First time in the studio? Woohoo!! Here are some terms you may come across in the first few days of recording.
Think of EQ like a piano, low notes to the left (low end - bass), middle C in the centre (mid-range), and high notes to the right (high end – treble). With EQ we give all notes from left to right (low to high) a number value called Hertz (Hz) – the lowest being 20 Hz, and the highest being 20000 Hz (or 20 Kilohertz (KHz)). In practical terms, say your vocal sounds a little dull or thin. You could ask your engineer to add a little top end (treble/8-20KHz) to the recording, or give it to you in your monitoring cans*. Eg. “Hey ______. Do you mind brightening up my vocal a bit with some 10K?”
Or, your acoustic guitar may sound a bit muddy. You could ask the engineer to remove or pull out some low end EQ (20-200 Hz).
When you compress a sound you remove the peaks (really loud sounds) from your recording. The higher the amount of compression, the more dynamics you will lose along with the ability to go between really soft and really loud. Most singers I work with love the sound of a little compression and reverb while they are tracking*, but in some songs you may find while performing you can’t get as much expression out of your performance. There’s a balance here between what the mix engineer can do in the mixing stage, by turning the vocal up and down at various stages in the song. However, if you’re uncomfortable and it’s affecting your performance you could ask something like, “Hey_______. I’m struggling to capture the highs and lows of my vocal performance from verse to chorus. Can we leave the compression off till the mixing stage so I can get a more natural performance?”
Makes you sound like you’re in a big room, church or cave. You can sing/perform with or without it while tracking.
Sound has an echo, which can be very short or last a long time. Delay can give a track a sense of forward motion, but if used to much you may lose clarity of performance.
Most of the time you’ll be performing with a click track. If it’s too loud don’t hesitate to ask the engineer to "please turn down the click track until you find the sweet spot for performing along to”. It’s not the most pleasant thing to hear while you’re making music! Practise at home by downloading a metronome app on your phone and playing all your songs along to it.
OTHER FREQUENTLY USED WORDS
* Cans – headphones
* Monitoring/monitors - how your hear back your recording performance (speakers or headphones). Don't be afraid to speak up if something is too loud or soft.
* Tracking – another word for recording
* Take – “Can we do another take”, means let’s do another recording of that part of the song.
As a producer my job is to make you feel as comfortable as possible through the recording process, so you can get the best possible performance of your song. Please don't hesitate to speak up and ask questions if you're not feeling comfortable, or you don't understand some part of the process. Let's make hits!!! :)
By Isaac McIntyre
Two weeks ago Newcastle’s Amy Vee revealed she had entered the Studios 301 All Access competition, for an “outside chance” at recording at the illustrious and historic studio.
When she spoke about the chance to record her newest music at “one of the best studios in the world”, and how she was “stopping herself from imagining what she’d do if she won”, she had no idea she’d been selected.
Now, her mind can run wild with dreams of music production, new ideas and a number of days in April in Sydney’s Studios 301.
“I just never thought I’d win, I kept having to temper my expectations and tell myself that I probably wasn’t in with a shot,” Vee revealed, before pointing to all her friends and the community that had gathered around her in recent weeks.
“I couldn’t have done it without all the amazing people that have now been texting me and messaging all day and congratulating me. As much as winning is amazing, it’s also so cool to see how many people ‘have your back’ through it all.”
Vee, who hasn’t produced more than a few singles in recent years, will now turn her attentions to polishing off creative visions for her April recording dates, and is teaming up with producing regular Gareth Hudson to create some “brand new sounds”.
“It’s great that I can go back to doing all the stuff I love about music, all the creativity and creation,” she said. “I’ve spent the last few weeks focusing on getting people to vote, and telling them to check my songs out – I’m not very good at that side of things.”
The popular folk singer feels she should “return all the support the amazing people of Newcastle” gave her.
“I’ve got a few weeks before I go into the studio now, and I feel like because of all this support I want to make something ‘great’ to show them,” Vee said
“It’s going to push me, and I’m looking forward to getting into the studios, playing with some new sounds alongside Gareth [Hudson] and seeing what we can do. It’s all so exciting.
“All of this has made me realise I’m not alone on this path – hundreds of people got behind me and there’s been so many people telling me that I can keep doing it, even when it feels like such a difficult career path. Things like this make it all worth it, for me and for everyone around me.”
As well as the recording time at the newly refurbished Studios 301, Vee will receive a national advertising and editorial campaign from entertainment website theMusic.com.au, to the value of $15,000.
By Thorin Rouston
Kirsty is one of those artists that you never get tired of listening to and her latest album is an absolute cracker. From the opening track of “Bad Mamma” with her signature vocal style , the ballsy “Legitimate” thrust at you like wildfire, the soothing “Picket Fence”, and sultry and stubborn “On The Down Low” she draws you in, slaps you about, and leaves you wanting… Luckily, there are still two more tracks on this EP with “Always” sitting with you for a whole mass of tine, and “Shotgun” wrapping the (do i dare say it?) anthemic musical journey to a close. If you want a smashing experience, contact Kirsty, get her CD. You won’t regret it.
Newcastle's Amy Vee is daring to dream of Ellis Avenue recordings after making final ten in the Studios 301 All Access competition | video
Article by Isaac McIntyre
Fresh off the back of a number of singles releases, Amy Vee is now in the running to record at one of the most prestigious studios in the country.
A two-day booking at Studios 301 is the grand prize of the All Access competition, alongside a $15,000 ‘kitty’ for marketing purposes after the recording, mixing and mastering package.
The Ellis Avenue studio is incentive enough for Newcastle’s Vee, but she admitted the “popularity contest style of competition” meant she’d “returned to the basics in sharing her music and art”.
“It’s all pretty exciting, just the idea of getting those two days in the studio is such a massive thing for me, especially considering I’m unsigned so I wouldn’t normally have that kind of support,” she said.
“The fact that I’m out speaking to people and asking them to ‘like’ and ‘share’ my Facebook post means I get into long conversations with them, and I’m speaking about my music and getting back to my roots when I share – in person – what I’m writing and making.
“It’s pretty special to get back to that.”
Vee has put her “thinking cap” on about what she would do if she took out the top spot in the competition as well, even if she’s a little nervous about ‘counting her eggs before they’ve hatched’.
“One of my friends, a local guy named Gareth Hudson, was speaking to me about new music and we’ve been demoing some stuff and we thought about how we could use those two days and optimise that,” she said.
“Being the kind of space that it is, and what kind of equipment they have, we were thinking about drums, orchestral instruments and things that would really take advantage of that space. Out of that we’d love to get a new release.”
Amy Vee performing live.
Hopes and plans aside, Vee is crossing her fingers and asking anyone who “loves Newy music” to get behind her and the “once in a lifetime chance”.
“I’m the only Newcastle entry in the last ten, and that works for me because we have such a great, supportive music community with lots of fans here,” she said.
“Everyone [in town] has seemed to rally behind it really quickly, we are great at supporting our own. I’ve been able to call on Newcastle people, so it’s great in that sense, people have been talking to me about getting behind me and it just makes me feel great about it all.”
To vote for Amy Vee head online to her Facebook page – facebook.com/amyveemusic – where the pinned post contains voting information. The All Access competition voting closes on March 9.