At the beginning of this module I felt terrified at the idea of the final task of recording, mixing and mastering something by ourselves. It’s something I hadn’t really done before so I wanted to make sure I booked lots of time in the studio before recording my actual assignment piece. Rosie M and I ended up helping each other out in the studio with setting things up, pressing record when the other was performing and keeping each other company during a long day.
Most of my uni emails became communication with Marcus about booking studio space, the mastering room (to practise using/recording the upright piano) and asking questions (quite a lot of questions).
I’m really glad that I used this time in the studio before recording my final track because a couple of issues arose that we were able to work round or get fixed before it actually mattered. For example, a lot of issues arose with the upright piano.
After recording some of Rosie’s piano part for a test recording, we noticed there was a constant underlying sound throughout the whole track. After listening more closely, we realised it was a problem with the sustain pedal (a squeak) and a sound occurring where the hammers meet the strings. We tried to put a jacket over the pedal to isolate that sound, however, it didn’t do much and the sound of the hammers was still a big issue.
We emailed Andrew asking if he could check it out and also listen to the recordings we’d done to see if it was a recognisable problem.
He came down to help and we were then able to talk to Marcus about the problem which resulted in the piano getting looked at and fixed before we needed to record our final tracks for assessment.
We learnt a lot over the time from our very first studio session to our final session recording the remainders of our final tracks. I’ve learnt a huge amount about different mics, how they work, which mics may be best for which environment/recording & even how you set them up. For example, when we did one of our first piano recording sessions we came to realise later on that we had set up one of the mics for the Mid Side technique the wrong way round; it was facing the wrong way.
We were able to learn from our mistakes and gradually got better at the placing of our mics.
We were also able to try out a lot of the different microphones for vocal recording – learning that you don’t sing into the Electro-Voice RE20 from the side, but from head on.
The time of experimentation and getting used to the studio was invaluable as it meant our confidence also increased as we went along, we were able to become familiar with pro tools before mixing our final track & as we had gotten so used to the studio, it meant we didn’t waste time when recording for our final track on working things out and spending most of our time asking questions.