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Here's three new songs from a new band I'm producing. Three very nice young guys (all 19 -20) who were easy to work with and just good humans. I had about 3 days in the studio with them, then spent a few more days on the edits and mixes and mastering - mastering done by Bill Dooley at Paramount.

 

http://www.philokeefe.com/20060428/ts_for_intention.mp3

 

http://www.philokeefe.com/20060428/emily.mp3

 

http://www.philokeefe.com/20060428/fall_on_me.mp3

 

I thought some of you might be slightly interested in checking out some of what I've been working on lately. Many of the guitar tracks are my Epi Casino through my new pedalboard into a Fender HR Devile, and we used a lot of Memory Lane delay, as well as a fair amount of Demeter Compulator and Lovetone Brown Source on them, as well as some other stuff. Piano is a Motif 8, and the additional keys on Emily (played by me) are an Oxygen 8 II with the new Digidesign Xpand softsynth. If you have any q's on what I used on anything else, feel free to ask. Full album is scheduled for early this upcoming winter.

 

One Year Yesterday's MySpace page can be found here.

 

Hope you enjoy them. :wave:

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Very sweet-sounding, Phil! Noice! :thu:

 

These guys sound 5-10 years older than they are. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up becoming very successful.

 

Is that the Soundelux 251 on lead vox? Whatever it is, it sounds great!

 

On first listen, I think "Fall On Me" is my favorite of the batch. First single?

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Originally posted by gsHarmony

The vocals are damn good. If that is a Soundelux 251, then I just bought one.


Time to break out the plastic... they're world-class mics.
:thu:

How do you get the scratchy record effect in "fall on me"?


You like that? Cool! You can get the plug-in that I used for that, for FREE,
right here.
:)

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I normally have to compensate by using my imagination when listening to MP3's through my crappy computer speakers..

 

Boy.. those tracks sounded wonderful. Sounds like a very mature band. Excellent production.

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i commented earlier on the band not sounding like 20 year olds, and held back my mixing comments as i am not an engineer and don't always trust my ear... however, as was mentioned by someone else, i was really impressed with the whole package as i listened through computer speakers... obviously a talented group with a talented producer...

 

by the way, i am learning the engineering aspect of things for my personal projects, so maybe one day i'll have some real comments on the mixing! it's kind of like fine wine... i am no expert, but i seem to like the good ones...

 

paulski

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Absolutely great vocal sound but... even more important, really good singer. It sounds like he's listening to all the right stuff and feeding his soul with the good. I can't quite put my finger on who I'm hearing him slightly emulate and that's definately a good thing. Ace singing dude.

 

I like the guitar sounds a lot in the first cut. Very understated but rock and roll at the same time. Something a lot of folks can't seem to do. Nice work guitarist.

 

Now Phil, a question you might not want to answer to protect the innocent:

 

Did you, and if so, how much editing to grid did you do on this drummer?

 

Great work and I like the band.

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I listened to just the first song. Sounds maaavelouss!!

 

If I were to change one thing - Id try and make the snare sound somehow bigger. It seemed just a bit on the "small" side and not quite ring-ie enough.

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Thanks for the nice comments everyone. :o I'll be sure to pass them along to the band.

 

I noticed there's a few questions, and I'd like to answer them all, but OTOH, in the studio, I'm like a confessor - and I will not break the sanctity of that without getting permission first. :) So I'll ask the guys how much they feel comfortable with me sharing about their performances in the studio, and if they're okay with me answering some of the more personal questions, I will.

 

I will say this much though - these young men can actually write, play and sing. Did I use modern studio tools and techniques in an effort to present them in the best possible manner? You bet! That's part of my job. And if I'm going to present them to an A&R rep, which I would like to do, then they're going to expect that. So yes, I used the toolbox, in what I hope was a musical and unobtrusive way. But it's not a "manufactured" production - far from it. I'll say no more without permission. :)

 

Signal path and so forth is my baby really, so I can comment comfortably there. :D Tyler's lead vocals were the ELUX 251, with a Stedman pop filter... pretty close range, but that varied. That went into a Vintech Dual72, followed by a Aphex 106 - just tickling the comp at a couple / few dB of GR max. What I did with it in PT, and then on the way back out will have to wait until I check on a few things in the studio to confirm them.

 

I'll post more about the guitar and bass parts a little later when I have a bit more time....

 

Thanks again for giving it a listen everyone, and for the comments!

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Phil.. another question regarding those tunes.

 

Did you do any seperate mastering after converting them to MP3? I listen to a lot fo music on my computer speakers and those tunes just sound good.. no other real way to describe them.

 

So are you doing anything special after conversion or just converting the files to MP3 and posting them?

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Thanks. :) I did the MP3 conversions, but other than that, I didn't do anything beyond what Bill did. And to be honest, I was pretty happy to hear Bill make a few comments such as "well, I had to do some EQ on this one - a cut at 5k..." And when I asked him how much, he said "about a quarter dB". And on another track, it was "well, I'm sitting here twirling knobs, but it's not sounding any better - it sounds great the way it is". :eek: It's always nice when you hear the mastering engineer say stuff like that. :):o

 

The MP3 converter I use is pretty darned cool - dBPowerAmp Music Converter. It uses the LAME (or if you wish, Blade) MP3 encoder, and while I am still not the world's biggest MP3 fan, the LAME encoding seems to have less of the objectionable side effects to my ears. I always do MP3's at at least 192 - anything less and it is just too annoying to me. :(

 

The other cool thing is that it's free. :)Download located here.

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Really liked it, Phil. Total package.

 

One comment - they need a new name, One Year Yesterday has "emo" written all over it. Definitely took me by surprise, when it started playing. It may seem trivial, but if an old fart like me picks up on it... Someone more "in the loop" may pass w/o even listening to it, just because of the name. Sort of like naming a straight ahead jazz outfit "The Cowhands."

 

We're about ready to pull the trigger on an Elux 251 - what made you pick that over the many other 251 clones out there? We've got an E-47, which we love, and are looking for that "other" high-end vocal mike.

 

MG

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Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe

Thanks.
:)
I did the MP3 conversions, but other than that, I didn't do anything beyond what Bill did. And to be honest, I was pretty happy to hear Bill make a few comments such as "well, I had to do some EQ on this one - a cut at 5k..." And when I asked him how much, he said "about a quarter dB". And on another track, it was "well, I'm sitting here twirling knobs, but it's not sounding any better - it sounds great the way it is".
:eek:
It's always nice when you hear the mastering engineer say stuff like that.
:):o

The MP3 converter I use is pretty darned cool - dBPowerAmp Music Converter. It uses the LAME (or if you wish, Blade) MP3 encoder, and while I am still not the world's biggest MP3 fan, the LAME encoding seems to have
less
of the objectionable side effects to my ears. I always do MP3's at at least 192 - anything less and it is just too annoying to me.
:(

The other cool thing is that it's free.
:)
Download located here.

 

Thanks Phil.. I do believe the rate may be the answer. Most of the MP3's I end up doing are 128 or less.

 

Thanks again for sharing a great effort..

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Phil, I seldom, seldom download a music file as first, 56k takes FOREVER (yes, I could go to DSL, but I'ld rather use that money toward more gear), and two, more often than not, the quality is very poor.

Having said that, since we were both former Jarheads, I decided to check it out. I listened to the first cut and really want to say "great job to all involved". Very good talent you're working with! At first it had a Lionel Richie feel, then turned to a Dave Matthews touch and even a Huey Lewis type BV's. Those guys are very good craftsmen. And you are really puttin' out some sweet stuff! Keep up the good work. I'm gonna check out the next track, after my work slows a bit.

Again, killer job.

Joe Blasingame

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Originally posted by MarkGifford-1

Really liked it, Phil. Total package.


Thanks for listening Mark.
:cool:

One comment - they need a new name, One Year Yesterday has "emo" written all over it. Definitely took me by surprise, when it started playing. It may seem trivial, but if an old fart like me picks up on it... Someone more "in the loop" may pass w/o even listening to it, just because of the name. Sort of like naming a straight ahead jazz outfit "The Cowhands."


:D
I'll pass that along. But to be honest, I suck at picking out names. Besides, A&R has to do
something.
;)

We're about ready to pull the trigger on an Elux 251 - what made you pick that over the many other 251 clones out there?


Well, I used to have two vintage ELA M251 E's, and side by side, this is so close, and in some ways a touch better... and on top of that, what I got for just one of the vintage models was enough to pay for the ELUX as well as a pair of ADAM S3-A's. But to be honest, I have not heard all the different 251-esque mics that are available today. There's the Peluso, and the Lawson.... neither of which I have heard yet. Actually, I may have a chance to audition Ken's Lawson L251 late this month, which I'm looking forward to. But if you decide to pull the trigger on an ELUX, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
:)

We've got an E-47, which we love, and are looking for that "other" high-end vocal mike.


MG


I'd love to have an E47. I may just break down and buy one eventually - great mics!
:thu:

Thanks again for taking the time to listen to the mixes, and for the kind words.
:o

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Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe

I'd love to have an E47. I may just break down and buy one eventually - great mics!

 

you might remember i bought the elux 251 over the e47 about 6 months ago. the e47 was actually my least favorite out of the bunch that i tried that day (ELUX 251, E47, E49, U99). well, we've got one at the studio now and i can say that it has grown on me more than any other microphone has for a while, and it happened really fast.

 

the thing that makes the E47 so great for me is that it works on a lot of stuff that just doesn't sound right with anything else. i tried every freakin' mic i had for a harmonica during a session with a country singer-songwriter guy. it was the last mic i thought to try because before then my only experience with it was "eh". so i tried it just out of pure frustration and...well {censored} it was absolutely perfect. incredibly detailed and real, and didn't print any of the honk that some harps tend to have. i've also used it on other oddball/less common instruments like an oud and some other ancient foreign stuff. plus, i've found it to be a killer male rock vocal mic, it's just a different sound than the 251-type-tone i was used to and kind of developed an obsession with. good room mic, good on upright bass, good pretty much anywhere, but GREAT on all the stuff you would never get to sound right any other way.

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Yes, on all three songs, it was just one snare mic, on the snare shell, using an Audix i-5, into a Vintech Dual 72, and again, just a touch (+/- 3dB) of Aphex 106 compression on the way into Pro Tools. I'd tell you I really like the Aphex, but they're discontinued, and I may want to pick another one up on Ebay at some point, so why make it harder on myself? ;)

 

I don't think I listed the drum stuff in this thread, although I think I described a little of it on Craig's forum. So here it is in agonizing detail: ;)

 

The overheads were a take-off on the classic "three mic" technique positioning. I used Audio Technica 4041's. One nearly directly centered over the snare, approx. 42" up above it. The second was lower, over by and "peeking over" the floor tom (4 pc. Pearl kit BTW), aimed "across" the floor tom and at the dead center of the snare drum. Again, 42" or so away from the middle of the snare drum. Yes, I measured. :) Both of those went into a FMR RNP and RNC - which are fantastic tools. Not just "for the money" - they really are incredible bargains. :thu:

 

Toms were both Audix D2's, although I may have been using a 421 on the floor tom at one point - I'll have to check the notes on that and get back to you. But it's mostly the D2's. IIRC, I had them on the top heads, out near the far rim (furthest away from the drummer), about the width of my hand above the rim, with the mics angled inwards between the "tone" and "attack" zones of the heads. I was just trying to catch it where it had some punch and attack as well as tone. Just a clean, natural sound but with a little slap and punch. The preamps were Yamaha i88X. I still think that box is worth the price for the preamps alone.

 

The kick was the hardest thing on the kit. Everything else went up relatively fast and easy, but the kick wasn't quite working for me in the room as we were listening to it, and of course, that means that it wasn't happening when it was miked up. So we had to play around with that a bit more in terms of tune and damping and so forth. I used a EV RE20 into the Vintech / Aphex 106, but I hit the comp a little bit harder going in than I did on the snare... but not a lot. Maybe in the "- 6dB on the peaks" range. The second mic was a Yamaha Subkick, into one of the board preamps on my Yamaha 01V96 and printed to a second track in PT.

 

Speaking of damping, we tried a few diifferent things, and ended up using a touch of Moon Gell on most of the drums - just enough to control - but not lose - some overtones. But the kit came in set up very nice. The best guy locally that I have found is Todd over at Ontario Music - he really knows how to set a kit up, and with the exception of the kick, I really liked the way he had this one dialed in.

 

There's something else that contributed a bit to the drums, and that's an analog tape stage. I mixed to both digital and analog (Otari MX5050 IIb - 456 @ 15 IPS) and took both mixes to mastering. I transfered the analog mixes to 24 / 96 WAV files and brought Bill Dooley both sets of mixes and told him he could pick his preference. He picked the analog mixes over the digital ones, which I kind of suspected he would.

 

What contributed the most to how the drums sounded was Nate Lotz. He's not overly flashy (not a bad thing), and he plays solid and consistent. Once we had the kit set up and I had him play for me the first time on it in the studio, I knew we were going to be fine after hearing just a couple of bars. He hits the snare, he doesn't over-hit the brass and hats, and really has a good understanding of dynamics and good, solid time and feel. Yes, the players and sound sources DO matter folks - never forget that! The rest is easy. Well.... okay, maybe not easy, but it's not rocket surgery or brain science either, and if I can do it, blah, blah, yadda, yadda... :o

 

I know a lot of this stuff is "old news" for a lot of you vets, but I thought I should put down some details for the curious as well as anyone who's getting started and looking for some basic suggestions; but while (as Bruce says) "there are no secrets", every instrument, song and singer is individual and requires its own approach and you've gotta listen and use whatever works.

 

If I'm not boring everyone silly, I'll describe a bit more about the rest of the instruments and vocals when I get back from Tucson. I'll be playing there this Sunday at the Tucson Folk Festival backing up my buddy John McGill ("Toxic Potatoe" on the forums), along with John's wife Sally and our friend Ralph Torres ("Songrytr"). We're bringing a laptop along, but I don't know how much we'll be able to post from out there, but I'll try to check in a few times over the weekend. I'll be back on Monday.

 

In the meantime, thanks again for listening. And while I'm gone, as always, please remember the forum motto - be excellent to each other! :wave:

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