Location Recording Project

The final mix of my location recording with the groove fusion band “Inspire One.”  The song is titled “Soundwave.”

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Preparing to Mix

April 26, 2017

I finished editing all of my old blog posts today.  I spent some time in open lab tuning the small vocal parts that Javier and myself added to “These Walls” last Thursday.

April 27, 2017

I spent the majority of my time looking at all of my tracks in the pro tools session for “These Walls.”  A lot of the editing was checking my audio transitions to make sure there were no clicks or pops.  I restored the clip gain to all of my tracks and consolidated the tracks so that I could easily import them into my mix session.

April 28, 2017

I have been tryjng to figure out what to add to my audio for video project because it sounds somewhat empty to me with just the poem in the background.  I decided that I would attempt to record the audio of myself mocking the dance moves that chelsi performs in the video do that I can overdub the sounds.  I used Audio Technica U851a boundary microphones placed on the left and right side of the rooms.  I recorded the microphones into a handheld zoom recorder.  After I finished this I spent a lot of time editing the audio tracks from my location recording and started to mix it.  I was also able to edit and consolidate the majority of my tracks for “Diary.”

I plan on coming into open lab at the college Saturday morning to work some more.

Vocal Make Ups

April 20th, 2017

I had already booked time in the Yamaha DM 2000 to work on editing my projects but because I wasn’t able to record vocals for my location project on Tuesday I asked the vocalist to come in today and overdub her vocals.  We used an Audio Technica 4050 Condenser Microphone.  We did three or four takes of “Soundwave” (which only has vocals during the intro) and we only did one take of vocals for “Misfit.”  The vocalist was tired and didn’t want to stay long.  I also told her not to worry about it too much since it was technically supposed to be a location recording.

After we finished with that Javier came to the school to record a small male vocal part for “These Walls.”  I also did a pass of the same vocal part just in case they needed to be replaced or added to.

I also played a rough edit of my Audio For Video project for Javier.  He suggested that I use some walla (background noise ex: a crowd, bar noise, street noise) in my video to give it an ambience.  I think that it definitely needs something to add to the feel of it since I wasn’t able to get the foot sounds that I wanted.  There is also a part where the dancer claps so I recorded claps while I was in the studio so that I could use them to overdub.

He also suggested using synth pads from a keyboard to fill up a lot of the space that seems to be missing in “These Walls” when compared to the original.  I am trying to stray away from recording any more in the last two weeks of Capstone.  Francis suggested that I duplicate and highly process certain tracks to get the effect I believe the song needs.  I will probably do this instead due to time constraints.

Location Recording “Inspire One”

April 18th, 2017

Tuesday I made a new version of the Pro Tools session for “These Walls.”  I imported all of the recently tuned audio files.  I have a lot of cleaning up to do in this session.

I also made three Pro Tools sessions for each of the songs that the band (“Inspire One”) planned to record during our Location Recording in the Cuyahoga Community College Auditorium (Metropolitan Campus. Arts and Music Building).  The songs were “Soundwave,” “Harmonic Groove,” and “Misfit.”  I checked out all my equipment at 3:15pm so that I would make it to the auditorium in time for our reservation at 4:00pm.  Bryant and Javier both took the time to come help me set up.  This helped a lot because while they started setting microphones on stands and moving equipment I was able to set up the daisy chained Saffire System and rearrange my tracks as needed.

We had a rough idea of how the band would be set up but this changed once we arrived.  The Saffire Pro 40 interfaces only allow for phantom power to be activated in banks of four (for ex: channels 1-4 and 5-8).  I forgot to plan for this and I had to rearrange my input path to compensate for this (I had three ribbon microphones and I needed to make sure I didn’t send phantom power to them).

Once we were set up the only issue we encountered was waiting for the band to be ready.  I intended to be ready to record at 5:30pm but I did not realize the bass and saxophone player both were performing in a show at 7:00pm in the College’s Main Stage Theatre.  This meant that they had to go to their microphone check for the show at around 5:30pm.  We didn’t officially start recording until around 6:00pm.  The band was able to record all three songs (2-3 full takes each) by 7:00pm.  I kept having an issue with my right over head microphone clipping (Audio Technica 4050).  I tried moving it back from the kit a bit but the issue continued.  I didn’t have time to figure it out so I let it slide.

I decided it would be best to record the vocals afterwards so that there was no bleed and so that she would be able to hear the band through headphones.  We began recording vocals offstage but we decided that it would be best to do it another day because the vocalist was having problems with her allergies.  We scheduled for her to come into the studio with me on Thursday at 5:15pm.  We finished cleaning up around 8:30pm (which was 30 minutes after we were supposed to be done).  Thankfully Stephen (the ) allowed us to stay that long.  Next time I’ll have to factor in clean up time and communicate with the band more effectively about their availability.

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Daisy chained Focusrite interfaces.  Bryant and Javier helping out.
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Stage Plot and Input List
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Song and Input List (13-16 did not receive phantom power)

*Changes in mics used:

Violin: Octava MK 012
Saxophone/Trombone: Beyerdynamic Ribbon Mics
Piano: 2 Audio Technica 4050

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Location Recording Pre-Pro

April 12th, 2017

I spent this evening comping the vocals that I recorded in the Yamaha DM 2000. for “These Walls.”  I also tuned these vocals in Melodyne.

Now that I have the place confirmed for my location recording (College Auditorium) I completed my equipment check out sheet so that I could have Mr. Hartzell sign it.  I wanted to get it signed well in advance so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it later on.  Below is a list of the instruments being recorded and the microphones I intend to use.

Drums: Kick MB-6K Kick Mic (Audio Technica Drum Mic Pack)
Snare Top Shure SM-57
Overheads 2 Audio Technica 4050’s
Bass: Countryman D.I.
-Bass Amp: Shure SM-57
Piano: 2 MXL 2010’s
Keyboard: 2 Countryman D.I.’s
Guitar: Countryman D.I.
-Guitar Amp: Shure SM-57
Saxophone: Cascade Fathead or Royer 121
Trombone: Cascade Fathead or Royer 121
Violin: Audio Technica 4051
Vocalist: Shure SM-58

I will need at least 16 inputs if I mic the band this way.  I discussed this with Andrew.  He explained to me that I could daisy chain to Focosrite Saffire Pro 40’s together so that I would have 16 inputs.  I hook this up by plugging the double sided Firewire 6-pin connector from one Saffire into the other.  I then designate one to be the “master” and plug this one into the computer using a second Firewire Cable.  Once this is hooked up I turn on the computer.  Once I see the “F/W Active” Led light is on in both interfaces I open up the Saffire Mix Control.  I then check to see if both interfaces are recognized in the “Firewire Driver” section in the lower right hand corner.  Now when I open Pro Tools and import my I/O Settings I should see two sets of eight inputs from each Saffire interface.  Andrew also suggested that I test each of the 16 inputs with a Condensor microphone to ensure that each input and phantom power for each input was working properly.

Percussion Work

April 11th, 2017

Today I turned in my remix project.  I feel like the ideas still need some fleshing out but I got it to a decent place.  David Kennedy sent in a request for me to use the Auditorium in the Tri-C Arts and Music building as the location for my location recording.  It was approved for April 18th, 2017.  This will be a lot easier on my musicians travel-wise.

That evening I spent time in the Yamaha DM 2000 tuning vocals for my song “Diary.”  I also recorded my own vocals for “These Walls” because I do not have much time to try to coordinate with another female vocalist.  I recorded my vocals using an AT 4050 so that the vocals would cut through a little better.

I also recorded percussion parts on both studio songs.  I used one AT 4051 small condenser microphone.  I figured I could record different types of percussion and pan them each to its own place in the mix.  I recorded tambourine, Cowbell, Shaker, Rosewood Claves and a Wooden Vibraslap.  I plan to see what sounds best when editing.  I want to try to use the Vibraslap as an interesting effect on These Walls.

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AT 4051, AT 4050 and Percussion Instruments

General Project Update

April 3rd, 2017

Diary (Studio Song):  The recording for this song is complete.  I just need to tune vocals, clean up the tracks and create a mix.

These Walls (Studio Song 2): I still need to record female vocals and add in saxophone MIDI. I also have to tune my vocals and the violins before I begin mixing this song.

Audio For Video (A4V): I have one audio for video project completed but I’m not happy with it.  I recently performed in the choreo-poem “For Colored Girls.”  One section of the performance consisted of a dancer performing during a poem.  I thought it would be interesting to record the audio of the poem and the video of the dancer for my A4V.

During the performance of the play last week the sound engineer (Josh) let me record the main outs of the Soundcraft K2 board into a Zoom H4N Recorder using a XLR to 1/4″ cable.  The performer used a Shure Beta 58 Dynamic microphone.

Location Recording: I also have a location recording that I’m not completely satisfied with. I have been speaking with an 8 piece groove fusion band named “Inspire One” to coordinate a time and place for us to record.

Mix: It’s been a while since I’ve revisited my mix project.  I have to work on dynamics and signal processing.

Remix: I have worked on a couple of ideas for my ReMix but I’m going to spend the majority of my time working on it this week so that it is ready to turn in on Tuesday April 11th.

Brite Winter Festival

I was able to speak directly with the sound engineer about using a splitter to record the performance.  He let me know that using the Zoom Handheld recorder would be easier on him.  I set up about an hour and half before Austin’s set using a Left and Right output from the board as well as using the Zoom’s internal microphones.  Overall the sound turned out pretty well but there aren’t many changes I can make to the tracks since it is only a left and right feed as opposed to individual instruments.  Also, because I recorded the main outputs all of the engineers EQ, compression and processing effects were recorded onto the audio files.  I obviously can not remove these so I am not sure that I will be able to use this for my Location Recording project.  However Austin was very grateful that I was able to record a live version of his set.

Location Gear Check Out

February 17th, 2017

I was able to get permission to record at the Music Box Saturday during Austin Stambaugh’s Brite Winter Festival performance.  We had been emailing back and forth.  I asked him about possibly using a splitter so that I could record each instrument but he has not gotten back to me.  I am doubting that this will be possible since this is a festival style set up and it would be an inconvenience for the engineer.  I checked out extra equipment just in case he allowed me to multi-track the performance.  I also rented a Handheld Zoom Recorder because I thought it was more likely that he would send me the main outputs from the Midas Pro2 board.