Studio Song Project

The final mixes for my two studio recorded songs.

“These Walls” Cover

“Diary” Cover


Saturday Mixing

April 29, 2017

We were able to work in the studios on Saturday.  I was able to book the Audient.  I was able to finish editing the wood sticks, tambourine and shaker for “Diary” and consolidate all of the files.  I then exported all of the consolidated files so that they could be imported into a new session.

I then created a mix session for each song by using an old mix template making alterations as needed.  I imported all of the previously exported files including the songs I’m using as my reference material.  I color coded all of the tracks and clips to make it easier to work.

I began a rough mix of “These Walls.”

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.

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.

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.

Male Background Vocals

March 23rd, 2017

I had intended to record male and female supporting vocals for both songs but my female singer was sick.  We talked about it and intend to reschedule once she’s feeling better.  My male singer was still ready to record so I checked out a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, laptop and iLok key and an MXL 2010.  We recorded in a practice room inside of the Cuyahoga Community College Metropolitan campus music building.  There was some weird reverberation in that room that didn’t sound too great but we dealt with it.  I should have tested the room prior to choosing it for our session.

Overall the session went very well.  He was able to build on top of the harmonies that my lead vocalist for “Diary” sang as well as create a good starting point for “These Walls” that my second female vocalist should be able to build on.

Project Update (3/9-3/17)

March 17th, 2017

I’m pretty behind in my blog updates so I’m going to give a brief recap of the last couple of weeks.  Thursday 3/9/17 I met with a past teacher, Mr. Boyd, to go over some ideas for my two studio songs.  I got a lot of insight on small, simple adjustments I can make to make the songs sound clearer.  Something in particular that it made me realize was that the mic placement I used when recording pianos made my pianos sound somewhat muddy and unclear.  Especially on “Diary.”

Friday I was able to re-record the pianos for “Diary” with Matt from 2-4:30pm through the SSL Duality SE console.  We decided to leave the piano in the smaller room, unlike our first session.  We also used different microphones to try and get a brighter sound.  Two Neumann U87’s in a spaced pair along the open side of the piano lid and two Neuman KM-184’s in a spaced pair above the hammer heads.  We were hoping to achieve more clarity with the placement of the KM-184’s.  We ran those microphones through the Focusrite Red 1 Quad Mic Pre to see how it would sound.

I had also planned to record background vocals with Zal that same Friday from 5-9pm but unfortunately Zal was sick and unable to record his vocal parts.  We were able to reschedule for March 23rd.  I will also be recording my second female vocals that day so we decided we could record both of their vocals together.

I’ve been spending my spring break in Paris, Fracne with a friend so I actually haven’t been doing any recording.  I do however plan to finish some editing for these last couple of days before Monday.

Focusrite Red 1 Quad Mic Pre
Paris! (Notre Dame Cathedral)

Saturday Sessions

March 4th, 2017

A few of us were able to schedule sessions this past Saturday with our department head, Mr. David Kennedy, who agreed to come in for a couple Saturdays.  This helped a lot because weekdays haven’t been convenient for a couple of my musicians.  I could have found another musician to replace them but because of the Saturday session I didn’t have to.

I was able to record lead vocals for “Diary” with Arryana and guitar for both songs with Austin.  My session with Arryana ran a little late so Austin had to sit with me for a little while before we could start on his parts but other than that I am happy with what we completed that day.

For Arryana’s vocals I decided to shootout the Neumann U87 and the Aston Spirit to see which one I preferred on her voice.  I actually thought the Aston Spirit had a little more bass and sounded a little bit smoother than the U87 but I was able to get more clean gain out of the U87 than the Spirit.

The TL console is set up to only have phantom power on channel strips 21-24.  So I had to patch both vocal mics from the mic lines 1 & 2 into mic inputs 21 & 22.

Austin brought in his ’73 Fender Telecaster and a Hot Rod Blues Jr. Fender amp.  I mic’ed his amp with an SM 57 and also recorded a DI signal from his guitar.

Aston Spirit and Neumann U87
Patching vocal mics into Phantom Power
Blanket covering drums during recording


2nd Piano Overdubs Cancelled

March 3rd, 2017

Matt and I had intended to come into open lab again today but unfortunately he caught the flu that has been going around during this crazy weather.

We originally planned to re-record a clean take for “Diary” as well as organs for “Diary” and the keyboard solo in “These Walls” that we couldn’t quite get during the first session.

I planned to use the Cascade Fatheads again and try out the DPA 4006-TL’s for Piano, a pair of SM-57’s and a D112 for the Leslie cabinet and the Korg Triton LE.  I may be able to organize another session with Matt so that we can at least get the Organ parts.

Below are the session documents showing how I intended to run the session.

Later that night I was able to practice working on rap vocals with a friend for a couple hours on the TL console using the Aston Spirit microphone.

Mic Input Sheet- I wasnt sure if I would use the second cabinet so I left most of the info for “Cab 2” blank.
Patch Sheet- I intended to use the API’s for the second piano session.
Loose sketch of the live room


Piano Overdubs

February 3rd, 2017

I worked with Matt on recording Piano during open lab hours in the SSL.  I close miked the inside of piano with a pair of DPA 4052’s.  One mic was aimed at the lower strings and the other at the higher strings.  Matt showed me the range of keys he was using so I was able to decide where to point the microphones based on that.  I used a pair of Cascade Fatheads in Blumlein about 2 feet away from the side of the piano where the lid was open to capture more of the ambience of the piano in the live room.  I had planned to use a pair of Octava MK 012’s in Coincident XY above the piano hammers but the mic stands I chose to use weren’t strong enough to hold both mics on the stereo bar without sinking.  I was worried that these microphones would hit the piano strings if we did use them so I decided that the DPA’s and Fatheads were enough.

We first focused on the lead piano part in “These Walls” and then moved to the Korg Triton LE keyboard for the keyboard solo that happens in “These Walls” during the breakdown.  Matt also played a solo on the actual piano.  I think that the piano solo sounded better than the keyboard solo.  Once “These Walls” was done we went back to the piano to record “Diary.”

Matt was not satisfied with the piano take he played for “Diary.”  He felt as though he would be able to nail it if he had another week to practice the song.  I felt as though I could probably comp together a good take from what we recorded but I agreed that we would come back in a week to re-record the piano for “Diary.”