This session started out badly, and since it was my last mixing session I knew I had to pull it together and finish the project. The hum on the phaser was back, and I was also getting hum on the delay. I tried switching outlets, switching cables, I checked that my connections were balanced, but I still couldn’t figure it out. Luckily, I thought of a workaround. Instead of routing the effects through the Aux Sends I used the insert sends and returned them to their own channel. The hum disappeared, and the mixes cleared up.

I was short on time, but managed to get a few mixes of “Someday Gonna Rain”, “Tell Me something Different”, and “I Ain’t Got No Shotgun”. These mixes were done outside the box using the EQ and fader riding on the TL console.  The vocals had a UA 1176 compressor, the Big Briar Delay for a slapback effect, and the Lexicon PCM 91 to give some space. The Big Briar Phaser was put on the guitar to add some variance to the guitar tone.

At the end of the session I was pleased with the mixes and was surprised that I got so much done in the time I had despite the troubles I had early in the session.

I attempted to get a mix of “Someday Gonna Rain”. I had to go back and compile the vocals from several different takes. I noticed that I was getting hum from the phaser that I didn’t get during the other mixing sessions. I spent a great deal of time troubleshooting, and still could fix the problem.

I decided to move on and mix “Run Out Of Love”. I used the Lexicon PCM 91 and the UA 1176 compressor on the vocals. I carved out some of the electric guitar using the EQ on the TL Audio console. I noticed a bit of sympathetic ringing on the acoustic that I really wanted to tame. In order to accent the breakdown riff I sent the guitar into the PCM 91.

Today I finished the mixes for “Nobody Knows Me” and “Waiting”. I thought that “Waiting” would give me the most trouble mixing since it has layered vocals and several different guitar parts.

I put a high pass filter on the acoustic guitars to leave space for the electric guitars. Then I EQ’ed out some of the electric guitars some that each one had its own space.  I had each of the vocals panned to its own place in the stereo field. I decided to manually mute two of the vocals during the verses to accentuate the choruses. I used both the LexiconPCM 91 on the main vocals and the Lexicon MX 400 reverb unit on the background vocals to give them depth and so that the lead would have its own identity.

This session I decided to put off mixing a few hours to try and give myself more options during the mixing phase. I decided to re amp the guitars. First I used a pair of KM 184s in an ORTF setup to get a stereo image of the guitars. Next, I direct mic’ed another pass of guitars with a KM 184 and an AT 4033.

Since I wasn’t happy with the original snare drum recording, or the samples I initially used with Sound Replacer I decided to record my own snare drum samples. I used a Shure SM 57, a Neumann KM 184, and an Audio Technica 4033. I experimented with different placements on both the batter and snare side of the drum. I recorded hits at different dynamics, using the different mics, and different placements. I editing the regions and then exported the regions as files.

Recording my own drum samples was a lot of fun, and I am very pleased with the results.

 

I spent the rest of the session making a rough mix of “Nobody Knows Me”. I did my mix using the TL Audio Console, the Lexicon PCM 91, a Big Briar Phaser, and a Big Briar Analog Delay. I wanted to do as much of this project outside the box as I could. I like the warmth that the TL console gave the mix.

This session was also trying. This was our last overdub session and I felt a lot of pressure to finish everything up. I held my composure and we managed to get some good vocal takes of “Tell Me Something Different” and “Someday Gonna Rain”. We tried to get a quality take of “No Time” but Andrew was still unprepared  and ironically we ran out of time.

This session taught me to keep my cool, and not let my emotions rub off on the talent.

I ran into some bad luck this week. Some of the audio files from “I Dont’ Got No Shotgun” were corrupted after I backed the session up on my hard drive. The files wouldn’t copy and crashed Audacity, Pro Tools, and Wavelab when I tried to play them.
Luckily, I had several backups of the session, and the only thing that was lost were the vocals we recorded last week.

We started with “Nobody Knows Me”. After a few takes we moved on to redo the vocals on “I Ain’t Got No Shotgun”. We tried a few takes of vocals on “No Time”, but once again Andrew was stumbling through it so we moved on. We got a few takes of “Tell Me Something Different” and ran out of time.

The agenda for today’s session was to focus on finishing the acoustic songs.

We started by recording electric guitar overdubs for the track “Waiting”. I used a Sennheiser MD 421 on the Dr. Z amplifier. Andrew performed a number of takes of basic rhythm tracks. Once the basic rhythm tracks were recorded I had Andrew improvise lead parts over the song.

Once we were finished with guitars we moved on to record the vocals. At first we tried the Nady TCM 1150, but I felt that it sounded too brittle on Andrew’s voice so I switched it out with the Rode NT-1. I had Andrew do several takes, and double up the vocal on a few parts.

Next, we recorded a lead guitar part on “No Time”. Andrew tried a few takes of vocals, but since he performs it differently every time he was having trouble singing to the changes. I decided it was best to move on and let him work on it at home with a CD of a rough mix of the song.

We moved on and recorded several takes of Vocals for “Ran Out Of Love”.

We still had some time left so I decided to start recording the vocals for the electric songs. I pulled up the session, did some repatching, and we managed to get several good takes of vocals for “I Ain’t Got No Shotgun”.

This session taught me that you have to find ways to keep the session going. Despite my frustration with the artist being unprepared for the session, I kept calm and we managed to get a lot of work done.