Over the past week, I've molded Funk Worthy's cover of "If You Want Me to Stay" by Sly and the Family Stone into a very punchy tune. I'm happy with where everything is sitting in the mix.
To help me achieve balance, I employed some parallel compression on the drums. I'm running all my drum mics through a vacuum tube compressor/limiter plugin called "Bud Driver." This really helps to add punch without a perceived increase in volume. On my kick and snare, I chose to use Waves H-Comp compressor coupled with the Waves H-EQ. I find I can get great drum sounds when using the H-series plugins from Waves. With just a touch of reverb on the snare, my drums are done. For the bass that was recorded clean with a DI, I ran through the CLA Bass plugin, then an H-EQ, a Sans-amp , and finally crushed it with a Waves CLA-2A compressor. For the guitars, I chose to gently run one of the two mics on the amp through the CLA Guitars plugin. The other I chose to simply EQ since I enjoyed the tone I heard from the mic without any further treatment. For the guitar DI track, I chose to reamp through a Roland amp so that I could get a real twangy funk tone. I felt that the saxophone was a bit harsh, so I chose to introduce some harmonics by employing the saturation knob plugin in combination with some basic EQ. For vocals, I relied upon EQ, moderate compression, and again some excitement from the saturation knob plugin.
For effects, I chose to apply a gentle chorus to one of the guitar tracks, as well as slight reverb for another guitar track. I am continually impressed by Lexicon's MPX-L reverb plugin, so I decided to insert it into my vocal chain. There is also slight vocal delay from Native Instruments Replika plugin. I had a lot of fun mixing this tune, and hope to record and mix more with Funk Worthy in the future. Enjoy the final mix below!
My team had a great recording session last week with the band "Funk Worthy." They are a funk/pop/rock group that want to get some material out so they can land some local gigs. The tune they chose to record was a cover of "If You Want Me To Stay" by Sly and the Family Stone. The instrumentation consisted of drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, vocals, and saxophone. We were able to use the new studio F on campus, which allowed for awesome natural drums sounds. We experimented with using some preamps that we weren't already familiar with, and also opted to route some instruments through some outboard compressors. We chose to use the Daking 500, API 525, Distressor, and a Chandler Germanium compressor. The band did 6 full takes, and they are considering some overdubs for guitar and vocals. They preferred to track everything at the same time rather than pause to fix one players' part.
The sax player had an interesting setup where he clipped a lav mic onto his sax and ran that signal through a pedal board in order to add some interesting effects to his performance. We opted to take a DI feed from the guitar player with no effects, and also mic his amplifier with a close up ribbon and distanced AKG 214. We have plans to reamp the DI signal to see if we can get some cool tones from an amplifier. Since the bass player didn't play through an amp, we will send the DI signal through a virtual bass amp. We used great preamps from Vintech, Manley, Focusrite, Shadow Hills, and API.
The bands performance was well rehearsed and aside from a few minor mental breaks, every take sounded super solid. One of our challenges was to keep the vocalist up on the mic since he was reading lyrics off of his phone while also trying to see the band, and as a result he would sing into the side of the mic. Below are some photos from the control room looking into the live room.
We made a video explaining our mic choice and preamp section. We apologize for the audio quality, the go pro unknowingly came loose within its case and jostled around a bit.
Slate Trigger is a very useful tool that is able to replace drum sounds with the high quality options available within the plugin browser, or any other samples that are in WAV or MP3 format. I employed trigger on the kick drum and snare drum on the mix that is embedded below. For a metal song, replacing the kick and snare really helped to provide the signature bombastic nature of the drums in accordance with the metal genre.
I first did some research about trigger so that I could familiarize myself with how the plugin functions. I found the following links to be most helpful.
Within trigger, I achieved a blend of two different kick drums that I liked and blended them to taste within the plugin. I then made sure that the sensitivity was set correctly and I wasn't hearing incorrect triggers of the replaced kick drums. A screenshot of my kick drum samples within trigger is shown below. I did the same thing with the snare, only this time choosing to blend four snare drums together. After adjusting the level of each sample, I flipped the phase on two of them since my ears liked the resulting sound. A screenshot of my snare drum samples within trigger is below. After achieving the sound I wanted within trigger, I then added subtle EQ and compression within Pro Tools in order to thicken up the sound just a bit.