Project Update: 5 Track EP

For those of you who don’t know I’ve been liaising and working on a 5 track EP with artist Monique Dombrowski aka ‘MTea’ alongside Wyatt Nicholls and Zoe Stewart. So far, we’ve had 2 relatively good recording sessions. Unfortunately, I could only work on the majority of the first session, as Zoe and Wyatt were both preoccupied for most of the day with various other projects. The recording and setup went okay, despite a couple of errors on my own behalf due to being rusty and a little unfamiliar with the Audient 8024 studio.

Anywho, we’re going well! So far we have two songs recorded. One named ‘Complexions of Affection’ and one called ‘Strong & Fragile’. Unfortunately, on the day of recording ‘Complexions of Affection’, I’m gonna call it COA for shortening my writing purposes, the artist wasn’t feeling overly confident and it showed a little bit in the recordings. Her fingers were getting sore from playing the guitar as the strings were quite heavy and it had been a little bit since she had played. However, overall, we got a fairly nice track. We unfortunately need to re-record the vocals, as she wanted the click louder in her ears, then proceeded to take off the headphones midway through recording vocals so the click bled into the recording, which means re-recording the vocals is necessary for this track.

To gain the best possible sound I’ve been putting out some feelers to try and gain as much information and possible recording and mixing techniques as possible. In my research, I stumbled across a sub-reddit for audio engineering and decided to make a post to ask for suggestions. I gained a lot of ideas and knowledge from those who replied and have since replied them to my recording sessions. The main idea I took away from this is putting a microphone next to the guitarists (Monique’s) ear, as this is what she will be hearing and generally has the best sound, which I implemented into the recording of the second track. Here’s a snippet of some of the comments and feedback I gained:

Screenshot at Jul 19 15-03-39Screenshot at Jul 19 15-05-59

Overall, we’ve tried to keep the session setup very much the same, with only the addition of an over shoulder, next to ear microphone to pick up what the guitarist is hearing in the second session. Here’s a diagram of the setup and a few pictures of how it looked:

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We unfortunately had to switch our vocal recording mic to an NT2A rather than an SM7B in the second recording due to its unavailability, however, we still achieved a good result! Here’s a snippet of us listening back to the almost finished recording that I posted to my Instagram for a little bit of a preview and update to my followers!

As it stands, it has taken us 2 massive sessions to get only two tracks somewhat recorded, having to go back and now redo vocals on the first track. Therefore, we are thinking of scoping down the project planned to a 3-4 track EP, with another session booked for the 25th of July. This lack of completed work and only getting a single track done per session is a combination of our own flaws and screw ups as engineers and the artist being fairly new to studio sessions and recording. We will continue to monitor the work that comes out of these sessions, especially the next one and make adjustments to our project plan and scope accordingly.

Tomorrow (20th of July), we’re going to be beginning the mixing of the tracks. I have already done some rough edits, including chopping out silent sections and some breaths, rough EQ’ing and de-noising and some light compression and other little edits, however, we are going to be doing the vast majority of mixes together in order to get as much creative input as possible and to work as fluidly and well as possible too.

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