Tuesday, 13 March 2007

AA – week 2 – Session Planning

For this weeks assignment I was away so missed the lecture and any notes and discussion amongst the other students regarding this. And then my plan to find out all there was to know on the Monday was invalidated by the public holiday on that day :(

So, a bit of reading material [1] and viewing other students blogs later i have come up with the idea that the assignment was all about planning your recording session. Finding out such things as what you will actually be recording (eg instruments, musical style) seems fairly obvious, and even having an idea of what sound would like to be achieved also is a straight forward step. One could even get so excited as to work out preferred soft drinks and which colour M&M's should be removed, depending on how much one is receiving for the pleasure :)

As part of the preparatory stages, designing a recording plan in terms of microphones to be used and studio setup (seating, recording order) can be useful in minimising setup time. Included here is a plan I designed for recording a friends dub band, Melatonin.



Laptop, firewire device with 4 Outs

DI x4


Shure Beta 56A


Neumann KM-84i x2


Sennheiser MD-421




Shure SM57


Shure SM57


Shure SM58


C-ducer Saxman

notes : Laptop supplies a range of instruments including drums, bass, lead and rhythym. As the band is primarily a live band, would record intially with a stereo mixdown of most instruments with any real time playing given its own tracks, then overdub with individual sounds after main recording.

The most important step is the preparation of the recording facility. Setting up of the recording area (microphones, headphones, seating, baffles etc) and making sure all the equipment works as expected makes the session smoother, quicker and much easier – having to change a microphone cable in a room full of musicians setting up is not exactly the best thing to be doing with your time.

[1] Bartlett, Bruce. "Session Procedures", accessed 13/03/07

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