Myself and 4 gifted musicians went into the Neve studio to record some music for social conscious project directed at Suicide. In this blog I will talk about the preparations and the process involved in preparing the recorded session and post production, editing and mixing.

Roy and I discussed on how to setup the studio since all the instruments were to be recorded in the same environment (live room) meaning to say there will would be lots of bleed from microphones. However the bleed is what we wanted to capture most and therefore no need to isolated the guitar & keyboard amps. We also made sure we set Di boxes all guitars and keyboards so we capture sounds from amps and Di. There was a bit of a mix up that caused the guitar Di not to record but however we managed to get the sound from the amp recorded.

One of the most important aspects I have heard Rose and Guy say was “to have less work on editing and mixing will be determined by how your microphone placement is carried out”. Bearing that in mind we made sure that the drums and the guitar amps were placed in positions that would capture a good sound. I was also considering that it was first time recording for the drummer and had to make sure the mics are set right. Roy being our engineer made sure that our Pro tools session was well named with organised tracks and ordered into groups and colour coding them so to make easy mixing later on. We did not intend to use any special effects and we just wanted a clean dry sound then play around with them during mixing.

For communication purpose we had headphones for each musician and a talkback microphone that was on the main keyboard that I used to direct the band from the intro of the song, verses, chorus, bridge and outro. I gave opportunity for the band to try with a click track but they honestly could not work along it as they are used to play without it. The dynamics of the song are characterized by a quiet intro which gradually gets louder and a loud chorus with a strong beat of 4/4 time signature with mostly staccato notes that give an energetic feel.. The tempo of the song was around 115 bpm mark which is pretty groovy. Melody lines for the main keys repeated constantly whilst the second keys had much room for a group of tones played around the melody to give an interesting feel creating a sweet mood. The couple of takes we had gave the band more confidence which made them not to be conscious of the recording but rather enjoying playing like we do by my house, which is a very cool thing. Also having these takes helped Roy get the right balance on levels on the console to get a good signal into Pro tools without clipping or less volume.

The recording experience and atmosphere was awesome and considering that this is the first time for all the musicians recording in the studio and promoting diversity in Australia, this was impressive. I will be working on getting the guitarist to come and do the guitars since we did not get much signal from the Di regarding the feedback from Rose about having the guitar clean and not muddy. I will experiment this in my music lounge at home and see how we roll. As for the extra stuff such as brass section, strings and violin I did them at home using my my Korg PA588 synthesizer and its onboard sounds. I avoided using midi sounds as I felt that I get nice texture sound directly from the synth. Additions of keys just made the song full on and rich with variations from different sounds. The work now is to get the mix right making sure the sounds are complementing each other and adding stereo effect to bring excitement to the ear.

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