Great Tracking with John McGinnis in the TL and Latent BRAIN FART

John McGinnis wanted me to make up and lay down some guitar for his session in the TL  on June 23rd from 1-4pm   So I practiced over the weekend.  I brought my washburn with me, but we used the schools acoustic Martin instead. He asked me how I would like to record.  I told him a blumlein would be a good approach for the acoustic guitar.  So we set up a cue send and position the MXL2010’s in blumelein.  I played a about 20 bars after being sure I was in tune.  Then I had John give me two more tracks to record the overdub of guitar solo over the 20 bars of rhythm guitar.  We then looped the guitar tracks seamlessly.   We finished early so after tracking I went downtown to find my singer for another song I want to work on called “Hotter Than Too Many Degrees.”  SUCCESS I found my singer Jimmy Love AKA Juice.  I got his number and went home.  At about 6pm I was wondering what Latimer would talk about in class.  Wow!!!  I finally realized that I totally forgot to go to lecture at 4pm.  I should make sure to set an alarm for this class.  Cant’ let that happen again.

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The Districts (Reference Track Hunt)

After looking through the billboard charts and not finding someone that quite sounded like the Districts I was still determined to find a decent reference track. So I thought back to my classes and figured that I would ask the band who they sounded like.  I wasn’t actually able to ask the band who they sounded like.  Luckily Drowned in Sound had interviewed them. http://bit.ly/1nYUN7j  They described them as the vocals of Modest mouse and the band of early Kings of Leon.  So these will be my reference bands.  A Sunday well spent.

Recording drums for Magic is Alive

This Past thursday I recorded drums for Magic is Alive.  We recorded in the SSL Duality.  Mae Ensley was my drummer.  We had  allotted 1pm to 4pm to record.  Mae was a drummer in my band from a few years ago when I had first moved back to Cleveland ( my home town.  I used a D6 for the kick and I put it in the sound hole.  I had to deaden the sound a little, so I took my khaki pants off and stuck them in the kick.  I used an SM 57 on the snare placed an inch up and in from rim.  Mae thought it was ringing a bit much so i put two gels on it.  I put a sennheiser on the rack tom and Hi Hat.  That also got a couple of gels on it.  I put and AT4050 on the floor tom and a cymbal.  We didin’t use the other tom.  I used a stereo bar and two KM184’s as overheads and positioned them as a XY coincident pair.  I used a AT4051 for the crash.  Everything sounded good coming into the studio.  We were able to do several takes.  Eventually we decided to get a take of just kick and snare.  Then another take with fills.  I was very pleased with the result.  When I got home I EQ’s the drums and threw some New York Compression on the Kick and snare.  All in all it was a good day

SSL Day 2 mixing the Districts

I”m back in the Tri-C SSL studio.  I’m relaxed. Today I’m listening to all of the tracks that make up the mixing project for Mr. Hartzell.  While I listened to each track to find out what they were  I was also sending each track to either a drum bus, music bus, of vocal bus.  I cut out all of the space between transients for each of the tracks and called it a day on mixing the districts.  I had a little extra time, so I thought I might be able to record another scratch track for an origiaal song of mine  called Tropical Breeze.  Eric Wilson and Russell Carter assisted me in tracking.  After a few failed attempts Russell and I agreed that the problem is that this song is not meant to have one tempo for the entire song.  There are a few time changes in it.   He suggested that I do the song in sections.  I agree.

About Magic is Alive and Ecstasy Balmores

I wrote this song last year after getting back in touch with a Ecstasy Balmores a good friend of mine from Hawaii.  She’s a poet, singer, model, and dancer.   I became very inspired by her poetry.  I then decided to make a song based upon my interpretation of her collection of poems.  I asked her if there were any musical artist’s style that she could relate to.  She said Mary J. Blige.   So I then started to write the song as if I were going to have Mary J. Blige sing on the track.  I put down some guitar chords and some vocals.  I then sent the song to Ecstasy and she was soo moved that she cried.  I knew at that point the song had some real potential.  I’m choosing this song for capstone because I believe it should have a fair shot at growing to be grammy award material.

Scratch Track for Magic is Alive

I called up my drummer Mae Ensley.  She said she can play for me this coming thursday.  Only thing is I need a scratch track for her that has been played to a scratch track.  I had not  played the song with my guitar in a while so I had difficulty playing through the song in it’s entirety to a click.  After a bit of time failing at getting down the guitar, I decided I would try to sing through the song first and use the vocal cues to play the guitar.  That worked great.  The scratch track is finished.  

SSL DAY 1 Getting Reaquainted

I figured if I’m going to do a great project I should start with a great recording an mixing studio.  The SSL is a huge studio with great equipment and recording room.  Today I’m just reviewing the patches and making sure that I can get a good cue send out to the studio. Eric Wilson (awesome recording artist and producer) stopped through.  He has a project for Crooked River Groove featuring the Scratch Paper Productions live Hip-Hop ensemble performance that he is working on.   I have some extra time on my  hands so I figure I can help out with mixing the project.  I listen to the first song.  I notice that Poison I.V.’s vocals are a little harsh and that the keyboard player is not quite audible.  I suggest multi-band compression. Eric agrees with me.  So I start to add the aux tracks to the protools file and throw some compression each of the frequency ranges that each aux track represents.  The keyboard suddenly sounded louder in the mix and Poison’s vocals weren’t as harsh.  Eric then brought the keys up slightly in the mix.    We listened to a few more songs and called it a day.