Archive for April, 2015

A great piece of software for all your audio editing needs. See a quick run through of how Melodyne can be applied to any audio sample…

..& for the rendition..

I will no doubt use Melodyne for my APT project hand in. (2track single)


I didn’t take individual photographs of each microphone placement but i personally set up every microphone this time. I made sure that every microphone was as close to the drum as possible, there was a tight grip on each microphone clip or stand, & on the SSL desk i personally set the levels by maximum gain without clipping the signal, the cables were tidy and running to the wall box neatly.

This set up was influenced by the Ali Chant Workshops, taking a minimal but precise approach to the mic placement the idea was to aim for the highest possible quality recordings.


  • Kick                                AKG D12
  •  Bottom Snare                SureBeta SM57
  •    Top Snare                      AKG Kit Mic
  •    Floor Tom                      AKG Kit Mic
  •    Top Tom                        AKG Kit Mic
  • Over heads                   AKG 414’s

IMG_1695 IMG_1696 IMG_1700 IMG_1697

I recorded a few takes of Danny free styling but then set the project tempo for two separate projects and quickly recorded guide tracks using my guitar. I took this opportunity to use these drum recordings  and produce a couple of my own songs, this way i can use live recorded drums for the 2-track single i have chosen to release for the other part of the advanced production techniques module. 

Untreated drum recordings mixed as one & taken straight from the SSL desk.


I enjoyed the whole experience of recording live drums. I will be using this recording for my 2track single. Considering it is my first session it is the best quality drum recording i have ever produced. Im not sure if i may have over done it with any compression ect in the production techniques so i am looking forward to some tutorial feedback. I do now understand how and why you would use such dynamics and processing to treat recorded instruments. Drums are the very backbone of any track and a good foundation is a good place to start….

Pay attention to your drums 🙂

Looking back on my first session using the SSL hybrid desk, i believe i may have under estimated the work load i had set for one 4 hour session, especially with it being my first session. The original idea for APT was a two track ‘live performance’ recorded single with a full band. Having the performances recorded live and filmed, the ‘live’ single could be uploaded to Youtube and promoted via Facebook as digital media rather than a physical product.


I had set up three cameras, one close up framing myself on the guitar/ vocals, there was an establishing shot of both me and the drummer in the same frame and the final camera was shooting from behind us.. Whilst reflecting on this session id say the room & equipment layout was based more around how it may look on the video as compared to the desire for quality sound recordings..

…The Microphones used were…


  •  the full AKG Drum Mic kit
  • D112 Kik drum mic
  •  included AKG Pencil mic’s for overheads.

Guitar & Vocals

  • 414 (guitar cab)
  • Rode Nt1000 (vocals)

Devil Round For Tea’ is the name of the track we managed to get a recording. The set up time & troubleshooting no sound from the desk, to actually working through the song and getting a recordable take set us back at least an hour. Using a Rode Nt1000 condenser microphone was not a good idea for live recording as the sounds from the guitar cab and drums bleed over too much and vocals were not clear in the monitoring room. The drum mic’s were not all set up by me and personally i don’t like to see cables running messy along the floor.

A tidy recording room & good mic placement… = a tidy job!

As we ran into a few ‘first timer’ issues this session quickly ran out of time and two out of the three cameras either ran out of battery or memory space for recording. I decided to carry on and use this session as a learning curve. Since then i have changed the idea of a ‘live recorded’ single to a self-produced 2track single. This is because as the module unfolded it became clear that production techniques are actually being marked so a live performance was a little too much to rely on other session musicians and for me to be a performer/ producer at the same time was also a little unrealistic. I left the session having troubleshooted no sound on the SSL desk & recorded a rough version of Devil Round For Tea. Due to timing issues i never mixed it down or bounced it of of the desk. This project is unfinished however was a great track to use as a practice run using the SSL and running a studio session with a brief or a desired outcome for a particular project.

Things to consider/ remember for next time…

  • Set up drum kit before session musicians come in
  • try to mic up the kit before session musicians enter
  • have click track or guitar guide track pre-recorded (for time constraint issues)
  • consider live performance or studio condenser mics (right mic for the job)




Yea booooi

PDAR – Project Proposal – A. Fitzgerald

Day 1 – Song Writing Session

Today, I attended the first of a two-day work experience session at Shabbey Road Studios. Based in Caerphilly South Wales the studio provides a range of professional musical services from song writing & recording sessions, full day multi-track recording sessions, song & track development, multimedia music and the staff there are also available for hire as session musicians.

When meeting Al Steele the producer and musical director at Shabbey Road, he instantly made me feel welcome. We had an introductory conversation whilst rearranging the piano in the recording room a good physical activity to break the ice. Booked in from 11-3pm was a singer songwriter however, the artist had cancelled around midday so by this time our conversation was flowing. It was a relaxed atmosphere, i never approached it like an interview but i was able to ask him a couple of questions id thought about earlier in relations to my Destiny Sessions project and general professional studio practice.

I see your running a valve desk as well as a digital Yamaha hybrid desk there, & how do you compare using Cakewalk Sonar to the likes of Pro Tools or Cubase and Logic?


Shabbey Road Studios is sponsored by Cakewalk Sonar & under the sponsorship Al, the producer at Shabbey Road, has access to new software releases and free annual tutorials and tech support. I asked him how that came about his reply was;

”Sonar contacted him after they came across a piece of music produced in Shabbey Road. The music also credited the software. Sonar caught wind of this and contacted him offering the sponsorship.”

Al explained that the valve desk has brought the studio its warm and authentic sound over time. We discussed the differences between digital and analogue equipment. I asked about how the digital Yamaha mixer performed in regards to a live recording studio setting as compared to a larger 30+ channel desk. I too have looked at this yamaha desk to add to my home studio. Its smart, compact and has 16 channels but 32 outputs so perfect for getting the most out of a small space.

The yamaha desk is an excellent piece of kit. Controls are easy to navigate and the onboard dynamic processing is second to none. Second hand there going for around £5/600. Running two desks he has the equivalent of 96 potential output channel routes. 

Tell me a about the history and what kind of artists you have worked with in the past?

Shabbey Road are known for there work with many famous Welsh artists from Paul Potts to ….

TBC,…….. < ()

After spending some time discussing the studio’s set up and preferred equipment i met the rest of the team at Shabbey Road.

Rob started his career at Shabbey Road also doing work experience when he was 14. He is now a post-graduate in music and technology and basically runs his own projects or produces for booked in clients upstairs in another practice space. He also plays in two bands and is available for hire as a session musician. I admired his position and we discussed the benefits of being able to make a living from what we both consider to be constructive play. 🙂

After mostly conversing on studio equipment and methods we then