Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass

“Cloud Nine” by The Marsupials


We tracked everything separately in my basement on a Phonic Helix Board 18. Drums first, bass, guitar, then vocals, etc. I used Adobe Audition 2.0 and Izotopes Ozone to master. No special preamps were used other than the solid states built into the mixer. We did this recording one year ago during my senior year of high school and was before I was able to purchase my ART MPA Gold pre (which is a great tube preamp by the way).

The drum micing was pretty standard, SM57 on the snare, AKG D112 on the kick and two MXL 993's as overheads. I also used some cheap Senheisers to mic the toms. This is what I play so to my band's mismay I spent a lot of time trying different mic placements for the best sound. I just want to point out that my drumset is not very good and I've had it since I was 9. It's a CB 700 series made out of fiberglass so EQ'ing this thing was a nightmare.

The bass was recorded by placing the D112 one foot away from the amp. This was able to capture the low end and the “clunky” sound of the strings to make it stand out in the mix without it getting in the way by being too muddy.

Guitars came out relatively good. I used a great vintage unidyne III sm57 that i got on ebay to mic the cab up close. I also stereo mic'd the room sound with two MXL 993 condensers and pointed them at the amp at 45 degree angles. I placed them about 5-7 feet away from the amp This combination was able to capture both the punch of the amp and the “air” without much phase cancelation. This, combined with double tracking the same guitar part and panning each to one side really added extra depth to the sound. I think this is the “magic” of how the pros do it. It's all about layering and getting an initial good sound out of the amp in the first place.

Finally vocals were done with a budget Studio Projects C1 mic. I think this might be the bottleneck of my recordings. It just doesn't really produce a clear sound out of the vocals once effects such as compression have been applied. This may be due to the fact that I have no sound absorbtion foam or any kind of sound dampening material.

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Mastering In The Box

Mastering In The Box

Trainer Joe Albano is back with an advanced look at mastering in our popular Audio Concepts series. See how pro audio engineers master their tracks “in-the-box” in this in-depth, high-level audio engineering course.

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David Mellor