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Author Topic: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.  (Read 9741 times)

rankus

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2006, 03:00:53 pm »

James Duncan wrote on Tue, 25 April 2006 05:42

Any phase issues with the 2 bass tracks?



Good question.  Thanks James.

There will always be a time delay between the mic and the DI signal, due to the longer electronics chain and the air between the speakers and mic. (Potentialy causing Phase issues)

I do not worry too much about phase while recording as long as it sounds punchy.  I do go out in the room and play with mike position while listening to both tracks, and hit the phase switch on one of the pres etc. etc. in order to get them as close as I can by ear. But the mic position must sound good all on it's own (soloed) and that takes precedence over phase at this stage. (see next line)

But then, once it's on HD I will tweak again at the mix stage.  I generally do this on all tracks and sessions.  I will work the phase while recording, and then again in the mix by slipping tracks a few samples and/or playing with the phase switches on the channels in Nuendo.  

I do NOT rely entirely on the computer screen (waveform display) while playing with phase once in the box.  I will check visually , but in general I use my ears only for final decisions on phase... I mention this because being "in phase" may not be where things sound best.  Sometimes the tracks end up slightly out of phase and sound good. A sort of "EQ".  (Bass is always mono in shop, so no issues with stereo-mono collapse with bass tracks)

This is my philosophy with Drum tracks as well as any other multi mic, / DI/Mic setups as well.  Get the best phase you can while preserving the best tonal qualities.... because if it's slightly off you can deal with it later ITB. ... Best of both worlds approach.

More on this when we get to the Mixing stage of the BLOG.

Cheers
RW
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Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

George_

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2006, 03:25:59 pm »

Quote:

(I am now calling the Royers "magic microphones" George


your magic mike is in my case C414;)

interesting fact.. connected my 50 watt alltube Reussenzehn poweramp to the 16 ohm marshallinput and drove it with 3/4 open volume.. wow.. thats tuuuuuuby;)

thanx for sharing.. will post some fotos too.. soon;)


I had the pleasure to mic a 12'000 $ drum (pearl star...something) in a 200$ treated room with an ok drummer.. I will share my results;)

cheers

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George Necola

rankus

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2006, 09:27:47 pm »

To George: Heh heh, George this is the next Mic I will buy for my mic locker the c414.  I am jealous!

Everyone:  Here is a picture of Alex the lead guitarist and keybordist on this project.  I thought I had better get him on the hot seat as well.

Here we see Alex telling the engineer in a calm way that he is not going to do another take of that song....

Alex:

index.php/fa/2757/0/

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Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

rankus

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2006, 10:02:27 pm »

VOCALS:


Hi All.  This last week was dedicated to tracking Lead Vocals, associated double tracks, and some harmony tracks as well.  This band does not have much in the way of "background vocals" as there is only one singer in the band.

Our lady singer's name is Trish and she can sing pretty damn good!  So there was not much for me to do in the way of coaching etc.... just stayed out of the way on that.

Initially I had intended to go with one of two mics:  One of My Rode NT2000's,  or my Bluebird mic from Blue.  So we set up the two mics into my two Brick Pre-amps, and I had Trish do a short take into each mic.

Well as fate would have it I did not like either mic on her voice, which was a drag because I didn't have much else to try.

The Rode was nice and bright but lack "fullness" in the mids.  The Bluebird had all the fullness that I wanted but lacked sizzle in the high end... oh what to do...

So we used both! ...  I set up the two mics with the capsules aligned by eye and ran off another test take. (see pic)  There was a little "hollowness" to the sound indicating that I had not got the capsules as close as I had thought, and was causing some phase issues.  So, with Trish singing I crawled around on the floor bumping one mic stand forward a bit and listening until things felt "solid"  and not "tubular".

This worked out quite well IMO because now I have two tracks going to disk.  One bright , and one full bodied and midsy.  This is great when it comes to mixing because I can pretty much "EQ"  her voice by blending the two tracks differently.  This is not a new technique, and I have used dual mics on may sources with excellent results.

Trish has extreme dynamic range so the Rode was run through my DBX160 compressor, to tame the peaks.. about 4db of reduction at 4:1 ratio on the peaks.

The actual tracking went smoothly over a period of four days.  On Sat and Sun we booked 4 hours each day so that we did not burn out her voice with extended sessions.  We got the bulk of the lead tracks done on these two days (6 songs) and tracked the remaining two songs on Tues afternoon. (2 hour session)  Then we had her double most of the choruses on Wed (2 hour session).  

I should note that I used an Audio Technica 4033 for the double (ing) tracks in order to set them apart from the lead track and hopefully give some depth. Same pat

These sessions were different for me in that I am normally coaching the singer to get better performance from them.  But in this case Trish is classically trained and is pretty much note perfect,... So I almost had to try to get less than perfect takes. I tried to get as many first takes as possible in order to capture that elusive emotional one.

Anyway this brings us to the end of the main overdubs, and I will do a quick "board mix" (no effects or eq) and burn some CD's for the band and I to listen to for a week or so, to make sure everyone is happy with he performances.  We still need to tweak a keyboard track or two etc. but other than that, I am confident that the takes we have will be the ones that go on the record with little or no tweaking.

So I will be taking at least a two week break from posting in this blog while the tracks age to perfection before mixing.  It is a good idea to spend as much time as possible NOT listening to the tracks during  this time.  I want to come back to mix with no preconceptions.

As usual, questions / comments welcome.

index.php/fa/2758/0/


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Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

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James Duncan

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2006, 10:06:04 am »

Quote:

As usual, questions / comments welcome




OK...so where is the picture of Trish??? Smile

Hehe...

I struggle with this concept of letting the tracks age a bit before mixing as well. I really need the time, but the band always seems to be in a hurry and on a deadline.

My biggest problem is with anxious musicians that want the final product right away. I find that even if I lay out the schedule up front to include a one week "ear break", I still get all the questions like: "when is my record going to be done, dude???"

It is crazy since I work hard to set the expectations up front...

Once the tracking is done, we take a week break to rest the ears, then usually a week of mixing before the first CDs are given to the band (here is where we differ, I never give them anything until I have had a first shot at the mix...alone, by the way!).

Then we do a final mix based on band feedback, and get a final sign-off on the mix before sending out for mastering.

This is always made clear, and yet is still the biggest problem I have, especially with the younger bands that are always in a hurry!
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rankus

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2006, 01:47:21 pm »

James Duncan wrote on Tue, 02 May 2006 07:06

Quote:

As usual, questions / comments welcome




OK...so where is the picture of Trish??? Smile

Hehe...

I struggle with this concept of letting the tracks age a bit before mixing as well. I really need the time, but the band always seems to be in a hurry and on a deadline.


Once the tracking is done, we take a week break to rest the ears, then usually a week of mixing before the first CDs are given to the band (here is where we differ, I never give them anything until I have had a first shot at the mix...alone, by the way!).




Sorry I have not replied sooner, but I was hoping to have something to report.  The mastering house is backed up (indy season) so we are in no hurry to get the mixes done, and will probably do some sweetening (percussion etc.) before mix time. Another couple of weeks at least.

Heh heh.  We forgot to take a picture of Trish while doing tracks, but she will be back in soon to do some tweaks and BG's so we will get one then... She asked if you would like her to wear her "dominatrix" outfit ... (Don't worry I know the answer)

Regarding giving the band board mixes... I agree that in most cases this is inviting problems. But in this case I have a very good working relationship with the band. This is the third project with them. We won't be tweaking endlessly, and they are mature enough to know that all good things take time.

Also due to the fact that this is a very tight budget production, it is better to make percussion decisions etc. out of the studio without the clock running.... Write and practice BG parts etc.  We get very prepared so when we hit the studio it all goes down very quickly.




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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

rankus

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2006, 08:34:51 pm »



UPDATE:

Well I have started on the mixing and have almost three songs in the bag.

The band has listened to the CD's we burned and has decided to tweak a few things: re-record vox on three verses, do some thickening tracks on some back ground vox, drummer wants to insert a kick drum under a couple of cymbal hits.  But that is about it.  All in all, we are all happy with our tracks and tracking.

We are aiming for finished mixes by the first week of June... (Sure) Rolling Eyes

Stay Tuned.....
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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

Tidewater

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2006, 08:56:55 pm »

Cool! That's just two weeks sooner than we will have Elevated Basement jammin' again!

Rolling Eyes

Send food! Smile



M
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George_

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2006, 09:03:28 am »

edit.. not appropriate Cool
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George Necola

rankus

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2006, 02:26:03 pm »



George Had  a song that he had recorded in the post above and I asked him to remove it due to the fact it may confuse the readers of this thread once I get this album mixed and mastered...and post some examples. (It's on it's way to mastering this week.)

Thank you for your consideration George.  You are a gentleman.

His recording was great, and I am going to PM him to encourage him to start a thread on his work.

Cheers
RW
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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

George_

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2006, 12:02:14 am »

soooryy rankus..

cheers George
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George Necola

rankus

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2006, 09:11:00 pm »



UPDATE:

Sorry for the long silence. The band has been all over the world lately, and it's been tough to get everyone in to sit down for the final listen and tweak session.

Well that session happened yesterday, with the band dropping in with a list of thoughts on the mixes etc.  We tweaked a bit ( a little more bass on this one, a little less background vox on this one etc.)

All in all, we all loved the mixes, and things are now ready to send out to mastering.  I will create "stems" with the music comprising one stereo stem, and one stereo stem for lead vox, and another for BG Vox.  .

This will give the ME a chance to get aggressive with the music etc. without worrying about also affecting the Vox.  (IE if he needs to boost some high end it won't create sibilance issues on the Vox tracks. etc.)  I don't normally do stems but this project calls for it.  (Lead Vox have tremendous dynamic range....)

They will go in for mastering next week

The band has set a CD Release Party date at a local club on Sept 27th (email me for details if you want to come).

So, I suspect that they will tie my hands regarding uploading MP3's until then... but we will see.  Perhaps I can post something before then.

Cheers
RW
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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller

Tidewater

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #27 on: July 27, 2006, 08:27:40 pm »

Please no stems.

Please tell me it isn't so.

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Fibes

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2006, 08:29:09 pm »

Hahahahaha. Obviously Miles didn't log out today.

That was my post.

Maybe.
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rankus

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Re: Rankus' Budget Production Tips: Start to finish.
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2006, 10:18:29 pm »


LOL,

I always knew you and Miles were actually one person!

Well, the stem thing didn't work out for me anyway. I ran off some stems and then re-combined them myself as a test and felt that it lacked depth (for some reason?). (I have some theories) This would have been my first experiment with stems, and now I can lay that behind me. As Terry says: "I deliver one mix... the right one". Great sage wisdom.

So it went to mastering as stereo mixes with alternate mixes for 3 songs (vox down).

I got my copy back from mastering today, and like what I hear. The ME did very little in the way of EQ which makes feel good about my current monitoring setup . Yay!

I will talk to the band about allowing me to post an MP3, hopefully this will be OK to do before the CD release partay...

Give me a few days...
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Rick Welin - Clark Drive Studios http://www.myspace.com/clarkdrivestudios

Ive done stuff I'm not proud of.. and the stuff I am proud of is disgusting ~ Moe Sizlack

"There is no crisis in energy, the crisis is in imagination" ~ Buckminster Fuller
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