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Critique my recordings (Atypical Metal Content)

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by kanonfodr, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    Are you the Reaper or the Shaman? =]

    I like the creepiness. Keys are cool too.

    What are you using for recording equipment? All instruments sound pretty good engineering-wise except the drums could use a little tweak. They're probably the hardest instrument to record - lots of mic's & lots of variables. The snare needs to come up a bit in the mix.

    Too much high hat in Fistkiss. Vox need a boost too.

    Drums need tweaking in Isis.

    Ditto in Mindsplinter.

    Don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to be an overcritical jerk. I'm just trying to give constructive criticism. I like what I'm hearing. It's not the usual overdone screamo metal junk that's a dime a dozen these days. I really appreciate that I can understand the vocals and it's not a bark / scream fest.

    If this is DIY it's excellent.

    Hope that helps. Nicely done. Keep rocking! :bassist:
  2. I don't have a cool nickname yet, so I'm not on there :) .

    This is totally a basement endeavour. As a matter of fact I have to record my basslines afterwards because I get picked up by the drum mics, and we've got enough spillage in that place as is. But I'm handling both the recording and mixing of it, so it's DIY.

    We're recording through a Presonus FP10 interface and piggybacking a Firebox to provide phantom power to the overheads for the drums. I initially was recording everything in Garageband but I'm slowly making the transition to using Reaper so I can have the full drum kit mic'd up to control everything due to track limitations in GB. As it is we're doing this all "live", minus my bass lines which I can do at home any day of the week.

    The drums are definitely kicking my butt. For these recordings I mic'd the drums with a Beta58 on the kick, SM57 on the snare, and two overheads that are...kinda cheap but good enough. I gained toms control by duplicating the overheads track and band-passing everything else out as much as possible.

    Guitarist's cab was mic'd with an SM57 (he uses a Valveking tube head, no DI or Line out :( ) Both vocalists are using SM58s, and keys are a Roland set plugged straight in. For my bass I just used my demo of POD Farm modeling an Ampeg B15 setup as it's reasonably close to my tone that I use. Both live and in recordings I use a SansAmp BDDI to give me extra drive for when we get really heavy :)

    And keep in mind, this is done in an acoustically poor basement at my drummer's pad, with an acoustic drum set, a tube head, and no iso booth for the vocalists. But ironically these are the best recordings we've ever had, even though I just got into this. I mixed everything but Devil In Hell in Garageband, Devil was done in Reaper. But it's taken a lot of work to get it to this point so far, and I'd like to get it better.

    I definitely appreciate the constructive criticism, I will look into doing what I can to address those issues. May have another recording session this weekend, since I'm just had my wisdom teeth removed yesterday so I doubt I will be in shape to play, and we've got more material to capture.

    Still would love more input from other folks, as well.

  3. t77mackie


    Jun 13, 2012
    Wormtown, MA
    Under the circumstances you've got 90% of it licked!

    Is there any way you can record the drums first and then go back to track the rest of the instruments? Might help - might not.

    It'll be nice to be able to close mic the drums to get more control over them. Honestly I think you just need to close mic the snare and kick because the cymbals and toms are pretty much there. You'll probably want to experiment with different mic's and placement for the snare to try and get the high hat bleed out. Maybe put the mic on the bottom of the snare?

    All in all it's very good especially for the circumstances and equipment you've got. Nice work.
  4. We've talked about doing some serious multi-tracking like that, but it would most likely require that both the guitarist and drummer get two good takes: first both of them together on a click and then most likely have a re-take later on as a cleanup.

    What I would prefer (and what will most likely never happen) is to get the drummer on a V-drum kit (that we don't have) to capture the MIDI and run it through EZDrummer or Superior Drummer, quantize a few parts for absolute tightness where it counts, then send everyone over it once I've got it timed perfectly for punching in guitar effects, band-aids, fairy dust, etc.

    My working band, Cassandra Syndrome, has done two albums almost completely in-house and I am learning a lot from them as to what they would have done better (Like capturing a clean DI off of the guitar to model up in post if something just isn't fitting). Similarly, the guitar tone in these recordings has a scoop in the mids and while I managed band-aid it a bit with EQ, both the keys and the guitar occupy a lot of the same frequencies so keeping them seperated took some serious trial and error (and headaches) on my part.

    Additionally, some of the effects John does use aren't very prominent in the recordings so I'd love to be able to effect his signal in post without screwing up his sound. Once I get a bit more familiar with Reaper and can employ more tracks in the recordings reliably I will go back to capturing his cleans off the DI again.

    Also, thanks for the tip about miking the snare underneath, will give that a shot next time. Most of the mic kit is Shure, pretty nice stuff, but between the guitar and the snare I'm having trouble seeing how the SM57 became this great go-to instrument mic, I have to gain the crap out of it to get any signal whatsoever.


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