Archive for the 'Studio' Category

19
Oct
09

Julian’s website

Hey, Julian’s website is now live and we’re stoked about that. He’s setup with song samples, photos, videos, etc. Check it out and support his indie release of “Time to Move On.” Album pre-order and such is going to be updated on the site very soon.

www.julianmichaelmusic.com

Yes Ted, the CD will be less than $15. 😉

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02
Sep
09

Studio for Beginners: Proximity Effect on Vocals

While recording vocals in the studio I found that trying the vocalist way up on the mic and taking advantage of what is called the ‘proximity effect’ was really useful to capture a great performance. The ‘proximity effect’ is something that happens when you get all up on a mic and it seems to the listener that the bass, or low end, gets louder. (If you want to read more about it, check this article out on Wikipedia.) The advantage of this is two-fold to my ears 1) your vocalists voice sounds fuller and 2) you get a recording that sits in the mix better.

The interesting thing is that this also seemed to free up the performer a bit. They backed off and relaxed knowing they were getting a super positive sound on the mic.

The only challenge I had was a) I needed to really control the input gain especially on stronger/louder passages and b) the vocalist sometimes wanted to get *too* close. Rather than creating an intimate sound, I ended up needing to re-take the passage since we ended up with some muffling, etc.

I should point out that I am using large diaphragm condenser mics such as the Studio Projects C1, CAD Trion series, Octava 314, Shure KSM27, MXL V63, etc. Usually mics like these will be noted in instructional books and videos as properly being recorded at roughly 12″ (1 foot) away. I was trying some things as close as 3″ with the vocalist’s nose almost touching the pop filter! And yes, this was recording a very dynamic vocalist. (No compression used.)

Side note: I will be getting my hands on a cool dynamic mic (think Shure SM58 like what you would use in a live situation) called a Shure SM7B which has proven to produce some great close up vocal recordings.

09
Jul
09

Julian in the Studio

We’ve been working on the inaugural project in the Destinysong studio for the last 6 weeks or so. This is an exciting process where we are testing out every aspect of the recording studio. The project is a full-length CD for my son Julian.  He wrote every tune and is playing and singing everything on the album (the one exception thus far being my guest appearance playing a little mandolin).  He’s been recording drums, bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, keys, and singing.  The project is shaping up to be a balanced rock effort.  For example there are a few heavy riff-based tunes, but also a few delicate acoustic ballads.  I believe it showcases where Julian is at in his musical development.  For me, it is very interesting to hear how this melting pot of experience and influence manifests in an 18-year old.  It’s been a ton of fun.

Here is a short video I took on my iPhone of Julian cutting parts:

We’re creating a full-length album, well…because we can.  Julian has something like 50 songs under his belt so we could draw on a variety of material, plus with the studio at the house, we’re not under time or budget constraints. Here’s a possible running order for the CD.

  1. Perfect Day
  2. These Idols
  3. Here With Me
  4. Between Us
  5. How Long
  6. Where are You?
  7. One Thousand Words
  8. Lost it All
  9. So Long My Friend
  10. Time to Move On

I think that for anyone who knows Julian there will be a few surprises in there.  For example, some may not know how heavy he can get (These Idols and Lost it All).  Others may not realize what a knack he has for pop songwriting (Between Us or Perfect Day).  A few have been surprised at the depth of some of the tunes (Time to Move On or Here With Me).  And finally, it may be a little bit surprising that the CD will not include any straightforward corporate worship tunes even though it is almost entirely made up of faith-based themes rooted in a Christian, Spirit-led worldview (with his dad  producer on this project, it would be hard to get content in that didn’t pass muster on this account – that said, there hasn’t been anything that needed editing as far as I can recall!).

On that note, as we progressed through the material, it made more sense to keep this CD cohesive in content and not divert it into a corporate worship CD when that’s not what was shaping up.  Julian most certainly could cut an album of corporate worship songs, but that is not the focus for this project.  This is a journey birthed out of his life experiences from the past few years, and particularly the last season of our lives.  On this project you’ll hear a response to the world, and all that goes with it, of hope and faith and love.  And that should be in all our lives in one way or another right?

We’re exactly halfway through as best I can estimate so we have a lot of work to do.  But soon we should be entering into the latter stages of recording and earnestly mixing the album.  We’re shooting for a mid-August or early September release and we’re praying about what to do with the songs in terms of promotion, etc.  But that’s for another day.  For now, we’re experiencing the joy of exercising our God-given talents in musical creativity.  More to come!




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