Saturday, February 15, 2014

Studio Chronicles 2

Written by Zongxu, 15th of Feb 2014

This week in recording class, we continued our exploration on different stereo miking, this time we tried it on percussions and strings. During Wednesday, we did recording for percussion, applying the XY stereo miking positions, both coincidental pair and near coincidental pair. I played for the rest of the class to record, doing some rhythms on the congas and tambourine. We quickly learned that stereo miking generally does not work well with moving instruments, such as the tambourine. After several takes, we tried to do overdubs to see if it works for percussions. The end result is a track that simulated a percussion group, an interesting effect that I feel has a potential to be applied in my future projects.

As for Friday, we had a chance to try and record a string duet consisting of violin and cello, played by our fellow course mates Eugene Yeo and Darshan respectively. This time we tried the AB miking technique. After several takes of "Canon in D" trying out with different distance between the players and the mics. The end result of the overdub simulated that of a medium sized string ensemble. The interesting part was when we tried doing close-miking on the players individually going through the Neve mic pre-amp. As told by our lecturer, the resulting track had a different tonal quality, that of a more prominent brightness compared to the Safire pre-amp while retaining the warm mids and lows of the violin and cello. This made me realise the role of a pre-amp beyond just amplification.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Studio Chronicles.

Written by Zongxu, 6th of Feb 2014

Coming back from the 5th week of our Studio Recording Techniques classes, we were told by our lecturer to begin doing regular reflections on previous topics covered in class.

To begin with, it is the 1st time I contemplate the signal flow pattern in out college's own studio, and how this reflects the industry's probable similarities. 2 weeks ago, me and 2 of my classmates booked the college studio to attempt setting up a Pro-Tools session from scratch without any supervision form our lecturer. The objective was to a 3 channel drum mix into session, 1 on the kick drum, 1 on the snare and a mono overhead. We spent 1 hour troubleshooting and understanding how the studio's patch bay worked, and recording 2 of the same take, one through the saffire audio interface pre-amp, and one through the analogue mixing board pre-amp. We all took back a copy of the session to compare the difference.

Last week, we learnt multiple ways to mic and record an acoustic guitar, and how listening from different positions will give us a preview of how it'll sound like in the recording if we placed the mic in that position. We also learnt that simple overdubbing and compression can change the the tone of the performance.

Just yesterday morning, we recorded 3 vocalist using a coincident pair stereo miking technique, doing multiple takes with the vocalist singing similar parts but in different distance from the mic. The final combination of all the tracks created a wide stereo like spread with audio implications of something that of a choir rather than just 3 people. For me, this was rather interesting, as it also seems possible for instruments such as strings and wind instrument, instruments usually found in larger ensembles, can be recorded with lesser people while achieving a recording similar to recording an actual full ensemble.