Kansas City – Recording/Mixing Details

Written on the acoustic guitar, so I recorded the guitar first, then bass, then vocal, then drums and other elements. Details follow.

Acoustic guitar: Recorded live, using my Audio Technica AT4040 mic. Then used Cubase to set up a tempo map, based on the live recording. I didn’t end up using the tempo map that much, but it was an interesting exercise and did help with some of the sync-up edits I did later on with the other instrument tracks.

Piano: Recorded on a MIDI keyboard, using the “Yamaha S90ES Piano” patch, which is part of the Halion Sonic SE software synth that comes with Cubase 6. This is my go-to piano patch, which I probably overuse now, but I really like it.

Bass: Used my Yamaha RBX 170 bass guitar, which I bought recently at Guitar Center. Recorded it direct, through the PreSonus Firestudio into Cubase. Used the built-in Multiband Compressor, provided by Cubase 6, and some EQ settings, but no other effects. This was my first time using the multi-band compressor and it worked great as a way to fine-tune the EQ of the bass as I fit it into the mix later.

Drums: Recorded live, on my TAMA StageStar kit, using two CAD CM217 overhead condenser mics, a new Shure SM57 on the snare, an Audio Technica AE2500 in the kick drum, and a Shure BG 5.1 to pick up the toms.

Trumpets: Halion Sonic SE “Clear Trumpet NoteExp” patch. When playing two parts, I separated and panned them in separate MIDI tracks.

Cello: Halion Sonic SE “Cello Slow” patch. As with the trumpet, I put the two parts into separate MIDI tracks so I could pan them slightly and raise the volume on the lower part.

Lead and Background Vocals: Recorded using the AT4040. On the Lead Vocal, I used the RoomWorks Reverb plugin. I started with the built-in “Plate Thin” patch and did some editing of the Input and Damping filters to deepen up the vocal a bit and remove some of the higher reverb tones. Added a hint of the “Hall Saint Pauls” patch for a little depth and darkness on top of that.

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