Posts Tagged ‘processing’

Setup and Recording:

Guitar and bass: The guitar and bass were both recorded using an Axe FX pre-amp, running into Helix board 18 fire wire digital mixer set up with a recording track in logic. The tone/virtual amp setup for the guitar was an off axis miking of a virtual Recto Orange amp. The bass was run through the Axe FX and into the mixer as a direct signal.

Drums: The drums were programmed with MIDI using Superior Drummer software.

Synths: The synths were programmed with MIDI using the Nexus plugin.

Voice: All vocals were recorded in a small room with little treatment using an AKG Perception 220 running into a DI interface, into a recording track in logic. A pop filter was used and singer/vocalist stood a few inches away from pop filter with that a few inches from the mic.

Processing and Effects:

Guitar: The 2 guitar parts were panned hard left and hard right. Both being processed with CLA Guitar plugins from waves, to add a little reverb, compression and EQ colour, some frequencies were then EQed out separately. Intro riff was notch EQed for effect.

Bass: The bass was EQed with a high roll off and some mids cut out, then compressed lightly.

Synths: Synths were given some Drastic EQ dips, peaks and roll offs to help stop masking. Delay and reverb were applied in the plugin whilst creating the sound.

Drums: In the plugin: Kick and snare were EQed and compressed. The toms were noise gated and compressed, some were also filtered. All drums except overheads and hats were bussed to a separate channel and given parallel compression. This bus was then sent to the main out with everything else at a lower level to add an intense thickness to the sound. Drums were all panned to the appropriate places to where a drummer would be sitting. Out of the plugin (aka the drums as a group:) Multipression to compress upper mids was applied, as well as a limiter at a low threshold to keep from peaking.

Vocals: All sung vocals were given a tight reverb, relatively strong compression, some stereo widening (particularly on the harmonies) and some EQ for colouring. Often harmonies were pushed down in volume to keep them from masking the main melody. Screamed vocals were triple tracked, EQed, had reverb applied, and compressed slightly. One track was panned half left, one half right, and one widened to maximum.

Checked phase correlation using a correlation meter plugin and frequency spectrum using a multimeter plugin.

Mastering: Mastering was done using iZotope Ozone 4. In the paragraphic equalizer some lower mids were cut, as well as some of the highs, as there was a lot of hiss. A limiter was added with a -4.2dB threshold to really improve the loudness of the track. A harmonic exciter was added to enhance the higher frequencies in particular. A multipressor was used to compress all the frequencies with slightly different amounts, as the mix needed it to help translate to other speakers in my house, crossovers were set at 80Hz, 324Hz and 5.05kHz. A multiband stereo imager was used to centre all frequencies below 80Hz a little and widen all frequencies above 5.05kHz quite a lot.

IZotope Ozone 4 also has a built in correlation meter, level meters and phase monitoring allowing keeping tabs on phase cancelation and peaking. Mix was converted  to mono to listen, however, just to be sure.


Everybody knows that the most important part of working with sound is having good ears, these are my personal favourites for ear training:


Quiztones- this app lets you choose to either train your tone recognition, or your ability to hear EQ changes in various instruments or your own music, and if you upgrade to pro you get gain level comparison and EQ expert quizes as well!

EQ Trainer- EQ trainer is only for training fundamental frequencies recognition, however it is has much more variation in difficulty and also is designed to help you improve your speed at recognising them.

Remember: apps are good to keep your practice up, but they only go so far in difficulty, for really serious ear training you will probably need to try one of these…

Audio Books/Listening CDs:

Golden Ears- Golden Ears is a very intense ear training course for anyone really serious about sound engineering, it trains your ears on frequencies, effects and processing, decays and delays, and then returns to do more advanced work on frequencies. This is an incredible course, I very highly recommend it. The other products on the Molton Laboratories website are worth mentioning too. These include the ‘Playback Platinum Series,’  ‘Total Recording’ by David Moulton, Recording Magazine, and I could go on. Golden Ears (and Total Recording) were created by KIQ productions.

Critical Listening Skills for Audio Professionals- This course is great because it just asks you to sit and listen to the different sounds, rather than write down guesses for listening tests, which isn’t a bad thing, however, I find sometimes I would rather just listen and learn than be constantly testing myself.

Other: Train Your Ears EQ Edition- this is another good ear training resource, however I would still recommend one of the CD courses.