Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Once again

Once again, i feel incredibly sorry for not keeping things up. But this is my last final ever. Last. Ever. And i shall try and study although it feels like i do everything in my power to fail. Anyway. Wish me luck.



Friday, August 3, 2012

Recording guitars

The real reason i even wanted to learn how to record is to be able to make my songs as good as i can on a tight budget. I can't pay anyone to do that. I can't depend on my engineers to help me. That would take for ever. Busy people.

Today i recorded a guitarist for one of my songs. Several things i can say.

First of all,,r:6,s:0,i:95

oh man. But if you look at picture C, you'd know what miking technique i used. Neumann KM 184. Vintech pre amp, and distressor compressor. But instead of putting the mikes at exactly 90 degrees from the guitar, i set them up at a 30 degree angle. That is how Dave showed me.

I forgot to check the tempo of the song, so had to make a guitarist wait while i was running back n forth finding the right tempo to set in pro tools.

Lets see...

I also used an amazing fx box for an electric guitar. Forgot to check what kind. I'll right it down next time.

As a producer, I have to say that got exactly what i asked for. Thats the deal with good musicians. They play exactly what you say. Therefore, i'm afraid that if after a while of mixing, the track isn't good, i have noone to blame but myself.

One thing i did realize was that i didn't like the sound of the 12 string guitar for that song. I love its tone. But it feels so dense, that it just didn't fit. It took me a while to understand this, but i did. Sometimes instruments are great by themselves and in concept. But in reality, they might have to live another life.

Oh... and i lied. Or in fact Jim lied. the phasing meter shouldn't be showing 0. It should be showing 1 - be in phase. Sorry lol


Oh n yeah. Tomorrow, i am going to see Aerosmith.   Hope you are jealous. If anybody is out there.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 8

I realized its not comfortable for me to write things down every day. Yesterday i had to get my sister to amtrak at 6, so by the end of the day i was too tired to type a single word. But continuing my previous conversation with Sammy:

If everything has gone perfectly and there are no weird things, all of the levels in protools would be at 0 and I am mixing on the board except for volume automation or any sort of pan automation.

You could use all of the protools faders, and leave the board faders at 0. But you do get a different sound when u r using amplifiers and the console.

The thing about mixing on any analogue consoles is that it sounds awesome, but your mix only exists on this exact console. The other thing, if you want to turn just one track down, you have to reset everything.

On this board, if you come to recall the mix, to make all of the faders jump up to exactly where they supposed to be, you have to use “set all” function after you selected a needed total recall.

Whats cool about our console, is that we have a project called 0. and if you do set all, it helps a lot with normaling the console.

0 on vu meter is around – 18 in protools. VUs are averaging meters. There are not telling you the pick, they are giving you an average volume. It’s a good reference point, cause I ears hear more of an average volume. So that being said, when its going smashing into the read on the meter, its not necessarily peaking in protools.

The way I approach recording, I try to do a lot of the tones and sound scoping on the way in.

“follow mon” is like here is your monitor source and that’s just whatever you chose for your monitor source. See how it changes when I go to a stereo mix. You only ever going to use mix a. Follow mon has 5.1 option, so if you ever going to mix in 5.1, that’s what u’ll use.

Pan to rack. The only thing I can think of what it is. => they call these the busses, the 24 track busses. (16 for headphones). Normally you have pan control up here (cue st, blue knob). The only reason you would ever decide to use the pan, rather than put it in the center, is lets say I put on 1 and 2 in the headphones, I put a drum mix, left and right, like a stereo mix.
SO I imagine that what pan to track does, is that instead of pannin the cue st, it reflectively pans the pan to track in the pan section of the board.
Miscl is just a whole bunch of random things. Set up utility function.

External b will never fuck u up as long as you don’t choose external b.
Mix a doesn’t always light up on our board.

Channel meters is where the source of what you are hearing on the meters. Input is whats coming in to the channel.

Also i should post our facebook conversation on Sammy's favorite way to record guitars.  

o                                                        hm.... i want to record a guitarist for my song. Any chance you could show me what you like to do in this case?

                                                electric or acoustic?

o                                                        idk. both? just in case
o                                                        i mean i could try and experiment myself, but i just want recording to be very good
·         Sammy:   
o                                                        Well, either way, you should try other things if you don't like the way I do it
·         Me:
o                                                        yeah, thats for sure
·         Sammy:     
o                                                        I like the C24
o                                                        and point one of the capsules at the body of the guitar, and one at the neck around the 12th fret
o                                                        Its a stereo mic
·         Me:
o                                                        12th fret?
·         Sammy:      
o                                                        yeah, like close to where the neck meets the body of the guitar
o                                                        thats for acoustic
·        Me:  
o                                                        ok.
o                                                        hey is it really 12000 mic?
o                                                        cause thats what it says for amazon
·         Sammy:     
o                                                        For electric, I like to mic the amp with an SM57 and MD421
o                                                        haha
o                                                        yeah prolly more than that
o                                                        its vintage
·         Me: 
o                                                        ok. so where do you place the mic for amp?
·          Sammy:   
o                                                        I would place them about an inch from the grill, the 421 straight dead on in the center, the 57 as close as possible to the 421, but angled slightly to the left
o                                                        so its a bit off axis
·          Me:       
o                                                        ok. ill try that. what does it mean that the mic is vintage
·         Sammy:   
o                                                        its really OLD
·         Me:      
o                                                        so it gives an old sound?
·        Sammy:    
o                                                        an original moel
·         Sammy:  
o                                                        Old GOOD sound
·        Me: 
o                                                        ok. so what kind of gear do u use
·        Sammy:  
o                                                        Try putting them through the VIntech preamps
·        Me:
o                                                        ok. any compressors?
·        Sammy:  
o                                                        those have EQ on them
o                                                        I wouldnt compress at first
o                                                        Maybe later
·         Me:
o                                                        ok. what kind of eq do you do on them?
o                                                        sorry
o                                                        if thats too specific
o                                                        i know i should just try n listen
·        Sammy:  
o                                                        Just us the EQ on the preamp
o                                                        if you need more, use the console EQ
o                                                        If you still need something else, try the API
·        Me:
o                                                        no, i mean do you eq mids, highs, lows? or that depends on the specific guitar?
·         Sammy:  
o                                                        Oh I dunno
o                                                        would have to hear it
·        Me:
o                                                        lol ok.
o                                                        hm.... im goin to try the set up today or tomorrow. An specific pedal? or thats the guitarist job to know that\
·        Sammy:  
o                                                        yeah they'll deal with that
·        Me:
o                                                        n so u said to use only 1 c 24? not 2
well, its a stereo mic
2 mics in one
use both


oh yeah right


Its a tube mic so make sure to plug it in REAL good before turning it on
and make sure its OFF before unplugging it

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 7? loosing count already

So I met with the youngest engineer Sammy this Sunday. We had a 3 hour session, where he was explaining me all of the buttons in the center section of the board. I recorded our entire conversation, and now slowly writing it down. Getting everything well organized would be too much work for this blog, so i am going to post the notes the way they are.

Ext a and ext b
If you look on a patch bay, they are patched into the console.
Ext b, they are labeled. You see cd player.
Different inputs into the console for external things.
If I press the button, I would hear the cd player.
When you press ext b, you will be monitoring whatever is set on ext b.
ProTools 1 is just an easy way to listen to outputs 1-2 in protools.
This way you don’t have to put the faders up and pan the channels 1 and 2 around.
Master level should be on.

Afl/Pfl – different types… of like… when  you press solo, it doesn’t just send it to the mix a, it goes to a separate solo bus. As soon as you press solo, it sends it somewhere else to send it out this solo bus.

If I have a master compression going on, and then solo the channel, I won’t be able to hear any compression. If I put the mix a settings on afl, then everything would still work.

Pfl and afl is prefader listen and after fader listen.
Pre-fader means that it is going to a solo buss at whatever level it was coming in the channel strip regardless. Its not following your volume on the meter. Pfl only means that your solo if prefade. SO, whenever you press solo, the faders would be back up at unity.
Afl will follow the fader.

This option right here means something along the lines “solo individual channels” or something like that.
Normally, when I am at afl, when I press solo, everything I press just adds up. Alt makes it so that you can only solo one channel at a time.
In any mode, whether u are at afl or pfl, you can use alt in order to go to a singular solo mode.

Meters. You see protools levels. It is better to look at meters in protools rather than the board cause those are exact.
Analogue meters, are the ones that show an actual audio that you are hearing.

If all the tracks in pro tools go out 1 and 2, and redlining in protools 1 and 2 meters on the board, it is because they are summing up, n you should bring the faders down.

If you are mixing, and you want to go real style, then you highlight all the channels in protools (except for master channel), you can use option shift command, grab the first channel you want, and say out 1, and then it all just cascade it from there.

There too labels on the screen right above the faders. Usually faders are board faders, and knobs belong to prottols. But if you press the knob, then the order switches.
SO if you really wanted to, you could use faders on the board to mix the protools and write your automation.
The protools control surface with faders on our board can only do 32 channels.

For the most part, as far as good technique, the console does have an automation, but it only the console. So if you take it to another studio, it won’t have any automation. I usually write my automation in protools. SO that’s where I use the protools faders. But also lets say, there are 2 guitar tracks, and one of them is too loud and is coming into the board in read. Sometimes its easy to just bring down one of the protools faders, and then you have a nice volume level without having to screw with it. But with that in mind, its good technique to not let it be like that at first place. You should turn it down when you are recording it, or you can go in and put a plug on it. 

Just in case if wonder what i did today, my answer would be nothing related to music. As you know, or might not know, i am graduating from uc berkeley, economics. So today i was desperately trying to finish my finance hw. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 6

Well, today I was composing demo for a new Bravo tv show. It is surprising, but the reference music is spooky.
Nothing new on the recording front.

Be back soon.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 5

Today i worked on a mix of one of my songs. Had to get everything ready for a guitarist to come and play his part. That is in fact exactly why I even got into engineering. I have been doing electronic music for a while and finally grew over it. Styles, synths, musical instruments.. They all will be changing. Bt people will always appreciate live music and live sound. 

Anyway, i had a little theory lesson with Dave today.

Pre fade button in the center section makes recording be unaffected by the fader.
Input button in the center section leaves recording unaffected by the fader, eq, inserts, dynamics, and compression.

An easier way to set buses comes with not being able to have the short faders (stereo cue knob) working. One should have the efx button on in the center section, and then to turn on busses 1-2 for exemple.

Split mode and why we would need it. Normally, we have recording channels on the right, and playback on the left. So if we need more recording channels, we use split. In this case, the fader becomes just the monitor and not the output fader.

To do split:
channel in section: mic button needs to be on.
processing input: pre fade or input need to be on.
processing output: monitor needs to be on.

This way, eq, dyn, or anything else would be heard in the headphones, but not on the monitor speakers.

You can’t ride the pre amp because it makes noise during recording.

Those are my notes. I haven't tried them all out in practice. But i'll do it tomorrow or on sunday. 

good night, y'all. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 4

Today i did few things.

1. experimented with the Mult function, that splits signal into 2.

Ex: out 42 -> vintech mic in -> vintech mic out -> mult 1 in, -> out mult 2 and 3 -> protools analogue inputs 26 and 27.

I realized that i need to assign the channel to mix A in order to be able to hear it playback in the headphones. it won’t playback. Also we need to make sure that the ProTools volume is close to 0.

Cue b is 2d aux send that can be used for cue/aux send. We never really use it

The right way to send signal to headphones is:

First, select all the channels you want to be sent to headphones (ex. press ch1 "to" 24). Then press EFX to Trk in the center section. Then press set aux. Then, on one of the channels, in the aux/cue section, hold down the set efx/cue b button and press the cue stereo (first aux at the top) until the light goes to efx. Then press cues stereo again so that “on” lightens up. Turn up the the CUE ST level pot as a ‘short fader’ that controls the level of the ALT source. Now you can adjust the faders in the control room without making changes to the mix heard in the headphones.