What’s in the title? Well, it’s not a pitch for The Recording Revolution (a YouTube channel with great audio tutorials). But I am impressed that someone can explain to me how this ‘recording-stuff’ works. And Graham did that very well!
Starting with these EP’s I just went on recording tracks one by one. No guide track. Didn’t think much about mic placement and thought it sounded quite well. After watching a lot of Graham’s tutorials (and playing around with the already recorded tracks) I’ve decided to redo a lot of it. And it paid off. The room we work in was a bit of a problem. Like most home studios it was a poorly treated living room. But we found out how to cope with that. And better: we even used the natural reverb from the hallway for recording vocals (sorry neighbours).
After the recording phase it was mixing time. First we did a 15 minute mix. This means we mixed, panned and eq’d a track in 15 minutes. Quite the challenge. This method really makes use of your gut feeling. (And I still have a long way to go…) And then we tweaked the mix a little bit.
But…. Recording and mixing songs is also about taste, getting the right vibe and making creative choices (good, bad and most importantly: learning from them). Sometimes the original demo-recording is way better than the new one. For instance, there are ukulele’s in the songs Let’s GO! and Flemish Guy that are far from perfect. Although I’ve tried to redo them, the new recorded versions just didn’t cut it (used different mic’s and different placements… still not sure what went wrong). The vibe and sound were way off. So I kept the old one and polished it a little untill I was statisfied. I mean, we had to release the EP some day.. right?
“it could have sound a lot better if you…
[Insert plugin, technique, overcome lack of talent]”
Most of this was a mental game. There are always people that say “it could have sound a lot better if you… [Insert plugin, technique, overcome lack of talent]” however, I chose to use the stock plugins of Logic Pro 9. And I must say, for a second (and third) EP I am not that disappointed about the results. The only way to become better at this is to record more and release songs that need polishing and listen to the feedback.
Three things that I will keep doing the next recording session. (How stupid some of them may seem, they worked for us)
An MXL ribbon, MXL large-diaphragm Condenser and a small-diaphragm condenser. When using these microphones seperate on Eline’s voice, we had the feeling we were missing something. But together, with a little compression it –in our humble opinion– did the job.
She is great at making choices for you. Haha. It happened a couple of times while working on Shitfaced for instance. I also have a tendency to keep working on details. The big picture is equally as important.
3. Lock the cat out. Unplugg the internet cable.
Distractions are real vibe killers. By the way, have you seen this video with that cat?.. right. Ehm. Improvising on the other hand can get the creative juices flowing. So it’s not that bad if you don’t have a shaker egg at hand. Just create one using a toilet roll, gaffer tape and some rice!
So. My first blog on the Ellow website. We are already working on new demo’s, just released our new and third EP “Let’s GO!” and just got back from our Sweden tour..
Let’s GO! And keep learning.