My Music, Recording

Adventures In Recording (Part 1)

This is part 1 of a series of blog posts following my experience of recording with Logic Pro and learning as I go.

I spent a while last week recording “Strength”, one of my songs from back in 1994.  I recorded the guitar using a metronome and two mic inputs (direct and SM58 pointed at the sound hole).  Both these went through my Focusrite scarlett and then into Logic.  I then applied some of the basic lessons I had learned from watching YouTube videos on compression and EQ techniques.

Listen to this version of “Strength” here: [audio|titles=Strength (03 Jul 2012)|artists=Alastair Vance]

I definitely got a much better guitar tone than I did the last time, but the vocals lack something.  It’s hard to put a finger on it, but there is lack of passion or dynamic in the vocal.  I think it’s because I recorded the guitar and vocal part separately.  I am so used to singing and playing at the same time, that often those two elements build off each other.

Getting the right amount of reverb on the vocal is difficult.  I’m not 100% happy with the settings I have used on the attached vocal – so more work needed there also.

After discussing some options with Darrell on Sunday, I have decided to do the following:

  • Scrap current attached version.
  • Record a scratch track – i.e. guitar and vocal together against a metronome.
  • Record guitar again with two inputs, except this time use Samson condensor instead of the Shure SM58.
  • Record vocal using condensor.
  • Dump scratch track.

Keep an eye on my blog to hear the latest versions of the track and how it was recorded.


6 thoughts on “Adventures In Recording (Part 1)

  1. wahbaman says:

    great song! you’ll get the hang of recording vocals separately from guitar.  it might take years, but it’ll make you *better at doing them together* if you focus on doing them well individually.
    suggestions for vocal fx. have them in this order in your channel strip…
    -EQ: high pass filter at 200-250 (this will go higher as you add more instruments); 2db cut at about 2000Hz; high shelf boost of 1db around 12k
    -compressor: ratio 2.5:1… attack about 8:00, release about 10:00, lower threshold until max of about 4db gain reduction on the loudest notes you sing
    -de-esser. in ProTools, use the Male HF setting
    -instead of reverb, consider a slapback delay. used sparingly, it can thicken up your vocal and give it more of a live feel. slapback settings: 80-90ms delay; set mix to about 8% (take it higher so you can hear the effect, then bring it down).
    these changes will make your vocal sound thin on your laptop. but go play it in your car. compare it to an acoustic recording by your favorite artist. (“I will follow you into the dark” by Death Cab is a good one)


    • AlastairVance says:

       @wahbaman Hey, love the delay sound verus the reverb.  Nice.  I’ve worked in some of these recommendations (I think) and will post the results soon.


  2. Pingback: Adventures In Recording (Part 2) | Live To Worship

  3. Pingback: Adventures In Recording (Part 3) | Live To Worship

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