TheMightySmall – DIY recording
Posted on: Thursday 8th of November 2018
Indie acts are making their own records – even when the budget is small.
Here’s one musician’s story…
If you came to the Resolution Refreshed launch party in January, you will certainly recall being dazzled by the nuclear-reactor-in-a-hat, multi-instrumentalist Paolo Morena. Paolo, with his super-dextrous magical skills, has just recorded a new album: and he’s told Resolution how he did it…
“Using my Tascam US-16X08 interface, monitoring through KRK Rokits 8s and limiting my microphones to just one brand, gave me the confidence to mix my analogue signals with the new tech plug-ins supplied within Logic X.
I stuck with one brand of SE Microphones Gemini 2 and a pair of Z5600a mics: with these I was able to cover the scope of my expectations, without reverting to a multitude of different makes and styles of mic. Coupled with Logic’s intuitive interface, I had enough of what I needed to get a variety of sounds out of the tiny studio’s space.
There really isn’t that much room to move amps and drums around so I moved the microphones! I got a punchy bass sound by backing the bass off the amp’s EQ and moving the mics three feet away, pushing the gain until I found a sweet spot where the room starts to feedback the low bass frequencies. You can hear it on my track Not In My Name, where the room becomes an extension of the bass cabinet. That’s perfect for fast basslines and if you experiment with the distance and gain you can create a slow feedback that works with slower tunes like It’s Only Love.
I’m focusing on the room sound, not just close-up recording.
Allowing the sound to fill the space and experimenting with sound placement and space manipulation is a really fun way to shape sound, before we hit the mix.
Logic has this facility that allows you to try out plug-ins on a mix before purchasing them. It’s like walking into the biggest, best stocked, plug-in studio in the world, trying all the gear then walking out with a great mix, a plectrum and a full wallet.
I settled on the Stealth Limiter and the T-Racks collection of EQs compressors and modulators. Limiting the tools, allows me to produce tracks from concept to creation in a fraction of the time, the unity between equipment and performer becomes more intuitive because you are limited for choice. It’s within these creative constraints that originality and creativity flourish.
I used pre-recorded drum samples from my previous recording sessions with my Roland digital kit played back through my PA allowed me to mix the drums volume and placement. Then using the position of the microphones and the ambience of the room I could emphasise the tone of the kit and its position in the overall mix, You’ve Got the Devil in You is a good example of this.”
Paolo will be playing live at The Finsbury on the 13thof November you can find a list of his up and coming shows here https://www.facebook.com/TheMightySmall/app/123966167614127/
The 38 Degrees, featuring the tracks mentioned, can be found here https://www.themightysmall.com/
Social Media Links
Paolo Morena – YouTube