May 1, 2011

http://www.fromthebasement.tv is a site that does live sessions with some pretty big bands, most of them would fall under the “indie” category.  They do a live video of at least one of the band’s songs.  The thing that intrigues me the most about this is their micing techniques.  They have a huge arsenal of microphones, and an array of different ways to mic the drums and the room.  Since it’s live they normally slap a Shure SM57(http://www.shure.com/americas/products/microphones/sm/sm57-instrument-microphone) on the vocalist because it restricts bleed from the other instruments the most.  Sometimes there are exceptions to this; for instance, the Radiohead video.  Thom Yorke is mic’d with an Electro Voice RE20(http://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=91), which is technically a broadcast mic but is very popular for recording vocals.  As a result of this micing choice Yorke has to stand fairly far away from the drums and other instrumentalists.

This site has been a great help in showing me different ways to mic a session but more than that to try various combinations and experiment a little with it.

Just for the heck of it.

April 25, 2011

A friend of mine helped out with a lenten hymn project.  They recorded one hymn for every week of lent.  The recordings are folky and the songs are pretty simple but they’ve made them pretty intricate by adding a lot of vocal layers. Instead of just doing the bare minimum of just an acoustic guitar and vocal track they’ve added a lot of instrumentation and vocal harmonies.

Here is a link to the recordings:


I think projects like this are great.  You gain a lot of valuable experience in tracking and mixing, song arrangement, and collaboration.  It allows you to be creative and is a great exercise to grow as an engineer.

I want to start thinking of little projects like this. Something that would would give me stuff to work on and a deadline to accomplish it by.


March 30, 2011

I am currently in the last semester of college. I am an Electronic Arts: Audio Studies major with a music minor.  I run sound at my school’s student union and I am interning at Studio 2100 under owner/engineer Jeff Smith.

I have to work on a lot of audio related projects for school. Most of them have been various sound for film or animation projects: mixing and editing dialogue, sound effects, and room tone.  Some of the projects have been music recording. Which is what this blog is all about.

I want to record and produce music for a living.

Right now I’m just trying to learn how to do that. I feel the most comfortable with micing and tracking. There are so many different ways to do it. It’s fun just to experiment with different micing techniques.

Today I started mixing a song for a project. Mixing is where I have a lot to learn.  It’s hard to teach because so much of it has to be learned by experience.  I started with the drums mixing drums and tried tweaking the EQ from scratch and from the plugin’s presets.  I couldn’t get the sound I wanted so I just Googled it!  Here’s what I found:

Kick drum:http://www.benvesco.com/blog/mixing/2007/mix-recipes-kick-drum-eq-and-compression/

Snare: http://www.benvesco.com/blog/mixing/2007/mix-recipes-snare-drum-eq-and-compression/

Toms: http://www.benvesco.com/blog/mixing/2008/mix-recipes-tom-eq-and-compression/

Today was a start, hopefully, to developing my own mixing style and methods, training my ear to hear issues I need to correct, and how to correct those issues with EQ.