Got a rocker for ya....

Discussion in 'Studio & Stage' started by markd21, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    I have been recording a lot. Some of what I have been doing is ambient/soundtrack stuff that is heavy on piano and synths mixed with bass and drums. Some of what I have been doing is recording/releasing singles with my old 90s band 8 days after. We seem to get together every couple of years and do a small batch of tunes. This time it was 5 songs....

    The lyricist and singer, Dennis, has been taking vocal lessons over the last couple of years - and what a difference!!

    This tune, Broken Angel, is what I call a "masterpiece" (well, for us anyway, lol). By the time I was done tracking there was 40+ tracks. We utilized piano heavily along with heavy orchestration. There are acoustic guitars through the whole tune as well.

    Here's the track: https://soundcloud.com/user-373381089/broken-angel

    In case you are into this type of thing, here's the total gear rundown. Hang on, because it's A LOT!!!

    Studio/Mixing Gear

    Our DAW is Protools 2018. I used a Focusrite Saffire Pro40 interface into the workstation. The workstation is a Dell OptiPlex 9010 w/ Quad Core i7 3.9Ghz, and 32GB RAM. During the mix, I limited myself to the following plugins:

    Purple Audio MC-77 (1176)
    Avid Revibe II
    Waves NLS
    Waves Abbey Road Chambers
    Waves Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain
    Waves J37
    Waves Real ADT

    Everything was done with just the above plugins. Most of the tracks received no processing in the box. The most I did was buss processing - treating the groups as a whole. Working with so many tracks was daunting, so I grouped similar instruments and treated the group like a single instrument. This is where the Waves NLS came in handy.

    I am used to working on an 8 bus analog console. At the last insert on each group I placed an NLS channel. At the top of the Master Bus I placed the NLS Buss. I used the "Nevo" preset, which is a component-based model of a Neve 5116 console. I chose this model because the density of the track required a crystal clear sound.

    I used the EMI TG Mastering Chain as the main processor on the bass, guitars, and keys. I also placed it on the Master bus after the NLS summer. This is a unique processor in that it contains 5 modules that can be moved around and/or turned off to get the sounds you need. It's based on the EMI TG12410 Solid State mastering console. Again, the "color" it gave still enabled me to have clarity to get the dense mix as transparent as I wanted.

    The bass, drums and vocals all got an extra treatment of the MC77 limiter. This is a different flavor of UA's 1176. I prefer the Purple Audio hardware version over the classic Urei or UA, so in the box I tend to grab the MC77, though I still occasionally use the UA1176 too. Bass and vocals get the MC77 dropped right on the track. Drums get parallel compression.

    The reverbs are used as stereo Aux tracks. I never drop my reverb directly on a track. Drums have their own reverb Aux. Everything else gets what I call "common space" by sharing varying send levels of the same two reverb Auxes. Avid's Revibe II has some GREAT studio rooms. I used a preset of a large "live room" in Revibe. Abbey Road Chambers was for a more drastic "effect". I just poked around the various controls until I tweaked out an effect that had some cool echoes.

    Guitars

    All guitars were done with the Line 6 Helix, including the acoustic guitars. Actually the acoustic guitar tracks were really fun and exciting to do because it was the first time I used acoustic guitar IRs. I bought Glenn DeLaune's "Acoustic Sim Patches". I ended up modifying all his patches to fit my ears better.

    What you hear in the track for acoustic guitars is my PRS P22 playing an IR based on a Martin. I was absolutely stunned at how killer it sounded.

    The left electric is my PRS SC245 57/08 LTD played through a patch that uses the Matchless DC30 channel 2 model with the MXR Compressor in front, followed by a Clawthorn Drive running in parallel to the amp. As usual, I am just using the stock speaker cab block. In fact, that patch is using the "Amp+Cab" block - I never made a single change to the cab....

    The right electric is the SC245 played through a patch that uses the Friedman BE-100 model. This had no effects in front or behind - just bone dry through two Greenback20 cab blocks. I A/B split the cabs. The A cab gets mic'd with a 121 close to the cab. The B cab gets an 87 half way back with a good amount of early reflection.

    The leads were played on the SC245. I don't remember what "amps" I used. It took a while to do. There is the main lead, then I played it again a minor 3rd up, then a 5th down.

    Bass

    I do bass in stereo, running two parallel rigs in the Helix. I play a Warwick Jazzman FNA. I use the Aguilar DB51 through the 1x12 Sunn Coliseum cab for the main (louder) bass track. The second amp in the rig is the Pearce BC-1 through the 1x18 Sunn Coliseum cab for the secondary (quieter) bass track. These are panned slightly right/left to give a little spread.

    Piano/Orchestration

    The piano was played on an Arturia controller using the Piano V software. I always use an American Grand, and I have made various player-based tweaks to create my own grand piano.

    All Orchestration was done using Garritan Instant Orchestra instruments. It took a while to work out the orchestration. A BIG thing I learned is utilizing the 3rd of the chord makes for an ugly sound. Once I figured that out, it was a matter of figuring which portions of the chords/notes I wanted to go to which instruments. I played the parts, and there are a total of 15 tracks for the orchestrations.

    Drums

    This was the easiest. I used Ezdrummer 2 with the Traditional Country expansion. In that expansion I used the Apollo kit. Easy-peasy, lol. It's just a stereo track, too - no multiple outputs.
     
  2. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Silver pants make me wanna dance.

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    Well done!
     
    markd21 likes this.
  3. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Two thumbs up!
     
    markd21 likes this.
  4. markd21

    markd21 New Member

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    Thanks guys!
     
  5. pac90

    pac90 New Member

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    A1

    Great song and the whole production/track sounds ace.
     
  6. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    I like it!
    Very cool.
     

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