Second Year and a Studio Project later!
Hi Guys, Apologies for lack of Blogging over the summer. Glad everyone’s back, this is my first post of the new academic year involving a new module….Studio Project!
The module outline is fairly straight forward and involves the creation of two contrasting studio recordings created in a collaborative working environment/scheme and a report in the form of a blog, tracking any plans made before production, processes used in production and including photos demonstrating mic placement and screenshots of mix in Protools as well as evidence of plugin use.
The 1st Project is all about showing mic placement & basic studio confidence!
A list of parameters/guidelines for the 1st project is listed below;
- It can be any genre.
- Can either be an original piece or a cover.
- Must be around 2-6 minutes long.
- Must include the following instruments – Drums, Guitar/keyboard, Bass Guitar & Vox. Orchestral Instruments are optional e.g. Strings Woodwinds, Brass etc.
- All instruments must be recorded using microphones and a variety of micing techniques.
- Guitar and Bass Guitar can be Direct Injected (optional).
- Only the following selection of plugins can/must be used – High Pass Filter (HPF), Sample Delay (Time Adjustment), Compression, Side Chaining and Limiting (only on Master Channel).
- There must be NO CLIPPING prior to master limiting!
- Output must hit peak levels -0.2 db
We have already began to learn about the studio and getting to grips with a digital desk. We’ve also been experimenting with different mic placements, for example A-B mic placement (using two omnidirectional microphones) and X-Y (using two Cardioid set mics). Seeing as EQ is not in our inventory of plugins for this project, the only way to achieve a decent sound is through these mic placement techniques, making it a very important matter to learn and experiment with them. As for my recording, I have decided to record a cover of Green Day’s ‘Brain Stew’ for this 1st project. For aesthetic purposes, here’s a visual reminder of the original. (Ignore the second part of the video when it speeds up, annoyingly I couldn’t find a video without the track ‘Jaded’ as follow up to Brain Stew!)
The 2nd Project must consciously emulate a past/present producer’s style and show it through an original track/recording. The blog must document intended techniques and how these were put into practice, including acknowledgement of who’s techniques were used:
- The recording must be around 2-6 minutes long.
- Can be any genre.
- Instruments to be recorded must be – Drums, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vox and at least 1 orchestral instrument.
- Guitar and Bass can be DI’d instead of mic’d, all other instruments must be recorded using microphones.
- Recording must emulate one of these proposed producers recording style: Phil Spector, George Martin, Brian Eno, Frank Zappa and Nine Inch Nails frontman, Trent Reznor.
This project differs from the first in that the instrument recordings can be sampled and then arranged as apposed to using a complete track. Evidence of this must be shown in screenshots of muted tracks in protools. Initially my first ideas as to which producer to emulate fell upon Phil Spector, as his way of recording a sound, playing it back in a echo chamber and then re-recording the sound in the chamber with the reverb seemed like an interesting and challenging prospect. Although, I am a massive fan of Brian Eno as I enjoy ambient music so his production style may be something that I choose to emulate.