The rough mixes were done in the tech room
on Week-10 using only mix buss EQ, compression and limiting to CD.
The files ripped from CD then got some global in-the-box- multiband processing.
For Your iPAD Bones and Bass
Monday 9th March: Fly In overdubs
Week-10 started early - very early - as
in 1AM Monday morning! I got down to my control room to experiment
with Week-7s track 'Screamin' for your Bones.' I like the track and
felt an arrangment could make it better so I whipoped out my iPad and got
I got to IPR about 1:30pm Monday.
Lindsey met me and we completely tuned up the machine - repro-bias and
record alignment. Chris was there as well. I had bounced out
the overdubs to CD - panning the original tracks to one channel and the
overdubs to another. Because the ODs were in stereo, I had to bounce
out twice. Once in the tech shop, I transfered the CD to teh quarter
inch and then did two bounces to the multitrack. Then, due to all
the water - and my electronics class - I had to wait until the evening
to do a rough mix. I am pretty happy with the results. I brought
in a cute little 24-channel line mixer and hard pathed an EQ for the kick
and EQ foer the Bass. Sounded good in my car and also at home,
so now I feel I can guide you through the final OD and mixing process.
I want to recut the bass and know what needs to be done to each track.
Tuesday 10th March: Bass and Acoustic
Austin Jones overdubded bass to improve
clarity. Jordan Yeakey was kind enough to offer his Epiphone Thunderbird
Bass, which was DI only into Great River preamp and Summit limiter.
Bass a difference in clarity a focused performance - and recording techniques
- cane make.
You might wonder why I offer raw and processed
versions of the mix. It's simple, really, listening with mastering
ears - trying to squeeze more out of the mix - helps me to hear deeper
into the mix. If I try to bring clarity to the vocal and it makes
the cymbals to bright - or realize the low mids are cloudy, I go
back to the mix with that in mind and make the necessary tweaks.
It has happened over and over again with this track.
Below are the mixes - raw and processed
- before and after the Bass Ovwerdub. Give a listen, let me know
what else it might need. I think it needs 'something' in the
bridge - @ 2:17 - whadda y'all think? Or maybe just edit to 'single'
Until now, I have spared you MANY technical details,
allowing you to familiarize yourself with the machines and the process.
I hope you have enjoyed what I like to call ‘the Discipline of Analog,’
a.k.a. learning to be creative within a minimalist construct. We have not
really prepared for these sessions, but as musicians, you now know the
importance of preparation and pre-production as applied to an ensemble
So far we have learned to live with four available
tracks, embracing the commitment of bouncing all four to one in order to
create three available tracks. Now it’s time to Mix!
Here are the steps:
Demag: make sure the tape heads – and tools that
will touch the heads - have no residual magnetism.
Clean: if you want to hear treble, the heads
must be free of tape oxide that can shed onto the heads
Playback Calibration: a TEST TAPE is your friend.
It is ‘Full Track,’ recorded across the full width of the tape.
Reference level = 1kHz
Course Azimuth = 8kHz (focus for treble)
Fine Azimuth = 16kHz
The above HF can be used for Playback EQ, but 10khz
is the reference
Bias is used to minimize distortion
Input cal = adjusting the meters for an incoming signal
of known level: +4dBu = 1.22 Vrms = 0 VU.
Record Level = 1kHz
HF Record EQ = 10kHz
Low Frequency Calibration: Yes, surprise! Low Freqs
are swept from 250 down to 40 hz and the LF playback EQ is adjusted so
that the bumps and dips are about equally above and below 0VU.
Insert mix buss EQ and compress
Get ballpark settings
Use reference tones to confirm Left / Right balance.