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Any critiques greatly appreciated

dnumde

Member
Messages
479
Maybe some of you have already seen my post in the Sound Hound Lounge about the instrumental EP.

If not, the teaser tracks are at http://www.brandon-gan.com

This is my 1st actual work, all done ITB on my iMac using Logic 8 Studio. I deeply appreciate any critiques and hope to improve myself further and take on more freelance work to bolster my portfolio, hopefully getting better at AE and carve myself a niche someday.

Feel free to ask me anything about the recording process too, as almost all the tracks were done in my bedroom including re-amping....i know that sounds absolutely crazy but we pulled it off :)
 

Fifthstone

Member
Messages
2,983
Very nice playing and recording. It sounds like you put a lot of care into the recording. Sounds very nice. You've got some nice chops too. The site itself is very cool as well. A couple of things though ... on a 1024 x 768 resolution, clicking on gallery, I couldn't scroll vertically even though some images were truncated. The other thing is purely my personal preference. I HATE when audio auto loads and plays. Give folks the option of listening; I'm sure they will. Congratulations again on a cool site and some cool tunage.
 

Rusty G.

Member
Messages
3,143
Brandon. . .Very nice sound. . .Great chops. . .I'm very impressed.

Now, how did you do it? What did you do to get your drum sound? Is it a real drummer, or did you program via step sequencing or playing a keyboard or what?

Very tight. . Very tight. . No sloppy playing.

Bass player is good too!

What amps did you use. . .What's your signal chain? Mic's, mic pre's. . .the whole nine yards. Let's hear more!
 

CupidsDead

Member
Messages
6
Hey guys,

Brandon here. "dnumde" is my friend who is also the engineer for the tracks.

We recorded 5 tracks for the EP. Three of them are on the website. Thanks for the feedback and yeah the scroll issue will be fixed tonight. Thanks for the kind words as well about the music.
 

dnumde

Member
Messages
479
Thanks for the responses guys, the player is actually my good friend. He gave me the chance to co-produce, engineer and mix the EP. It's actually my 1st actual work since graduating from a 1 yr AE course, so i really appreciate the confidence that he has in me to let me handle his EP.

I'll do my best to answer the queries here,

The drums were recorded at an actual studio as it's almost impossible to set it up in my bedroom, but it's all real and the usual 8 mics setup for a 5 piece kit including 1 more mic below the snare.

The drums were mixed using Logic's and Stillwell Audio plugins, parallel compression were done especially for the kick and snare. The rest of the kit got a pretty standard treatment of EQ (alot of cuts and rarely boost if possible except for the toms) and some mild compression to keep the hits in reign. I was kinda worried at first about the response as i know the drums were kinda unreal in some sort of way, but we were shooting for a really hard hitting drum sound and i took my inspiration from David Bendeth's mix on Paramore's 'Riot' album.

As for the signal chain in my bedroom where we recorded the bass and guitar tracks,

bass/guitar -> Countryman 85 Passive DI Box -> Focusrite Saffire -> Logic 8

I know that the weakest link is the Focusrite Saffire, as much as i can help it...that was about as much of a budget we could work with at the point of time.

Bass tones were shaped using IK Multimedia's Ampeg modelling software, and the DI signal was heavily compressed and blended with the Ampeg modelled tone.

Now onto the juicy bits where i enjoyed the whole process, we managed to buy a FMR RNP before we started reamping so the signal chain had an addition right below

Focusrite Saffire (out) -> Reamp box -> Guitar amp

SM57 -> FMR RNP -> Focusrite Saffire (line in) -> Logic 8

We took care to go between the actual guitar plugged in to amp and the reamp box volume, with the same guitar and same riff. Amps were almost all the time a Splawn Quickrod (which belonged to Brandon) for rhythm parts, and my Marshall JVM with the C83 cap removed for all the lead parts. Both heads were running through my Marshall 1960AX 4x12 Greenbacks cab.

The SM57 was about 5 inches off the grille, off-axis and pointing towards the centre. The position where it's perpendicular to the grille, it was at where the cone meets the dustcap. We set the RNP preamp gain to about half and cranked the amps till the recorded signal was peaking around -12dbFS in Logic, this was so that we won't overload the converters as i have read in some articles. Better safe than sorry i guess.

The heavier songs had quad tracking on the rhythm guitars, while the more funky and also 80s sounding track had only 2 rhythm tracks. Both amps were a dream to work with once we found the sweet spot for mic'ing, we spent about 2 days getting it right as the usual recommended spots didn't work in the apartment. We shifted the cab so that it was firing right into the living room when no one was home during the daytime.

All in all, I spent about a month or so mixing all 5 tracks mostly using my ATH-M50 cans and double checking the mixes on my iPod and PC desktop speakers. As for the website, it was designed by my friend...I'll feedback to him about the issues Fifthstone, thanks!

It was a cool project which we have pitched for the 3 of us to do what we think we do best, in terms of guitar playing, AE and also interactive web design. The plan was to come up with a product and also showcase our works to the local community, hopefully there will be a big break for anyone of us :)

Let me know if there's any other details of the recording that i've missed out, I'll be happy to share what i have picked up along the way.
 

Rusty G.

Member
Messages
3,143
That's way cool! Like I said above, the sounds were great. I'm very impressed with the playing and sounds.

You mentioned that you spent about a month doing the mixing. Does that mean that you moved some of the stuff around so that it was tighter. . .I'm talking about timing issues here. Like, in ProTools, they have a new program--Elastic Audio, which allows you to "sync" up a sloppy part to a better played part, or just to move stuff around to make the performance tighter. Is this something that you did on Logic?

Thanks,
Rusty
 

dnumde

Member
Messages
479
The bulk of the editing work was actually cropping up the silent areas, there was absolutely no shifting of any playing. Whatever minor timing issues by the drummer, we compensated by tracking the bass and guitars tightly to it.

There's 1 track which is not available on the teasers list, which is some sort of Hendrix meets Philip Sayce kind of vibe. The drummer completed the song in 1 take, and we could hear the 'push and pull' between verses and chorus....the collective decision was to keep the loose feel and track with reference to the drummer's timing. It was hell, but the end product turned out quite well :)

I guess with DI and reamping, we had more flexibility in tracking till it was good and simply running the tracks and record the amps on auto pilot.
 

fuzzyguitars

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,618
big props my asian brother!

nice tunes and playing.

sounds great!


i will buy your ep when it comes out!
 




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