I’ve had a couple people ask me recently what steps I go through in recording a song. I figured my newest song, “Here for The Night.” was a good one to reference, as the edit view is pictured below.
I wrote the song in a fairly short sitting, and it is nearly five minutes long. The song is played in the key of E and is in a 6/8 time signature.
As with all of my recordings, I begin with recording an acoustic guitar through a dry track with two Behringer pencil condenser microphones set up in a straight stereo configuration. This is routed through an M-Audio preamp, and then to Pro Tools for processing and editing.
Next, I recorded some shaker, panned to the right in the first measure of the second verse, followed by a tambourine panned hard left four measures later. I recorded both of these through an AKG Perception 820 Tube microphone - my main vocal mic.
Next came the harmonica - also into the AKG. It was not panned. I then played two layers of electric guitar with a Gibson Chet Atkins SST through a Vox AC30, miked again by the AKG. The signal was effected by tremolo and long delay before it hit the preamp.
For the last verse and fade out of the song, I played a mandolin, again through the Behringer set-up, but this time with the microphones in an x/y (criss-cross) configuration.
Lastly, I recorded lead vocals, vocal doubles, and three layers of harmonies through the AKG.
As far as mixing goes, each song is it’s own. Every track is EQ’d by at least a EQ3 7-Band EQ. Each track also has a D3 Compressor/limiter as well, set appropriately. I also used various Waves compressors on the harmonies - in addition to D-Verb and Waves TrueVerb as reverb plug-ins.
The lead vocal was arranged in conjunction with two auxiliary tracks, loaded up with various reverbs and delays. All in all though, the vocals didn’t undergo much processing other than the reverb.
The last process I underwent was fading each individual track out to end the song. I did a poor job of this and it will have to be fixed by a professional mixing engineer. I’m excited to finish these recordings so I can take it to be mixed by someone that knows what they’re doing.
It should be a fun and educational process for me.
Thanks for spending a few minutes to read tonight.