Week Five Evaluation (26th April-2nd May)

Overall, this song has seen great improvements over the past week, from adding new instruments, solos and even some vocal harmonies. The brass I mentioned last week has been added to the track and arranged in a way I am really happy with! The harmonies were recorded by Meg (another music student) and they came out really well given that there was some background noise I was worried about as there was a group playing in the live room, but this was hardly picked up on. I then arranged these vocals and added some effects like reverb until we move on to mixing them fully with the rest of the track, which I plan to do next week.

Progressions And Strengths

Since recording the main vocals last week and then getting some ideas for the harmonies to go over that, I have been excited to get these ideas finalised and recorded into the track. So, on Monday, I asked Meg to record these vocals so I can get them laid down and perfected, ready for the mixing stage next week. After recording the vocals, I arranged them to make sure they were all in time and where I wanted them to be in the song, then moved onto adding some simple effects like reverb to make them airy and allow their presence to be shown a bit more without bringing the volume up too much. I also paned the high and low harmonies slightly away from each other, leaving the middle harmony in the middle to give them a bit more depth and wideness. We recorded these vocals in the control room, using the same microphone I used for the main vocals (sE Titan).

As well as recording the final harmony takes this week, the brass player also got back to my email I sent last week, and they had finished my requests, which I was extremely happy with and it couldn’t have come at a better time. I added all these tracks at home so I can have time in College to get other work done. First, I got the parts into the right position in the track and listened back to make sure all three melody parts were in time with each other. I then removed any of the file parts where they weren’t playing to ensure I don’t get any unwanted background noise. This took quite a while so I didn’t manage to add any effects to these yet, but I plan to when I start to mix the song. I had a problem with adding these files at first as when I added them, they seemed to warp themselves; I didn’t notice this at first so I thought the files were wrong or corrupted, but eventually, I figured out that they warped themselves, but I’m not sure why this would have happened! I panned the brass in a similar way to the vocals, Put the flugelhorn 25% to the left, and the Harmon mute trumpet 25% to the left to give it some spread and a wider sound. I kept the sax in the centre as I want this to be the main instrument to play the melody, with the other two acting as backing.

As well as the main melody on the brass, I was given some files containing licks on the Harmon mute trumpet and a whole solo on the tenor sax! I mentioned in the email that I would be happy with just a main melody but some licks would be brilliant if they had time; receiving all of this was unexpected and I’m really grateful for it. Like I did with the melodies, I lined up where I wanted them to play, then cut out any areas where there is no instrument playing to ensure there is no background noise. I really like the call and response effect that the Harmon mute trumpet does alongside the vocals, and I sliced up the sax solo a little bit to experience where I wanted different melodies to occur and so it sounded a little more in time, but not too much as I wanted to keep that human feel. I then added an EQ to the trumpet to remove some harsh high and rumbling low frequencies, and I put a bell EQ around 600kHz to boost this frequency. I also put some reverb on the saxophone as this was mentioned in their email back to me and it sounds great!


The main thing I need to focus on now is mixing the track. I have done research on different mixing techniques before I go into the actual process here: https://digitalspace.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/10626680/mixing-and-mastering-techniques/. This is so I have a good idea of the different techniques, why they are important and how I can apply them to my tracks. For example, I need to balance the volume of my brass section as right now it is very loud and fights with some other melodies in the song. I also need to add compression to a lot of the channels so I can normalize the volume of some instruments, like the vocals and harmonies. I have already started on panning, but I think I could experiment with this a little more and look at panning different instruments to more unconventional areas, and perhaps even make more use of the ping pond delay and auto-pan effects, similar to what I did with the jingly sound that comes with the riser. I also need to make more use of sends as this will lower my CPU usage, which is currently peaking at about 35% in some places!

Targets For Next Week

-Get this track mixed fully so I can move onto mixing my second single.

-If I get my second single mixed as well, I need to start researching and thinking about mastering.