Archive for the ‘Advanced Production Techniques’ Category

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)




Today APT was about compressing vocals and using Melodyne. As most vocal performances and recordings range with a great deal of dynamics it is important to try and level out the dynamics with compression or limiters. This will allow the vocal to sit nicely in a main mix without peaking the signal and destroying the overall mix. There are a range of different methods available for this technique and here is one that our lecturer had demonstrated…



The inserts path is as follows..  De-Esser / Bf-76 Compressor / D3 Limiter/Compressor / then a 7 band Eq

The de-esser allows control over the consonance of words such as the T’s, P’s & S’s.. These sounds will inevitably peak and clip the mix.  The compressor will then compress the whole signal giving a relative volume to the whole stem. Afterwards the limiter will allow the more quieter parts of the signal to be raised to a moderate level whilst the Eq is a final boost in high frequencies giving characteristics and




Melodyne is a tonal re-structuring software/plugin that can re-work or alter polyphonic samples. It works as a plug-in on the inserts of the DAW. Polyphonic samples are samples with more than one signal played at the same time for example you can insert a full song and then alter each lyric or chord into different keys/ frequencies.

This tool would be mainly used for pitch control, Most of the mainstream music industry have Melodyne and Limiting tools overused adding to the slightly controversial conversation of the ‘Loudness Wars’. The exercise on this plugin was to re-structre a sharp note in an acapella, Succesfully completed i now feel slightly more comfortable knowing i can record my tracks and pitch correct my untrained and sometimes weak vocal performances.


Today in Advanced Production Techniques we looked at parallel compression on drum kits. Parallel compression is a technique used to beef out or make more noticeable a selected sound in the main mix. Compression can be used to inflate or deflate a sound according to your desired result and when parallel compressing, you basically have your raw ‘dry’ drum mix mixed together with the same duplicate signal but heavily compressed. Afterwards we will have the strength and punch of compression but also the warmth and acoustics of the original recording. We discussed the methods upstairs in the Mac suite before going into the studio and trying them out on the SSL desk. For this session i decided to use my laptop and Cubase software.. Unknown

Quick clip to be inserted.. )

Ali Chant..

Posted: February 10, 2015 in Advanced Production Techniques


Ali Chant a successful writer and producer gave a two day workshop on studio and recording techniques. I spend every possible minute behind my studio set up at home and this two day course had inspired my passion for producing/composing music and being in the professional studio setting. Over the two days we set up different microphones to drum kits and ran them through the pro tools Hd desk Sl2. The second day we recorded guitars, a hang drum and a vocal performance from Luke, I played guitar and learnt a few things on mic placement and preferred choices. How to maximise the performance of your set up with the use of mic polarity. We spent quite a while with Ali having conversations about various related topics, the whole experience was inspiring to say the least…

I went home the second evening and set up my Pro tools express version. I got the best results iv ever had. After applying some simple but reminded techniques about mic placement and setting up the software, I’m now in a position to produce music at home using pro tools. The whole experience and reward of setting up pro tools has inspired me to start looking at paired microphones and preamps to build up my home studio equipment.

On the last session i asked Ali if there may be any opportunity for work experience, we agreed to exchange email addresses and  he replied a week later saying he’ll bear me in mind in the future should he take on a job that needs extra hands.

Having been asked to produce a short playlist that is relevant to my latest work, this is a youtube playlist i have created. My last work ‘Reach For The Skies’ was an experiment to try and find a sound & for the first time, fully produce a track i had written on the acoustic guitar. I don’t usually listen to music online through playlists so this is my only one and i have tried to keep it relative to my influences growing up as well as current musical sounds and interests.

Here is a few titles off the playlist and ill explain what it is that influences or inspires me…

Apex – Purity.

I like the production of this track, It surely sounds electronic. The reesy’ baseline and dance structure with long build ups and drops.. The baseline itself and the prominence of the drums is what really gets me here.

Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Can’t Stop.

For me, this track is a great ‘droptop-down’ summertime cruising track! That might be something to do with nostalgia but the riff and vocal harmonics in this track is probably my favourite elements. I like the rawness or acoustic-esque sound coming from the drums. it sounds like the the snare is really tight and guitar and bass are not processed too much that they take up a lot of the frequencies.

Pearl Jam – State of Love & Trust.

This track ignites my love for the guitar & performance..  I would love to be able to belt out lyrics a little like this, I’m currently looking into vocal coaching. I really like the ‘unplugged’ sound. I think this will be a future exploration with a couple of my own tracks.

Death Grips – No Love.

How much more political can you possibly get? Iv always had a political streak in me from my Rap/Mc days and after attending CSM it has taught me to not be afraid of being political and the grimy grungy sound is quite perfect for such expression. I also like the effect on his vocal. I’m not sure if it is filters or just distortion.. Ill have to go try out some techniques 🙂


 I feel my music production is quite competent considering i am self taught, I can lay down ideas well but can’t achieve professional standard. My final mix downs do need attention. I wish to understand the technicalities of sound processing, I don’t fully understand compression (only that it makes sound louder) and i also need to look into vocal recording and production techniques. Making electronic music i understand about trying to fill space with big sound. Attending CSM and getting more into my guitar and song production, i understand the importance of recording quality and that most instruments have there own frequency positions. Hopefully this chart may help with some eq positioning


I look forward to Advanced Production Techniques


Using the SSL AWS & ICON Desks