Week One – Introduction to recording techniques

In this session we were introduced to the recording techniques module. We were taken though the module assessments. There are 2 assessments to do and are as follows:

Recording Techniques – Assessment 1

Posted on Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 at 5:54 pm in

For assessment 1 – record, mix and master a band recording of 2-6 minutes.

The specific musical goal of this assessment is to produce a performance and mix, which matches as close as possible, the quality and ‘feel’ of three professional releases (reference tracks) of your choice.

Your track can be in any genre, an original or cover and must include:

RECORD

Drums – 2 microphones as a minimum (as in the Glyn Johns technique), stereo pair or multi-miced. Embed audio clips of the isolated instruments on your blog (blog audio)

Bass (electric, double bass, or cello) – 1 or 2 microphones and/or d.i. (direct inject) for electric, stereo pair for double bass or cello if preferred – blog audio

Guitar (electric and/or acoustic) – 1 or 2 microphones and/or d.i. (direct inject) for electric, stereo pair for acoustic guitar if preferred – blog audio

Piano – stereo pair – blog audio

Voice (sung or spoken) – single mic – blog audio

Backing Vocals (sung or spoken) – single mics – blog audio

you may also include: woodwind, brass, strings, percussion, synths

MIX

Treatment and Bounce

Make sure all tracks are ‘topped and tailed’ i.e. edited for a clean start and end with fade in/out – post screenshots of these edits on your blog (blog screenshots)

Use compression, equalisation (Eq) and gating/’strip silence’ (but not necessarily on every track) – blog screenshots

In addition to the processes above, use anything that you feel compliments your recordings in producing the best possible sounding outcome – blog screenshots

Avoid clipping the mix output prior to limiting – monitor this on the master fader (set in peak mode) – blog screenshot

MASTER

For mastering, either at the time of the bounce down or as a secondary process:

limit your output level to peak below 0 dB – typically -0.2 / -0.3 or -1 dB if you’re paying attention to the ‘Mastered for iTunes‘ recommendations

As you will submit an audio CD, please be careful to bounce down and dither your projects from 24 bit to 16 bit wav and burn the CD from wav files (rather than mp3 or m4a).

Assessment 1 = Track 1 on your CD.

BLOG

1. photos of mic placement with clear captions detailing  your choice of microphone – its type and polarity

2. screenshots with clear captions to demonstrate your use of plug-ins for compression and gating.

3. embed short audio clips of the individual instruments and voices (these should be mp3 or m4a to save time uploading)

4. embed your 3 reference tracks – as SoundCloud or YouTube clips, or give Spotify links.

5. a brief evaluation of your recording and mixing time with a constructively critical focus on what you (and your ‘team’) might do differently to improve both your experience and outcome in future.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

Recording Techniques – Assessment 2

Posted on Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 5:06 pm in

Assessment 2 – Stereo Microphone Technique

The specific musical goal of this assessment is to capture the authentic sound of a pitched acoustic instrument, acoustic ensemble or solo voice and recreate the illusion of  a concert hall setting.

As with assessment 1, provide 3 professional reference tracks.

From the variety of ‘classic’ stereo microphone techniques covered in class, use AB, MS, Decca Tree and two other techniques *

* techniques likely to be covered – AB, XY, NOS, Blumlein Pair, ORTF, MS, Decca Tree, Phased Array

RECORD

1. Make 5 short recordings, using your chosen stereo techniques of 15 – 30 seconds of the same instrument, ensemble or voice – playing precisely the same music in each instance to demonstrate the result of varying microphone techniques in best achieving the musical goal.

2. Identify the stereo technique used in each recording with a voice over ‘announcement’.

MIX

Use Eq, compression and Reverb as transparently as possible to achieve the most ‘natural’ sound.

MASTER

Be careful to preserve the natural dynamic of the performance by not over-limiting the master fader.

For mastering, either at the time of the bounce down or as a secondary process:

limit your output level to peak below 0 dB – typically -0.2 / -0.3 or -1 dB if you’re paying attention to the ‘Mastered for iTunes‘ recommendations

As you will submit an audio CD, please be careful to bounce down and dither your projects from 24 bit to 16 bit wav and burn the CD from wav files (rather than mp3 or m4a).

NB: These types of recordings need to capture the finest detail, so sampling rates of 96 KHz or 192 KHz are not uncommon – please use one of these rates for this assessment (before making the sample rate conversion to 44.1 KHz to burn the CD).

Assessment 2 = Track 2 on your CD.

BLOG

1. Support your recordings with diagrams / photographs of the set up specifying the techniques employed, the microphone angles (to one another) and both their distance apart and from the source. In the case of MS, provide a screenshot of the setup in the ʻMixʼ window used as your MS matrix.

This information can be in a table or bullet point format:

  1. mic name
  2. type (dynamic/condenser)
  3. polarity ie. omni/cardioid/fig 8
  4. name of technique (eg. XY, MS…)
  5. mics spaced or coincident
  6. angle of mics to one another eg. XY is 90˚
  7. distant apart if spaced
  8. distance from source

2. Embed the 3 reference tracks you’ve listened to in guiding your production choices.

3. give a brief evaluation of your recording and mixing time with a constructively critical focus on what you (and your ‘team’) might do differently to improve both your experience and outcome in future.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

We were also taken though the booking system for the studios. http://www.zigzagmusic.com/studio-booking-system-2067/

We also had a session in how to operate the recording studio. This included:IMAG0004

  • A tour of the recording studios.
  • A introduction to pro tools e.g. how to set up a project, basic functions such as the control panel, VST audio system, how to create tracks such as stereo, mono, MIDI, master faders.
  • we where shown how to use the Patch bay and all the I/O of it. Below is the chart of the patch bay.
Hel036-Studio-PBay-Diagram

Patch bay diagram. Inputs and outputs.

IMAG0005

The patch bay.

 

  • We then finally were shown how to set up a mircophone in the vocal booth. This process is exactly the same for any of the rooms, whether it be the chilli room, the live room etc. Anywhere with a microphone box.
IMAG0006

A basic Neuman microphone set up.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s