Fortunate Sons in Digital Studio Production

The setting up of microphones and musician’ s instruments and peripherals begun at 9.00 in the morning and we started recording at around 10.00, on Friday, 3rd, December. After six hours we had eight fully recorded songs on a Pro Tools session. Each of the three students of our group would select one song to mix it on a 5.1 and stereo version.

The band we recorded is called Fortunate Sons and they are four musicians: drummer, baser, guitarist and singer; they play old time classic and well known reggae and rock songs. They were very well organised and communicative during the recording procedure. All musicians of the group were experienced in the recording procedure and they knew their songs very well. They brought their own instruments and amplifiers with them. Singer’ s voice is impressive, clear and dynamic. Guitarist’s way of playing is classical and powerful, and the recorded distortion by his pedals and his Marshall amplifier is almost ready to be mixed in the final mix procedure. Drummer plays clearly and lightly. Bass is rhythmic and melodic, but there is a high frequency noise in it, due to the DB amplifier that was used.

The songs we have recorded are: “I shot the sheriff”, “I feel good”, “No woman, no cry”, “Ain’t no sunshine”, “Superstition”, “Sunshine of your Love”, “Honky tonk woman”, “Black magic woman”. I am a lover of old rock music, and I enjoy the fact that I am mixing one of my favourite songs (I chose the “Sunshine of your Love”); and Fortunate Sons played for us in a very good manner. The “Sunshine of your Love” was written by musicians Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton, and its lyrics were written by Pete Brown. It was released on the album Disraeli Gears by the British group Cream in 1967.

The final session consists of 15 audio tracks, where 8 of them are drums (kick–AKG D112, snare, tom, floor tom-Shure SM57, overhead L and R-Rode NT2 A, and two distant L and R microphones-AKG C1000S), 1 is bass (DI Box), 3 are electric guitar (L and R- Shure SM57 and DI Box), 1 is auxiliary vocal, 1 is main vocal (Neumann U87i) and 1 is back vocals (Rode NT2 A).

The first 13 tracks were recorded simultaneously, and drums were in Recording Room C, guitar in Recording Room D and bass in Control Room. The auxiliary vocal was also in Control Room. According to this way of recording, the band kept the song’s groove all the time and musicians became passionate. After this, we overdubbed the main vocal in Recording Room D and back vocals in RR C.

Some of the recorded tracks are not going to be imported in my final mix. The technique that I am going to use to mix the song in 5.1 surround loudspeakers is this, at which listener is placed in audience and band is performing in front of him/her. I may spread the drum kit across the three front speakers and place the guitar also somewhere in front. Effects and ambient sound will be routed to the rear loudspeakers, and automation will take place in low amounts. This technique has been selected because the song is classical rock, and I believe that this sort of music is listened with more pleasure when listeners think they are in a live concert; the instrumentation also of the song does not stand for a scattering of instruments, because the mix will sound quite empty.

The stereo mix will be attempted to resemble my favourite rock audio tracks that have similar instrumentation.



6 thoughts on “Fortunate Sons in Digital Studio Production

  1. I can understand why they were so inspired, the genuine Bob Marley sang for them!!

    I think it is a good idea to have the main intruments on the front, but anyway in case you decide to do something different you could always duplicate some tracks and process them slighty different to avoid “emptiness”. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. So, you actually made a whole record in that room! Really nice work! We did also used the Neumman for the vocals, trying to disapprove the result of our subjective test!

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