Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass
"Used" by The Botanists

“Used” by The Botanists


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This band is a one man operation. All songs are written, performed, and recorded by one guy (Tom Saunders).

Most of the time, songs are written on the acoustic guitar with the lyrics, chords, and some major melody lines worked out, but the bulk of the fleshing out of the sound comes with the recording process.

Tom works in his studio, usually alone and produces his own sound. The studio is a small basement project studio using M-Audio delta interfaces with Sonar 8. Very little outboard gear is used except for the Allen & Heath console, and all effects processing is done on the computer, or “in the box”. This process allows for a lot of creative freedom, but as always, it's difficult for one person to push themselves like a producer or bandmate would.

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Most drum mic-ing is done with a Beta 52a kick mic, SM57s on the snare and toms, and a pair of Audix d16s for overheads. The drum set is a cheap no-name beginner set with some nice Remo heads on the toms and snare, and Evans heads on the kick.

Guitar cabs are mic-ed with SM57s. Guitars include a Modified De Armond Les Paul rip-off and a Mexican Fender Strat. The Guitar amp is a solid-state Fender Deluxe 90.

The bass guitar is an Ibanez SRX750 through an Ampeg B2 half stack, usually mic-ed with the Beta 52a, sometimes DI, sometimes a combination.

Vocals are tracked with a Rode NT1000 mic, sometimes through an Audi-Technica AT2020.

All mics are routed through the Allen & Heath's preamps in to Sonar. For monitors, there are a pair of small M-Audio AV-40s. All audio is recorded at 96kHz, 24 bit. For uploads, the mixes are converted to mp3 files. The mixes are not completely mastered, but after they are roughed in they are put through a small chain of multibands, limiters and EQs to bring the levels up to a more normal point.

Further information is available at

Producing Lauren Balthrop

Producing Lauren Balthrop

One song and only one day to professionally produce it! Can it be done? Find out as the pros at Dubway Studios in New York City take you on a recording and mixing adventure in this first edition of our new Docutorial™ series we call SongCraft!

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David Mellor