8 weeks ago, we were given a solo guitar and vocal track, and the task to take it to full production.
This week, we finished the task. We completed recording in the Neve studio last week and students were given individual parts to take home and comp / make shiny. I took the vocal and B3 parts, as I needed to re-beatmap the recorded drums and render the B4 synth with the new timing. I was also keen to ‘melodyne-the fuck’ out of the vocal part.
I have previously used Melodyne for pitch correcting a horn section. After correcting the individual parts, I noticed there was a room mic which captured 3 parts at once – I wasn’t too keen to try to pitch correct polyphonically, so I decided to leave it alone. What I found was that the room mic mixed with the corrected parts created a really cool chorus/phase/flanger type effect, which I decided to keep in the final mix. I applied this technique again for the vocal part for this song, where I corrected one part, but left the room mic alone. This produced a cool Weezer/REM kind of sound which worked really well in parts, but required a bit of automation to pull out some of the more questionable notes.
I received all the parts over the weekend and compiled them into a session file for a final mix session in the Audient studio. Unfortunately it was fairly late notice for the mix session due to studio availability and public holidays, so I was pretty much alone for the first 2.5 hours of the session. In this time, I loaded the files and got all the channels up on the desk. I then started to replace the Pro Tools reverb with some of the outboard FX units in the Audient. I added 2 separate reverbs, one for drums + guitar, the other for banjo + organ. I also patched the transient designer into the bass to give it a bit more sustain.
I was a bit lost towards the end, as I had heard this song dozens an dozens of times over the weeks leading up to the mix session, and my brain was pretty much fried at that point. Fortunately Brendan showed up with some fresh ears and got into some more corrective EQ and reigning in the FX. This was most welcome. Unfortunately we ran out of time and only managed to get a quick stereo print from the Audient master bus, and on listening, there were a few issues that needed correcting. Mainly the left channel was about 3dB hotter than the right and needed adjusting. Also, the compression is a bit strong, but we couldn’t really hear it in the studio at the time.
Overall, this has been a very challenging project, but I am really happy with how the arrangement and the recording sessions worked out. I was also really happy with the quality of the recordings, having solid musicians with decent gear really helped immensely.
Outboard FX – reverb
Patching for the outboard gear