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Analysis of Production

             Techniques




Miguel Rodrigues
BSc Music Informatics
Student Number: 11511645
Module...
Miguel Rodrigues    Student Number: 11511645     Course: BSc Music Informatics




Song: I Shot The Sheriff

Artist: Bob M...
Miguel Rodrigues    Student Number: 11511645     Course: BSc Music Informatics




of effects: just two echo sends and two...
Miguel Rodrigues    Student Number: 11511645      Course: BSc Music Informatics




      In terms of editing and overdubs...
Miguel Rodrigues    Student Number: 11511645     Course: BSc Music Informatics




Song: Like a Virgin

Artist: Madonna

L...
Miguel Rodrigues    Student Number: 11511645     Course: BSc Music Informatics




the recording and make the drums sound ...
Miguel Rodrigues    Student Number: 11511645     Course: BSc Music Informatics




      The mix took place towards the en...
Miguel Rodrigues    Student Number: 11511645     Course: BSc Music Informatics




Song: Papua New Guinea

Artist: Future ...
Miguel Rodrigues    Student Number: 11511645     Course: BSc Music Informatics




several samplers, like an Akai S1000, a...
Miguel Rodrigues    Student Number: 11511645     Course: BSc Music Informatics




with some tribal percussion as well as ...
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Music Production Techniques

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Music Production Techniques

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Music Production Techniques

  1. 1. Analysis of Production Techniques Miguel Rodrigues BSc Music Informatics Student Number: 11511645 Module: 2MUS414 – Recording & Technology: The Contemporary Mainstream
  2. 2. Miguel Rodrigues Student Number: 11511645 Course: BSc Music Informatics Song: I Shot The Sheriff Artist: Bob Marley and The Wailers Label: Island Year: 1973 Producers: Chris Blackwell, The Waillers Engineers: Phill Brown, Tony Platt Studios: Tuff Gong and Basing Street “I Shot The Sheriff” melded the funky reggae beat with lyrics about spirituality and the Jamaican struggle with poverty and violence. Essentially, the recording was a call to arms. As written and sung by Bob Marley, he admits that he did not plant a seed’ and gun down head-hunting Sheriff John Brown in self-defense, but pleads innocent to all charges of killing the deputy. The power on this song is on the lyrics. According to Brown, the studio on Basing Street consisted of a 24 in and 8 outs Helios desk. Its basic EQ was fantastic, fixed to 10KHz for the top end and 50Hz for the bass, with five mid-range frequencies and it had mic preamps. Yet the mixer didn’t have loads 2MUS414 – Recording & Technology: The Contemporary Mainstream – 1 Production Techniques Essay
  3. 3. Miguel Rodrigues Student Number: 11511645 Course: BSc Music Informatics of effects: just two echo sends and two foldbacks (returns). Mixing in those days was always about thinking ahead about what they wanted to have on the record. Along with the in-board EQ, Brown used the Urei 1176 for compression on the vocals or any other recordings and EMT echo plates as well as the Eventide digital delays. A lot of what they did was about to miking technique and getting sounds in the room. They used largely the same mics from session to session: AKG D20s on guitar amps, Neumann U87s for backing vocals, Neumann 67s for lead vocals, D20s or Neumann FET 47s on amped keyboards. Prior to the sessions, the Wailers recorded their songs at Marley’s own Tuff Gong eight-track studio. The tapes machines were then transported to Basing Street studio and transferred to 16-track in preparation for overdubs of extra guitars, keyboards, vocals, as well as the mix. Everything was mono: two tracks for drums (one for the bass drum and the other for the kit drum), a track for the bass, a track of Hammond organ, a track of guitar and two tracks of vocals. 2MUS414 – Recording & Technology: The Contemporary Mainstream – 2 Production Techniques Essay
  4. 4. Miguel Rodrigues Student Number: 11511645 Course: BSc Music Informatics In terms of editing and overdubs they had 3 versions on the eight-track that were copied to the 16-track tape machine and most of the overdubs were DI’d. They were always concerned about frequencies and sound, so they never wanted to mix down too much because of the loss in quality. The mixing process was very simple since the tracks were recorded clean on tape machine. The effects used on the mixing stage were just an EMT echo plate, a bit of spring reverb, compression and a bit of delay and ADT on the backing vocals. At that time they had to be very creative to have the sound they wanted for the fact of the limited resources they had. 2MUS414 – Recording & Technology: The Contemporary Mainstream – 3 Production Techniques Essay
  5. 5. Miguel Rodrigues Student Number: 11511645 Course: BSc Music Informatics Song: Like a Virgin Artist: Madonna Label: Sire Records Year: 1984 Producers: Nile Rodgers, Madonna, Stephen Bray Engineer: Jason Corsaro Studio: Power Station Madonna had hits with her first album, even reaching the top ten twice with “Borderline” and “Lucky Star”, but she did not become a superstar, an icon, until her second album “Like a Virgin”. She saw the opening for this kind of explosion and seized it, bringing in former Chic guitarist Nile Rodgers in as a producer, to help her expand her sound. The song, as well as the whole album, was recorded digitally: a Sony 3324 24-track digital tape recorder and a Sony F1 two-track for the 12-bit mix. Yes, at that time the bit rate was 12-bit. The song is quite simple in structure. Combining that simple structure with good musicians and a good live room gives space on 2MUS414 – Recording & Technology: The Contemporary Mainstream – 4 Production Techniques Essay
  6. 6. Miguel Rodrigues Student Number: 11511645 Course: BSc Music Informatics the recording and make the drums sound big. It is possible to hear on the drums a lot of the room, as Jason Corsaro used a technique to capture a better sound by putting the mics further back. Corsaro miked the kick drum with a Shure SM58 with a pop shield, a Neumann U47fet behind it and then about 10 feet further back in the room a Beyerdynamic M160 dual ribbon. The toms, the snare and the hi-hat were miked top and bottom with a Sennheiser MD421s, giving Corsaro much more information. As room mics he used four Neumann U47fet: two behind the kit drum and two in front. With regards to the other instruments, the bass was DI’d and the guitar was recorded through a Music Man amp, miked with two Shure SM 57, one a little bit further back so they were out of phase (when brought them even, this brings the mid range further dip) and the guitar was also DI’d. On top of that Corsaro recorded the keyboard part. Then he recorded the backing vocals of Frank and George Simms, Brenda and Curtis King and also Madonna, separately. Corsaro recorded Madonna’s lead parts with a stereo AKG C24 tube microphone, with a Schoeps mic preamp and a Pultec EQ. 2MUS414 – Recording & Technology: The Contemporary Mainstream – 5 Production Techniques Essay
  7. 7. Miguel Rodrigues Student Number: 11511645 Course: BSc Music Informatics The mix took place towards the end of the project with an SSL E-series console. The effects used on the mixing stage were effects to fit certain spaces mainly reverbs, phasers and flangers. 2MUS414 – Recording & Technology: The Contemporary Mainstream – 6 Production Techniques Essay
  8. 8. Miguel Rodrigues Student Number: 11511645 Course: BSc Music Informatics Song: Papua New Guinea Artist: Future Sound of London Label: EMI Year: 1991 Producers: Garry Cobain, Brian Dougans Engineer: Yage Studio: Earthbeat In 1991 The Future Sound of London brought their unique brand of experimentalism to the dancefloor with the influential track “Papua New Guinea”. The core of this song is the sampling of the bass line from Meat Beat Manifesto’s “Radio Babylon” together with Lisa Gerrard’s vocal from ‘Dawn of the Iconoclast’ by Dead Can Dance. The setup consisted of a 28-input Soundtracs desk, an Atari 1040 running Creator, DATs machines and recorders. In regards to outboard gear the studio was equipped with Yamaha SPX90s, Roland Space Echo, Roland D110 synth module, a Roland TR909 and TB303, drum machines and other analogue equipment. They ran 2MUS414 – Recording & Technology: The Contemporary Mainstream – 7 Production Techniques Essay
  9. 9. Miguel Rodrigues Student Number: 11511645 Course: BSc Music Informatics several samplers, like an Akai S1000, a S950, a S900 and a S612. They ran the samplers live onto DAT machines and on top of that had various synth sounds, one of them the Roland JX3P. Sampling for them was going through records, TV, getting a conga note and then playing weird rhythms with it. It was very creative sampling and took it to a new dimension. “Papua New Guinea” was the first time that sampling really went there and it was a fusion of a lot of musical material from the Smiths to dance culture, industrial funk and they combined all that influences into the dance music scene. Their production techniques consist of collecting a palette of sounds that works in terms of the mix from the top, middle and bass production level. Another important element on the song is the strings and the effect they achieved through a process called gating. On top of that they used some old break beats. The drums consist of four drum loops, a fat bass drum that was jammed in a giant reverb and the dubs sounds came from sounds that they recorded before and playing it backwards. Then, with the bass sample of Meat Beat Manifesto added to the song, they added a break halfway that comes 2MUS414 – Recording & Technology: The Contemporary Mainstream – 8 Production Techniques Essay
  10. 10. Miguel Rodrigues Student Number: 11511645 Course: BSc Music Informatics with some tribal percussion as well as a flute that they had sampled. They dropped the drums out and brought in some of the percussion. At the end they added a JX3P sequenced line and a vocal that they sampled from a male session singer. At the mixing stage, they stuck the whole mix through a Fostex 3070 compressor and mixing the track at the same time. “Papua New Guinea” is that: loads of experimental and loads of sampling. 2MUS414 – Recording & Technology: The Contemporary Mainstream – 9 Production Techniques Essay

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