Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass

“Sure” by Jeanine Maningo


“Sure” is the first great song we had written as a couple way back 2004. We love the plain acoustic version, and I attempted to record the complete band version after several request from the artist fans.

The recording session is long, because of wide acoustic guitar arrangements, stylish vocals and real drum work. I do play all guitars and recording at the same time. I did not allow studio time to pressure me because I want the recording to sound great as much as possible with available resources.

One of the aspects I considered in planning the guitar arrangement is how to create a great pop acoustic guitar sound. I experimented several guitars and found out that using nylon guitars with high quality strings such as D'Addario stands out the best for female pop vocals. And I know also that nylon guitar frequencies cannot be a big masking problem for vocals.

I started recording it and layer several background tracks using Adobe Audition. Creating a good stereo sound in guitar such as in the solo portion I use the complicated echo delay effects to simulate surround sound and sound great.

I want to sound as modern pop as possible so I use less reverbs on all instruments particularly bass and drums. Guitars too, I find myself conservative and I rely more on depth and surround sound of the guitar by panning than adding more reverb. I found the result very satisfactory using this technique.

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After all recording is done, the mixing session is long as usual. After noting my ears got tired, I rest a bit and proceed to the next day. It gives me a fresh ear even I am not using a great studio room but it gives me a fresh look at the mix and I could decide better with fresh ears.

The drum EQ and bass is confusing. At first I set bass at 400 HZ and it makes the track sound so thin! I attempt to lower the bass EQ to around 150 to 200 Hz and it sounds great.

The artist vocals are truly captivating after recording it with an expensive mike in a paid and expensive studio. So for great vocals, a great mike can even make it better.

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David Mellor