From Raw to Awe…Music Recording Classes at Lucky Dog Studios

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As part of our Studio Engineering/Production series of classes, on Jan 6th we recorded the Jimi Hendrix classic, “Fire”, here at Lucky Dog with a distinguished group of seasoned musicians. Heber Pampillon (guitar) is a Peggy Still School of Music (PSSM) teacher and Dylan Guarino (bass) is a PSSM student; both have credits on the Lucky Dog promo CD as well as the 2012 Holiday album.  Julie Senger (vox) and Jason Monseur (drums) are professional local musicians, both of whom have also appeared in various Lucky Dog productions.  Together we were able to recreate the song live in the studio, using 14 microphones to effectively capture the various instruments.  After only a few takes, we had our definitive performance recorded, and decided to make a few edits before re-recording the scratch vocal.  For example, we re-used the bass intro performance in the breakdown since it was the same part, but played much more smoothly in the intro.  We also decided to use the guitar solo section from the second take instead of the one in the final take.  With the backing track solidified, Julie then overdubbed (re-recorded) her lead vocal, needing only two takes to lay down an inspired track.  We used professional techniques such as time-stretching, punching in, and comping to create a final version of the vocal that represented the best of our artist.  In just 8 hours, here is what we accomplished: Fire Board Mix

JThat was the 201 class.  In the upcoming 301 class, we are going to mold this basic recording into something you might hear on the radio.  How will we do that?  Basic song recordings such as the one you just heard are subsequently “mixed” using processors that enhance and change the sounds you hear in order to present the song in the best light possible.  Common processes used to create a mix include EQ’ing, compression, panning, special effects, vocal tuning, and use of reverb.  The ability to process the raw sounds is done in a program called Pro Tools, via “apps” called plugins.  Channel Strip, AutoTune, and Massey L2007 are all examples of plugins used to mix our song.  After mix down, a song is mastered, which will be the final stage in the production of the song.  A mastered song will have the presence and loudness of a song you might buy on iTunes or hear on the radio.  Here is our basic recording turned into a final production: Fire alt Master

Check www.peggystill.com or contact us at 770-753-0322 or info@peggystill.com for information on how to get information about the 301 class or other exciting classes, studio services and lessons at Lucky Dog and Peggy Still!

Joe Kay
Lucky Dog Studios Lead Engineer

Brian Johnson
Owner, Lucky Dog Studios

 

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