Week 6 – Band Tracking Work Shop

For our recording assignment, we recorded the band, The Riot Police. The whole process was kind of a pain in the ass, to be honest. For one, we didn’t get the Multi-track Studio, so we used the Foley Room. It wasn’t ideal, but it wasn’t horrible either. We had a lot of trouble getting the room to work, but eventually, we figured that out too.

The band was nice and they stayed to record until almost 4 a.m. and it was awfully nice and dedicated of them. They didn’t have a drummer though so their lead singer tried playing the drums – it didn’t really go well.

It’s alright though, we ended up drawing in the drums on Ableton Live. Another issue we came over was that we didn’t like how the backup singer sounded during the verses, his voice just didn’t work with the lead singer. This could be because we over-dubbed the whole session and they couldn’t hear how they sounded together. So what we did, was take one of several takes the lead singer did and layered it over his own voice to make him the backup singer, as well. However after listening to it a few times I found that the song sounded echo-y so I used automation to lower the backup vocals on the verse and make lead singer’s voice much more prominent.

All together, though, I’m proud of our work. For newbies I think we did well and it’s a song I would listen to on my own time. This assignment was definitely my favourite so far, and the outcome made me proud.

Week 4 – Processing in Pro Tools

Week 4 we had to make a radio drama. It was exciting being back in the recording studio and actually recording something! We had freedom with our scripts and were able to come up with a quirky idea. It doesn’t make much sense (printed sandwiches for a birthday party?) but I think it adds to the strangeness of the drama overall.

I mean we’ve all been there, right? The annoying call you have to make to the tech guy when you have no idea how to work something. Meanwhile, you know the tech guy totally hates his life and couldn’t care less about your problems.

Using Pro Tools totally helped us bring this concept to life. We used reverb on the voices to create a sense of time and space. By using sound effects we were able to transport our listeners to exactly where we wanted them to be. (In an office, or at a busy house during a child’s birthday party, or even in a daydream). By being able to pan voices, we were able to emphasize the telephone call and exactly where each setting was taking place (on the left or on the right or maybe even right in the middle). We had a lot of fun putting this radio drama together and I hope you enjoy it!

P.S. I recommend you listen to it with headphones or surround sound speakers.

Week 3 – Routing, Automation & Editing

Have a listen to the first song I’ve ever mixed. Granted it was all recorded already but I put everything together and added all the extra plug-ins.

Week 3 was all about importing separate audio tracks from a song and sorting them in groups and buses and creating submixes. It was actually a lot more interesting than you’d think. A song that you hear consists of so much more than just one stereo track. You have a track for vocals, back up vocals, guitar, bass, snare drum, cymbals etc. The list goes on and on. And if you don’t sort it all into fancy groups, you’re stuck scrolling through an endless page of Pro Tools trying to move things around hastily.

Buses and groups just make life SO much easier. Imagine having to add EQ to each of the drum tracks separately (cymbals, snare, bass, etc.) Pain in the ASS. I know. So we learned how to make our lives easier, pretty much.

Halloween was already a great song, but some parts of it were annoying me (the back up vocals that repeated words) and I added reverb to it to make it more distant. Otherwise, it’s a song that I would actually listen to on my spare time.