Citation
Vudu & angels

Material Information

Title:
Vudu & angels a full-length album featuring Tempa and the Tantrums
Creator:
Shapiro, Adam
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xiv, 170 leaves : illustrations ; 28 cm

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Sound -- Recording and reproducing -- Digital techniques ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

General Note:
College of Arts and Media
Statement of Responsibility:
by Adam Shapiro.

Record Information

Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
259272798 ( OCLC )
ocn259272798
Classification:
LD1193.A70 2008m S42 ( lcc )

Full Text
VUDU & ANGELS
A FULL-LENGTH ALBUM FEATURING TEMP A AND THE TANTRUMS
By
Adam Shapiro
BA., Colgate University, 2002
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science
Recording Arts
2008
u:


This thesis for the Master of Recording Arts
degree by
Adam Shapiro
has been approved
by
Rich Sanders
Lome Bregitzer
Sam McGuire


Shapiro, Adam (MS, Science of Recording Arts)
Vudu Angels
A full-length album by Tempa and the Tantrums
Studio Recording and Documentation
Thesis directed by Professor Rich Sanders
ABSTRACT
This project is the culmination of more than a years work, encompassing
a full-length studio album and close to two hundred pages of documentation.
The album blends genres of blues and rock music, with a heavy Cajun and
Zydeco influence.
I served as the recording, mixing and mastering engineer as well as the
producer, coordinating the schedules of 13 musicians. All recording and
mixing was completed using Pro Tools in conjunction with a diverse selection
of microphones and outboard dynamic and processing gear.
The band (Westwords best blues band of 2005) has sold several hundred
copies of the album thus far, and has been receiving consistent airplay on 99.5
The Mountain in Denver and KCSU 90.5 in Ft. Collins.
This abstract accurately represents the content on the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
Rich Sanders


DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to my parents and family, who have always given me the
support to follow my dreams and the strength to achieve them. I also dedicate
this to my grandfather, whose financial support allowed me to pursue this
thesis, and whose tireless work ethic has truly shown me how to succeed.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
My thanks to my advisor, Rich Sanders, for his contribution and support to
my project. I also wish to thank all the members of my committee for their
valuable participation and insights.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Figures....................................-.................. xii
Tables -.......-.............. ............................... xiv
1. Introduction............................................... 1
1.1 Microphone Placement ............................... 5
1.2 Settings of Outboard Gear............................. 7
1.3 Plug-ins and Equipment used ...................... 10
2. Zydeco Jam
2.1 Analysis of Reference Track......................-.. 18
2.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track........................ 23
2.3 Plug-ins ....................-...................... 27
2.4 Panning .....................-...................... 28
2.5 Timeline ............................................ 29
2.6 Pro Tools Tracks.................................... 30
2.7 Lyrics .............................................. 32
3. Brother Bob
3.1 Analysis of Reference Track..-...................... 33
3.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track........................ 37
3.3 Plug-ins ............................................ 41
3.4 Panning ............................................. 43
vii


3.5 Timeline............................................. 43
3.6 Pro Tools Tracks.................................. 44
3.7 Lyrics ....................................;-------- 45
4. Misty Blue
4.1 Analysis of Reference Track........................ 47
4.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track......-............... 50
4.3 Plug-ins .................................---------- 52
4.4 Panning ............................................ 53
4.5 Timeline ......-..................................... 54
4.6 Pro Tools Tracks----------------------------------- 55
4.7 Lyrics ..................................... 56
5. Where Did Our Love Go
5.1 Analysis of Reference Track........................ 58
5.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track........................ 60
5.3 Plug-ins .......................................... 62
5.4 Panning ........................................... 63
5.5 Timeline......................................... 63
5.6 Pro Tools Tracks.................................... 65
5.7 Lyrics .............................................. 66
6. Vudu
6.1 Analysis of Reference Track.......-.................. 67
6.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track......................... 70
viii


6.3 Plug-ins 73
6.4 Panning 74
6.5 Timeline 75
6.6 Pro Tools Tracks - - 76
6.7 Lyrics 77
7. Good Job Boy
7.1 Analysis of Reference Track 78
7.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track 82
7.3 Plug-ins 87
7.4 Panning 89
7.5 Timeline 89
7.6 Pro Tools Tracks 91
7.7 Lyrics - - ~ 92
8. Dont Let Go
8.1 Analysis of Reference Track 93
8.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track 97
8.3 Plug-ins - 103
8.4 Panning - 105
8.5 Timeline 105
8.6 Pro Tools Tracks- - 107
8.7 Lyrics 108
IX


9. You Lost Me
9.1 Analysis of Reference Track ..................... 109
9.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track......-................. 116
9.3 Plug-ins ......................................... 123
9.4 Panning ..................-.......................... 126
9.5 Timeline........................................ 126
9.6 Pro Tools Tracks..................................... 128
9.7 Lyrics ------------------------------................ 129
10. Here I Go Again
10.1 Analysis of Reference Track......................--.. 130
10.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track......................... 135
10.3 Plug-ins ........................................... 141
10.4 Panning ....................-....................... 144
10.5 Timeline ........................................... 144
10.6 Pro Tools Tracks......-.............................. 146
10.7 Lyrics ........................................... 147
11. Creole Crawl
11.1 Analysis of Reference Track....................... 148
11.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track......................... 153
11.3 Plug-ins ........................................... 162
11.4 Panning ............................................ 165
11.5 Timeline ......................................... 165
x


11.6 Pro Tools Tracks................................ 167
11.7 Lyrics ...................................... 168
12. Summary ............................................. 170
xi


LIST OF FIGURES
Figures
1.1 Control Room Picture .................................. 11
1.2 Guitar and Bass Picture ------------------------------- 12
1.3 Drums Picture ......................................... 12
1.4 Guitar Microphone Picture ............................ 13
1.5 Control Room Diagram .................................. 14
1.6 Tracking Room Diagram 1-------------------------------- 15
1.7 Tracking Room Diagram 2............................... 16
1.8 Vocal ISO Room Diagram--------------------------------- 17
2.1 Screen Shot of Accordion in Edit Window _______________ 35
3.1 Screen Shot of Kick Drum in Edit Window -................ 43
4.1 Screen Shot of Lead Vocal in Edit Window---------------- 54
5.1 Screen Shot of Keyboard in Edit Window................. 64
5.2 Screen Shot of Lead Vocal in Edit Window............... 64
6.1 Screen Shot of Bass in Edit Window..................... 75
7.1 Screen Shot of Solo Guitar in Edit Window.............. 90
8.1 Screen Shot of Saxophone in Edit Window................. 106
9.1 Screen Shot of Organ in Edit Window..................... 127
9.2 Screen Shot of Lead Vocal in Edit Window................ 127
10.1 Screen Shot of Lead Vocal in Edit Window.............. 145
xii


10.2 Screen Shot of Lead Guitar in Edit Window.................. 145
11.1 Screen Shot of Bass in Edit Window......................... 166
xiii


LIST OF TABLES
Tables
1.1 Zydeco Jam pro tools tracks..................................... 30
2.1 Brother Bob pro tools tracks................................... 44
3.1 Misty Blue pro tools tracks .................------------------ 55
4.1 Where Did Our Love Go pro tools tracks......................... 65
5.1 Vudu pro tools tracks ----------------------------------------- 76
6.1 Good Job Boy pro tools tracks................................... 91
7.1 Dont Let Go pro tools tracks --------------------------------- 107
8.1 You lost Me pro tools tracks................................... 128
9.1 Here I Go Again pro tools tracks-............................... 146
10.1 Creole crawl pro tools tracks--------------------------------- 167
xiv


1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Microphone Placement
1.2 Settings of Outboard gear
1.3 Plug-ins, and Equipment used
I have chosen to write this documentation from a first person perspective
for several reasons. This thesis was not based on the kinds of traditional
research that typically underlie a conventional academic thesis, but was
instead based entirely upon my first hand knowledge of every project detail.
My intimate involvement with all aspects of this project, from the musical
choices to the placement of the instruments, and the selection and operation of
recording equipment, made the first person perspective the most logical for
me to adopt. I deliberately chose to forego an appendix where information
such as lyrics and statistical data is often collected and presented because I
decided that keeping the musical analysis and contextual information within
each chapter provides a more efficient framework for reviewers to understand
the nature of this thesis. My choices were based primarily on my expectation
that the type of student who would review this project would be in a recording
arts program and would find it easier to navigate my documentation from this
viewpoint.
1


Insofar as innovation is concerned, I wanted to develop an approach in
which each reference track received slightly different treatment and for
slightly different reasons. Some of the tracks provide a substantial framework
for the manner in which I recorded and produced the songs, while other tracks
operate as more of a loose guide for the musical direction that I wanted to
pursue. By reading the reference track analysis, it is easy to follow the
musical and production aspects that I gleaned from specific tracks. In
addition, a reader (or listener) will also be able to understand the thematic
variations on those musical and production ideas. In other words, a reader (or
listener) will be able to appreciate which of the musical ideas were my own,
as well as to evaluate how successfully I represented the musical concepts
selected from the reference tracks. The analysis of the recorded track is
supplemented by a listing of raw data from all stages of production, together
with the lyrical content and the structure of each song. This organizational
framework highlights the technical details of each song, and further elucidates
how I arrived at my final product. Thus, by analyzing this project from both
an academic and musical perspective, using my own musical point of view to
create continuity between those two positions, the documentation provides an
in-depth and novel viewpoint on the steps taken to produce a full-length studio
album.
2


From an early age I have always been drawn to the Female vocalist. It
began with the likes of jazz divas Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Betty
Carter. Soon after I found rock and blues music and was captured by a host of
iconic lead singers from Judy Collins to Aretha Franklin and Koko Taylor to
Janis Joplin. From there I took an unlikely turn into Opera, living in Venice
for six months studying and falling in love with Italian Opera and the legend
of Maria Callas. These days the new generation of lead women like Norah
Jones, Grace Potter and Diana Krall hold my attention with their divine voices
and powerful performances.
Thus when I found myself working as a FOH engineer for Tempa and the
Tantrums I at once knew that their lead singer Tempa was something special.
I soon learned that my revelation had occurred long ago as Tempa and the
Tantrums had built a strong following touring steadily over the past decade,
with the majority of their praise awarded to the vocalist of the band.
Months later our paths crossed again at a small local blues jam in Denver,
where after several conversations the foundations were laid for a full length
album to be recorded over the course of a year. The structure of which was to
be two five song EPs released separately, eventually to be combined for a full-
length album to support several upcoming tours.
Ultimately I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to work with
a vocalist of the caliber of Tempa whose emotional delivery and vocal control
is absolutely top notch. I feel I have an excellent sense of how a strong
3


female vocal should sound; as it is a genre and style I supremely enjoy
working in. Moreover, despite several permutations of the Tantrums band
their latest incarnation is supremely talented and professional. Each musician
has a great deal of studio experience, an element that allowed each session to
be efficient and successful. Working with these musicians has and continues
to be a wonderful experience, as I look forward to what the future may hold.
4


Microphone Placement
(The ten tracks were recorded in two five-song segments. Therefore, this is a
list of every instrument and microphone used for both sessions. If it is not
noted then it should be assumed that there was no change in the microphone
used or the placement.)
Kick Drum- Shure Beta 52 placed slightly inside the front drumhead
Snare top- Shure SM57 Placed on the left of the top of the snare focused
down towards the center of the drum.
Snare bottom- Shure Beta58 placed underneath aiming at the outer left side
of the bottom of the drum.
Hi Hat- KM 184 placed several inches above and to the outside of the Hi Hat
Toms- placed 1-2 inches off the top of the drums and angled down to help
minimize drum bleed.
Tambourine- KM 184 placed several inches and off to the left side of the
tambourine so as to try and minimize bleed from the other drums, something
that proved to be somewhat impossible.
Overhead- L/R 2 Neumann TLM 103 microphones placed equidistant from
the center of the drum kit and roughly two feet above the cymbals.
Congas- 2 Sennheiser 421 microphones placed on the edge and pointing
downward and on top of, towards the middle of the drum
Bells- Neumann KM 184 XY stereo pair
Shaker- Neumann KM 184 XY stereo pair
Scrub Board-AKG C414 placed 1 foot away from instrument about chest
level.
Bass Guitar-Direct Injection with a mono Radial box.
Electric Guitar- Sennheiser MD 421 on a Bassman amplifier placed slightly
off from the center of the upper left speaker approximately 2 inches from the
speaker. Shure SM57 placed several inches in front of the right speaker horn.
AKG 414 placed roughly 1 foot and facing the front of the amplifier.
5


Solo Guitar- (Good Job Boy only) Sennheiser MD 421 on a Fender Reverb
amplifier placed slightly off axis to the right of center, approximately 2 inches
from the speaker. Shure SM57 placed several inches off axis to the left of
center, approximately 2 inches from the speaker.
Organ w/ Leslie Cabinet 3 Sennheiser 421 microphones used. 1
microphone placed several inches off but centered to the top right of the
Leslie speaker sound holes. 1 microphone placed several inches off but
centered to the top left of the Leslie speaker sound holes. 1 microphone placed
roughly six inches off but centered and pointing upward and towards the low
frequency rotor of the open speaker cabinet.
Keys/Organ (emulator organ and digital keyboard) Direct Injection w/ 2
mono Radial boxes for the keyboard, and 1 Stereo Radio box for the organ.
Accordion-2 Neumann TLM 103 microphones each placed roughly 1.5ft to
the left and right of instrument. From the players perspective left was for the
highs of the instrument, with the microphone to the right for the lows. The
sound was best when the player was allowed to move towards the appropriate
microphone for the frequency range he was in, than setting the microphone to
a specific spot.
Saxophone: Blue Blueberry placed downward facing roughly 4 off of the
bell of the instrument.
Vocals- For the first session I used an AKG C414 placed in the center of the
room with both singers singing approximately 1 foot back from the
microphone. First tried an ADK A-48, then an Audix OM2 before deciding on
the 414.
For the second session, wanting a more vintage sound I chose the Coles
4038 ribbon microphone with the singer approximately 8 inches off the grill.
6


Settings of outboard gear
(Although I changed some of the microphones between sessions, since there
were fewer options for preamps, I charted my initial settings and made
minimal changes to those settings between the two main sessions.
The Kick drum was recorded through an Avalon 737SP. I chose this preamp
in large part because of the acoustic space I was recording in, knowing that
the multiple equalization options provided by this piece of gear would be
effective. Ultimately, I made a 5dB cut @ 550Hz and a 2dB cut @ 10K and
did not use any compression to tape.
The Snare Drum is a very important aspect in the sound of this band. The
top microphone was recorded through an API 3124 and then sent through an
Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor compressor. I like the API 3124 because of the
clarity of signal and the lack of complication involved with it. I know that if
my gain structure is correct, the recorded sound is going to be good. Adding
the Distressor in the signal chain after the API allowed me a greater amount of
control over the signal. Specifically, my attack was slightly longer than my
release, as I only wanted to add a touch of compression (around 3-4dB), using
the compressor more for its distinctive tone and to provide additional
amplitude via the output of the Distressor.
The Snare Drum bottom microphone like the kick drum was recorded
through an Avalon 737SP preamp. This was more of a precautionary move on
my part. Once again I wanted to have the equalization options that this
preamp has available because of the acoustics of the tracking room. However,
I did not have issues, as I ultimately left the EQ out of the chain, and like my
treatment with the Distressor just added a touch of compression (3-4dB) to
keep some amount of consistency of sound with my two snare tracks.
The Hi Hat was recorded through the API 3124. Again I knew this preamp
selection would provide a clear signal that would require little hassle if the
gain was set correctly.
Both the Floor and Rack Tom were also recorded through the API 3124 for
the reasons I have outlined in the aforementioned Snare and Hi Hat
descriptions.
The Tambourine and Cymbals were all recorded through an m801 Grace
preamp. Like the API preamp, gain is the only option here. With the myriad
options I now have sitting in my apartment with Pro Tools, I often feel that a
7


great sounding preamp and proper microphone position are what is needed to
record a great track. The Grace has more body, or a defined mid range as
opposed to the API, which has more high frequency resolution.
The Percussion, which includes congas, bells, and shakers, was all recorded
through the Avalon 737SP. For the same reasons I have outlined above,
equalization options are why I chose this preamplifier. Again I bypassed the
compressor for each instrument and made the following equalization cuts. For
the congas I cut 3dB at 1.2K, and used the high shelving filter to cut 2dB at
10K. For the bells I cut 4dB at 350Hz and cut 3dB at IK. For the shaker I
used the low shelving filter and cut 4dB at 150Hz.
The Scrub Board was recorded through the API 3124 for its clarity. As the
scrub board is more of a rhythmic instrument, I felt I did not need any extra
compression or equalization options to record with.
The Bass guitar was recorded through a Universal Audio 6176. This has
become a standard choice among recording engineers for the depth and sound
a tube amplifier provides. In addition, the onboard compression and
equalization are nice options to have at your disposal. I chose to forego any
compression to tape but did add 3dB at 7K to try and create more air and
presence for an instrument that has no solos in the recorded tracks.
The Guitar was recorded with the SM57 and Sennheiser 421 through two
Universal Audio 1176s. The AKG 414 was recorded through a Universal
Audio 6176. From experience I have come to enjoy the sound of most guitars,
bass or otherwise being recorded through Universal Audio Tube
preamplifiers. This was no different, and since I not yet used it yet it was an
obvious choice to add a different color to the mix. On the 6176 I boosted
1.5dB @ 4.5K for presence and cut 1.5dB @ 70 to make room for the bass
and kick drum to interact with around 4dB of gain reduction via compression.
For the 1176s I used a 4:1 ratio with medium attack and release times for
around 3dB of gain reduction.
The Solo Guitar on Good Job Boy was recorded with a SM57 through a
Chandler LTD1 and then through an Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor
compressor. The Sennheiser 421 was recorded into a Universal Audio 610.
The Distressor was added to provide an extra edge and bite for the lead guitar.
With a relatively quick attack and release I compressed the signal roughly 6-
8dB, but added lOdB with makeup gain allowing the lead guitar to be heard
when it came to the front of the mix for its solos. With the Chandler I
removed 2dB @ 125 Hz and added 2dB @ 5K.
8


The Organ (w/ Leslie cabinet) was recorded through the API 3124. The
Leslie speaker cabinet used was in mint condition and sounded so wonderful I
felt I only needed to reinforce what was already there. The 3124 seemed the
obvious choice, as it would allow the Leslie to sound, as it should with the
clarity and substance I expect from this preamplifier.
The Keyboard and Organ emulator were recorded through the API 3124 for
all the reasons listed in the previous paragraphs, mainly clarity of signal and
ease of use.
The Accordion was recorded through the Avalon 737SP with equalization
cuts of 3dB @ 300Hz and 3dB @1.6K.
The Saxophone was recorded through a Neve Portico 5012 preamplifier.
Like the signal path with the organ, I wanted to hear the instrument, as it
would sound if you were standing in the room with it. I felt the Neve would
provide an extremely clear and rich sound, which combined with its limited
equalization options would still help to reinforce the natural sounds of the
Saxophone. I set the HPF at 100Hz and used the Silk button available on
the front panel.
The Vocal was recorded through the API for the clarity of signal. Tempa has
such a wonderful voice it only needs reinforcement and very little
manipulation during the recording process.
(I thought it would be helpful to include a brief note about my chapter
organization. Although similar projects have used appendices, and grouped
tables and diagrams together, I determined that it would be most effective to
have all of the information pertaining to each song reproduced within the
same chapter. Therefore, you will find all of the analyses, together with items
such as plug-ins and lyrics, within the chapter of the song to which they relate.
The screen shots of tracks with plug-ins have been included to supplement the
written documentation, and are a sample of what I thought were some of the
more interesting and central aspects to their respective mixes.)
9


Equipment
Chandler LTD 1 preamplifier
UA 1176 preamplifier (2)
UA 6176 preamplifier
UA 610 preamplifier
3124 API preamplifier
Avalon VT-737SP preamplifier (2)
Neve Portico 5012 preamplifier (2)
Empirical Labs EL8 Distressor compressor (2)
Pro Tools TDM version 7.01
Control 24 Interface
192 Digidesign Rack Unit (2)
002 Rack
Focusrite Compounder
TC Electronics M350
Plug-ins used within Pro Tools
VocAlign Project
AutoTune 5
VariFi
SciFi
Gate
Expander/Gate Dyn3
Compressor/Limiter Dyn3
Tel Ray Variable Delay
Bomb Factory BF-3A
BombFactory BF76
JOMEEK Mequalizer
1 Band EQ1
4 Band EQ3
7 Band EQ3
Sans Amp PSA-1
Medium Delay II
Long Delay II
FilterBank PI
FilterBank P4
Analog Channel 2
Chrome Amp
Oxford+Filters EQ
10


Oxford Reverb
Waves Compressor
Waves Axx Compressor
Waves Vox Compressor
Waves Reverb
General Studio Pictures
Control Room (Figure 1.1)
11


Guitar and Bass Picture (Figure 1.2)
Drums (Figure 1.3)
12


Guitar Microphones (Figure 1.4)
13


etup Diagram
Control Room Diagram (Figure 1.5)
S471 South Lakeview St
CONTROL ROOM
Door
14


Bass
Bass
Amp
Keyboard/
Organ
(Direct input)
15


N
ETUP
Tracking
Room
Tracking Room 2 (Figure 1.7)
6471 South Lakeview St. Littleton, CO 80120
M= Microphone M (for lows)

Accordion
Headphone
Amp
And snake
Vocals
&
Scrub
board
M
(for highs)
Keyboard
(Direct input)
Roland
Emulator Organ
(Direct input)
Bells &
Shaker
M
(XY stereo)
Baffle
Door


M= Microphone
6471 South Lakeview St.
Littleton, CO 80120
Tracking
room
(Vox in ISO
room)
Headphone
Amp
And snake
M (High L)
Organ
Leslie
Amp
M (lows)
M (High R)
M
Vox
Door
17


2. ZYDECO JAM
2.1 Analysis of Reference Track
2.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track
2.3 Plug-ins used
2.4 Panning
2.5 Timeline
2.6 Track listing
2.7 Lyrics
Analysis of Reference Track
Due to the diverse instrumentation and styles touched upon within my
recorded track, I felt it necessary to use several reference tracks so I would
accurately represent each portion of this song in a detailed manner.
My Zydeco Shoes, The Zydeco All Stars
I used this track to place the accordion and scrub board in appropriate
places within my mix as I had never dealt with such instruments and wanted
to correctly capture their presence, frequency content and color. Ultimately
this track allowed me to create a strategy both for what I wanted and did not
want from the two traditional Zydeco instruments.
This is roughly a ninety-second track of a classic Cajun vamp. I felt this
was a good track for my purposes as it featured both instruments prominently
18


as both a solo and a backup instrument. I also purposely chose this first track
for its lack of vocal content so I could focus on the interplay of those two
instruments combined with a fairly prominent guitar and bass.
The accordion is left basically dry, and sounds as if it is reinforced far
more in the higher frequencies than the lower. This may be a result of the
specific instrument used as it is only listed as an accordion in the liner notes.
Accordions differ by the size and number of keys available, which directly
affects the range, and timbre of the instrument. For my recording a Button or
Concertina fully chromatic accordion was used. Nevertheless, the high
frequency content allows the instrument to cut through the mix but can also
leave it sounding somewhat shallow and lacking tonal body. I have no way of
knowing the microphone technique used, but after listening I knew that I
needed to use a microphone for the both the low and high sound holes found
on most conventional accordions.
The accordion is also panned to the center the way a lead instrument
would be, rather than hard panned the way the stereo keyboard tracks have
been handled in several of my other reference tracks. In addition the
accordion and guitar act as similar instruments trading lines in similar
frequencies and rhythmic and melodic content. This is something I wanted to
avoid, as I felt creating a nice dichotomy between the two instruments would
ultimately make my mix more interesting and less predictable.
19


In terms of the scrub board there is not a huge amount that can be done.
The instrument can either be prominent or not. There is not much low
frequency content so equalization is not a major tool, as ultimately level and
inclusion are the largest factors one has to work with. The scrub board is
certainly a prominent instrument in this mix, and is basically just playing
eighth notes on the beat, not tremendously exciting stuff, but if you want the
true Zydeco feel it must be included. Ultimately the scrub board took more of
a back seat in my recorded Zydeco Jam as the band and myself decided the
sound was too grating when mixed too loud over the course of a nine-minute
song.
H-Town Zydeco, Lil Brian and the Zydeco Travelers
This is more of a funk/reggae Zydeco tune, which I felt provided some
depth for my mixing techniques, as Tempa and the Tantrums are most
definitely not a straight ahead Zydeco band. As this track shows an
Accordion can take on many roles. It is one of the more present instruments
at the front of the mix for the majority of the song. It has one several small
solos and is heard as the most interesting and creative facet to this mix.
However, it is still covered up several times throughout the mix by an electric
guitar, an aspect similar to my mix. The accordion is panned slightly off
center and beyond its solos plays a repetitive hook, which are definitely
characteristics of a background instrument.
20


There is more of a funk bass presence that features contemporary
bass/kick drum interplay. This was important to me as the Tantrums have a
very definite rock presence so it was good to hear where an accordion and
scrub board would fit within that concept.
Generally this track follows basic rock mixing ideologies with the
accordion at times serving a similar role to a lead instrument like the guitar.
Moreover, it fills up a lot of the space within the mix with its distinct sound a
style that I tried to emulate to some degree. However it is rhythmically played
to fit in a reggae style within the verses, which is something that I did not find
appealing.
The scrub board is mixed as a texture to the rhythm section of the whole
track and panned out to the right of the stereo field. Once again nothing
crazy, but it certainly showed me that much of a scrub board sound is
exclusive to the specific board that is being played. Some sound better than
others and that is just how it is.
BeauSoleil, Zydeco Gris Gris
BeauSoleil is of course one of the more famous Zydeco bands to break
into the mainstream. I therefore thought that as my recording was meant to
straddle several genres that listening to a classic from the genre might provide
a good structure for my recording.
This track was helpful as the accordion was part of the texture to the song
but like my recorded Zydeco Jam, aside from a solo was not a featured
21


instrument, but rather part of a larger sound. I also liked this track because it
is a busy mix that includes a full drum kit, which is more of the sound I have
presented in the recording of Zydeco Jam. Overall this track is less helpful
than the first two, but like I said was meant more to put a mainstream Zydeco
sound in my ear more than anything else.
22


Evaluation
The drums are the first instrument you hear and incidentally are the best I
felt about any drums in the first five songs. There is just enough color in the
snare combined with a tight crack that makes it sound in place with the rest of
the mix. Both the top and bottom snare were compressed and equalized with
an ear towards making the top end crack around 5K. Both the kick and
bottom snare were also gated, but otherwise nothing special was used.
Sometimes I think the style of song and accompanying players can help a
mix as much as anything, as this was not radically different from how the kick
and snare were treated in the first five tracks, all of which were recorded in the
same basic time period with the same players. This leads me to believe that
perhaps the drummer had a Zydeco type sound in his head going into song as
well as the combination of gates and compression created the type of snare
attack and decay that suits this genre of music.
The guitar takes on a few different roles in this song. Through a good deal
of automation and a number of processed effects (as noted in the plug-in
section) a wide array of guitar timbre and entrance points were created. The
guitar continuously jumps across the stereo field and has several different
colors depending on whether it is playing the sixteenth note rhythm track or
the more lead-like slide swells at the change in sections. The psychedelic
23


bridge of the song is comprised mainly of highly manipulated and automated
guitar sounds, some processed in reverse and most by harmonic altering plug-
ins within Pro Tools. I thought this section worked out particularly well as the
lyrics and tempo moved slowly enough that it allowed the guitar to create a
sonic picture of the story being told.
The first obvious example of this would be the heavily delayed guitar
highlighting the word Chomp (in reference to an alligator) with a series of
short, hard chords. A second example would be the lyrics a real devotion
down there where all the guitar sounds begin to slide downward like wet
paint dripping off a screen. The following lyrics she dancin around are
preempted by a quick, thick upward guitar chord, somewhat like the
movement a dancer might make upon rising off the floor.
The Accordion like the guitar took on several different attributes in this
song. It is heard as a rhythm and solo instrument, playing the longest solo in
the mix, as well as being one of the most constant instruments you hear
throughout the entire mix. This was actually a button accordion, but like most
accordions it had a high and low pitched side which both had Neumann TLM
103 microphones placed roughly 1.5ft to the left and right of instrument.
With a little of the high-end frequencies boosted on the high side of the
accordion and the high-end rolled off at 1.28K @ -6dB/Oct allowed for the
24


accordion to cut through just about everything in the mix, but still have a good
body and low-end to the overall pitch. The accordion was also reversed, pitch
shifted and delayed at the start of the psychedelic bridge. I thought this sound
worked out particularly well, as the accordion was initially harmonizing with
the vocals. When this was mixed up in the aforementioned processing it
created a large haze of frequencies, all of which musically worked with the
vocal line as they all were originally in harmony with the vocal.
The vocal track was treated very similarly to that of Misty Blue. This was
a song that had a wide range of interpretations available and whose musical
success would depend far more on the singers emotional connection rather
than anything that could be done in post-production. Nevertheless a longer
reverb setting was used in this track than any other, and moreover was
elongated through the bridge in regards to the amount of the wet reverb signal
added to the mix. This was a conscious effort to create a spooky, New
Orleans graveyard, and black magic atmosphere. Otherwise the compression
and equalization was straightforward as the singer truly did the hard work on
this track.
The scrub board and bass, as they often are were the supporting characters
of this mix. They are very much in the background of the mix, but certainly
help drive the rhythm and underlying musical modes of the song. I think the
25


bass sounds great on all the tracks but is never given a great deal of creative
independence.
The track works well as a whole. I feel this is mainly due to the many
layers and textures within the mix, which forced me to hear the song as a
whole and never become enraptured by a single instrument or section.
26


Plug-in Settings
Kick Drum:
Expander/Gate Dyn3: Range -53.2, Attack 106.7us, Hold 50ms, Ratio 2:6:1,
Release 14.6ms, Threshold -5.1dB
BombFactory BF-3A: Peak Reduction @ 4, Output @ 7
4Band EQ3: +4dB @ 68Hz Q = 3.08, -5.1dB @ 456Hz Q = 1.95, -3.5 @
664Hz Q = 3.03, -12 @ 6.31KQ = 1.49
Snare Top:
BombFactory BF-3A: Peak Reduction @, Output @ 6.2
4Band EQ3: -1.6dB @ 128 Q = 1, -4.3dB @ IK Q = 1.07, +3.9 @ 3.87K Q =
2.09
Snare Bottom:
Expander/Gate Dyn3: Range-80dB, Attack 96.2us, Hold 200ms, Ratio 1.9:1,
Release 446.8ms, Threshold -27dB
4Band EQ3: -3.3dB @ 103Hz Q = 2.4, -3.7dB @ 4.27K Q = 1.59
Analog Channel 2: Input +6.6dB, Output 2dB
Hi Hat:
4Band EQ3: HPF -5.3dB @ 91Hz Q = .3, -4.9dB @ 5.31K Q = 3.24
Overheads:
4Band EQ3: -7.3dB @ 237Hz Q = 2.45, -4.1dB @ 1.97K Q = 4.58, +2.7dB
5.49K Q = 2.69, LPF +9dB @ 20K Q = .4
Bass:
4Band EQ3: +ldB @ 83Hz Q = 1.18, -4.3dB @ 556Hz Q = 2.14
Analog Channel 2: Input +1.6dB, Output 4.4dB
Sans Amp: See attached picture
Guitar:
4Band EQ3: -4.5dB @ 107Hz Q = 2.7, -5.3dB @ 1.1K Q = 2.96, LPF +4.1dB
@ 11.04K Q = .58
Long Delay II: Delay 341.13ms, Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Feedback 30%
Chrome Amp: See attached picture
Vocal:
Analog Channel 2: Input 4.1dB, Output 2.2dB
4Band EQ3: -3dB @ 115Hz Q = .96, +2.5 @ 764Hz Q = 3.03
27


Accordion High:
FilterBank P4 EQ: -2.3dB @ 283Hz Q = .6, -2.6dB @ 1.47K Q = .5, +2.3dB
9.17K Q = 1.8, Output +2.2dB
Analog Channel 2: Input 2.7dB, Output 3.8dB
Accordion Low:
FilterBank FI: LPF-6dB/Oct @ 1.28K
Analog Channel 2: Input 2.7dB, Output 3.8dB
Accordion Reverb:
See attached picture
Long Delay II Stereo: Left Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 12ms,
Right Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 22ms
Scrub Board:
4 Band EQ3: HPF -8.2dB @ 101Hz Q = .38, -2.9dB @ 456Hz Q = 2.19, -4dB
@ 5.31K Q = 2.14
Master Fader:
Oxford EQ + Filters: +1.5dB @4.7K Q = 1.1, +.5dB @ 20K High Shelf
ML4000 Mastering Limiter: Threshold @-5, Release @10
Panning
Kick Drum: center
Snare Top: center
Snare Bottom: center
Hi Hat: Right 31%
Overheads: Right/Left 100%
Bass: center
Guitar: between Left 68% automated through 92%R
Vocal: center
Accordion High: bussed to sub group
Accordion Low: bussed to sub group
Accordion Sub Group: Right/Left 100%
Scrub Board: 40% Left
28


Timeline
Intro: (0:0-0:38 sec) solo drum 0:11, guitar joins mix 0:11-0:28, accordion
and bass join mix 0:28-0:38.
Verse 1 (A section): (0:38-01:05) lead vocal with full band, including scrub
board and shaker, accordion solo 1:00-1:05
Verse 2 (A section): (01:05-01:24) same as verse 1, accordion solo 1:21-1:24
Chorus 1: (01:24-01:57) same as verse 1, accordion solo 1:45-1:57
Verse 3 (A section): (01:57-02:22) same as verse 1, accordion solo 2:14-2:22
Verse 4 (A section): (02:22-02:48) same as verse 1
Chorus 2: (02:48-03:09) identical to Chorus 1
Solo 1: (03:09-03:38) accordion solo with full band
Verse 1 (B section): (3:38-4:42) lead vocal with accordion, only drum tapping
no hits until kick at 4:36. Guitar Delay at 4:00-4:07, reverse accordion 4:12-
4:20.
Verse 2 (B section): (4:41-5:35) same arrangement as previous B section
verse.
Verse 5 (A section): (5:35-5:57) same as verse 1
End: (05:57-06:25) 3x repeat final line of chorus 6:00-6:10, 6:11-6:25 fade
out band only.
Screen shot of the Accordions effects and processing in the edit window
(Figure 2.1)
29


Zydeco
Jam
Tracks Instruments
1 Kick
2 Snare Top
Snare
3 Bottom
4 Hi Hat
5 Rack Tom
6 Floor Tom
7 Overhead L
8 Overhead R
9 Snare Verb
10 Drum Verb
11 Bass
12 Gtr 57
13 Gtr 414
14 Gtr 421
Gtr
15 Feedback
16 Gtr Delay
17 Gtr Verb
18 Acor High L
19 Acor Low
20 Acor verb
Accor
21 Reverse
22 Scrub Board
23 Vox Final
24 Vox Verb
25 Master
Zydeco Jam Pro Tools ; Track (Table 1.1)
30


Lyrics
A Section
Verse 1
Hey people lets get it right
now lets stop all the fuss and fight
aww come together heres a plan
well lets all go to the Zydeco jam et toui
Verse 2
Everybody heres what you do
all you need is a smile and your dancing shoes
save the blues for another night
Im going to the Zydeco jam tonight
Chorus 1
Motown ready sue everybodys here but you jump in the cotton on the lights
get down in the Zydeco jam tonight aw yeah
here we go now
take your shoes off
Verse 3
Well the moon is full and the stars are bright the mojo queen is here tonight
well voodoo making Cajun band
shake it all over at the Zydeco jam
Verse 4
Now all your friends they here with you and this is what we got to do
Dont rank mo shine have no fear lord the Mardi Gras gonna last all year
I say the Mardi Gras gonna last all year
Chorus 1
Motown ready sue everybodys here but you jump in the cotton on the lights
get down in the Zydeco jam tonight aw yeah yeah yeah
B section (bridge)
Verse 1
Gonna take you back down, gonna take u back down
Aww back to the swamp, where the alligators live
And they go chomp, chomp, chomp, chong
31


And my real devotion down there
You know my real devotion down there
Verse 2
She dances around
she casting her spell
And she say
and she say hey hey
Yeah she says
Ahhhhoooooooo
Another man done gone
She sing ahoooooohooo
Another man done gone
Verse 3
Yeah we got the Zydeco
Now we gonna mojo
ooh down in new Orleans
We got the voodoo queen
oohhh all night long
Lord help me sing my song
A section
Verse 5
Ah say jumbali and I got me some crawfish pie
Down in New Orleans they got the voodoo queen
Lord come together heres the plan
Refrain
Ah shake it all over at the Zydeco jam
I know shake it all over at the Zydeco jam
Oh lord shake it all over at the Zydeco jam
32


3. BROTHER BOB
3.1 Analysis of Reference Track
3.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track
3.3 Plug-ins used
3.4 Panning
3.5 Timeline
3.6 Track listing
3.7 Lyrics
Analysis of Reference Track
My reference song is Hard to Make a Friend by Sheryl Crow. Before I
begin my analysis of the reference track, I thought it would be noteworthy to
recount the process of how I arrived at both this reference track, as well as the
final track I have submitted for this project. I felt it was more appropriate to
include that information in the evaluation section, leaving the proposal as
solely a musical analysis of the reference track.
I chose this as my reference track for several main reasons. First and
foremost is the lead vocal. Secondly, the way the individual instruments are
added and removed throughout the mix provides an interesting feel for the
song and does not remain monotonous. The drums also sit nicely in the mix,
as they are used only to drive the rhythm of the song; there is very little
creativity happening within the drum track.
33


The vocal is alone at the front of the mix, yet it is not overbearing because
Sheryl Crow has a wonderful voice and knows how to lead a tune. There is
certainly some amount of reverb on her voice, which while subtle, allows it to
maintain the space needed so the vocal does not become bossy. Tempa, like
Ms. Crow, has a similar ability to articulate words and phrases with a strong
emotional engagement that helps to describe what they are singing about. All
of her lyrics are clear and easy to hear, keeping the listener engaged to the
story she is telling. Sheryl Crow sings in mostly the higher register, but as
this is her band, there is little frequency clash with the other instruments.
Although the acoustic guitar and keyboard may briefly touch in the same
range, it is only fleeting, and never enough where the vocals are not the focal
point of the song.
The guitar sits about 50% to the right of the sonic field. It mainly plays
the hook throughout the song changing to several more melodic parts during
the bridge and non-vocal sections. Nonetheless, I feel the guitars
repetitiveness acts in a similar way that a keyboard pad would. It helps keep
the song within its melodic and rhythmic space. Nevertheless, this is all about
the vocals and that is why the guitar sits nicely off to the side out and of the
way of Sheryl.
It is a nice texture and timbre change to hear the acoustic guitar briefly
enter the mix during the bridge in the left side of sonic field. The same can be
said of the organ. It only appears in the second half of the song during a brief
34


instrumental interlude before following the song to its conclusion. Both
instruments provide extra layers and new frequencies and rhythms for the
listener. Once again if they had been present throughout the song they would
be perceived as tedious. Yet their spotty inclusion only helps the mix sound
more complex, and in a sense larger. For the keys and guitars, it is not about
the notes that are left to Ms. Crow, it is about the structure and the wide range
of frequencies and panning that are presented in the mix.
It is difficult to hear the Bass on the whole. It plays a minor factor in the
mix sitting behind the vocal, guitar and snare. More than anything it pushes
the chord changes, however that factor is easier to feel than it is to hear.
There are no bass solos; and minor interesting bass chord changes and notes.
Its greatest role is to provide some depth within the lower frequencies, which
ultimately helps to balance the majority of the overall frequency range that
occurs in the upper octaves, created by the vocal and guitars.
The drums are played lightly with the snare drum leading the way. It is
clear a pop mentality was chosen for this song making a heavy kick drum not
appropriate for the mix. Nevertheless, the snare is certainly a main focus of
the drummer and the mix. An annoying aspect is the crash cymbal soaked in
reverb that just does not seem to fit into a space within the mix. Everything
else in the drum mix is clean and straightforward.
As mentioned briefly, the panning in this song is enjoyable. Although
there are relatively few moving parts, ala a Beck record, the panning and
35


addition and removal of only a few instruments creates an illusion of a much
larger mix. There are often breakdowns where Sheryl is singing and only
accompanied by a single guitar or keyboard before the mix builds back up to
incorporate the entire band.
This is a good reference track because it has been commercially successful
in the commercial world. It truly displays how to showcase a superior female
voice within a rock/pop band. I am not aiming to emulate this mix in its
entirety, however it is good knowledge to know what works and what is
accepted. One must sometimes swallow their musical pride and realize that
simple engineering tricks can often be the most dramatic and appealing,
instead of a stack of complex mixing maneuvers.
36


Evaluation
The vocal is clearly the most important aspect to my mix. Tempa has a
wonderful voice, which is always in tune and in rhythm. All the lyrics are
articulated clearly and with character. The singers tone and inflection helps
to bring out the sarcastic lyrics, yet she never strays from the bluesy, gospel
genre that permeates the musical world of the Bible belt she is singing about.
I especially liked her vocal track because she used the entire frequency range
and was not afraid to bend and twist her voice. This allowed for a much more
engaging and interesting performance, and never created a clash within the
frequencies generated from the other parts to this mix.
The drums are played in a blues style, that is somewhere between rock and
jazz. There is no Tom drum in this kit and the cymbals are used sparingly, in
all sections except the instrumental breakdown. Nevertheless, the kick, snare
and high hat are driven throughout the song and are easily heard as main
components to the mix. I was happy with the sound of the kick drum in terms
of its large sound and low frequency timbre woof. Interestingly enough I
felt many of the cheaper and less fancy noise gates and compressor plug-ins
allowed for a more natural sound. I also thought the lack of Tom drums
created more space for the upper frequencies or air to be heard during the
drum fdls, as well as the overall sound of the kit.
37


There is no major drum solo and despite keeping a somewhat varied
texture behind the soloist, the drummer does little else but maintains room for
the many melodic instruments in the mix. This track was not played to a click
and for this particular song this was a single drum take. I was lucky enough to
work with a band that had been together for several years and knew their
material very well.
The guitars are an essential aspect to this mix. They can be heard
throughout the song but are never overbearing, finding space behind the vocal
and sharing a backup role with the keyboards. The guitar plays the hook
throughout the song moving from the center of the sound field at the start to
the left and back to the center at the end of the song; a little symmetry if you
will. This hook, while repetitive easily melds into the overall sound of the
song. There are enough other musical events taking place that the listener
never has to continually focus on the same phrase ad nauseam.
The overdubbed solo guitar is heard in the right of the sound field only
playing short bluesy bursts. This might appear to be cliche, but it is done in a
tasteful manner and adds a nice layer of spice to a song that features several
instruments playing repetitive musical statements. Moreover, it never gets in
the way of a more important phrase; it is always just adding splashes of color.
Like the Sheryl Crow reference track I have made a conscious effort to bring
instruments in and out of the mix in relatively unpredictable places.
38


The keyboards like the solo guitar also add a pleasant amount of color and
creativity to the mix. Providing more of a pad than other instruments, this
required more automation, but also helped continuously build up and break
down the mix by introducing and removing different parts of the frequency
spectrum as well as different creative musical ideas. This concept truly
provides for a more interesting mix, as the listener is never left to listen to the
same four instruments playing the same arranged phrases for five minutes.
Instead the listener is left in suspense not knowing exactly what is going to
happen. Furthermore, by pushing the amplitude of the keys only on
interesting chords and bridge sections, the notes truly pop out for the listener.
The organ is a great addition for the mix. Like the voice it has a vast
frequency range, which provides a wonderful contrast for the other lead
instruments. Also, as the organ only appears during the instrumental section it
creates a beautiful new texture pushing the song as the frequency spectrum is
at once extended. This in turn once again provides something new in the mix
to focus on as well as a drive for the songs final minute, ending with a final
twenty seconds of an all out jam.
The bass is straightforward and solid, always on the rhythm, never
becoming overly creative except for the back two beats of the measures
heading into new chord changes or new sections. The most prominent
example of this is at the end of the guitar and organ solo during the vocal
39


break, with the bass ascending thirds within the chord changes. This is not a
musical eureka, but such a well timed, and concise phrase has a great impact
in regard to keeping the listener engaged in the music. If the guitarist had
played those notes throughout the song it would not have held the listeners
attention for more than ten seconds. Rather its inclusion towards the end of
the song makes the listener perk up and focus on the rest of the song.
The Bass and kick have a nice interplay. They combine to equally drive
the rhythm and overall feel for the song. They are always there if you listen
for them, yet they are clearly not featured instruments sitting well behind the
vocals and other melodic instruments.
I made a conscious commitment to try and stay away from having all the
instruments end up in the mid frequency range. I tried to boost highs via
equalization when possible, and mainly made cuts between 300Hz and
1000Hz to keep the track sounding clean and void of that mid-range
muddiness.
During the mix process I used compression on the bass, and reverb on the
snare, organ and vocal. The reverb was an outboard TC Electronic M350, and
the compressor was a Focusrite Compounder. I used a Pro Tools stereo delay
for the guitars in conjunction with an Amplitude RTAS to make the guitar
sound a little dirtier. There was also a touch of compression recorded to
40


Il
tape for the bass, vocals and guitar. Otherwise I used equalization within Pro
Tools for everything else.
Plug-ins
Kick Drum:
Gate: Threshold -16.1dB, Attack 3ms, Hold 44ms, Decay 520ms, Range 46dB
BombFactory BF-3A: Peak Reduction @ 4.5, Output @ 8
4 Band EQ3: +5.5dB @ 64Hz Q = 1.78, -1.8dB @ 183Hz Q = 2.82, -3.5dB @
664Hz Q = 3.03, LPF -12dB @ 3.87K Q = .4
Snare top:
Compressor/Limiter Dyn3: Knee = 20dB, Attack 16ms, Ratio 3.2:1, Release
45ms, Gain +6dB, Threshold -18dB
4 Band EQ3: -1.6dB @ 128Hz Q =1, -5.1dB @ 503Hz Q = 2.64, -4.9dB @
779Hz Q = 1.86, +5.9dB @ 5.98K Q = 1
Snare bottom:
4 Band EQ3: -4.3dB @ 228Hz Q = 1.38, -5.3dB @ 4.19K Q = 1.59
Hi Hat:
Gate: Threshold -20.3dB, Attack 4.6ms, Hold 380ms, Decay 130ms, Range -
46dB
4 Band EQ3: HPF -5.3dB @ 91Hz Q = .3, -4.9dB @ 5.31K Q = 3.24
Overhead:
4 Band EQ3: HPF -12dB @ 97Hz Q = .4, -3.7dB @ 237Hz Q = 2.45, -2.9dB
@ 3.5K Q = 2.14, LPF +12dB @ 9.06K Q = .82
Bass:
4Band EQ3: -4.3dB @ 556HzQ= 1.99, +3.3dB @ 5.1KQ = 2.57
Analog Channel 2: Input +1.6dB, Output 4.4dB
Gtr:
Medium Delay II Stereo: Left Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 12ms,
Right Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 22ms
4Band EQ3: -3.7dB @ 237Hz Q = 1.13, -2.7dB @ 1.25K Q = 2.96, LPF
+5.7dB @ 6.1KQ = .58
41


Gtr Overdub:
4 Band EQ3: +6.5dB @ 6.IK Q = 1
Roland keyboard:
4 Band EQ3: -4.5dB @ 447Hz Q = 1, +4.9dB @ 8.05K Q = 1
Analog Channel 2: Input +2dB, Output 5dB
Triton keyboard:
Medium Delay II Stereo: Left Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 12ms,
Right Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 22ms
4 Band EQ3: +5.1dB @ 131HzQ = l,-4.7dB @ 1.25KQ= 1.17, LPF+4.7dB
@ 3.76K Q = .67
Vocal;
4 Band EQ3: HPF -7dB @ 49Hz Q = .52, +3.1dB @ 2.93K Q = 2.81
Analog Channel 2: Input +1 dB, Output 2dB
Master Fader:
Oxford EQ + Filters: +1.3dB @3.7K Q = 1.1, +.5dB @ 20K High Shelf
ML4000 Mastering Limiter: Threshold @-5.7, Release @ 10
42


Panning
Kick Drum: center
Snare Top: center
Snare Bottom: left 20%
Hi Hat: center
Overheads stereo: right 100% left 100%
Bass: center
Guitar 1: left 79%
Guitar 2: right 61%
Vocal: center
Keyboards 1 stereo: right 100%, left 100%
Keyboards 2 stereo: right 85%, left 85%
Timeline
Intro: (0:0-0:20 sec) Drums begin song joined by guitar and bass at 0:01,
piano joins mix at 0:09.
Verse 1: (0:20 -0:54) full band for all verses and chorus
Verse 2: (0:55-01:32)
Chorus 1: (01:32-02:20)
Solo 1: (02:20-02:55) Organ solo
Chorus 1: (02:56-03:22)
Solo 2: (03:25-03:43) Lead vocal, kick drum and Hi Hat only.
Verse 3: (03:43-04:03)
End; (04:03-04:25) Guitar and organ at front of mix, just instrumental.
43


Brother
Bob
Tracks Instruments
1 Kick
2 Snare Top
Snare
3 Bottom
4 Hi Hat
5 Rack Tom
6 Floor Tom
7 Overhead L
8 Overhead R
9 Snare Verb
10 Drum Verb
11 Bass
12 Gtr 57
13 Gtr 414
14 Gtr 421
15 Gtr Verb
16 Triton Piano
17 Keys verb
18 Vox Final
19 Vox Verb
20 Master
Brother Bob Pro Tools Tracks (Table 2.1)
44


Lyrics
Verse 1
Now brother bobs preaching on the TV screen
He say you reach for your wallet send your money to me
Oh double your money is what were offering today
Aw For every dollar you send in two will come your way
Verse 2
Well you know that sounds pretty good considering the shape that Ive been in
So I went to he bank got my money and I set it right in
Well you know its been almost a year come Sunday
And I aint got no more in fact I got less
Bridge
Oh brother bob brother bob where are you now
sent in my money waiting for my cash cow
Brother bob brother bob must have misunderstand
Thought itd been a sure thing thats for double or nothing friend
With a preacher for a bookie I thought my bets were blessed
You send in the money and god will do the rest
Refrain
Brother bobs church and casino
Where I go to spend my money dont you know
Brother bobs church and casino
Aw you can do your gambling to the TV show
Bridge
Now brother bob brother bob where are you now
sent in my money waiting for my cash cow
Brother bob brother bob must have misunderstand
Thought itd been a sure thing thats for double or nothing friend
With a preacher for a bookie I thought my bets were blessed
You send in the money and god will do the rest
Brother bobs church and casino
Where I go to spend my money dont you know
Brother bobs church and casino
you can do your gambling to the TV show
45


Refrain:
Brother bob church and casino
Where I go to spend my money dont you know
Brother bobs church and casino
Aw you can do your gambling to the TV show
Oh I know I need to get me an Amen!
46


4. MISTY BLUE
4.1 Analysis of Reference Track
4.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track
4.3 Plug-ins used
4.4 Panning
4.5 Timeline
4.6 Track listing
4.7 Lyrics
Analysis of Reference Track
My reference song is Id Rather Go Blind by Koko Taylor. I chose this
song for its strongly rooted blues structure and sound as well as the sad
yearning lyrics, using it as a blueprint for the style and organization that the
Tantrums and I were aiming for. The instrumentation (minus the saxophone
in my recording) is identical, and allows a pleasant amount of space to exist
between all the instruments of the mix. Furthermore, Tempa is frequently
compared to Koko Taylor for her emotion driven live performances, making it
seem like a Koko Taylor track was a good place to start for my comparable
recordings.
Koko Taylors emotional component to this track is almost intoxicating.
Each phrase is brazenly begun sounding overcome with emotion only to trail
47


off at the end of her phrases the way a sad person might trail off so they dont
have to verbalize an obvious and painful truth. It is nearly impossible to focus
on the rest of the mix because the listener becomes captivated by the
upcoming lyrics and the emotional effect it will have on the woman telling the
story. The vocal has a nice amount of reverb, with little or no pre-delay, but a
nice tail that reinforces more high than low frequency content of her voice.
The equalization and compression is subtle, as Ms. Taylor needs little help to
sound the way she does.
The guitar has a classic role in this track, playing ornamental lines
throughout the vocals and opening up for the single instrumental solo in the
song. Nevertheless, like all the instruments in the mix the guitar is a good deal
behind the vocal. The guitar is also panned off to the right to mostly help
create more room for the vocal but still allowing the guitar to cut through the
mix when need be. This is true except for the solo and introduction where the
guitar is panned into the center as it briefly takes over as the lead voice. This
is an effective technique for maintaining a listeners engagement in a track
and it is something I used frequently during these recordings.
The bass is very straightforward mainly playing quarter and eighth notes
almost exclusively on the beat. There is no bass solo, and is almost mixed too
soft for my liking, but I appreciate the concept of forming a solid base behind
the vocal. The keys are mixed perfectly for my taste. They are heard
throughout the track with panning that suggests it is a stereo track that has
48


been hard panned 100%. The keyboard is thus present in the entire stereo
field making a relatively sparse mix in terms of instruments and notes played,
sound robust and full. The keyboard is at points nearly as soft as the bass yet
it is always providing a distinct color as it is occurring at higher frequencies
than the majority of the mix. The sustained chords also provide a wonderful
texture that keeps the song from sounding like it is lagging in tempo. The
volume automation on the keys is gentle and extremely effective, giving the
keys just an extra bit of volume in specific spots, often on the peaks of
sustained chords and phrases absolutely maximizes its effect.
The drums like much of this song are extremely basic. The snare and kick
are present, with most of the snare hits cutting through when Koko is not
singing. The snare is played in a jazz style, with a short sounding attack, but
like the vocal track has an audible reverberant tail to the signal. The Hi Hat is
mixed at a nearly similar volume to the snare and panned slightly to the right.
As in jazz the Hi Hat provides a constant drive for the song, but never cuts
through via overly reinforced higher frequencies.
There is quite a bit to be said for having a simple mix that focuses on
emotive musicality rather than flawless technicality. This song just unfolds in
front of the listener; allowing one to really focus on the lyrics, which are heart
of the track and essential if you wish to connect with the song. Sometimes to
convey the purpose and point of a song you must create a situation where you
feel as if you are hearing a private conversation someone is having on the
49


phone or the room next door. This concept is the root of this track and
precisely what I tried to convey through my mix and treatment of instruments
in my recording of Misty Blue.
Evaluation
Misty Blue succeeds as a solid track because it does a superb job at
showcasing the emotional element of Tempas vocal performance. There are
imperfections in both the vocals being sung and the actual recording of the
vocal, mainly some minor intonation issues, as well as a small amount of
analog clipping. This is something I noticed immediately but decided not to
re-track in search of the perfect take. However, because the other recorded
songs up to that point were sounding, as expected, clean and somewhat
processed, I thought it would be a great contrast to have something that
sounded a little rough around the edges. This is definitely in line with the
concept I discussed in the Koko Taylor track about creating a mix that sounds
like a private conversation one would overhear from next door.
Thus this combination of imperfections connects the listener to the sad
lament of the song, where the perfect happy ending does not exist. From a
recording standpoint the vocal track is still heard above the back line mix of
the band. Each word is clearly enunciated and never forced, allowing the
story to unfold in a similar manner to the Koko Taylor Ballad. There is a
touch of compression and reverb used on the vocal track and the equalization
50


used was minimal. I felt more than anything else, that the vocal on this track
needed polishing and reinforcement more than anything else.
I am pleased with how the Saxophone turned out on this track. I really
wanted to stay away from the stereotypical, Kenny G pop stuff. I
experimented with several reverb settings before settling on what I felt was a
good compromise, or like I say just enough cheese! The saxophone takes
the lone solo of that the guitar occupies in the reference track. It was panned
in the center the same as a vocal line would be. Most of my equalization cuts
were somewhere in the higher range between 1 and 8K which, I think helped
satisfy my need to give the Saxophone a solid body and have it be less
squeaky and superficial sounding.
The organ, bass and guitar all sit nicely behind the vocal and the
saxophone. The organ was recorded as a stereo track and hard panned the
same as in my reference track. I also automated the volume a good deal so
that its sustained chords had their own space, in an attempt to make subtle
musical statements. The bass and guitar are merely backup tones and color to
the song and never soloing or doing anything to steal the attention away from
the main players in this track.
The drums I feel are a little misplaced. The drummer was certainly not
comfortable outside of a driving rock n roll feel in regards to a softer touch.
The rhythm is not really an issue, as well as the timbre and equalization of the
51


drums is fine. Yet it is not so much how the drums sound, rather it was my
and the drummers reliance on the tried and true rock n roll mentality that
forced the kick and snare drum into a space where the hi hat and cymbals
should have been leading the song.
Plug-in Settings
Kick Drum:
Expander/Gate Dyn3: Range -53.2, Attack 106.7us, Hold 50ms, Ratio 2:6:1,
Release 14.6ms, Threshold -5.1dB
BombFactory BF-3A: Peak Reduction @ 5, Output @ 7
4Band EQ3: -2.7dB @ 65Hz Q = 1.78, +2.2dB @ 206Hz Q = 1.52, -3.1dB @
719Hz Q = 3.03, -6.5dB @ 6.73K Q = .64
Snare Top:
BombFactory BF-3A: Peak Reduction @ 4.5, Output @ 5.5
4Band EQ3: +2.9db @ 110Hz Q = 1, -4.3dB @ IK Q = 2.52, +2.2dB @
4.27K Q = 1.02
Snare Bottom:
Expander/Gate Dyn3: Range -80dB, Attack 219.2us, Hold 200ms, Ratio
30:0:1, Release 63.8ms, Threshold -17.4dB
4Band EQ3: -3.3dB @ 103Hz Q = 2.4, -3.7dB @ 4.27K Q = 1.59
Hi Hat:
4Band EQ3: HPF -5.3dB @ 91Hz Q = .3, -2.9dB @ 1.9K Q = 3.24, LPF -
1.6db @ 7.29K Q = .63
BombFactory BF76: Input @ -30dB, Attack @ 2, Release @ 2, Output @ -
24dB, Ratio 4:1
Overheads:
4Band EQ3: -3.7dB @ 237Hz Q = 2.45, -4.1dB @ 1.97K Q = 4.58, +1.8dB @
6.34K Q = 1.66
Bass:
4Band EQ3: -4.3dB @ 556Hz Q = 1.99, +3.3dB @ 5.IK Q = 2.57
Analog Channel 2: Input +1.6dB, Output 4.4dB
52


Guitar:
4Band EQ3: -4.5db @ 107Hz Q = 2.7, +2.2dB @ 283Hz Q = 2.96, LPF
+3.3dB @ 6.87K Q = .58
Medium Delay II Stereo: Left Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 12ms,
Right Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 22ms
Vocal:
Analog Channel 2: Input -ldB, Output 2dB
4Band EQ3: +2.5dB @ 97Hz Q = 2.75, -3.1DB @ 200HZ Q = 3.54, +3.3dB
@ 638Hz Q = 3.88
Roland Keyboard:
4Band EQ3: -4.7dB @ 179Hz Q = 3.32, -4.5dB @ 2.36K Q = 3.1, LPF +5.1
@ 14.29K Q = .67
Medium Delay II Stereo: Left Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 12ms,
Right Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 22ms
Saxophone:
4Band EQ3: +3.9dB @ 194Hz Q = 2.35, -4.3dB @ 967Hz Q = 4.37, -5.1 @
7.73K Q = 4.37
Master Fader:
Oxford EQ + Filters: +ldB @ 630Hz, +1.3dB @3K Q = 1.1, +.5dB @ 20K
High Shelf
Rcompressor: Ratio @ 1.25, Threshold @ -11.5, Attack @ 150, Release @
1503, Gain @ 2.5
ML4000 Mastering Limiter: Threshold @-5.4, Release @ 9
Panning
Kick Drum: center
Snare Top: center
Snare Bottom: center
Hi Hat: right 21%
Overheads stereo: right 100% left 100%
Bass: center
Guitar 1: left 14%
Guitar 2: right 39%
Vocal: center
Saxophone: center
Keyboards 1 stereo: right 100%, left 100%
53


Timeline
Intro: (0:0-0:22sec) Organ begins song, full band accompanies, vocalist also
has a few notes before verse.
Verse 1: (0:22-0:59) Lead vocal with full band
Verse 2: (00:59-01:35) same as verse 1
Chorus 1: (01:35-02:25) same as verse 1
Solo 1: (02:25-03:15) sax solo
Verse 1: (03:15-03:50) same as verse 1
Chorus 1: (03:50-04:10) same as verse 1
End: (04:10-05:02) same as verse 1 with fadeout
54


Misty
Blue
Tracks Instruments
1 Kick
2 Snare Top
Snare
3 Bottom
4 Hi Hat
5 Rack Tom
6 Floor Tom
7 Overhead L
8 Overhead R
9 Snare Verb
10 Drum Verb
11 Bass
12 Gtr 57
13 Gtr 414
14 Gtr 421
15 Gtr Verb
Roland
16 Organ
17 organ verb
18 Sax
19 Sax verb
20 Vox Final
21 Vox Verb
22 Master
Misty Blue Pro Tool Tracks (Table 3.1)
55


Lyrics
Verse 1
Oh baby, baby
Ah baby
Yeah its been such a long, long time
Look like I get you off of my mind
Chorus 1 (a)
Oh but I cant
Just the thought of you
Turns my whole world that misty blue
Verse 2
Oh, oh honey
Just the mention, just the mention of your name
Turns the lovely guy to a flame
Wont you listen to me good baby
I think of the things we used to do
And it turns my whole world that misty blue
Chorus 2
Oh baby oh bay I just, I want to forget you
Heaven knows I tried
Verse 3
Baby when I say that Im glad were through
Deep in my heart well I Know Ive lied
Ive lied Ive lied oh baby oh I lied to you
Verse 1
Oh baby
God its been such a long, long time
Look like I get you over my mind
Chorus 1 (a)
But I cant just the thought of you my love, my love
Turns my whole world that misty blue
56


Chorus 1 (b)
Say oh baby, ah baby
Oh baby I just know that I got I got to let you go
You turn my world that misty blue
Refrain
I say baby
Oh baby
Ah baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby please, oh baby
Please dont leave me now
I say baby, oh lord baby, oh baby, baby come home, come home
Oh baby god its been such a long, long time
57


5. WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO
5.1 Analysis of Reference Track
5.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track
5.3 Plug-ins used
5.4 Panning
5.5 Timeline
5.6 Track listing
5.7 Lyrics
Analysis of Reference Track
My reference song is Unit 7 by Wes Montgomery. This comparable
track was selected using a similar strategy to how I dealt with my recording of
Zydeco Jam. This is a straightforward jazz track played in the west coast
swing guitar style that Wes Montgomery made famous in the fifties and
sixties. While my track still maintains a good deal of rock n roll I wanted to
highlight more of the jazz style to create yet another different flavor for my
recordings.
This is also just an instrumental track, as I feel my comparable track for
Misty Blue provides a more than adequate basis for the vocal of Where Did
Our Love Go. Further support of this is that my preamp and microphone
selection are the same for Misty and Our Love, while slightly different for the
additional three songs.
58


The Guitar is at the front of this mix and is without a doubt the most
important factor for the listener. The style is mainly eighth and sixteenth
notes with sustained notes bridging the chord changes. The playing is never
forced but moves quickly and easily and makes for an upbeat track that
entices the listener to tap a foot or hand along to the guitar. There is also a
touch of distortion or dirtiness to Wess playing adding some depth and
character to the tone. There is not much panning as the guitar acts as the lead
voice throughout the entire track. Furthermore, while each note is clean,
(especially true of the melody) the style does encourage some processing of
the guitar. While the guitar in Where Did Our Love Go is not the centerpiece,
this general style of playing and mixing is something that I will try to emulate.
In the true jazz style, the Ride cymbal and Hi Hat drives much of the rhythm
and is accompanied by a light snare drum and a subtle kick drum. As the
drummer in the Tantrums is not a true jazz drummer I anticipate that it might
be difficult to accurately replicate the style found in Unit Seven.
Nevertheless, it is something I will try to do, as otherwise I think the track
may come off sounding lost between several styles.
The Bass and Piano are not very present in this mix, as this is very much a
platform for Mr. Montgomerys expertise. The piano does have a few brief
solos and vamps the chord changes behind everything, but by itself is not that
interesting. Nonetheless, the guitar accompanied with the jazz drums is the
meat of this track. As long as the other players listen to Wes then they will
59


stay out of the way and the track works. This is not quite the case with Where
Did Our Love Go, as the vocals will still be the centerpiece of the mix.
Evaluation
As in the cases of the other four songs I am satisfied with the ultimate
result. As always I like to have the lead vocal above the mix as especially in
this case it is the most interesting aspect to the mix. The vocal is clean, clear,
with a touch of reverb, but again in the style of Koko Taylor, the quality of the
vocal take is more dependent on the vocalists performance than any type of
post-production manipulation.
However I feel like I could have done better with the drums both with
production and mixing, a fact I have already highlighted in my evaluation of
Misty Blue. Straight ahead jazz drumming relies a great deal of the cymbals
and hi hat. It is a light, consistent tone that usually drives the piece. Despite
the drummer for my track not quite being a jazz drummer I feel I should have
encouraged him to play his cymbals and Hi Hat more, rather than have him
rely on his snare much like the rock songs he was used to playing.
Nevertheless I feel as if I could have set my levels better to achieve the jazz
feel that this song aims for. As it is not so much an equalization issue but
rather where each specific drum sits in the mix. This could have certainly
been achieved as the kit was relatively small with no Tom drums, creating a
60


real lack of leakage and allowing for a good deal of isolation between drums.
It was also a learning experience for me as in the beginning of these recording
sessions I was fairly tentative dealing with older established musicians. I was
not always comfortable putting forth my opinion or telling someone I did not
think the recording was good enough and needed to be played again. I did
ultimately become good friends with these musicians to the point that I could
tell them exactly what I thought.
In all other aspects, I was pleased with the guitar and bass. I felt the guitar
was panned and automated well as it acts as a second lead voice to the mix
when the lead vocal drops out. It creates a nice continuity for the guitar to
sound somewhat distant in the mix when behind the vocal but smoothly
jumping to the center of the stereo image with a nice boost in dB so the swing
of the song is always present.
The Bass, as in the other four songs could have used a little more
equalization in the lower-mids to help define the tone. I do not think this is as
noticeable in this track as in others but still was something that could have
helped.
61


Plug-ins
Kick Drum:
Expander/Gate Dyn3: Range -53.2, Attack 106.7us, Hold 50ms, Ratio 2:6:1,
Release 14.6ms, Threshold -5.1dB
BombFactory BF-3A: Peak Reduction @ 5, Output @ 7
4Band EQ3: +2.5dB @ 75Hz Q = 1.78, -1.8dB @ 183Hz Q = 2.82, -3.5dB @
664Hz Q = 3.03, -5.5dB @ 2.3IK Q = .40
Snare top:
1 Band EQ: -4.6dB @ 20K Q = 1
BombFactory BF-3A: Peak Reduction @ 6, Output @ 6
4 Band EQ3: -3.3dB 103Hz Q = 2.4, -3.5dB @ 826Hz Q = 1.59, +3.5dB @
5.63K Q = 2.45
Snare bottom;
4 Band EQ3: -3.3dB 103Hz Q = 2.4, -3.5dB @ 4.27Hz Q = 1.59
Hi Hat:
Expander/Gate Dyn3: Range -57.6, Attack 91.4us, Hold 200ms, Ratio 30:0:1,
Release 1.2ms, Threshold -44.9dB
Overhead:
4 Band EQ3: -3.7dB 237Hz Q = 2.45, -4.1dB @ 1.97K Q = 4.58
Bass:
4Band EQ3: -4.3dB @ 556Hz Q = 1.99, +3.3dB @ 5.IK Q = 2.57
Analog Channel 2: Input +1.6dB, Output 4.4dB
Gtr:
4Band EQ3: +2.9dB @ 114Hz Q = 3.39, -5.3dB @ 826Hz Q = 2.7, -ldB @
3.57K 0 = 2.96
Gtr Overdub:
4Band EQ3: -4.5dB @ 107Hz Q = 2.7, +5.3dB @ 3.17K Q = 2, LPF +4.1dB
@ 11.04K Q = .58
Triton Keyboard:
Medium Delay II Stereo: Left Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 12ms,
Right Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 22ms
FilterBand P4: -3.1dB @ 113.9Hz Q = 2.4, -3.7dB @ 569Hz Q = 1.6, -2.6dB
@ IK Q = .7, +2.3dB @ 3.69K Q = 2
62


Lead Vocal:
FilterBand P4: -1.4dB @ 596.9Hz Q = 2, +2.9dB @ 123.7Hz Q = 2.1, -3.4dB
@ 4K Q = 2.5
Compressor/Limiter Dyn3: Knee = 0, Attack 113.7us, Ratio 1.7:1, Release
23.3ms, Gain +3dB, Threshold -14.7dB
4 Band EQ3: -6.5dB @ 7.15K Q = 10
Master Fader
Oxford EQ + Filters: +ldB @ 4K Q = 1, +.5dB @ 20K High Shelf
ML4000 Mastering Limiter: Threshold @-6.2, Release @10
Panning
Kick Drum: center
Snare Top: center
Snare Bottom: right 10%
Hi Hat: left 29%
Overheads stereo: right 100% left 100%
Bass: center
Guitar 1: left 79%
Guitar 2: right 18%
Vocal: center
Keyboards 1 stereo: right 82%, left 45%
Timeline
Intro: (0:0-0:1 lsec) Drums, bass, piano and guitar.
Verse 1: (0:11 -0:33) Lead vocal with full band
Verse 2: (0:33-0:58) same as verse 1
Solo 1: (0:58-01:42) guitar solo
Verse 3: (01:42-02:08) same as verse 1
Solo 2: (02:08-02:51) guitar solo
Verse 4: (02:51-03:19) same as verse 1
End: (03:19-04:18) Vocals in mix 3:19-3:28, then instrumental to fade out
with guitar as lead voice 3:30-4:19
63


Triton Keyboard with Delay and EQ in the edit window (Figure 5.1)
9 Tools LE 73.1 FHt CdR View Track Region Event AudtoSuHe Options Stup Window Help 4$ 4 4SP Mon 4:27 CM &
Lead vocal with multiple EQ and compression in the edit window (Figure 5.2)
£ Pro Tools IE 73.1 fHe Edit Vww Track Repton Event AudioSuKe Options Setup Window Help 4$ $ ^ Mon 4:41 PM Q
64


Where Did Our Love Go
Tracks Instruments
1 Kick
2 Snare Top
Snare
3 Bottom
4 Hi Hat
5 Rack Tom
6 Floor Tom
7 Overhead L
8 Overhead R
9 Snare Verb
10 Drum Verb
11 Bass
12 Gtr 57
13 Gtr 414
14 Gtr 421
15 Gtr Verb
Roland
16 Organ
17 Triton Piano
18 Keys verb
19 Percussion
20 Shaker
21 Bells
22 Sax
23 Sax verb
24 Vox Final
25 Vox Verb
26 Master
Where Did Our Love Go Pro Tools Tracks (Table 4.1)
65


Lyrics
Baby, baby where did our love go
Dont you want me
Dont you want me no more?
I've got this burning, burning
Yearning feelin' inside me
Ooh, deep inside me
And it hurts so bad
came into my heart
So tenderly
With a burning love
That stings like a bee
Now that I surrender
Oh so helplessly
I see you wanna leave me
came into my heart
So tenderly
With a burning love
That stings like a bee
Now that I surrender
Oh so helplessly
I see you wanna leave me
Baby, baby
Where did our love go
Dont you want me
Dont you want me no more
I've got this burning, burning
Yearning feelin' inside me
Ooh, so deep inside me
And it hurts so bad
Oh it hurts so bad
66


6. VUDU
6.1 Analysis of Reference Track
6.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track
6.3 Plug-ins used
6.4 Panning
6.5 Timeline
6.6 Track listing
6.7 Lyrics
Analysis of Reference Track
My reference song is Voodoo by the Neville Brothers. I chose the
original song as I am a fan of the Neville Brothers and feel that their music
has depth, character, and is well thought out and composed. This is a busy
mix with a great deal happening simultaneously and I decided that basing my
recording on the original would be a good way to place the multiple
instruments. I thought this original recording also sets a solid basis for much
of what Tempa and the Tantrums try to accomplish musically; a mixture of
funk and blues, lead by a great vocal personality that is consistently on top of
the mix.
The lead vocal is one of many important aspects to this mix. However it
does not dominate the mix, sitting just barely in front of the rest of the band.
It is a clean recording, as one can easily hear the lyrics. It sounds as if the
67


vocal is only lightly processed with a touch of reverb, as the vocal maneuvers
and slides are what provide the interesting content to the vocal line. There is
very little processing or manipulation done in the mix, which I believe creates
space for the other instruments, as the listener is not completely drawn into the
vocals and can thus focus on the other instruments.
I tried to emulate the hand percussion as I thought it had a lot of good pop
and crispness, and while it is played throughout the song, it is never
overbearing or tedious. I imagine this is a result of proper microphone usage
and placement rather than anything done during post-production.
The bass is the glue that holds the track together. It is rhythmically solid,
slightly funky, but always maintains a consistent volume. Furthermore, the
bass player always seems to understand his role within the mix, never playing
too many notes or looking for the spotlight. Although it has a more prevalent
role, it is should still not dominate the more interesting aspects of the mix.
Proper use of compression and selective equalization is what allows the bass
to remain consistent within the mix. Moreover, even though the hand
percussion is played throughout, it is syncopated, which combined with a
minimal inclusion of a traditional drum kit further reinforces the bass central
role in this mix.
The Homs and keyboard act in a similar fashion throughout the song.
They both have similar types of sustained notes. In the case of the keyboard it
is heard as sustained chords, whereas in the horns it is arranged swells.
68


Nonetheless both add extra layers of texture to create a diverse mix. Both the
keyboard and saxophone also have small riffs and solos, each of which is a
great sounding phrase and helps shape the structure of the song, which would
otherwise be dominated by a number of repetitive grooves being played by the
percussion and bass. The guitar is also very much a background player in this
mix. For the majority of the song the guitar slaps chords in time and has
many fewer moving lines than the saxophone or keyboard. The guitar helps
fill out the expected sound the Neville Brothers created, but otherwise is
perhaps the most uninteresting aspect to the entire mix.
The Neville Brothers, who hail from New Orleans, seem to be trying to
recreate the street music or parades that permeate that geographic area. This
is a genre of music where there are often multiple instruments and vocalists,
but it is never about a single person or instrument, rather it is about an overall
sound. I found it helpful to translate this concept to mixing, as it prevented
me from focusing too much on individual parts and allowed me to always hear
my mix as a single entity.
69


Evaluation
Staying true to the original mix the bass lays down the initial groove,
which continues throughout the entire track. The playing was solid and
consistent, which allowed me to add compression, automate a few interesting
phrases with some slight bumps in volume and easily place it nicely behind
the vocals and other contributing instruments. Beyond this mix, this is often
the role for the bass player of the Tantrums making this a relatively
straightforward task, in which I did not need to worry about egos or chemistry
within the band.
The hand percussion comes off as a little weak within the mix.
Throughout the mixing process I was never in love with its overall sound,
which ultimately resulted in a placement that was more in the background of
the mix than was originally intended. This is especially true of the cowbell, a
sound I just could not allow much chance to be a dominating aspect to the
mix. I believe this was the result of the instrument and the musician more
than anything else. The musician was the drummer who had minimal
experience playing such hand percussion instruments, which were borrowed
for the session, thus further adding to his lack of comfort and overall
performance. At the time it did not strike me as a major issue, but in
retrospect it is probably something I would have liked to re-track.
70


The traditional drum kit came out solid if only just a little dry. The
Tantrums always play with a tradition kit, making the inclusion of the kit
during tracking essential to keep the band rhythmically together as well as to
provide the appropriate musical cues. The snare could have used more reverb
in retrospect, but is not something that has a major negative impact.
Otherwise the Hi Hat (close microphone) and cymbals (overhead
microphones) sound fine and provide a good addition of higher frequencies.
The vocal is more dominant in my mix, as she is the featured aspect to this
band regardless of genre. Her voice is too powerful and engaging for it to be
placed anywhere other than at the front of the mix. Nevertheless, like the
original mix I tried to use minimal processing, treating it with only a little
reverb and compression. Moreover the compression used was minimal, with
only a small amount of gain reduction as from a stylistic standpoint, I felt her
attacks, due to the style of the song, were both harder and shorter than in other
tracks making the usual effects of compression less necessary.
The Saxophone plays more of a minor role in my mix than in the original
recording. It is only used for a main solo and is otherwise not present in the
mix. Just as with the hand percussion issue, the different usage was a result of
the bands comfort and artistic desires. They just did not want a strong horn
component, and felt a single solo would still be effective. To create more
contrast for the relatively small inclusion I used a tonally dark microphone
71


and preamp setup, with a large diaphragm Mohave microphone and a
Chandler preamp. This was considerably different from any other gear I used
in the tracking sessions, and resulted in a nice space for the saxophone to be
heard.
The guitar, similar to the original mix is a backup feature to a busy mix. It
makes it presence known in a similar way to the track Brother Bob with
heavy slides and crunchy chords at the ends of phrases. However, the organ
plays some of these same sustained chords covering up the guitar at points
earlier in the track. I did not find this to be an issue because of its secondary
role in the mix. Nevertheless, the duet of guitar and voice in the last few
seconds of the track is a nice ending and showcases the strong musical
chemistry that exists between the players in this band.
Overall, the organ replaces some of the meat of the mix that was achieved
by the horn section in the original. My recorded tempo is also slightly slower
than the original but still pushes the groove of the song enough to stay away
from a monotonous feel. The snare cracks are much harder then the original,
a facet of the already discussed rock-n-roll side to the band. The ultimate
sound is at times more like a harder driving blues band such as Koko Taylor,
but that is the heart of this bands character. I think it is good to emulate a
great band and mix such as the Neville Brothers version to a point, yet it is
72


futile to try and change the sound of an already established and successful
band such as Tempa and the Tantrums.
Plug-ins
Kick Drum:
Expander/Gate Dyn3: Range -53.2, Attack 106.7us, Hold 50ms, Ratio 2:6:1,
Release 14.6ms, Threshold -5.1dB
Analog Channel 2: Input -3.3dB, Output 16.9dB
4Band EQ3: +4.5dB @ 45Hz Q = .96, -1.8dB @ 183Hz Q = 2.82, -3.5 @
664Hz Q = 3.03, -5.1 @ 6.IK Q = .49
Snare Top:
IBand EQ3: LPF, Filter @ 12dB/Octave @ 6.27K
BombFactory BF76: Input @ -25dB, Attack @ 4, Release @ 6, Output @ -
14dB, Ratio 4:1
4Band EQ3: -3.9dB @ 114Hz Q = 1.02, -4.3dB @ IK Q = 1.07, +3.9dB @
2.31K Q = 3.39, +2.5dB @ 7.01K Q = 3.44
Snare Bottom:
Expander/Gate Dyn3: Range-80dB, Attack 219.2us, Hold 200ms, Ratio
30:0:1, Release 63.8ms, Threshold -17.4dB
4Band EQ3: -3.3dB @ 103Hz Q = 2.4, -3-7dB @ 4.27K Q = 1.59
Hi Hat:
4Band EQ3: -6.3dB @ 91Hz Q = .3, -4.9dB @ 5.3IK Q = 3.24
Overheads:
4Band EQ3: -3.7dB @ 237Hz Q = 2.45, -4.1dB @ 1.97K Q = 4.58
Bass:
4Band EQ3: -l-ldB @ 83Hz Q = 1.18, -4.3dB @ 556Hz Q = 2.14
Analog Channel 2: Input +1.6dB, Output 4.4dB
Guitar:
4Band EQ3: -4.5dB @ 107Hz Q = 2.7, -5.3dB @ 1.1K Q = 2.96, +1.6dB @
9.81K Q = .58
Sans Amp: See attached picture
Chrome Amp: See attached picture
73


Vocal:
Analog Channel 2: Input -ldB, Output 2dB
4Band EQ3: -3dB @ 115Hz Q = .96, +2.5 @ 764Hz Q = 3.03
Keyboards:
Triton Keyboard:
JoeMeek Mequalizer: Bass +2dB, Mid -2dB @ IK, Treble -2dB
Roland & Triton via subgroup:
4Band EQ3: HPF -1.6dB @ 50Hz Q = .6, -3.7dB @ 513Hz Q = 2.14, +3.1dB
@ 5.21K Q = 1.44, LPF +4.1dB @ 12.19K Q = .9
Medium Delay II Stereo: Left Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 12ms,
Right Channel: Mix 100%, Depth 100%, Delay 22ms
Congas:
4Band EQ3: HPF -12dB @ 33Hz Q = .28
BombFactory BF76: Input @ -30dB, Output @ -18dB, Attack @ 3, Release
@ 3, Ratio @12:1
Saxophone:
4Band EQ3: +2.2dB @ 123Hz Q = 1.9, -2.7dB @ 429Hz Q = 3.99, -2.9dB @
2.36k Q = 3.47, LPF +4.5dB @ 12.44K Q = .69
Master Fader:
Oxford EQ + Filters: +ldB @ 5800Hz, +1.5dB @3.5K Q = 1.5, +.5dB @ 20K
High Shelf
Rcompressor: Ratio @ 1.25, Threshold @ -9, Attack @ 135, Release @ 1450,
Gain @ 2
ML4000 Mastering Limiter: Threshold @-6, Release @ 10
Panning
Kick Drum: center
Snare Top: center
Snare Bottom: center
Hi Hat: left 32%
Overheads stereo: right 100% left 100%
Bass: center
Guitar 1: left 25%
Guitar 2: right 25%
Vocal: center
Saxophone: center
Keyboards 1 stereo: right 69%, left 92%
Keyboards 2 stereo: right 85%, left 50%
74


Congas stereo: right 100% left 100%
Shaker stereo: right 100% left 100%
Cowbell stereo: right 100% left 100%
Timeline
Intro: (0:0-0:24sec) Solo bass 0:0-0:12, Guitar, drums, keyboard, shaker,
percussion bells joins mix 0:12-0:24.
Verse 1: (0:24-0:51) lead vocal with full band
Verse 2: (0:52-01:14) same as verse 1
Chorus 1: (01:15-02:03) same as verse 1, 1:45-2:03 shortened verse extended
from chorus section
Solo 1: (02:03-03:21) sax solo
Verse 3: (03:22-03:47) same as verse 1
Chorus 2: (03:47-04:15) same as chorus 1
Verse 4: (04:15-04:40)
End: (04:40-05:20) Vudu Woman sung by guitar and echoed by guitar
4:40-5:00 with full band. 5:00-5:20 full band, no vocal 4x repeat final phrase
and end.
^ fra Tools t£ 7.3.1 file fcdR V*w Track JMycR Jvent AudioSuRe Option* Seiup ttVidow Help 44 i Mon 4t> M Q
Bass EQ and compression in the edit window (Figure 6.1)
75


Vudu
Tracks Instruments
1 Kick
2 Snare Top
Snare
3 Bottom
4 Hi Hat
5 Rack Tom
6 Floor Tom
7 Overhead L
8 Overhead R
9 Snare Verb
10 Drum Verb
11 Bass
12 Gtr 57
13 Gtr 414
14 Gtr 421
15 Gtr Verb
Roland
16 Organ
17 Triton Piano
18 Keys verb
19 Percussion
20 Shaker
21 Bells
22 Sax
23 Sax verb
24 Vox Final
25 Vox Verb
26 Master
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Lyrics
Chorus 1
Ah you must have put vudu on me
Lord you must have cast a spell
Cause the way you got me loving you boy
There aint no time can tell
Verse 1
Now you must have been burning candles
To make that love so strong
Now you must have sprinkled dust all around my bed
You must have had that black cap on
Ah just at a glance you know you brought me to a trance
And when I looked into your eyes oh lord how they hypnotize
Chorus 1
Oh you must have put vudu on me
Said lord you must have cast a spell
Said now the way you got me loving you boy
There aint no two can tell
Chorus 1
Ah you must have put the hoodoo on me
My lord you must have cast a spell
Cause the way you got me loving you boy
Ah there aint no time can tell
Verse 2
Lord if I call on Magnolia
Could she break this spell on me
The Father black Hawk or Mother Dora
I wonder could they set me free
Chorus 1
Ah you must have put vudu on me
Say lord you must have cast a spell
Now the way you got me loving you boy
Ah there aint no two can tell
Vudu woman
Vudu woman
Vudu woman
77


7. GOOD JOB BOY
7.1 Analysis of Reference Track
7.2 Evaluation of Recorded Track
7.3 Plug-ins used
7.4 Panning
7.5 Timeline
7.6 Track listing
7.7 Lyrics
Analysis of Reference Track
I chose Crossroads by Cream as my reference track for several reasons.
This is a relatively simple mix that is driven by a distinct guitar style, a solid
vocal track, and an overall good balance of instruments within the mix. It is
worth noting that this is a live track, which alters the panning more than any
other components of the mix. Nevertheless, I felt the balance and style of the
music was still an excellent fit for my recorded track.
A primary reason for my use of Crossroads is Eric Claptons classic
Fender Stratocaster sound. In the manner of many other great musicians,
Clapton developed his own sound of blues-rock. His tasteful use of multiple
effects creates a powerful lead timbre, which combined with his technically
flawless playing, makes for inspired tracks. The lead guitar solos in Good Job
Boy were played in a similar style and on a Fender Strat creating a similar
78


sound that one can only identify as being derived from Clapton. In this
relatively simple mix, Claptons powerful vocal and guitar is easily able to
drive the entire mix.
Claptons voice while not perfect, lends itself well to the blues lyrics
where it is more about the actual words than any type of vocal gymnastics.
Claptons voice is panned to the center and stays in the same register
throughout the track never becoming fancy or pushing the envelope.
However, it is always in tune and rhythm and with a feeling of genuine
emotion. There is certainly reverb used on the vocal track, creating a larger
sound as well as aiding to cover up any minor, unpleasant characteristics to
Claptons voice. Compression seems to have helped even out the amplitude,
but adding a snap to the vocal that allows it to be heard at the front of the mix,
despite what is a relatively softly mixed vocal track. This combined with
equalization makes for a nicely balanced and mixed vocal track.
One of the more interesting aspects to this mix is the panning. The drums
are panned throughout the stereo field with the Hi Hat and snare pushed to the
right and the Cymbals sounding hard panned to the right and left. This is not
overly dramatic and sounds strange, but not necessarily bad. Both the bass
and guitar are panned in an almost equal amount to opposite sides of the
stereo field. This creates a big sonic picture of the band, creating an audience
perspective as if one was watching the live show with the bass and guitar to
the outer sides of the lead vocalist. The only contradiction is that Claptons
79


vocal is panned center and his guitar is out to the right. The panning of the
bass while highly unorthodox did make a dramatic impression on me and
seems to be worthy of trying a similar technique in my mix.
The Bass is a major part to this mix despite the relatively simple music it
is playing. Nevertheless, as Cream was only a trio, and the bass was panned
to the left with little else, it is easily heard throughout the mix. There is no
doubt that compression and equalization were used to mix these tracks, but it
is nothing out of the ordinary.
The drums are mixed relatively quietly except for in a few specific spots.
There is not a tremendous crack to the snare, as the listener hears more of the
reverberant tail and bottom rattle of the snare. The same can be said of the
kick drum as it is hard to hear at times, and is not a dominating factor in the
drum mix. The Hi Hat and cymbals are the most persistent aspect of the
drums. The overhead microphones seem to be hard panned right and left with
a little more air or high frequency material above 12K. This makes the
sound of the cymbals appear to splash, which creates a lack of definition.
Some of the high-end frequency or air may be due to an audience microphone
from the live show mixed into the final product. Nevertheless, my drum
tracks will most likely follow more contemporary standards that emphasize a
heavier kick drum and more definition to the snare drum.
The most interesting aspect of the drums is the contrast of the drums used
in the mix. At the start of the song and throughout the verses the drummer is
80


mainly focusing on the Hi Hat and Cymbals, with an audible snare whose
volume is behind the guitar and vocal and relatively equal to the bass. This
approach begins the song in a simple fashion allowing for the track to grow in
intensity. Furthermore the equalization of the high frequencies while at times
lacks clarity still helps to balance the overall mix by leaving room for the mid-
range frequencies of Claptons vocal range. The drums are then brought
towards the front of the mix for the guitar solo with an emphasis on the snare
and tom drums, and more powerful and frequent drum hits. After the guitar
solo the drummer switches back to just Hat and cymbals one last time. As is
often seen within the art of mixing the addition and subtraction of instruments,
even if it is only a single drum creates a less predictable and more engaging
mix.
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Evaluation
I felt my finished track worked well and was relatively close in sound and
feel to my reference track of Crossroads. The only major deviations are the
extra emphases on Tempas lead vocal track and the panning of the bass and
drums. Whereas Claptons vocal track does not dominate the rest of the mix,
Tempas voice still remains the featured instrument to this band and must be
treated accordingly.
Nevertheless I did not do anything radical with the vocal track, as the
guitars are featured more prominently. I used minimal compression (3dB gain
reduction) and standard equalization removing some low frequency content
and adding some high frequency content. The vocal is at the front of the mix,
softened with reverb, but still leading the band.
With regard to the guitar tracks there is more taking place than in the
reference track as I was unable to book Clapton for these sessions.
Nevertheless, the focus of the guitars is still the Fender Stratocaster, which sits
well in front of the rest of the mix, both during its solos and fills, which occur
mostly between lyrics or at the end of phrases. As can be seen in the plug-in
section I did very little processing of the lead guitar, just a few equalization
cuts and no compression. The lead is also panned out to the right side of the
stereo field the same as in the reference track. This balances the rhythm guitar
82


in a symmetrical fashion while also providing space for both guitars to sit
within the mix.
I felt it was best to maintain as much of the original sound of the guitar as
possible if I wanted to stay within the blues-rock genre. That combined with
the multiple pedals and effects that were recorded to tape allowed for the
guitar to drive the song as I intended. From my own experience of playing
jazz at an early age I quickly learned the importance of space within music,
meaning that a well-played, but simple phrase can be more dramatic than a
sloppy show of musicianship. I took that approach with this track and tried to
focus on the rhythmic aspects that created the groove to the song, as well as
showcasing the guitars. Post-production became more about mixing the
existing pieces together, rather than attempting to manipulate them with
dramatic processing and automation.
The rhythm guitar was treated in a similar fashion with no post-production
compression but slightly more exaggerated equalization. This helped
eliminate any frequency clashing between the guitars allowing the lead guitar
to be heard clearly. In the same vain, since the rhythm guitar plays a
repetitive line throughout the song, I felt that a limited frequency range
combined with its panning would allow it to sit underneath the mix, mostly
adding sonic depth and texture. While both guitars are processed through a
83


delay only the rhythm guitar has been treated with reverb. This aids in
placing the rhythm guitar behind the other instruments in the mix, and also
helps to feature the lead guitar.
The Bass was played and mixed underneath much of the mix. However,
the sound is more distorted than on other tracks providing good tonal
character to an otherwise straightforward track. I experimented with panning
the bass to the left like in the live recording of Crossroads, but found it to
actually create a lack of overall definition for the mix. Perhaps the
contemporary expectation of always hearing the bass panned to the center is
cemented in my ear, but it ultimately just made the mix sound better.
The major mixing tool I employed on the bass was the use of the kick
drum acting as a key input to a compressor on the bass track. I felt the
interplay of the bass and kick drum in the reference track (while at times low
in the mix) was a large part of what worked so well despite the relatively
sparse makeup of the band. Allowing the bass to be heard in conjunction with
the kick drum created a similar type of interplay. By working on the release
and attack speeds of the bass compressor I was able to manipulate the groove
of the song controlling how much, and what aspect of the bass signal would
be heard. Ultimately, I chose a fast attack and a medium release time,
accenting the sustain of the signal, instead of highlighting the attack the way
one might choose to treat a snare drum.
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The drums are played in a style similar to that of the reference track. In
the reference track the cymbals and Hi Hat lead the kit, except for the solo
sections where the snare is more prominent. As I noted earlier there is too
much High Frequency splash for my taste, although I did like the longer
reverberation time used for the snare. Therefore, I chose to base my drum mix
more from the solo sections of the reference track where the snare is the focus
of the drums. My recorded track is thus mostly about the kick and snare, with
the fills and cymbal crashes occurring at the expected peaks throughout the
song.
I wanted the snare to drive the drum kit in a classic rock n roll style. I felt
that my snare track sounded good enough that with a little help it could
achieve the sound I wanted. I again used key inputs, letting the top
microphone snare drum track act as a key input for a compressor on the Hi
Hat track. I bussed the snare output to an aux track, which I gated with a fast
release time and a HPF at 12dB/oct at IK. These decisions were meant to
accent the attack of the signal (often articulated as the crack of the snare), as
well as eliminate the kick drum bleed from the snare track so the key input for
the Hi Hat would only be triggered by the snare hits. This combined with the
original snare track, as well as the snare hits heard in the stereo overhead
tracks, create a sound centered on the snare track.
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Otherwise there is nothing out of the ordinary taking place within the
drum tracks beyond equalization, volume automation and reverb (used in
varying amounts on all the drum tracks). I tried to limit the amount of
compression used to preserve the body of sound of the drums, as the drums
from the reference track do not sound overly compressed or processed. I did
however try to emulate the reverb sound used on the snare drums with a
longer decay time that would not interfere with the attack of the drum.
Ultimately my final product is something I enjoy listening to which is
not always the case. I feel that each instrument was given enough room to
perform their task within the mix. There is minimal frequency clashing, and
the lead vocal can be heard well on top of the mix. I feel this is due to a solid
performance by the musicians as well as my use of key inputs and volume
automation. I also attempted to mix the tracks with a bigger sonic picture in
mind as the goal. This helped me avoid becoming trapped in the minutia of
the track, and allowed me to focus on the mix from more of a producers
perspective.
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Plug-ins
Kick Drum:
Smack! Compressor: (1= slow, 10 = fast) Input 4.5, Attack 8.3, Release 6.8,
Ratio-2:1, Output 6.6dB
7 Band EQ3: +5.3dB @ 83Hz Q = 2.09, -9.8dB @ 524Hz Q = 1, +5.3dB @
2.27K Q = 1.9
Top Snare:
Smack! Compressor: Input 4.6dB, Attack 9.1, Release 6.7, Ratio 4:1, Output
5.2dB
7 Band EQ3: +3.3dB @ 124Hz Q = 1.62, -2dB @ 465Hz Q = .71, -6.7dB @
2.31K Q = 8.1, LPF +ldB @ 1.8K Q = 1
This track has also been bussed to an Aux track to act as the key input for the
Hi Hat track
Snare Aux:
1 Band EQ3: HPF 12dB/Oct @ IK
Expander/Gate Dyn 3: Range -54dB, Ratio 11.4:1, Attack 1.6ms, Release
855ms, Hold 467.6ms, Threshold -34.2dB
Hi Hat:
Smack! Compressor: Input 7.5dB, Attack 9.1, Release 6.7, Ratio 4:1, Output
3.6dB
(Key input bus 12 from top snare compressor via snare aux track)
Overhead L/R:
7 Band EQ3: -7.8dB @ 556Hz Q = .72
Floor Tom:
Expander/Gate Dyn 3: Range -54dB, Ratio 3:1, Attack 1.6ms, Release 855ms,
Hold 467.6ms, Threshold -12.9dB
Smack! Compressor: Input 4.5dB, Attack 6, Release 6.4, Ratio 2:1, Output
4.4dB
7 Band EQ3: +5.3dB @ 136Hz Q = 2.09, -10.6dB @ 748Hz Q = 1, +4.5dB @
2.6K Q = 1.95, LPF -3.1dB @ 7.29K Q = .79
Rack Tom:
Expander/Gate Dyn 3: Range -54dB, Ratio 3:1, Attack 1.6ms, Release 884ms,
Hold 131.6ms, Threshold -10.2dB
Smack! Compressor: Input 4.5dB, Attack 6, Release 6.4, Ratio 2:1, Output
4.4dB
7 Band EQ3: +5.1dB @ 199Hz Q = 1.62, -4.9dB @ 524Hz Q = 1, +2.2dB @
2.05K Q = 1.95, LPF -3.1dB @ 7.29K Q = .79
87