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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Band on a budget - the recording process part 18

Righty ho, well, our guitarist came over a couple of weeks ago and we completely re-did the guitar part(s) for Words.
Took about two hours to get the sound we were after, the core part done, and then the more complex bit of recording the solo whilst he came up with the parts - but that doesn't seem unreasonable.
I must fess up at this point and say I made a mistake with one of the recorded parts whereby I duplicated the two channels I'd set up but didn't notice that in doing so Reaper doesn't automatically set the inputs the same as the duplicated channels. So instead of my two new channels recording mics 1 and 2, I had two copies of mic 1. Because both channels were recording fine, and the bit we were recording was tonally different to the stuff we'd already tracked, I didn't notice until later.
Fortunately the mic that was recorded was the main one for that particular part.
Anyway, I mixed it all up and came up with this: https://soundcloud.com/the-southern-wild/words-20171105/s-Kh5N7
That I was reasonably happy with until I posted it to be reviewed on the Sound on Sound forum.
I am no longer happy with it.

Feedback I need to work on:
There's a harshness around 2kHz, especially at the end section.
The electric guitar is a bit too loud (I'd thought this myself on a re-listen).
The acoustic is too thin, lacks lower mids (I had thought about this as well but was willing to trade it off against things going too muddy).
The distortion on the vocals at the end is too much.
Needs a bit more reverb to make the whole thing sit together.
With the exception of the bass and vox, everything is too compressed. It's a mush.
The guitar solo disappears too much in mono. Might be worth separating that out of the rest of the guitar work and bringing it a bit more central.
Vocal levels need to vary more, to breath with the song a bit.
Low mids are bit empty (see comment about avoiding mud above).
Vocals are a bit dry.
Vocals are a bit thin and, linked to that, a bit too loud. Could probably do with a bit more de-essing as well.
Are the backing vocals in or out? Need a decision on that.

The frustrating thing is that, with the exception of the reverb and vocal thinness comments, I think that deep down i knew most of that anyway. I'd just convinced myself that was good enough - or at least, as good as I could get it.

So now the question is whether to try and rescue it from there or start again.
Decisions, decisions...

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Band on a budget - the recording process part 17

Ok, not been a lot of progress recently for various reasons but I shall be doing a little more recording this afternoon and our guitarist is coming over in a couple of weeks to put down some more of his tracks. This will hopefully allow me to finish Words and get on with the rest of the stuff.

In the meantime, have a shufti at some more photos from the session that our drummer has just passed across.








Sunday, 1 October 2017

Band on a budget - the recording process part 16

Just a quick update from me this time. I've done more work on Words (despite saying I was parking it for a bit, meh) and it's shaping up reasonably well. The latest version is here: https://soundcloud.com/the-southern-wild/words-20170930/s-XUZsU
I've had some feedback from my listening group that I'll need to factor in:
Vocals too loud.
Drums a bit boomy in the 100 - 150Hz zone and a bit dull overall.
Bit of a glitch in the bass part at the opening of the bridge.
Oomph drops off a bit too early after the peak when it comes out of the bridge.
All of these are workable.

The challenge now is how long it's taken me to get to this point.

So this afternoon I'm going to try and blitz Shadowbones and see how quickly I can work it up to a first cut.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Band on a budget - the recording process part 14

Well I have been doing quite a bit more work on Words and it now sounds like this:
https://soundcloud.com/the-southern-wild/words-20170826/s-lsaXF
Still needs plenty doing to it, e.g. all the main stems will need some volume automation to bring out (and down) different bits throughout the song, the piano bits will probably need some decluttering, it still needs a couple more bits of ear candy - some kind of back vocals bits and some rhythmic bits.
Aside from all that there's a bit of in-band debate about the synth part and whether it is required or not, and this comes down to what we want the end product to sound like.
I shall be parking this one for a bit now though as I've got a bit too close to it for any objective analysis. I think it's shaping up the right way but a bit of distance is required before any next steps.

So now I just have to choose what to work on next...