CS4044 Final Mix Report Gin n’ Juice - Constellations Group 18 Patrick Shanahan (10003406) Killian Vigna (10129758) Killian Stone (09005157)
IntroductionBefore we could begin recording we first had to choose a band to record.After a little confusion and losing one band due to poor communication wefinally landed ourselves a top class band. We had a drummer, a bassplayer, two guitarists and an excellent vocalist. Our band were very eagerto record themselves in a real studio as opposed to recording in theirgarden shed and so they were extremely helpful in the set-up andrecording process. We had each musician come in on a separate day,except the two guitarist which we managed to record in one studio slot. Aswe were dealing with musicians who often performed live gigs they hadmuch of the equipment we would require such as mics and amps prior toentering the studio. This gave us a chance to decide what equipmentwould suit best for the recording. In the end we mainly used the bandspersonal equipment including a full drum kit with mic set-up. The band iscalled ‘Gin n’ Juice’ and the song they decided to play for us was anoriginal track that they wrote themselves called “Constellations”.Drum RecordingWhen it came to recording the drums our chosen drummer supplied his ownmic set-up. This was extremely beneficial to the quality of our track as ourdrummer was able to tell us exactly how he felt it should sound and how themics should be set up. We faced the drum kit towards the Live end of therecording studio and then we set up 3 small mics on the drum kit itself as wellas two overhead condenser mics pointing at opposites sides of the drum kitwhich used phantom power. This set-up was to catch all of the noise comingfrom the drums and allow us to adjust levels of certain pieces later in themixing stage. We then laid down a click track and began our recoding. As ourdrummer was rather professional we ended up being very happy with thesecond take.
Guitar RecordingThe second instrument we decided to record was the guitar. As we had twoguitars in our track we had to record them separately but we were able to usethe same mic set up for each. We first set up a mic stand low down by theamp, basically touching off the amp itself. We then connected the guitarthrough a DI to the amp and finally placed the mics into the stand andconnected the cables. Once this was done we began to record. We found theguitars the hardest to record, mainly due to minor mistakes being made by themusician and having to re-record a few times in order to get the perfect take.Once we had the first guitar recorded we repeated this entire process for thesecond guitar.Microphone setupThe mic stand was set up first and then the cable was laid. The mic wasplaced on the stand and the cable ends were connected. A DI unit wasused to connect the guitar to the microphone input. The DI performslevel matching, balancing, and can also minimise noise anddistortion.We listened to the amp and guitar combination on microphone-level -- thatis, where the microphone would be placed when recording being carefulnot to place it too close to the amp as the low-end will be artificiallyboosted with a microphone placed close to the source, something calledproximity effect. As we wanted a louder more treble filled sound we placedthe microphone towards the centre cone of the amp. The amp wasrecorded at the highest possible level while still achieving our desiredsound.A dynamic microphone was used to record the guitars because of itsruggedness, its ability to withstand high SPL volumes and not needing anypower to operate.
Bass Guitar RecordingMicrophone setupThe mic stands were set up first and then the cables laid. The mics wereplaced on the stands and the cable ends were connected. A DI unit wasused to connect the bass to the microphone input.We followed the same rules for a good guitar amp mic setup: closer to thecenter of the speakers themselves for more high end, and farther away tothe side for more lows. An ambient microphone was placed across theroom, far enough away from the sound source to capture more of the roomsound (the reverb and delay) and with placement being key we took time tofind to best location for the mic. Phantom power from the mixing room wasused for the ambient mic. We were aware that using two microphones cancause phase issues and we kept the relationship among the mics correct;otherwise we may have had problems with the phase of the recordedwaveforms.RecordingThe bass recording was straightforward with our musician playing thewhole track through twice. His first take was the cleanest and we used thisfor our mix. The fact that the track was jointly written by the band membershelped in our recording as they were very familiar with the music andprofessional in the studio set up.
Vocals RecordingThe final piece we decided to record was the vocals. This was due to oursinger being kept rather busy by exams but we eventually got him into thestudio. We set up a mic stand and a pop filter approximately 30cm from themic, we then placed the mic in the stand and connected the cables. A largediaphragm microphone, requiring phantom power, was used which helpedto give the vocalist a "deep" sound. The pop screen was used withthe condenser microphone for the vocals because they are sensitive totransient noises that will cause distortion.We sent what we had recorded so far through to the singers’ headphones sothat he could keep time in the song. In order to get a clean recording we hadto ask the singer to stop tapping his foot as we could hear it in the recording.After the third take the singer was happy with the sound and we beganrecording some backing vocals one octave down from the original vocals.Once a few harmonies and backing vocals had been recorded we had all ofour tracks and were ready for the mixing stage.Mixing StageOnce all the tracks had been recorded it was time to edit and master thetracks. We began by syncing up all the tracks and then trimming and fadingthe tracks. Next we added level balance, gates and equalizers. Compressorsand limiters were then added to the tracks. Finally we began panning certainparts of the tracks to particular areas which we felt added more depth to thetrack. We then added some final FX and the track was finished. The editingprocess itself did not turn out to be too difficult and we thank a good qualityband and recording for this.Once the final mix had been completed using ‘Protools’, we burnt a CD of oursong and compiled this report to go alongside it.