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'Pilot to Co-Pilot'
Red Republic is a new band, featuring a few members from New York Homecoming, whom I've recorded in the past. The new project is a bit more melodic, and perhaps a little more polished, but in the same vein. For this recording, we were focusing on two songs, which we recorded and mixed over a few half-days. Tracking was straightforward, we tracked a scratch guitar with the drums, focusing on getting solid drum takes and sounds. The overheads were a spaced pair of GT44s, pointing at the snare drum, measured to be equal distances. Close mics on the high toms were Sennheiser e603s, the low toms got SM57s. Kick was an AKG D112 out front, with a Nady drum mic on the beater. We had a couple of room mics set up, one was a KEL HM1, the other an MXL V63m. The snare was a Sennheiser e609, which can sound very nice on snare in some circumstances. I had 4 PM1000 channels, which got the overheads, kick and snare, and I used the preamps and eq from my Yamaha GF16/12 mixer for the other mics.
Once we had the drums tracked, we moved on to the guitars, where I used two mics on each cabinet. Brad had a Sennheiser e906 mounted on his cab, so we used that, and we used an SM57 on another speaker. PM1000s were the preamps again here, as they were for all of the subsequent overdubs. Scott's guitar was tracked using an RE20 and an SM57 on his cabinet, Bass was the Re20 on the cab, and a DI through the GT Brick. We spent a bit of time getting those tracks sounding good, then laid down the vocals.
RE20 was the mic used for the vocals, with an FMR RNC on the track to smooth things out a bit during tracking. After we'd laid the lead and backing vox, we started into the mix. Overall, the mix went pretty quickly, though we did manage to get the computer loaded down pretty heavily with some of the reverb we were using. Reverbs take an absurd amount of processing power, especially good sounding ones. I subsequently bought a newer computer, but it's like an arms race!
The drums got a bit of reverb and eq, and some compression to even things a little, and get the kind of snare tone we wanted. It was close during tracking, but in the mix phase, we wanted just a little more edge, which we got. Guitars got the usual slight tape saturation, and a little delay and reverb on solos, just a little room on the rhythm parts. Bass was on two channels, so I delayed the DI signal to match the mic signal, then used eq and compression to get a nice tone that cut through.
Lastly, vocals got a tiny bit of tempo delay, and some reverb. To create the 'doubled' effect, we used Melodyne, and tuned a copy of the lead vocal, which we brought in behind the main untuned vocal. This gives a thick, polished vocal sound, without the blurriness that you often get when actually doubling vocals. A bit of buss compression and the whole thing was finished!