In the studio units in trimester 3 of my Sound and Audio degree at SAE, we were given a project. The brief was as a group to create a subject matter for a library production music collaboration. We were to record as a group and then individually compose and mix 3 songs each with 29-second stingers included.
My group chose to base our assignment on a theme of ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles’, tailoring the music styles to anything that would fit into these categories (ie. Car show music, car advertisements, plane & train documentaries, movie or tv scenes involving any of the medium, etc.).
My particular topic was trains. To address the subject, I used a mixture of studio drum recordings, acoustic guitar, and location recordings which were carried out at Brisbane’s Central Station. The Vlog explains the steps I undertook to achieve this, but below is a brief description and photos demonstrating.
DRUM RECORDING: 13 MICS
The drum mic setup I used involved 13 mics. I used certain brands, but broken down, it was simply 2 large-diaphragm condenser mics for overheads set up in the Glyn Johns arrangement (see http://homerecording.about.com/od/recordingtutorials/a/glyn_johns.htm), 1 large-diaphragm condenser room mic, a small-diaphragm condenser for the hi-hat, another small-diaphragm condenser combined with a simple dynamic mic for the snare top, and a broadcasting mic to capture the snare wires. For the kick I used a broadcasting mic in the hole, with 1 kick mic on the omega side, close to the spot of impact, and another kick mic 20cm from the beta side of the kick drum. The 3 toms each toms each had a broadcasting mic placed at an angle from the sound source.
ACOUSTIC GUITAR, ELECTRIC & BASS:
Though not hugely successful when it came to the quality of the recording, I learned a lot about handy techniques such as re-amping as well as an understanding as to the importance of quality amps and instruments.
I could never have guessed how well this would turn out. A couple of years ago I was listening to music on a train going through Central Station, I had a pair of cheap headphones on and the screech of the train, it’s horn, and other sounds combined with the song I was listening to and created an eerie effect which I quite enjoyed. This was my original inspiration to do these recordings. The end result was not only atmospheric additives to my mixes, but also ended as a great horn as well as other noises I added to my drums. I also caught a train and used a combination of hitting the window, train wall, and under the seat to create beat patterns I later added as one-shots to layer my drums.