Studio Song Project

The final mixes for my two studio recorded songs.

“These Walls” Cover

“Diary” Cover

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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.

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 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

These Walls (Female Vocalist)

Everything can’t go as planned so I just have to move with the changes.  I have had to find a replacement female vocalist for “These Walls” as my original singer has been sick and doesn’t feel confident in her ability to sing the song.  A woman I worked with in a play who happens to be a great singer has agreed to record the vocals.  Right now we are looking to solidify a date.

Violin Tuning

April 07th, 2017

Friday I spent time in open lab tuning the violins I recorded for “These Walls.”  The violins weren’t far out of tune but I figured it could only help the sound.  There were a total of 25 violin tracks (each layering at different parts).  So to make them easier to edit I selected all 25 tracks in the edit window and went up to “File” scrolled down to “Export” and chose “Selected Tracks As New Session.”  This created a new Pro Tools session with only the 25 violin tracks.

I inserted the plug-in Melodyne onto each violin track.  I then created 25 new mono audio tracks so that I could print my tuned violins to the new tracks.  I went through each track and adjusted the violins until they were in tune.  When I was done I adjusted my levels and printed all 25 tracks to one audio track.  This way I can re-import the violins into an updated session of “These Walls” as one track so that it doesn’t overwhelm Pro Tools.

I will be using the same technique when I tune my vocal tracks.

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.

These Walls (Rap Vocals)

March 31st, 2017

My rap vocalist, The Daze, came in to record her vocals today.  Our session went very smooth.  I am very happy with the way the audio came out and especially with the lyrical content.  Although I am doing a cover of this song I wanted the rap verses to be original.  The original song is written and performed through a mans perspective.  I thought it would be nice if the song was written from a woman’s point of view.  The Daze met my vision in this regard.

I originally wanted to try the Aston Spirit on her voice but it was already checked out so we used the AT 4050 through the Toft console and were able to record very clear vocals.