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  • Harmony Central Wants To Hear Your Music!!

    Harmony Central is all about helping you make better music, but as they say, the proof is in the pudding. So we want to provide you with an audience for your music in Music Gear Weekly, our email newsletter with over 25,000 subscribers. Here’s how it works:
    1. Upload the song(s) of your choice to a service like Soundcloud.
    2. Visit this thread in the Backstage With The Band forum and post the link to your music, along with some background on the song, how it was recorded, gear used, etc.
    3. Each week, we’ll look through what’s been posted and pick one to feature in Music Gear Weekly. We’ll create a blog post on the main site where the community can comment and provide constructive feedback on your music (non-constructive comments will be deleted).
    It’s that easy! So whether it’s questions about production, songwriting, performance or musicianship, the best way to make better music is to bounce it off listeners and get honest opinions. Get to it!
    Last edited by Dendy Jarrett; 05-22-2014, 06:42 PM.
    Keeping the Harmony at Harmony Central

  • #2
    Here are three songs from my self-released album "Black Market Hearts". Scott Francisco produced the album and was kind enough to write up some notes on the process. We recorded in his home studio for the majority of the album although some overdubs were done at my music school and at Cerritos college for the Hammond B3 on one song.

    The basics were recorded at my place, which was cozy, but worked out well.
    I have a 10x20 drum room where Tyler and Martin lived. Martin was recorded direct with an Avalon 737, so there were no leakage problems between bass and drums. Ultimately it wouldn't have mattered since we kept all of Martin's takes from tracking with only a few little punch-ins.

    Mark was in the iso booth singing and playing various heads through a Demeter isolation cabinet with an 80 watt Celestion speaker. It was miked with an old Shure SM57 Unidyne III that I prefer over the new ones. The guitar went through Chameleon 7602 mkII and an 1176.

    Gary was playing a real Wurlitzer 206 through a Waves PRS Guitar interface DI. He also had a midi controller for controlling the virtual instruments we used on a couple of tunes.

    The drums were recorded using a pair of mics in the recorderman configuration as well as a Unidyne III SM57 on the snare, an Audio Technica 4053 on the hat, a Cascade Fathead ribbon mic under the snare that also picked up the batter head of the kick, an Audio Technica ATM25 inside the kick, and ATM25s on the toms. I also had an Audio Technica 4047 in front of the kick that I ended up never using. The low end from the Fathead was more than sufficient. All of these mics were recorded on every take, but in the mix I used varying combinations to suit the song. The recorderman mics varied from song to song: Audio Technica 4050s, MXL V87s, or Unidyne III SM57s, depending on the song. The kick, snare, and recorderman mics went through Chameleon 7602s and everything else went through a Millennia HV-3D. I used a little eq on the Chameleons, otherwise no other processing.

    For the room mics I used a pair of AT 4050s in a Mid/Side configuration at the other end of the room. They also went through the Millennia. I then delayed these tracks 10-20 ms in the mix to make the room feel a little bigger.

    All of my preamps feed into a Yamamha O2R96 and then digitally straight to Pro Tools at 96K/32bit. The Pro Tools rig was an HDX system running version 10. vVer. 11 hadn't come out when we started and it's never a good idea to switch mid-project. Most songs were recorded with click tracks, but a couple felt better without. There was some comping of takes and whole-band punch-ins and that sort of stuff, but very little editing after the fact. Several songs were recorded more than once before we "found it", and a couple we never did. That's why having ten or eleven songs does not mean you're ready to cut an album. Ultimately we whittled 17 songs down to 11. Working at my place made it possible to take the time to do that. In a commercial studio, where time is money, the budget would have necessitated mowing through all the material in a day or two at most.

    A couple guitar parts were keepers from tracking. All the other guitars were recorded at Premier, since it was easier to bring a little recording gear there as opposed to Mark's entire equipment collection to my place. Guitar overdubs were recorded with the trusty SM57 Unidyne IIIs, AT4047, or Fathead in varying combinations. Most of the pedal effects were recorded as-is. I also recorded room mics for the guitar overdubs with the mid/side 4050s. It quickly became evident that the room vibe was going to be a big part of the overall sound, so all the earlier guitars from my place were piped through the PA at Premier and the room ambiance was recorded for those as well. The bass was also reapmed using Martin's Ampeg B15 and an AT 4047/MP set to fig.8. Everything went through the Millennia with no eq or compression.

    The keyboard overdubs kept the same setup except for the organ. We went to Cerritos College (where Dr. Pritchard is a faculty member) and recorded the B3 using a pair of Unidyne III Sm57s on the top rotor and an MXL Cube on the bass rotor. Again I used the Millennia HV-3D and also had a stereo AT4050 to capture the room.

    All of the vocals were tracked through a Pearlman TM-1 tube mic and the Avalon 737. I didn't compress it much as we tracked, but I squashed it pretty heavily in the mix. Early on we tried doing vocals at Premier, but we had trouble with external noise and decided to start over at my place.

    All mixing was done in Pro Tools at my place. I mixed three or four songs before I felt I had nailed the sound, so I then had to go and apply these discoveries to the earlier ones. One of the best things about mixing in the box is the ability to live with a mix for a period of time and then go back and make changes without having to star over. For me, that makes all the difference! I used some artificial reverb, but the room mics really provide the ambiance you hear on the record. I also used the ReelTape and Waves Veq-4 plug-ins on every track to give it more of a tape/vintage console feel. I use this trick almost all the time now. Most of the songs took three of four passes to get right. Though we were going for a fat analog-ish sound with plenty of room, we weren't trying to be "vintage" or "retro." We just wanted to capture a live feeling record that sounded as if we were in a studio that had all the cool vintage toys making a contemporary record.

    Due to scheduling conflicts, we had to record the horns the day before mastering. The saxes were recorded with an Audio Technica 4060 tube mic, and the trumpet with an AT 4047 into the Chameleons. The arrangement was for two trumpets, alto sax, and bari sax. Scheila did a pass each on alto and bari, while Sean played both trumpet parts. As soon as that was done, I stayed up overnight to get the mix done in time to upload the files the next morning. It took a while, but I think we achieved our goal of making a great sounding record with a unique voice that avoids all of the "contemporary blues record" cliches.

 and Forums
    Study with me on!
    McFeely Custom Guitars Artist


    • #3

      This song is called Black Market Daydreams. Craig Anderton has done a great cover-version, but this is the original

      I recorded it on a standalone Zoom 16-track, using the built-in effects

      Drums - Zoom drum machine
      Guitar - Les Paul
      Bass - Squier P
      Keys - Yamaha PSR something-or-other
      Vocal Mic - Rode NT1-A
      works | smoke | forum


      • #4
        This is my take on a porn groove. Well look im from Hell.
        Made with Reason 3=Chord Fairy (Modified code Reason 3 I use) Don't know how I did it but. Its like when I smacked the shinola out of Ally and killed her.


        • #5
          This is another one.


          • #6
            I record my music out my home using a mac pro and garage band. Let me know how it sounds here is my link


            • Night_Music
              Night_Music commented
              Editing a comment
              Not my style of music, but I am impressed with the sound quality. Very well done!

          • #7
            Here's one from me:
            I wrote, played and sang everything.
            My MYSPACE Page

            My Soundclick Page

            My YouTube Stuff


            • Night_Music
              Night_Music commented
              Editing a comment
              Impressed. Nice song.

          • #8
            Here is a song I wrote where I created all of the music and the lyrics. I originally played all of the instruments (guitars & bass via keyboards through my Pro Tools plug ins), sang the vocals and laid down the drums. I have since had some bandmates re-record the guitars, bass and vocals. Hope you enjoy.

            War Within' -


            • Night_Music
              Night_Music commented
              Editing a comment
              The heavy parts are really good...the slow verse parts kind of lose me, but that is just me. Nice work.

          • #9
            Originally posted by MarkydeSad View Post
            This song is called Black Market Daydreams. Craig Anderton has done a great cover-version, but this is the original
            It's a great song, and Mark sings/plays it very well.

            Look for the Fredfin Wallaby version of this in a couple of months.

            Martyn Wheeler (playing synthesizers/organ like it's 1973 in England)

            now: Fredfin Wallaby
            was: The Gonzo Symphonic


            • #10
              I am pretty sure they don't want to hear my music. If they do, perhaps a little therapy may be in order....
              I was kicked out of music class for passing notes...
              Tuned out, turned in and dropped off


              • #11
                Originally posted by Iamthesky View Post
                It's a great song, and Mark sings/plays it very well.

                Look for the Fredfin Wallaby version of this in a couple of months.
                Thanks, and I'll look forward to hearing what you and the guys do with it

                Meanwhile here's a vid I put together of said tune:

                Last edited by Mark L; 06-22-2014, 09:20 AM.
                works | smoke | forum


                • #12
                  This song, "Maladie du Coeur," is inspired by zouk and groups like Kassav. What's unusual about this one is that I post song mixes with an unlisted link in my Sound, Studio, and Stage forum, and ask people to make comments. The comments are invariably intelligent and spot-on, so I incorporate them into my "final draft" and that's the version that goes public on my YouTube channel.

                  All my recent songs have taken advantage of what I call the "SSS Production Squad," and I truly believe the final versions have benefited greatly as a result...yet another HC coolness.

                  BTW you'll also find several covers of Mark's songs on my YouTube channel. I think he's a gifted songwriter and singer, and I like giving his songs a different me, one mark (heh heh) of a great song is that you can do it several different ways, and they're all valid.
                  You'll find videos I've done for companies, videos I've done for myself, and maybe even some music...
                  CHECK IT OUT: Lilianna!, my latest song, is now streamable from YouTube.

                  Subscribe, like, and share the links!


                  • #13
                    Merci beaucoup, Craig
                    works | smoke | forum


                    • #14

                      My name is Damon Fibraio. I posted this track under the shortened name, Damon F. This is an original piece I did in my home studio with the exception of the drums which was done by a friend of mine, Ian Baird, who also mixed the track. the guitars are actually keyboards, a sound from the Yamaha Motif xs7 run through revolver. The bass is from Trillian. The solo is actually a synth sound run through a lot of distortion. Everything else should be self explanatory. I hope I posted the link correctly as I am totally blind and this site is a little tricky to use with my screen reading software.
                      Damon Fibraio


                      • #15
                        Hi, here's a little song called "Time" I knocked up in my home studio. I use Sonar X3 as my DAW of choice and together with a 12 string Martin and a Fender Strat going into Amplitube 3 created the rhythm. Kontakt 5 was a big contributor and Superior Drummer 2 sets the groove as well as heaps of plugins to get it to sound OK. This song was a labour of love which took me forever to mix but I am happy with the balance and proud of the song as it stands now.
                        McEye | Singer Songwriter | Brisbane, QLD, AU
                        Last edited by fender4141; 07-05-2014, 06:28 PM.