Piper Tri-Pacer – Recording and Mixing Details

This song was an experiment in changing time signatures. It starts out in 3/4 time, and then switches to 4/4 time for the chorus.

Track details are as follows.

* Rhythm Guitar – Recorded using my Guild Madeiras acoustic guitar and two microphones: the AT4040 large diaphram mic about 2 feet away from the sound hole, and an SM57 much closer, but off to the right, on the bass side of the guitar. During mixdown, I panned the AT4040 somewhat left and the SM57 slightly right.

* Lead Vocal – AT4040 mic; “Vintage Compressor” and “Tube Compressor” Cubase 7 effect plugins; also added a slight desser and little reverb, using the “Plate vintage” preset (with modifications) of the Roomworks reverb plugin.

* Bass line – Yamaha RBX 170 bass guitar through the Fender Rumble 75, using both the line out and a mic. I didn’t use any effects on this track, but I did use the built-in “Pre” settings on the Cubase equalizer. This enabled me to cut any rumble below about 20hz, which made a big difference. I ended up using the same “Pre” feature cut the low end below about 50hz from the acoustic guitar track, which was competing just a bit with the bass in some parts.

(In the credit where credit’s due department, I have to mention an article on macProVideo.com by Matthew Loel T. Hepworth, which highlighted this new “pre” feature of Cubase 7; otherwise, I might not have found it.)

* Piano – Yamaha S90ES Piano sound, which is included with the main software synth provided by Cubase, Halion Sonic SE. Another benefit to my tweaks to the bass track (removing the low end a bit) cleared out some room for the rumble of the low piano notes.

* Violas (verse) – “Viola” sound from the Halion Sonic SE software synth. I panned it right to offset the slightly left-leaning acoustic guitar rhythm.

* Hammond organ – VB3 VST plugin, which is a software instrument plugin that emulates a Hammond B3. The coolest thing about this plugin is it’s emulation of the rotating Leslie speakers. You can set the level and speed of the Leslie and experiment with the position of the various virtual “drawbars” that represent the physical drawbars on an actual Hammond B3.

* Trumpet – “Noisy Solo Trumpet” patch in the Halion SE synth, mixed later in the song with a harmony of the same patch.

* Background vocals – in the first verse, a simple, single track with no effects, except a desser; on the chorus and in the second verse, I doubled up (recorded it twice) on two different and panned them left and right. I added a little compression and some reverb to the doubled-up background tracks so they recede to the back a bit more.

* String pad during second verse – “Warm Strings & Pad” patch from the Halion SE synth. Added a little airiness during the second verse.

* Drums – recorded live using four SM57 mics on the snare and toms, my two CM217 overheads, and the AE2500 kick drum mic. Played by me, which is relatively easy to tell.

One thought on “Piper Tri-Pacer – Recording and Mixing Details”

  1. Hi Peter, the song brought back memories of our tripacer which we rebuilt. Had great times in that bird. If I was a young man I would buy that plane.
    Thank you Peter

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