Mixing Session Three

First thing we did was add software EQ on a few tracks to enhance the higher frequencies.

We used our final session to properly balance the levels of the mix, something we had not done since our first session to give an idea of what need to be done to improve the track.

We then sorted out the stereo image of the track by panning on the desk the following:

  • Kick, bass and vocals = Central.
  • Luke’s guitars slightly left, Johnny’s first set are to the right, second set slightly left and right.
  • Overheads and Jonny’s guitars are panned harshly.
  • Snare top and snare bottom, slightly left and slightly right.

This was recorded in Protools.

To give the track a more open sound we added reverb across the track using the  TC Electronic Reverb 4000, setting on ‘Nice Vocal Plate’. It was quite fun playing around with the settings and hearing how different the track sounded with different levels of reverb. This was then recorded.

Finally, we used the Warm Audio WA76 Limiting Amplifier across the whole track to increase the quietest levels.

And that ended our Mixing Process. A lot was learnt and I cannot wait to apply all skills learnt on future projects.

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Rosie

Mixing Session Two

We were a lot more efficient with using the equipment this time around and got most compression done.

We processed the bass, one guitar part and vocals using the Distressor Compressor.

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The overheads were compressed using the IGS Photon 500 Compressor. This really helped bring out the hi hat hits and added definition to the overall drums.

We also tried re-amping the bass track. We used the re-amp kit supplied by the MRC and set it up pretty easily. We used a few microphone techniques and choices but were not happy with the overall sound as there was a strange hum and buzz. We decided against using the re-amped track and instead focused on enhancing the DI Bass track.

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Joe

Research on the Distressor

We were really happy with the Distressor as it was simple to use and produced a great sound.

After the first mixing session I researched it to see if it would have been useful to use on any of the other tracks.

This is what I found:

‘For adding weight and ‘angst’ to bass instruments and kick drums, I can think of few compressors more able’ – Paul White

‘Thickness and attack to bass guitars, and solidity to vocals’ – Paul White

Distressor Compressor Article 

Rosie

Mixing Session One

This mixing session was in Basement 3 and used as a learning process. The first few hours were spent working out how to successfully get the correct compression on the tracks.

We started off playing around with the IGS outboard gear.

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To test our new skills we used the Distressor Compressor to individually compress each kick drum track. This went quite well and we got a balanced sound out of it.

We also used outboard EQ on the kick. Using the IGS RB 500, we gained control of the sub frequencies which defined the kick.

We added a high pass filter to the ambient drum track to enhance the sound of the room.

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Rosie

References and Ideas Playlist For Mixing

The playlist below contains songs which both Joe and I can take inspiration from to help us decide on reverb, delay, compression and stereo image ideas.

Some tracks include:
– ‘Re-wired’ by Kasabian as we like the guitar placement and the vocal sound.
– ‘The Wire’ by Haim as the kick stands out without being overpowering, something we’re aiming for.
– ‘Genevieve’ by Lucius as the stereo image is clever with the guitars and drums.
– ‘From Nowhere’ by Dan Croll because the guitar effects give the song a sense of depth and distance.
– ‘Pure Imagination’ from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory as it has changes in ‘heaviness’, makes the song much more interesting.
– ‘Rearrange’ by Miles Kane as the vocals are well balanced and not lost in the lower frequencies, which could happen to us if we’re not careful. Also the reverb on the vocals is a perfect style for our tracks.

Rosie

Recording Session 4: Vocals -16/3/15

We had booked out Basement 3 to record our vocals and backing vocals. It was the first time we had been in there and got completely stuck when nothing would turn on -we didn’t realise that the power supply was locked, thankfully the technician helped us out.

We experimented with 4 microphones: SM58, Orpheus, U87 and a RE20. The U87 and Orpheus worked well for the rest of our track. Whereas the RE20 sounded too muffled and the SM58 was too weak. The backing vocals were also recorded with the U87 and Orpheus.

We have become quicker at setting up Pro Tools and the equipment, and having clear ideas of what we want to achieve in the session.

Improvements to be made: Use EQing a bit more, learn a few Pro Tools shortcuts so time isn’t wasted.

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Joe