Break down the recording process to a track you've worked on

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by tmemike, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. tmemike

    tmemike Through My Eyes

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    People = Shit | Through My Eyes

    ^^ This is a cover that my band, Through My Eyes, recorded a month or two back. Everything was self produced, and no stems were used. We started from scratch!

    1) I imported the original song into my pro tools session. Since the band did not record to a click, I tried to match the tempos and quantized. Then I matched the drums as closely as I could to the original song. I used Superior Drummer for the samples, and layered some of my own to add punch.

    2) Once the drums were fully tracked, we began recording guitars. We wanted to keep the tones very similar to how they were on the original song, but with a modern feel. As it turned out, we had more luck with getting the original tones with our 11 Rack than we did with our Axe Effects. Also, we transposed the song a half step down into Bflat so that we could incorporate it into our live set if needed without a guitar swap or change of tuning. We used Agile Septor 8's as our main guitars. The leads were recorded with an American Strat.

    We also used the 11 Rack for our bass tones, with a lot of processing through Pro Pools. I always like to use Pro Tool's native sansamp to add crunch and twang to the bass. I believe we used some kind of 6 string bass, but I can't remember what it was.

    3) The final touch was the vocals. We set Alex (our vocalist) up in a closet with blankets and pillows all around him so as to deaden the sound. We used a Shure SM57 exclusively to record all the vocals. While it wouldn't be my first choice for the kind of music we make, in my opinion it is definitely the best option for its price range. We tried very hard to ensure that Alex's vocals paid homage to Corey's original takes, but also reflected who Alex is as a vocalist.

    4) The final tracking step was the samples. The screeching upward sounds you hear at :25 and :38 are violins that have been distorted and cut up. The ambiance at 1:57 are ambient guitars and reverse and pitched snare drums run through lots and lots of reverb. Finally, if you listen closely, you will hear the sound of me banging on a latter with a baseball bat behind all of the 'people = shit' choruses in time with the snare drum.

    5) The final step was the mixing and mastering. I tried to accomplish a cleaner and more modern version of the original mix, without sacrificing too much of it's charm with over production. I kept it very minimal, with nothing but your standard reverb, delay, compression, eq and some minimal time editing and stereo widening. All the plugins I used were native to Pro Tools except for some of the mastering plugins.

    I would like to comment on a nice little recording technique I picked up a few years ago. When you're recording a screaming vocal line, and it just isn't sounding powerful enough, duplicate the track. Then take the second vocal and pitch it down slightly, just enough to make a difference. Lower it's volume, and you'll find that you have a much bigger vocal track to work with.

    Anyway, I look forward to hearing your tracks and how you recorded them! Thanks!
     

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