AUD210 (Studio 1) Week 10 – MIDI + Drum Recording (Project 2)

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This week was a big one. But at least we have a final project plan that has been approved now!

We had our Tuning Session, where we were finally able to present our updated projectWe got into the MIDI studio on Thursday and made our own patch on the Moog Sub-37 synth, which will help with Campbell’s synthesis LO’s. We saved it in the bank too so if other people want to use it, they can find it in Bank 16 Preset 01. We recorded a whole bunch of interesting sounds that Campbell can use in the mixing phase.

These are the new versions of the tracks with the guitar and the bass tracks in the mix. MIDI drums are still present but ever so temporary…

Richard came in both Saturday & Sunday to record drums. On Saturday we were in the Audient 4816-B, but ran into problems with the faulty channel strip which delayed us and ultimately led to booking out the Neve for Sunday. We also managed to book the blue drum kit, which is great considering it’s the better kit out of the two (the red kit lives in the Audient).

The mics we chose to use gave us really good results with minimal bleed on each channel, on both Saturday & today. It just sucks about the channel strip in the Audient-B – we had to essentially redo whatever we managed to do, because the Neve was undoubtedly better for recording.

Our mic setup consisted of the following:

  1. Kick drum – MXL A-55 Kicker
  2. Snare drum (Pearl Mahogany) – AKG C414 B-XLII
  3. Snare drum 2 (Pearl Chrome Firecracker) – Sennheiser E614
  4. Hi-Hat – Sennheiser E614
  5. High Tom – Sennheiser MD421
  6. Low Tom – AKG D112
  7. Overhead L – AudioTechnica AT-2050
  8. Overhead R – AudioTechnica AT-2050

The MXL A-55 Kicker did a great job at picking up a punchy yet deep kick, which is what we were going for. We had a choice between the D112 and the A-55 for the kick drum, but we decided to go with the A-55 for the kick drum so we could use the D112 on the low tom (we originally planned to use the MD421 but we wanted a better bass response).

There were concerns at first that the snare drum was going to clip a lot, using the C414 on the snare, so we applied a -6dB pad to the C414, and we ended up getting a fairly crisp snare sound without the signal clipping. We used the cardioid polar pattern to ensure we got no unwanted noise from the other drums.

I’ll go into a bit more detail on why we decided to use the AKG C414 B-XLII:

C414B_frequency_comparison.png

Given that the frequency range for snare drums is around 100hZ to 10kHz, the frequency response chart of the C414 B-XLII (above pic) demonstrates that the microphone picks up this frequency range at a substantial level, with the strongest frequency being in the high-mids around 6kHz. This was good in the recording of the snare drum to pick up a clean and bright signal.

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By looking at these different testimonials online, we decided it was a great mic to use in any situation.

We ran into difficulties using the E614 on the firecracker snare. We had to play around with the placement of the microphone and the EQ on the channel strip to try and get a brighter signal (as the sound the desk was picking up was surprisingly dull for some reason), and this resulted in putting the microphone on the underside of the snare, facing upwards towards the steel strips.

The E614 was also good choice for the hi-hat, for its ability to withstand high SPL (them hi-hats be noisy).

I knew the AT-2050s would be a good choice for the overhead mics, due to experiences with using an AT-2050 last trimester for a sample library production assessment task – I found that it easily picks up a lot of room sound, so that’s why we decided to go with those.

In hindsight, there were a few slight changes to the proposed mic plot in our project plan for this session, but we achieved the results we wanted, and we all went home happy. After the session I came home and worked on drum edits to save Campbell some time for the coming weeks – the mixing phase.

Shannara also got back to us with a draft of the visualisation render. Campbell and Nara worked back and forth together in our facebook group chat on the logo (which combines both of our logos) and also we provided feedback and changes we wanted made live so Nara could easily tweak them before ultimately rendering a draft and showing us. We’re so proud of where this project is heading and the results that have come out of it so far!

References

http://recordinghacks.com/microphones/AKG-Acoustics/C-414-B-XL-II

 

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AUD210 (Studio 1) Week 10 – MIDI + Drum Recording (Project 2)

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