Project Work: Studio Session Two – 12/11/14

After our last recording session and the decision to use the miking technique Allain suggested (with the NT2As and the two SE4s) we were all feeling like we had a bit more direction and motivation.

photo 1
The aforementioned microphone setup.

photo 2

Prior to this studio session Ananda had created a MIDI kick drum beat so Jordan had something to play along to. What she produced sounds pretty much exactly the same as the kick drum in Stay The Night but the tempo may be just a tiny bit slower.

Initially, we had trouble recording a full take of Jordan playing to the beat. He would play well for most of the take then towards the end he would end up out of time with the kick drum* (perhaps due to an unusual strumming pattern and chord change during the last bars). It was suggested that altering the tempo of the kick drum track might make it easier for Jordan to play along to so Ananda attempted to do so in one of the computer rooms nearby (as the studio computer lacks Logic Pro). While she was gone, I recorded a few more takes of Jordan practicing to see if he could perfect it somehow. He soon suggested that taking his guitar playing out of the headphone mix (so he couldn’t hear himself playing) might impact his ability to play to the beat. So I did so, leaving only the kick drum playing in his headphones. This worked and by the time Ananda got back we’d ‘laid down’ an almost perfect take.

photo 3

Whilst attempting to record some more of the acoustic guitar parts of the song we encountered a problem with the headphone mix. All of a sudden, the kick drum completely disappeared from the headphone mix. Ananda and I troubleshot first on the desk to see if we’d accidentally pressed any buttons or turned any pots down. We couldn’t find anything so we turned to Pro Tools but found we hadn’t changed anything there either. We then tried sending the kick drum track to a different channel on the desk (channel 9 instead of channel 7) and again couldn’t find the answer to our problem. Ananda then turned to the headphone amp. The headphones were plugged into the master insert (as they had been the whole time). She unplugged the headphones halfway and found the kick drum signal then came through. We then plugged the headphones into channel 1 of the headphone amp instead and found that solved our problem. We were then able to successfully record two takes of the pre-chorus.

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 11.15.12 AM (2)
A screenshot of our Pro Tools session.

We then moved onto recording the bridge of the song. We had trouble due to difficult timing in relation to the strumming pattern/rhythm of the acoustic guitar in the original song so we eventually decided to record a simpler version of the chord progression of the bridge of the original.

All in all it was a successful recording session and though we looked forward to our next one the following day, Ananda and I weren’t sure what we would get up to in the studio as Jordan would be absent.

*Please note that the problem ended up being the MIDI track itself. For some reason one beat towards the middle of the track was shortened, throwing the end of the track out of time with the start.

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