Published May 03, 2022
Do you think your music could sound better?
In this episode:
The song 'Breakaway' was performed live in the studio by Saphia Stone & The Matchmakers.
The track was produced (recorded, edited and mixed) by Jan 'Yarn' Muths of mixartist.com.au and mastered by Tahlia Rose-Coleman at Studios301 Mastering.
This podcast episode contains sound examples from the recording sessions
The individual drum signals: kick, snare, hats, tom, OHs and different rooms
Bass: mic'd and DI
double mic'd guitar signals
Percussion recording and programming
Remote collaboration: Keyboard tracks
Vocals: guide tracks, and overdubbed vocals in comparison
Isolated signals: Harmonies, doubles, adlips
How it sounded after recording
How it sounded after mixing
How it sounded after mastering
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Disclaimer: The Production Talk Podcast is independent of (and not related to) my teaching responsibilities at SAE.
Transcript (auto-generated by a robot - please forgive the occasional error):
Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Welcome to the Production Talk podcast with me, Yarn, of mixartists.com.au. In this podcast series, we celebrate the modern way of producing music. We want to talk about all things related to songwriting, recording at home and music production. So, if you produce your music at home, this is the place to be.
Please subscribe and recommend this podcast to all your friends.
This is the production talk podcast episode 41.
Welcome back to another episode of the production talk podcast. Thank you so much for being on board. Again, it's a very special episode today as I have something planned that I've never done on this podcast before, but before we get into the nitty gritty details, I'd like to pay my respects and acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land that this podcast is recorded on the Arakwal people of the Bundjalung nation and pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging. Good. Let's get into it. So today is, um, Especially in a sense that I'm trying to break a song down in front of you. That is something that I haven't done on this podcast before.
And first and foremost, before I get any further, I'd like to give some credits to the people involved. So the song that I'm going to show you today is called a break away by a Sapphire stone and the matchmakers. You probably remember from episode 29 when we had a chat together about her song, the long road home, and not too long ago, we met up again this time and we worked together on two songs and, uh, one of them was released just a couple of days ago.
And that is the song that is the song. Um, so I just reached out to and she gave me her permission to use sound examples of the song today, which I'm very excited about because this time around I was involved in the. And the editing, the mixing. And, uh, yeah. So, um, basically what, what you see there is something that are also discussed another episode, like episode 10 when we spoke about the relay race.
And I think, uh, not in this case with a Sapphire and her band, um, and myself and Talia, uh, I think there is a great example now where a Sapphire brings all the musical skills to the table. Ah, take over for the mixing and then we pass it over to Italia for mastering, and we got the song done relatively quickly.
So today I'd like to introduce you to the song and we are going to dig pretty deep into my approach with sessions, uh, from the recording days. So the way we tracked. The, the song was, um, uh, life in a studio where we basically had the drum center, the bass and the guitar and, and a guide Walker all in the same room.
So I wanted to create the vibe of being on stage together or in the rehearsal room together. Everybody could see each other, look at each other a size. And, um, yeah, on that day we had, um, um, There's a fire on the guide Volcker. We had Ben Cox on the drums. We had Brando on the bass and, uh, Juan, uh, on the guitar.
And, uh, yeah, what I really remember from the recording day was just the pure joy that I could see on the musicians faces. They really seem to enjoy themselves a lot in the studio and then. Exactly what a recording session is all about in my books. You know, as long as the musicians are enjoying themselves, having a great time, then everything else seems to fall into place like sound and microphone placement and all that.
And I think we had a good thing going there. So, um, let me just show you where we're at. So in front of me is my pro tools. I've got, um, uh, my mixer in front of me. So you might hear a bit of a sound in the background when I click and, uh, swap banks. So the faders move. So let me just get started. Um, We have the session pretty much ready to go.
And, uh, yeah, there we go. Let's hit play and see how it actually sounded on, on the day of recording.
Let me just gain stage my levels a little and bring it up a touch over here. And it touched down over them. Good.
So let's dig into, into the details. So let me just talk you through the drum set. So we had Mr. Ben Cox on the drums, and this is how the drum set sounded through all the drum microphones.
So, and before you say, Hey, you're making a mistake there. I hear other things as well. Um, what you're hearing is pretty much, um, everything that was recorded together, I can hear guitars. I can also hear some bass mainly coming through the drum room microphones. So let's just go through the microphones. Um, here is the kick drum, which we recorded with, um, an Audix D six, uh, one of my favorite kick drum microphones.
However, it's always a little bit on the clicky aggressive side, especially for the genre. So, um, I'm going to share with you how I fix this in a couple of moments, but here is the, um, as kicked microphone and isolation, just bring the master up because that's a big.
Yep. I think that's an about good level. I keep fixing the levels as I go. So, um, yeah, that's how it sounds. The microphone was basically placed pretty much with the dye from exactly where the sound hole is, um, in the resonance or whole of. And that's a place where, um, yeah, there's a fair bit of air movement and general get a fair bit of low end.
However, this microphone also has got a very pronounced attack, which mixes itself really well, but it always leads to a more, yeah. Can I call it aggressive sound? Whether it's. Prominent sound that has a lot of impact and smack turret, which is usually very useful for rock and punk and metal and all of that.
Um, and, uh, to blend this into more of a reggae sound, uh, hope you got the reggae vibe of this production area. Um, I decided to place a second microphone. And for that we dis um, uh, we broke all the roots and we placed as speaker driver in front of the kick drum, uh, for, um, what is called a sick, what is called.
What is called a sub kick microphone. So it's effectively a speaker driver, which has been taken out of, out of a speaker and simply suspended on a microphone stand. And the terminance of the, of that speaker drivers are then simply connected to an XLR connection. From an electronics point of view, looking at impedances and all of that.
There's a lot of wrong things about that. However, in my case, um, I don't think that's something that I should consider, uh, as long as it works. And here's how it sounds. Let me just play this for you and see how that sub microphone sounds bites.
Our case. So not quite sure if you could hear this too well, because what you hear as a, basically what I played. Is a signal that has pretty much nothing but bays. And now it simply depends on your headphones or playback system. If you listen on an iPhone, chances are you couldn't hear a thing. If you're on headphones, chances are, you could hear a little, if you had a good pair, you could probably hear, um, pretty impressive oomph.
There's nothing else. So it's not got no definition. Um, and therefore this is not a signal that works by itself at all, but I find that together with the , um, kick microphone together, they blend into something really nice and it adds a certain warmth to the, um, um, a microphone that was placed in the sound world.
So I'm playing the D six. Now I think you can hear the clicking sound and now I'm bringing up the fader for the.
And there we go. Now it turns into own fear, a darker or a kind of, um, kick drum sound, which I think is really appropriate for, for the John Ray. And it works pretty well. Good. Let's move on. Uh, here's the snare microphone. We had a top and a bottom. Here's the top. Yeah. And Mr. Ben Cox, the drummer. You locked it in so well, he played, uh, like iMachine that day and I just admire how he plays so precise, but also so relaxed.
Um, yeah. Fantastic drumming is where God starts. So you can hear, he plays different techniques. I can hear the rim click, which is basically the stick Lang down on the snare and you hit it onto the. And then every once in a while you, he hits a proper snare backbeat, which we heard just a couple of seconds ago.
And there was again just now. So that's an interesting technique. And what I really like about Ben's playing is that he's got, has done dynamic really well under control. So occasionally I record dramas where the rim click is just very quiet and then the hits are super loud and, um, that can present some problems.
Uh, especially life. That's a real problem because I constantly find myself moving the fader in when I mix a song where that's the case. Uh, I usually then go through a little bit of an editing procedure and split the rim clicks to one channel and the snare hits to another, which is a quick method to, um, to fix that.
And then, you know, move on from there in this case that actually wasn't necessary. So big respect for, uh, Yeah, playing so control it. Let me show you the snare bottom microphone that aims at the spirals at the snare at the bottom, the wires. Yep. That's a weird sound by itself. I don't like it much, but it needs to work together with the snare top.
And now we are listening to both. Yeah. Cool. All right. Um, then I guess the next most important signal are the overheads, which we of course recorded in stereo that's hits home. Uh, lovely. Uh, we immediately get a bit of width in this case. We used actually two ribbon microphones as overheads. Uh, And they were connected through a Chandler, a preamp, so really lovely gear.
And we could definitely hear also some spill coming through in this case, the spiel at night is the base and it gives everything a nice, lovely Steria with now. So I can hear the high ed coming a little bit from the right let's add things together. So, um, here is the kitchen. Sorry, let me just use the kick.
Uh, now let's put the sneering and the overheads
and we pretty much have a nicely balanced drunk. So, what we usually need then is a bit of extras. So here's the hired microphone. Let me just show you in isolation. Now the hide is panned a little bit to the right right now, which is, uh, yeah, I know that a lot of people discuss where the hired microphones are even necessary or not, especially if you've got good microphones on the overheads and good microphone technique.
Um, so the way I like to use a hide microphone is not to actually introduce a much more high headless. Uh, that's often not necessary, especially if drummers play rock beats with open hi-hats, then it's, it's usually that I want less Hyatt rather than more, but, um, if it's marked, well, then I can just blend it in so that the higher just comes a little bit to the foreground rather than being further distant in the room without getting much louder.
And that's the way I like to, um, play with the Hyatts or let's just do that one more time. I'm starting to solo the, and the. The drum set, which is now kick snare and overheads. And then I'm going to add the hired in. Let's see if that makes a difference.
So this is without hired. And let me just add that in now
out again, I can still hear the high added sounds a bit more distant and a bit quieter. And. Just comes forward, just attach. It doesn't need to be much louder than this. This is pretty much all the knit that's needed. Okay. Then, uh, Ben played only one term on this, um, song and it was actually only played once right at the beginning, her, sorry.
Right at the end of the song. So here it is. That's a single Tom head. So yeah, that made it, of course really easy for me to, to make that up and in the mix, that was obviously not a big concern. Okay. So, uh, now that we've gone through the drum set and all the close microphones, uh, let's go to the next, most important ones.
We set up a room microphones, which I love for drums, and I use them differently depending on the John rest. So for example, in rock and metal, uh, I often process the rooms quite a bit with EQs. And set them up so that they add a spectacular, impressive room sound in this case, um, after a more natural, um, can I say delicate sound?
I'm not quite sure if that's the right phrase here, but, um, definitely I don't want the rooms to be as dominant as it would be for other John Aras. So we set up a couple of rule microphones first and foremost, we set the room up in stereo with an myths. Technologies. So, um, I'm going to show you how that sounds.
It's set up with one microphone. That's the M or mid microphone. And this is heart sounds. No, that was just the end of the song. Let's go back to the.
Effectively the room microphone gives us an impression of the entire band. Everything is audible that you can hear in the room. So that's the drum space and guitar. And if I, if I listen to this microphone, I find that it's almost a perfect balance between all the three instruments.
Okay. However, this microphone is a mano microphone in this case. Let me just think about what we use there. I believe this was a pencil condenser and Omni pencil condenser, and then we combined that with another microphone. It's the microphone. I actually used to record this podcast. It's a road K two. And today I'm using this in a direction mode.
It's, it's a cardioid microphone today when I record my vocals. But on the day of the recording, we set this up as the room side microphone in Figaredo configuration. In other words, it picks up sound from one side and the other side, the opposite side, I mean, but not from a right angles, giving us a figure of H shape in mid.
Um, re stereo recording technology. This signal is then duplicated and inverted on polarity on the right hand side, which sounds really weird. Let me just solo this for you.
Well, so if you're wearing headphones, this might just be doing your head in. There's also another possibility. If you couldn't hear a thing, then you might be listening and monitoring where this signal would cancer perfectly. Let me just bring it up a little bit.
So, if you're listening in stereo, you would definitely hear some kind of an outer face sensation, which is usually not very nice by itself. However, if we add this together now here's the mid microphone and let me blend on the side microphone.
There it is.
So the mid microphone to Penn death center and the side microphone panned hard left ride and have opposite polarity can give a lovely stereo image. And the beauty is that in the mix can mix it a bit more nom, which I'm doing now, mid microphone upside down. Or if I want more width, I can change that as well.
Midtown and site up gets really wide and, you know, I can get to the point where it's uncomfortable. So it's always about blending it about right. Good. So that's a, a room ended up basically that basically captured the entire band. And that was definitely fun. And I use that in the mix, of course. And you will hear later in the mix that I actually automated those rooms and, you know, brought them up in certain sections and down and other sections.
And, you know, that's the kind of stuff that I really liked to leave for the. Good then in addition to that, we also had an Mon-El room FARA, which was basically a microphone on the other end of the room. And let me just spy on what we use there. I think we used another Omni pencil condenser if I remember correctly.
So let's listen to that room microphone at a great distance.
Okay. You can probably hear that. It actually sounds more distant and no surprise. That's exactly what happened there. Okay. So I think let's put all of this together. So, um, here's the entire drum set, including all the direct microphones and also the room microphones and, uh, Uh, I hope this explains why we had so much other signals on the drums as well.
Your guitar and bass, um, just before you freak out over it, spiel means, you know, other signals that we are not expecting here or that we have. Not an aiming for are something that I basically embrace a lot. I think spiel is something really good if it's controlled and contained and balanced in the recording process.
So in my personal books, I'm having the bass and the guitar come through the room. Microphones, the drum rooms adds, adds a certain magic is certain space. Ambient. Um, that is, that's really hard to, to reproduce using plugins and processes. So having that is a huge advantage in my box. All right. Let's listen to the drums.
Um, kicking out snare top overhead lift ride. We have a hired microphone, a Singleton, and then a couple of room microphones and mid microphone is side microphone and a far room. This is how they sound together.
Okay. That's not a bad starting point. So at this stage, all the faders are pretty much at unity gain. And, um, the way I like to record, um, we, we spoke about this in the episode about gain staging. Uh, the way I like to record is to, to basically pre-mix, uh, the signals acid tracks so that they come back out of protrudes with the feta, said unity gain, and basically gives me a pretty much balanced, uh, ready to go and sound to start from.
Okay, so let's move on. Um, since this is a reggae vibe song, uh, we definitely need to consider the bays. So Brandon did an amazing job playing ridiculously beautiful bass lines. Um, and, uh, we recorded the bass with two signals. Uh, one of them is the microphone in front of the bass cabinet. Um, in this case, I believe we used an RMS.
In front of his base cabinet, please don't press me for the name of the cabinet. I literally don't remember what it was, but I know that it sounded pretty sweet to start with. So here's Brandon on the base.
That's just a lovely performance. You might be able to hear a bit of a drums again in the. So, uh, again, we caught some spiel from the drums that's normal when you track in the same room and important to me here is that now I get a really strong and healthy base level without getting too much of the drums.
If the drums were equally loud as the bass, that's a problem. However, I think, um, you know, just a faint bit of distance, um, uh, drums and the distance on that bass microphone. Yeah. Adds a certain color and vibe to the drum set. And that's actually something that I really enjoyed. And then of course there's always the other options.
So we've been recording a base in this case that base travel through in Avalon Eufaula, FDI box, uh, to the amp. Um, and of course I got a split from that and here's the.
And that's a lovely soundbite itself. And of course this is entirely free from any spill. And therefore, you know, allows me to process that a little bit harder if I need to in the mix. But in this case that actually wasn't that necessary, lovely sound. Let's just add the other microphone. So we have no, both.
Okay. So when it comes to blending the eye and microphones on base, we should always consider that there is a tiny little timing difference between the two it's usually that the base, um, the eye signal arrives just a little bit before, um, the signal on the microphone. That's simply because of the speed of sound and it takes a moment to travel from.
Kevin had to the, um, to the microphone, which by itself is absolutely no problem. But when you learn it up against the IDI signal, it can lead to some problems. And there are methods to overcome this. Of course, now you can shuffle the way from sideways until they line up. There are also some other tools that can do this automatically.
Like. And let me just think about that. What am I, what have I been using there? Um, occasionally I use sound Radix auto aligned for that. However, in this. Production. I don't think I use that one so often I just go by ear. And one of the easiest solutions is to simply blend the two faders with one Lauder and the other one quieter.
Um, that way it's actually not really too much of a problem. Um, so if I give the base GI and upper hand and non, uh, blend the cabinet in a bit quieter, that problem seems to disappear or vice versa. I can not run the cabinet loud. And the bass GI Clyde, then this is usually not about. Um, there's also, um, let me just think about that.
It's a UAD plug-in if I'm not mistaken, um, I'm hard pressed for the name right now. There was one that actually plays with the face angle in a very musical way. Um, what I really liked about it is that I wasn't using the, the way from overview to line things up. All I had was just literally a dial that no changed the face angle until they blended.
Um, did I use that in the mix this time? I don't think it was actually necessary, so I probably just didn't but, um, yeah. Um, generally speaking, when I, when to deal with the microphone, edit the, I, I definitely play the fetus against one another and see if I can hear any, um, conflict or. And if that's the case, I do something about it.
But in this case, it didn't actually make too much of a difference. Or Kim let's move on. Um, the person in the live room with the biggest smile on his face was definitely the guitar player one. He had a blast and it was just so nice to see him enjoying himself so much. And he. You know, so well, it was the first time that we actually recorded together in the studio.
Um, I've known him for many years and he's in a ridiculously amazing guitar player. So it was so good to, to work together on this. I'm just trying to think about what guitar and he brought in on the day. I want to say fender, but I'm maybe wrong here, but let's just listen to the first microphone. In this case, this was in condenser AKG C 4 1 4, which was aimed at, um, uh, one of the cones a little bit closer to the center if I remember correctly.
And this is how that sounds.
Okay. I think you can hear that. There's a fair bit of bass in there. There's also a bit of drums. So we balanced the volume of the band in the room until we had the spiel evenly. Um, the spill was no problem at all in the mix. So I don't go into trying to any cue that from the guitar or not use processes to remove that at all.
I like to embrace it. I think that's a good thing. So we actually had a second microphone. Here is an MD four to one, a dynamic microphone. And in typical microphone, fashion, dynamic microphone seem to pick up less spear than their condenser counterparts. They, uh, they are not as open to the rooms with some more of a focused sound.
That's also got a certain metallic character here, which, uh, Yeah, important to me is that I captured different sounds. So if I set up two microphones and they sound the same, what's the point of doing that in this case, it actually worked really well with a blend of both. So we can use the four to one, or here's the, sorry, I was, let me just start that again.
We can use the that's the C 1 4 4 1 4. And here's. 41 and all its blend them together. So he is both about equal.
No, I'm giving the C4 one for the upper hand, a couple of DBS loader.
And now we give the four to one, the upper hand.
Yep. So as you could see, the guitar sounds shifted quite a bit as I was playing the microphones, um, in volume against one another. So, um, that's a really powerful trick that I like to use. It's effectively a very powerful. And in many ways and, um, yeah, the way I like to, to blend those microphones is always in the mix.
So I like to hear everything and then I just play with the faders until the guitar finds its place. So, um, yeah, that was actually definitely a powerful thing to have. We then also used, um, the same cabinet and the same microphone techniques for, um, the. Uh, Lee Kitara, which he played an overdub afterwards.
So, um, let's go to that. Where are my faders on the wrong bank? And let me just get my fittest closer. So here's a lead tag and one, he really nailed it on those leads. You'll see that later in the mix, I use them quite a bit and they added such a lovely vibe. So here's the C4 one for.
Jeez guitars got Sarge lovely tone. Here's the four to one.
Um, so in this case, the 41 sounds a bit more direct, a bit closer while the has a bit more space around it. And that's just a really lovely, I think in the mix I used this microphone mainly if I remember correctly him. Okay. So, and then he played additional guitars like this.
Again, we have two microphones for that. He's the other one.
So effectively, we've got three elements. We've got the first guitar take that he played with a band. Here it comes. And in typical reggae fashion, this is what we know as the. Okay. Tick, tick, tick, no sits on the off. And then we add, um, the Laska task that we showed, which is melody.
Lovely. So some people call this a popcorn guitar, which is a funny way of saying it place, you know, a lovely little melody. And then of course we also have the leads that actually played in our, um, yeah, I guess, um, attention grabbing lovely elements that just, um, yeah. Provide a lovely melody and carry the songs so huge.
All the guitars to. That's at the base
a bit more base.
Okay, good. So let's put it all together. Here's the entire band without guide of orcas at the stage.
At the guidebook Hudson hears. So if I as vocal, oh, that's cut. Sorry.
It's always funny to play. So Vocus in isolation, they sound a bit naked and, uh, obviously they need a bit of reverb and all of the things that make vocals, you know, jail and to the mix. But, um, as you can see, there is a fair bit of spiel on it. So let me just rewind a little bit and just drop into the intro.
Yeah. So, um, in this case we actually have a little bit too much spiel for my personal. So, uh, when mixing these things together, I find that I need more compression on the vocals and that usually means all the spirit comes up. And, uh, in all honesty, I have not found an effective way that I like to remove spirit from, from a vocal take.
So that's why we decided to rerecord the vocals on another day in isolate. And that means I need to switch my protrude session over to the next one. So let me just go to the vocal session. That was this one of a, here are okay. It's putting up just a couple of seconds and, uh, yeah, so we took a little bit of extra time to record the vocals really well.
Um, without the band present. Oh, I think Brenda was present it wasn't him. And in this case, yeah, we decided to just give a Sapphire a bit of extra attention. And, um, yeah, basically, um, I gave her the rock star treatment. If you want to call its own. Let me just double check if this session plays. Okay. I'll put a set.
Um, I think we're about ready. So here are the main vocals this time rerecord it.
Okay. So those vocals are clean as can be. So there's no spill on there at all. And no, she did an amazing job. She nailed it. I think this might've been, let me just look at my numbers here. If I'm not mistaken, this was vocal. Take two. Well, the first one was soundcheck. So in other words, after doing the soundcheck, that is a full take that she's saying.
Nailed it, excuse me. I'm not supposed to swear on my podcast, but just wanted to mention that I'm just really impressed by how well this turned out.
Let's put it all together. So, um, you might've thought that there were other things going on as well. Um, I added a couple of, uh, percussions, uh, which we will introduce in a couple of moments, but for now I'm just turning them off. So we're basically back to where we started. We have the band recording, however, this time, um, the guide vocal is turned off and instead, um, we added, uh, Um, the main vocals.
Um, yeah, so let's hit play and saw check how that sounds together.
Lovely. Lovely, lovely. There's a such a beautiful vibe. And you know, I really like how this came together. Um, good. So then of course we need to make it a bit to bigger and fatter. And for that we recorded extra. Uh, to make, um, yeah, the production, you know, just a bit rounder and fuller. And, um, as it happens in most productions, we overdid it a little bit and recorded more than we than the mix could handle.
And, um, afterwards it went through a process of elimination where we just thinned it out and reduced it to. Yeah, what we really needed, but at this stage you can literally hear all the bits that we recorded. And in addition to the main vocals, um, Safire recorded a high back and forests that literally went all across.
So this is how that sounds together.
Nope. That's pant a little bit awkwardly. Let me just correct this. And then.
Ah, gee, I love it. That's like Kareem, it's like butter. It goes down so well. Lovely, lovely, lovely vocal takes. You've done so well so far. Um, then let's move on in the corners. We added even more signals, so here's a double, um, and another harmony that we added in the chorus. So he had come in.
Well, it gets really, really big. So you could hear some male vocals. Let me just see if I can find those and this case. I believe we had a brand on the mic. Oh, actually, this is a double loss. So we had a brand or, and, uh, Ben checked him in some, some backing vocals as well. So the two gentlemen were gathering around the same book on microphone and as singing together.
That's how this sounds.
Um, just thinking about that. That's probably not the take that we took by the end of it, but anyway, you get the warmth of it, you know, the, feel the vibe. So there's something really, uh, this, so for that, I would say almost jazzy about it. That's just such a lovely contrast with this in a Regus. So then in the chorus, we added even more.
And the final chorus, when, when I produce, I just love to throw or everything I have added in the final chorus. Um, I always like to make the final course bigger than everything else. And, uh, yeah, let's go into the final chorus where we added extra ad-libs over here,
it keeps going. Oh, there's an extra out, uh, outro vocal that we also recorded as more males. And here are there together. I think we pant them pretty far hard left right now. So the ma may have all could sit on the outside. Then we also had, um, the overdubs, uh, they started like this together.
So they're basically doing the same thing while where the males obviously do something else a bit darker and it's a fire specking. Sit in a higher register, some beautiful together, and let's check all the booklets together in the final chorus. So it is a stack full and definitely it was a bit more than I thought the song really needed.
So in the mix I attended out, but we're going to this a little bit later.
She loved it. Oh, yeah.
Okay. And it keeps them going. Look, we need to hear it later. Once it's gone through the mixing stage, obviously needs a bit of a queuing, a bit of compression, uh, and definitely some river up to, to re sound the way it's intended. Um, good. So once we had the vocals, uh, locked in, um, I yeah, added some percussions, uh, which I.
I recorded myself or programmed the ant or so when I think about pro cation in an, um, production, I often find that if there is a drum set and a percussionist that the percussionist needs to be sort of, um, how do I phrase this decorated around, um, the music bed? So, um, I, I think about where do the drums bass and guitar and vocal.
And where is space. So in this case, I decided to go for, uh, some shakers and, um, we also went for, um, a virus lab that I just added, recorded him in my bedroom and literally in my bedroom at home, um, an evening once the kids were asleep, uh, it's still amazing that they didn't wake up. Um, and some, some wood blocks, which I believe were a, probably a sample.
So let's just listen to. The guitars and the drums and the percussion together this time without vocals, but with a bit of blended the percussion in there. Oh, let me just find the virus slab because I played that. I'm just going to make this extra loud. Ah, there it was,
we've got some Congress here, but a shaker, couple of woodblocks. Yep. There they come. Um, so I think the woodblocks were literally programmed from mid instrument and protrudes. If I remember correctly, they were not played, but none of the other elements, the shaker that's your Australia and, uh, the virus as well.
So just added a little bit of extras and, uh, Then we added, um, also some keys and for that is a fire reached out to my friend, Dan brown greeting. Stan, thank you for your amazing keyboard takes. Um, I think this was all done in rural mode collaboration. If I'm not mistaken, if I understand correctly, Safira just flicked down the files, um, via.
I guess Google drive or Dropbox or something. And, um, Dan returned, a couple of fives for us is having, listen. This is the first one. I believe this is, is that an organ? Let's have a listen. Yep. That's a typical regular organ. The date, the date, the date, the date that playing the Turpin reggae rhythm now, which interacts so well with the guitar and the skank.
So let's put them together.
A little bit,
a bit more guitar. So the guitar plays on the offbeat on the scan check.
And the, the, the Oregon does bubbles around it and plays a very rhythmical pattern, which, you know, adds a lovely element in the mix because it actually makes this song feel faster than it actually is in, in some ways. Um, that's what the organ achieves. Then he also recorded, uh, more signals. I believe this is a piano.
Lovely. Let me just put this into the mix maybe, and maybe let's bring it up. I'm just going to turn the vocals off for the time being while we do so, and just jump into the mix
and he comes to the piano.
I kept it a bit quieter in the mix, because obviously there are lots of, um, other things going on. We also had a cleverness.
Yeah, oops, clever nut, which has a more metallic sound. Uh it's uh, it cuts really well. And, um, yeah. Um, in the second half of the song, we had an instrumental section, which in my personal opinion, ended up being a little bit too empty. I was lacking something entertaining and I use the clever net later in the mix as the raw material to.
Yeah, make it a bit more unique. Okay. So I think that's everything we had in this session. So let's move on and go onto, um, a mix session. Um, it went through a bit of editing, of course, cleaning up and just making everything neat and tidy and pretty. And what you're listening to is basically the finished mix as it was approved by.
In this case, it was mixed version 1.0. So the first version of the mix was approved. That's not always the case in many situations. My clients get back to me and say, look, love the mix, but could we have this Trump for apple touch or that guitar, but louder or whatever in this case there wasn't the case.
So, um, yeah, that's always great to see. So before we go into, um, um, the entire mix limit is break it into individual sections. Um, the signals obviously changed in sound. There's a cue on there. There's a bit of compression here and there. And most importantly, a bit of reverb and a, this is how the drums sound in isolation.
So actually not that different to what you heard before,
but just a bit cleaner, a bit level better, I guess. In typical regular fashion, there is a bit of a plate reverb on the snare click, very common. Um, I mean, it's a typical DEP mixing technique and that's something that I'm so excited about because that's, you know, bombs like my specialty. That's something that I, I like it a lot.
And, um, I do a lot, so, um, let's put things together. We've got the drums and now let's add the base.
Let me take the bass out for a second and you can still hear some bass coming through. That's the drum microphones, the room microphones, and it's sounds quite wide. So adding the base into the.
Establishes like a center pole, like yeah. You'd like to call it and I'd bring, stay at the base to the center, gives it the right amount of volume and keeps it nice and steady in the mix. Yeah. Let's add some guitars. Oh yeah. Ah, let me just go back to the intro. So when it comes to the guitars, I really played with the width.
And the space. So, um, is specially at the beginning, before the vote would start, um, I played with a lot of depth perception here and made the melody guitar, the lead guitar sound really far away distant, which gives it an interesting, I want to call it island vibe, um, island music. So that's how this sounds with the skank, but closer and a bit drier, close to me, but the melodies in the far distance.
Coming up in a sec. Yep.
Um, they all get their own space. Let's add some keyboards
and some percussions.
Lovely. Lovely. So now we have the instrumental and of course the most important thing is the vocals. So let's just jump straight in. Um, in the intro, I was actually found a little. Bit of a vocal awareness of fire, wasn't really tracking it. She just sort of cleared her voice or hunter long, actually.
That's what it was. She hummed along. And, um, I found this really lovely. So I actually brought this up and put it in there and I show him
and coming up now
I couldn't hear it right now. So let me just see why that is. Sorry, my vocal channel was turned off. Let me have a do over, please.
Um, okay. It was pretty quiet. So let me just solo this so you can hear at home.
This is one of these little magic things that was not intended. It was just, it just happened. And I just loved to embrace it. So let me play the same section again. You might be able to hear it quietly in the mix.
Um, okay. Well while a lovely, lovely, lovely. So let's just dive into the Vocus a little bit more and, um, you may be able to hear. You know, the vocal sound a little more polished, a lot cleaner, uh that's of course, a bit of a cue and compression. Uh, but then in addition, the most important thing in my personal opinion is a really tasteful fair ride.
And in our, that is my style of mixing. I try to compress as little as I can and do as much as I can with automation rights on the. And my method is to just jump into right mode with my eyes closed. I've got my finger on the fader and just played as I go. If I mess it up, I've got an iPad right in front of me.
I hit back and play, which has jumps back to bars. And I have another goal. I don't need to click at all for that. I can literally do it with my eyes closed. And then I go through the entire vocal track and stabilize the vocal in the mix where I like it to sit. And once I'm done, I usually update my automation using trim out, which is a method that.
It's a relative change to an existing automation line and do another automation pass and just, you know, fine tune things. And, you know, if there was a word that I really love, I like to stress it a bit and just push it forward. Just a touch. Or if there's a section that I don't like as much, I just pull the volume just in little bit.
So it's not jumping into the foreground. Yeah, however ends a fire's case. That was really the case. It was usually that I just wanted to push it more. Um, yeah, that's the vocal riding technique that I use. And once I'm done with that, um, actually go one step further. I do the same thing for the reverb scent and automate this again.
In other words, the vocal stone actually don't receive the exact same amount of reverb every time it sort of changes and alternates, uh, throughout the song. And, uh, yeah, let's just maybe isolate the vocals and hear how that sounds. You will be able to hear the VR revoke come and go. Let's jump into the first virus.
Um, yeah, let me just show you another section where I had to use sort of my box of tricks. It's the instrumental and the second half of the song, and this is how the instrumental sounds.
Oh, wow. Um, so I actually think I need to correct myself here earlier. I was hinting. I did something funny with the cleverness, but look in all honesty, I think I just must take this for the other song that we recorded, which is going to be released in the next couple of weeks time. So that's going to be an interesting one as well, but uh, this time around, um, there was no clever net.
Mixed feature that, uh, there was actually the other song, however, uh, one plate, a ridiculously beautiful guitar lead here, very tasteful, so forth, not overloaded with too much the technique training techniques. So he just really tastefully blended that in and I gave it a lot of space. Um, now that I hear it, I almost wonder if this was a touch to match, but you know what?
Sofar, I loved it. She didn't say anything about it. So I guess I shouldn't second guess myself, which of course, as we all know is the typical thing we all do out at the time when we listened to our own on work later. Um, yeah. Okay. I think it's time that we sort of move on from. Uh, the mixing stage and then see what happened afterwards.
So after I finished, um, the mix after it was approved by Stefan, she passed the files on to, um, to Talia Rose Coleman at 3 0 1 mastering in Sydney. And, uh, she did an amazing job here, um, mixing, so remastering these songs for, um, Fossa fire. So I'm just trying to locate the one here it is. So let's bring this song in.
I'm sorry. It just takes a moment to import. And in this case, I've got to make sure that it's not actually traveling through any processes. So as important, I'm just going to double check. Um, if there was anything across our master fader, um, I know that, um, processing across the master fader is a hot topic.
Some people don't like it. Some people do like. Um, I'm very practical on this. I have absolutely no hesitation doing it for all the right reasons. Um, but by that, I mean, um, I will make sure that I don't hit it hard on the master. So, um, let me just look at what I had. I had a tape emulation here that was driven down to about negative 20 to negative.
Negative 20 negative 15 view. So very light one. And there was a touch of master bus ETQ on there for which, um, yeah, brought up the ear, burns the top, end a little and uh, just a saddle shape in the base. So I'm just going to turn all these processes off so we wouldn't listen to any of those accidentally.
And, uh, let me just. This new check to the outputs as we needed our care. I think we should be ready to go. Here comes the finished master as a completed by Talia of 3 0 1.
It is a song that came together really nicely. Um, at no stage did feel like an apple battle or something. It was never frustrating. And I guess that's the most important part I'm going in reverse order. Talia doing the master myself, doing the mix. And then of course, now let's give credit to all the amazing musicianship here or the amazing band members who performed so well.
So I guess that's the message here today. It's not rocket science. It's just enjoy yourself. Have a great time doing it, capture it the right way. Try not to make any mistakes along the way. And then things literally can fall into place really easily. So, um, yeah, I think, um, it's a bit of a dream team here coming together and, you know, I had such an amazing time mixing it.
Um, and yeah, the song is now out. Um, I really want you to go to the show notes, please, and check out the show notes in the show notes, you will find. Uh, leading to the song. Um, so please, yes, support, uh, local music, um, supports a fire stone and the matchmakers and listen to the song breakaway in full length, um, on all the streaming platforms.
Good. Um, let me say thank you to Safaria for allowing me to share all of this with you and giving us so much insight into the production. That is a very kind thing to do. Um, yeah. If you can buy the record, uh, check out for any live shows, if Safaria ever plays your way, please buy a ticket and show up. Um, um, for that, I would definitely.
Publish, any gigs that I'm aware of in the production talk community, Facebook page. So that will be a great place to stay up to date. All right, this is all for today. Thank you so much for this episode. If you like this, I would love to hear what you think about it. If you want to hear things like this again, and for that, I would kindly ask you to please go to.
Uh, your podcast application and go to the rating. Give us a five-star rating, please. And maybe a sentence or two to tell me what you think about this episode. And if you want to hear something like this again in future episodes. Thank you so much. This is all for today. You have a fantastic week. Speak to you again next week.