Listen? New recording I did

Discussion on new albums, developing listening skills, critical listening to others' work, as well as TOMB members' MP3 links, online recording critiques

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MattGrabe
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Listen? New recording I did

Post by MattGrabe » Wed Sep 20, 2006 1:08 am

Just want to see what you guys think of a recent recording I did. The band is a young (all about 16/17 years old) pop-punk band, but I'm pretty young myself :) They wanted a "radio ready" style edit / mixing job. So I know it's not "natural" by any means ... there is plenty of AutoTune and editing. Here is a link ...

http://www.goodbyetomorrow.com/audio/LCFC.mp3

I know this song is hosted on a bands site (Goodbye Tomorrow) ... but it is not that band. That is the band I play in and I simply am using it to host this MP3 :)

punkrockdude
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It sounds really good!

Post by punkrockdude » Wed Sep 20, 2006 3:01 pm

I think you have gotten a good sound for the music they play. Triggered drums? I always love to read info about what stuff was used and stories of how sounds have been archieved and stuff liek that about recording and mixing sessions. Regards

MattGrabe
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Post by MattGrabe » Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:58 am

Of course it's triggered drums :) The tracking of this album was done with a ProTools HD3 system, using an SSL 4000G+ for monitoring and some preamp sends.

Kick In (Shure Beta 91) and Kick Out (RE20) were each sent through there own Millennia Origin. Snare Top (Audix i5) and Snare Bottom (Shure SM57) were sent through a Phoenix Audio GTQ-2 MKII. Toms (Sennheiser MD421s) were sent through 2 channels of an API 3124+. Overheads (Schoeps) were the other two channels of the API. Center Room (Neumann U87) went through a UA 6176, compressor slightly on. Rooms (Audio Technica AT4033CLs) were through the SSL.

Guitars (Sennheiser MD421) were through the API. One guitarist used a Gibson Les Paul Standard through a '67 Fender Blackface Bassman head. The other used a Gibson Les Paul Classic through a Vox AC15 2x10 combo. Bass was DI'd through the Phoenix Audio GTQ-2 MKII through an 1176, and a second channel of Sansamp DI.

Vocals were through a Neumann U87 through the Phoenix Audio GTQ-2 MKII, barely hitting a UA LA-2A.

There was not a lot of time alloted to the band in the studio. Pretty much grab some tones, get the best take possible, and have me work on it in editing. All the drum samples were taken at the studio on the actual kit. All the mixing / editing was done on my own, at my house on my PTs LE rig, mastered through an ART Pro VLA.

The band is happy. So I'm happy :)

ChrisCo
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Post by ChrisCo » Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:40 pm

Goddamn, that sounds good!!

I'd be happy if this was my recording!!! I posted one that could use the light/airy vibe you've captured here... good mix, good use of panning. How'd you get the vocals to sit in that way?

my band Alight

My meager effort (in comparison)
I'm all about a little kick and snare

MattGrabe
gettin' sounds
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by MattGrabe » Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:32 pm

The vocals are highly compressed in ProTools (BF76 Plugin), but very EQ'd very little. I tried to use panning rather then automation to get harmonies / backups to sit where I wanted them.

Danly
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Listen? New recording I did

Post by Danly » Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:40 pm

That's a nice collection of gear that you used. I see you're in AZ. Do you go to fullsail.. I think that's in arizona, huh

MattGrabe
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Post by MattGrabe » Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:06 pm

Fullsail is located in Florida I believe. There is another highly well known recording school in Arizona called The Conservatory of Recording Arts. I graduated from that school over a year ago. The band on this recording rented out a located studio (by day) and hired me to come engineer it there.

The studio has beautiful gear. I was able to try out a vintage C12 on his vocals, but it didn't quite work for him. Later I found out they have a vintage U47 and a vintage U67. But the U87 turned out great on him, so no worries.

Danly
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Post by Danly » Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:06 pm

oh yeah..

nice job. I figured you were a student because you said you were "pretty young", and also because I have similar gear at my school. I'm at the new england institute of art in boston, and we have a SSL G and some millenia pres as well. Nice job with the mix. It must be fun to be 17 and show that song off to your friends.

MattGrabe
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Post by MattGrabe » Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:58 pm

Well I am 21 years old :) The guys in the band that I recorded are all 16 / 17 years old. They were my August session, 8 songs. I have another band finishing up right now, 6 songs. I'll post there stuff in a week or two. Except this time, it's back at my own studio ... which will be recieving two Neve 1073's in a few weeks :)

ArgyleSox
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Post by ArgyleSox » Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:23 pm

Great mix!! Drums sound great. I love how smooth the cymbals sound in the mix. One of the better mixes I've heard on any forum. Any mixing tips would be appriciated. I have been playing music forever it seem and started recording/mixing last year. Its much harder than people realize. Keep up the good work, would love to hear more of your stuff. Later

MattGrabe
gettin' sounds
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Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:34 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by MattGrabe » Sun Sep 24, 2006 1:11 am

Well thank you very much sir! I'm constantly reading / mixing / researching / mixing / asking questions / mixing ... I'd love to bounce some mix ideals around. Was there anything in paticular you wanted to know about this mix?

ArgyleSox
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Post by ArgyleSox » Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:21 pm

I like the whole mix, I guess for starters the drums have been the most difficult for myself and you've nailed it in this mix. As I said earlier the cymbals sound awesome. The snare is great for this song, it really kicks your ass. You mentioned that you used triggered drums. Do you use drumagog? From what I've learned the overhead & room mics are more a part of the drum sound than the individual drum mics so triggered drums only help so much. I dont have the luxury of recording in a great sounding room and maybe thats my problem? There is a guy in Salt Lake Dity that simulates a room using plugins on his overhead mics(I know everyone says its impossible) and his mixes sound great. Any pointers on mixing drums would be great. Oh, do you use the New York compression trick on your drums, I know its used a lot in this type of music? Enough for now and yeah I would love to hear more of your stuff! Later

MattGrabe
gettin' sounds
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Post by MattGrabe » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:41 pm

I didn't use any type of plugin / program for the triggering. I tab to transient every single kick hit, every snare, tom, etc. I have the drummer hit each drum at different intensities, then create a library of my own, that way it's the same kit. I'd actually say about 70% of what you are hearing are the triggers and not the overhead / room mics. I trigger with multiple tracks per drum (for instance, the snare would be the snare top mic, snare bottom mic, snare overhead mic, snare room mic) then I adjust each one to get the snare tone I like. Each tom has two tracks, the close mic and the overhead mic. The kick has the inside mic, sub kick, and room. I hope this makes sense?

I don't remember what the term "New York" approach refers to. All the drums are pretty much dry, no reverb, no EQ (except filtering), no individual compressors, only a slight compressor on the drum bus.

ArgyleSox
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Post by ArgyleSox » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:22 pm

Very interesting! Sounds like a lot of work. Being a Cakewalk Sonar user I had to research "tab to transient". Based on what I found the concept sounds very similar to using Drumagog to trigger sampled drums. Using this approach we have been somewhat successful but our drums do not sound as good as yours. We messed around last night with a room mic (which we have not used in the past) and achieved some better results. I doubt our room was as good as yours but it seemed to be better than simulating a room using plugins.. The New York compression trick is basically this, take your snare & kick (or your whole kit if you?d like) and send them to a separate aux and compress the hell out of them. Then mix this compressed aux with your uncompressed drum bus to taste. It works very well and adds a little life to the drums. Try it out and see what you think. Thanks for explaining your drum approach. One thing I will look at is not compressing the individual drums and focus on the minimal compression on the bus. I will let you know if that does the trick. Another trick I use a lot and has nothing to do with drums that you may be interested in to get that up front vocal sound is: send the vocal to aux bux compress the crap out of it, cut the low end a bit and boost the high end around 5khz run it through a deEsser and mix it with the original vocal to taste. It brings the vocals right to the front of the mix wonderfully. I would love to hear more of your stuff if you have it and when I get these drums sounding better I will post a song here as well. Later!!

MattGrabe
gettin' sounds
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 4:34 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by MattGrabe » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:58 pm

Unfortunately, the room I had wasn't too great :( It was fairly large, which was a plus. However, it had tile floor and was a square, ceilings were about 20 feet.

I'm not familiar with Drumagog. Tab to transient is just a method of getting your cursor to the very beginning of the next transient in a track. With a kick copied, I just tab to transient every kick manually and paste it. Same with snare, same with toms (but as I mentioned earlier, multiple tracks per drum, all in phase, all pasting all the same time).

One "trick" you could say that I do in every session is with my kick sub track. I used to use the subkick (speaker) micing trick for this, but have found the low end in my inside kick mic is more tight. I duplicate my kick in mic. With my first track, I do a hipass filter of 250 Hz with a slope of 24 db (yes, extreme). That's sent to my drum aux with the rest of the drums. Then I filter my second kick in track with a lopass at 120 Hz with a 24 dB slope ... that track is sent directly to the stereo bus. This allows me to compress my drum bus however much I want without it ever pumping and breathing (no low end to pump that compressor!) and without it ever squashing the low end! I hope this makes sense?

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