Adventures In Audio with Audio Masterclass

“Your American” by King Bee


This track is out of a recent album that we are currently recording. Everything isn’t final of course. Also, keep in mind we are American of Cuban descent, so the vocals naturally don’t have an English accent. This song and it’s recording were intentionally done to sound like if it were pulled out of Sgt. Peppers. The beginning of the song was recorded extended so that it could be blended with the previous track.

The drums in particular were recorded to almost exact specifications as stated in the book “Recording The Beatles” by Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan. (An amazing book by the way, for those interested in everything Beatles. Best $100 I ever spent.) First we covered the snare and floor toms with thin towels, like Ringo used to do. It took some trial and error to find the right ones. According to the book, the drums might have sounded a little too muffled when heard by ear, but once they ran them through the Fairchild all of the higher frequencies would resurface resulting in a really punchy drum kit with controlled highs. We, of course could not afford an actual Fairchild, so instead we ran it through a T-Racks compressor and limiter plugin, which to my ears, sounds really close. The only thing we did different on the drums was mic the top of the snare instead of the bottom. We felt the bottom mic didn’t give anything we weren’t already getting from the overhead and other mics with spill.

The bass was a Fender P-Bass running through an Avalon direct box and through an old Ampeg flip top amp miked with an AKG D112. The miked signal was ran through an old Altec 436 series compressor we picked up on ebay. Those tracks were then submixed and further compressed with a multipressor plugin.

The acoustic guitar was a cheap Yamaha from the early 90’s miked with a Neumann u87 going through an Avalon 737. It was also compressed with the T-Racks plugin compressor.

The electric guitar was recorded with both a sm57 close to the grill and the u87 as a room mic. The guitar was a Gibson es-335 from 1967 being played through a Fender Reverb amp from the same year.

The vocals were recorded with the same u87 through avalon setup and then effected with ADT style slap-back via Logic’s echo plugin.
The horns and other effects are all virtual instruments for now, until we can get some real horn players and farm animals to come in and do their parts.

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The entire track was run through T-Racks mastering plugins for rough mastering.

Everything was recorded straight to Logic running on a Dual G5 mac via a MOTU 896hd.

We hope you enjoy!

Further information is available at www.kingbeehive.com

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10 Common Vocal Recording Mistakes

Recording vocals is hard because there are so many chances to make HUGE mistakes! This is why it’s a great topic for our popular Audio Mistakes series! Let US make the mistakes so YOU don’t have to!

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David Mellor



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