Monday, April 28, 2008
So without further ado, let's roll the calendar back to 1937 and see how they made records back then.
Friday, April 25, 2008
An important aspect of tracking is communication. It is important for the engineer to make the musicians feel comfortable. This will bring out their best performance. It is best to keep everyone well informed about the tasks at hand and what will be happening next. If a lot of focus is on the drums for example, you can let the other musicians know that they can kick back and get a coffee. Tell the bass player to relax for 15 mins while the headphone mix is being dialed in. Without a doubt a good Audio Engineer will be able to bring out the best in them and not make them feel like they are under a microscope in a fish bowl.
Tracking can get quite stressful. There are a lot of things going on at once. A clearly defined plan is very important. Most of your energy needs to be directed at making a great mix. This is the ultimate goal in any tracking session. Of course there are several other aspects of major importance (mic placement, tuning etc), in the end a great mix will be inspiring to the musicians. Everything else will fall into place rather naturally if your energy is focused on the mix.
After the debrief we moved onto layering some additional tracks for one of Greg's songs from last session. We did some backing vox first. Greg sang into an Audio Technical AT4033.
After a couple of takes we moved on to recording the piano. We used a stereo pair of AT4033's. These were placed about 10 inches away from the strings. One on the low end and one on the treble end. Now then, Greg has been playing piano forever and this is a very nice piano in a very good room so as one would expect, the piano sounded great!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Don is the mastermind behind all our songs. He has been playing guitar forever. For whatever reason, Don and I seem to click when it comes to writing music.
My daughter Chelsea has been working with us on a lot of our songs. Her vocals really help shape the sound of our band.
Our EP will be available in the next couple of months. Signed copies are already being distributed. So, that's like 4 copies now so don't hesitate or this spindle of CD's will be gone!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Click on the link below to hear the German introduction to, and the song, "I Know She Understands" as aired in Germany.
“Well, we are here with a combination of German and English. And now I will play another song as Lonnie is here; and Lonnie is from ‘The London Project’ yes, and the song is I know she understands.”
“Yes, Lonnie also is from Canada, British Columbia and the band with members Don, Lonnie and Chelsea, work together on rock-genre music of the 70’ies, 80’ies and 90’ies. Now we will listen to “I Know She Understands“ and have fun with “The London Project” – Lonnie is in the chat room here.”
After the song “Fantastic music here from The London Project, thank you Lonnie that was great music with your band, congratulations”.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
My favorite concert to date would have to be the Dark Side of the Moon with Roger Water's.
Nickelback (I know, I know, w/e) put on a kick ass show. The sound of Kroeger's PRS going through those Mesa Boogies in that drop C tuning...wow! Rock and Roll!!
The Blue Man Group were and incredible experience. I highly recommend this show to anyone.
This video of Heart was made up of the photos I took of their performance at the River Rock Casino in Richmond BC
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Our instructor, Greg, is in a 3 peice band and they have been preparing for their upcoming benefit gig, "Stop the Rain". This was an opportunity for them to rehearse and for us to apply our recently aquired knowledge to a real world situation.
We started by setting up the drums for Trevor in the main live room exactly as we have in the past. (Mic and positioning details are found in previous blogs so I won't go into detail again in this one). As we have experienced a few times now, the Ayotte kits are a PITA to setup. These Ayotte kits may be fully adjustable but without a doubt are one of the more complicated kits to setup.
The bass player was setup in the air lock off of of the control room. He (John) was play an awesome Ricky through a Sansamp so his setup was fast and easy. Greg was in one of the other isolation rooms playing his Godin through a Roland BR-8 and into a Roland amp which we mic'd up with a SM57.
The next step was to create a decent headphone mix for them to monitor with. We began with the drums. Adjusting the levels for each one of the mics, one at a time. Then we introduced the bass guitar into the mix and once again adjusted the levels. Finally, we adjusted the levels for Greg's guitar/amp and the vocals. After about 45 minutes we had what we thought was a solid mix for them to monitor with but found that the output to the headphones was not loud enough. The output from the V-Studio on it's own simply didn't have enough power to be heard over the drum kit. We quickly inserted a headphone amp to increase the output to all the headphones. This gave us more than enough volume and we were ready to start recording.
The band played 4 songs and we tracked 2-3 virtual tracks of each song. By the time we finished tracking our session was over so we didn't have any time to review what we had recorded. We will do this next session.
Monday, April 7, 2008
I began searching the G&L website in anticipation of what would be my next guitar purchase. I quickly fell for this beautiful translucent red Invader XL. Cash in hand I thought I was going to score. Dave informs me that G&L has discontinued this model. Oh shit! What am I going to do now? No fear cause Dave pulls through. Turns out that he has a hand selected guitar sitting in his office. How much do you want for it Dave? Well how about... FREE! Wow, much too cool. Turns out to be a demo model that has been Plecked, complete with good ole Leo pups.
While I was at the G&L factory, I was privileged to be able to take a look at Leo Fender's vault.
Well enough of the nostalgia. Time to talk about why I like this guitar so much. In Leo's later days he spent a lot of time refining pickups. I had always loved the sound of Fender pickups during the peak of his career. The Invader XL had these hand wound G&L pickups that sounded great. Hand-wound in Fullerton CA. However, most of the G&L guitars were wired with these Fender alnico pickups, What I especially liked about this model was the ability to split the pickups using a second selector switch. For that true Fender Stratocaster sound, you have to try out a G&L.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Now that we have moved on from the theory aspect of the session, it was time finalize our mixes. We began opened up our mixes where we left off last session. I found this illustration that provides a visual representation of mixing.
I have also posted a seperate track of the drums only. You can find the "drums only" version in the previous Audio Engineering Session 9 below. Next week we will be recording Greg's band doing a live set.