The Hot 5! #015

Published by ukindietouring on April 6th, 2014 - in The Hot 5!

UK Indie Touring - The Hot 5 Logo by Jhinuk Sarkar

Spring is in the air and things are heating up with 15 of The Hot 5! Shout out to Rooms Magazine for the support of this feature, and to illustrator Jhinuk Sarkar from Paperfig for our lovely logo. This is where we get listening at UKIT to find 5 tracks of up and coming bands around the UK that we think are worth sharing. Here we go, in no particular order…

 

#015-01 EKODA MAP – PASTELS
We’ll open the first Spring Hot 5 with this lovely instrumental from Ekoda Map. Not much info to be about he/she/them on the WWW, but that doesn’t take away from this well crafted electronic based song.

 

#015-02 HELLA BETTER DANCER – SLEEPINGTALKING
This track kicks out deep womanly vocals with a cool psychedelic vibe. Great work from this London / Brighton band for producing a tune that should definitely attract some attention.

 

#015-03 DEATH & THE PENGUIN – SNUFFED OUT
We are big fans D&TP and this is a great track. An interesting arrangement with intricate guitars, fantastic vocals and intelligent lyrics, the London based four piece takes you on a journey with all its dynamics.

 

#015-04 BEST DAYS –  SOMETHING
An uplifting song from this Cardiff band with all the right feel good moments and a catchy chorus, making us all warm and fuzzy inside! Welsh pop at it’s best!

 

#015-05 PINACT – GUILLOTINE
Let’s round this Hot 5 out with some shoe-gazing rock courtesy of Glasgow’s Pinact. This two piece have made a rocking tune reminiscent of sounds coming out of mid-west US twenty years ago, but with a fresh Scottish approach.

A Few Tools for the Indie Musician’s Online Toolkit

Published by ukindietouring on March 19th, 2014 - in Online Tools, Resources

online tools uk indie touring

It’s old news that the online world is an essential part of an indie musician’s journey. Over the last year or so we’ve interviewed an interesting range of web based music companies so we thought we’d compile a shortlist for your toolkit. Put down your instruments and start typing on that keyboard…

1. Distribution: CD Baby

Founded in 1998 and based in Portland, CD Baby is one of the world’s largest online distributers. It focusses on enabling bands to keep control of their music and is a on stop shop for selling your music on the likes of iTunes and Spotify, as well as CD sales and publishing. Read more…

2. Ticketing: WeGotTickets 

WeGotTickets is a London based ticketing company aimed working with small to medium independent based music organisations, as well as directly with bands. All their ticketing is done electronically with e-ticketing and is a fairly straightforward process to set up. Read more…

3. Crowd Funding: Pledge Music

Crowd funding has become a great way for artists to raise funds for their projects over the last few years, as well as a marketing tool for testing the demand for their music. Pledge Music is a dedicated online platform to managing your crowd funding campaign and payments. Read more…

4. Collaborating: Music Gateway

Music Gateway connects the various create roles of a the recording process, with a platform set up for musicians to either pitch opportunities or look for them. It’s DIY on a global scale from the comfort of your living room. Read more…

5. Apps: BandApp

Smart phones are everywhere and BandApp is a great way for musicians to connect to fans directly to their mobile or tablet. It’s simple to use and free too! Read more…

The Hot 5! #014

Published by ukindietouring on March 4th, 2014 - in The Hot 5!

UK Indie Touring - The Hot 5 Logo by Jhinuk Sarkar

Winter is nearly over but we’ve kept things hot with number 14 of The Hot 5! Shout out to Rooms Magazine for the support of this feature, and to illustrator Jhinuk Sarkar from Paperfig for our lovely logo. This is where we get listening at UKIT to find 5 tracks of up and coming bands around the UK that we think are worth sharing. Here we go, in no particular order…

 

#014-01 DELTA SLEEP – JESUS BILL!
Delta Sleep from different parts of the country and have produced a fine track here with intricate guitars, smooth warm vocals and good use of dynamics, syncopation and time signatures.

 

#014-02 VESSELS – ELLIPTIC
A very cool and emotive instrumental piece from Leed’s Vessels, takes you on a journey (like The Neverending Story) with a lovely blend of organic and electronic instruments.

 

#014-03 HALFLING’S LEAF – SPLINTERS
Fast, shouty and technical! This Manchester band shows they certainly knows how to rock with this in your face track!

 

#014-04 SUNS – BELLS
Loving the electronic sounds and moody grove of this track by Suns from London. A haunting build and a beautiful breakdown to finish the song.

 

#014-05 MOLO – HELLO GOODBYE
Another electronic track, this time from London duo Molo, featuring Caterina Moreno’s lovely vocals. A perfect way to finish this top five with a some chilled out grooves.

DIY Recording: General Production Techniques – Part 5 – Other Instruments

Published by ukindietouring on February 19th, 2014 - in DIY, Recording, Resources

DIY Recording: General Production Techniques – Part 5 - Other Instruments

In our final session of DIY Recording we are looking at a range of other instruments that your might come across, as part of our five part series on General Production Techniques, with tips and tricks to help with your sound. Recording is an art and a science, so try these tips out using your ears and creativity. 

You never know what instrument you’ll come across in indie music these days, so here is an overview of a range of different possibilities. Whilst it’s always great to have the real live instrument, the advance in technology means that often virtual/synth alternatives are used, but many of the same principles apply.

Grand Piano

25-50Hz - resonance
80-120Hz - fullness
2.5-5kHz - presence
14kHz - brightness
(50Hz-4.7kHz – Formant) – IMPORTANT REGION

  • Pianos are mechanically noisy and can produce enormous transients.
  • Levels should be set between -3 & -5 VU and a limiter inserted with a +4dBm threshold and 12:1 ratio.
  • Manuel gain riding is sometimes employed.
  • The piano should be in a live environment on a hard floor.
  • Where possible and desirable, piano should be treated as natural as possible.
  • Reverb should be big and decay quickly.
  • Panning should be no more than 1⁄2 left & right.

Harp

100Hz - LF region
3kHz - presence range

  • Needs a live room.
  • Mic top & bottom.
  • For miking LF – place 2m away, aim for spot on floor halfway.

General Strings

100Hz - muddiness/boominess (cut to get rid of)
300Hz - body
2kHz - edge/presence
7kHz - screaming string sound

  • Needs to be in a live area (especially a string section)
  • Use basic stereo mic technique
  • Gratey strings – can be a problem, flange above 4kHz, slow & subtle.
  • Sequencer strings section – get one string player to play along to make sound better.
  • For a section – only the lead guy and a conductor needs to wear hear phones.

Violin

250Hz - bottom end
6kHz - presence/brightness
10kHz - airiness

  • 200Hz-1.3kHz – Fundamentals (G2-E5) C3 = middle C
  • Up to 10kHz – Range with harmonics
  • 300Hz, 1kHz & 1.2kHz – important frequencies/formant of violins
  • Record -3 to -5VU (-3VU for bow)

Viola

  • Formant points – 200Hz, 600Hz & 1.6kHz
  • See violin.

Cello

65Hz- 520Hz - fundamental range (C1-C4)
80Hz - bottom end
350Hz – 600Hz - formant
250Hz – 900Hz - critical area
800Hz - low mid warmth/roundness
2.5kHz - string sound
5-12kHz - upper harmonics

  • Condenser mic is favoured for a clear bright sound.
  • For a rounder, mellow sound – try a dynamic mic.
  • Record -3VU (for dynamics).
  • For rock use compressor dampening

Brass

100Hz - HPF
250Hz - bottom end warmth/body
3kHz - presence range
5-7kHz - sibilance equivalent
14kHz - LPF

  • For brass ensemble try up to 1.3s reverb time, plate for stabby sound, size will vary.
  •  Try to record in a natural environment.
  • Compress to tape and afterward, 8:1 ratio.
  • Use stereo miking technique.
  • Often double tracked, depending on skill of player.
  • Optional second track an octave lower, blend at lower level for more weight.
  • Gate for tightness. Needs to be warmed up for right pitch.
  • For harshness try slow flanging.
  • Delay and harmonizer to spread out.

Trumpet

  • Use both close and distant mics.
  • Close 80Hz-250Hz (capture fullness).
  • Distance 80Hz + 2.5kHz (brightness).
  • Pull out some LFs.
  • Formant points, 1-1.5kHz & 2-3kHz.
  • Reverb as long as 4-5s, more common 1-2s - Hall reverb - sense of space.
  • Harmonics go as high as 15kHz.

Trombone

  • Fundamental range – 80Hz-520Hz (E1-C4).
  • Harmonics up to 5kHz for quiet play, 10kHz for loud play.
  • Formant points – 480Hz, 600Hz, 1.2kHz.

Tuba

20Hz - LF
1.5-2kHz - HF
80Hz & 200Hz - cut for full sound

  • Mic distance – 1.5-2m, on axis to bell and move around.
  • Range 29Hz-1.5-2kHz.
  • Use LF dynamic mics.

French Horn

66Hz- 700Hz - fundamental range (B-F4)
120Hz – 240Hz - body
3.5kHz – 5kHz - shrill, harsh
Formant
340Hz 
- roundness
750Hz, 2kHz 3-5kHz

  • Distance mic over 2m.
  • Reverb – big, typically hall, give a big delay time as filler.
  • For a small room, to get distant sound play around with mic, put behind player.

Saxophone

8kHz - harmonics
10kHz - breath noise

  • Bb tenor – Fundamental range – 117 – 725Hz (B1-F4).
  • A Alto – Fundamental range – 140 – 784Hz (C2-G4).
  • Record -3VU, preferable in a live area, dynamic mic.
  • Reverb – wide open pan stereo reverb (brass needs ambience).
  • Watch for players hopping around.
  • Headphone mix, give rhythm, nice reverb on sax.

Clarinet

12kHz - Upper harmonics
Formant 880Hz weak areas
3- 4kHz weak areas
+ 500kHz - for body + 2kHz - for presence

  • Bb tenor – Fundamental range – 147Hz – 1.57kHz (D2-G5).
  • A Alto-Fundamentalrange-139- (C2-).
  • Reverb – big hall reverb, up to 1.5 decay.

Flute

240Hz-2.1kHz - body
6kHz - prominent harmonics (edginess)
9kHz - weaker harmonics (light area)

  • Fundamental range – 247Hz – 2.1kHz (B2-C6).
  • Watch out for 1kHz (B4), sounds like sine wave.
  • Problems – key noise, breath noise, detuning resulting from temperature fluctuation.
  • Record in live area, use omni, can use 2 mics.
  • Dipolar pattern – for dispersion up to 3kHz, it is along the player’s line of sight.
  • Above 3kHz it is 90° to the right.

Blues Harp

250Hz - bottom end
700Hz - warmth/thickness
2.5kHz - presence
5kHz - sibilance/spit

  • Reverb up front, bright plate, depending on situation.

Chromatic Harp

  • Little boost at 4kHz (articulation), shorter reverb than blues harp.

Piano Accordion

100Hz - bottom end
600Hz - warmth
3kHz - presence
8kHz - last harmonics

  • Generally recorded in stereo with left being the top end.
  • A condenser 30cm from headboard side and dynamic 1-1.5m from other side.

Bongos

  • Mic from overhead with one condenser.
  • Treat like rack toms. 

Get the gear

Two mics that are definitely good to have on hand and aren’t too expensive are the Shure SM57 and MXL 990 Condenser Microphone.

Specific items for a DIY budget:

  • Zoom H4N Hand Held Stereo Recorder
    This little machine has an awesome sound for recording as room mics eg for a string section, once you find the sweet spot. Also a great tool for demoing during the songwriting and preproduction stages.
  • Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone
    An extremely clean, smooth and affordable condenser mic, and as with the MXL 990, can use on any instrument requiring a condenser mic.
  • Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone
    The classic  microphone for when you’re on the road, it’s always handy to have the ’58 nearby as it can often produce great result for such a cheap microphone.

Check out Part 1 – DIY Recording Vocals.

Check out Part 2 – DIY Recording Drums.

Check out Part 3 – DIY Recording Guitar.

Check out Part 4 – DIY Recording Bass.

The Hot 5! #013

Published by ukindietouring on February 4th, 2014 - in The Hot 5!

UK Indie Touring - The Hot 5 Logo by Jhinuk Sarkar

We’re still keeping things HOT for winter with edition lucky number 13 of The Hot 5! Shout out to Rooms Magazine for the support of this feature, and to illustrator Jhinuk Sarkar from Paperfig for our lovely logo. This is where we get listening at UKIT to find 5 tracks of up and coming bands around the UK that we think are worth sharing. Here we go, in no particular order…

 

#013-01 BEARDED YOUTH QUEST – QUANTUMPLATION
Let’s kick this one off with an exciting instrumental from Bearded Youth Quest from the South Coast. With so much energy, this track takes you on a rainbow roller coaster!

 

#013-02 VASCO DA GAMMA – BRIGADIERS
A punchy and melodic number from Liverpool’s Vasco Da Gamma, you can definitely hear some of those old post punk references in their sound. Still fresh though.

 

#013-03 CHPLN – WHITE SNOW
Beautiful vocals, melancholic sounds and a lovely build, this is a very sweet track indeed from London’s Chpln.

 

#013-04 VULPES VULPES – PLAYING PATIENCE
A nice bass groove, cool range of electronic sounds and interesting effected vocals coming from this nocturnal producer from Stoke-on-Trent.

 

#013-05 THE WITCH AND THE ROBOT – AYN RAND’S GRAND PLAN
This Lakes District act has given us fine, psychedelic and somewhat quirky number to round off this edition of The Hot 5!

DIY Recording: General Production Techniques – Part 4 – Bass

Published by ukindietouring on January 22nd, 2014 - in DIY, Recording, Resources

DIY Recording: General Production Techniques – Part 4 - Bass

In session four of DIY Recording we are looking at bass, as part of our five part series on General Production Techniques, with tips and tricks to help with your sound. Recording is an art and a science, so try these tips out using your ears and creativity. 

Bass is sometimes thought of as a simple instrument, but getting the bottom end right can be quite complex and is really important to the drive of the song.

As with guitars, the bass is a variable instrument in terms of the sound they produce, and it crucial to get the source of your sound right; making sure you have selected the right bass and amp for what you are going for and to look at the condition of your bass – does it need new strings, is it in tune? Here’s a good overview of the different types of bass guitars from Sweet Water Music. There is also the option of playing the bass part on a synth or keyboard – although this won’t work for every genre of course…

Another thing to consider is the monitors you are using. Sometimes those low notes and sub frequencies can get lost. If you can, get hold of a sub woofer to check the low frequencies.

Electric Bass

The aim is to capture LF warmth, while maintaining note distinction.

50Hz - Boominess
80Hz - Warmth + power
250Hz - Body
500Hz - string distinction when cut
800Hz - roundness & warmth
2.5kHz - attack
5kHz - harmonics
10kHz - LPF

  • Usually DI & mic the bass.
  • For a mic – use larger diaphragm dynamic, 10-15cm from the speaker.
  • Must be in a dead area, because reflections will make too muddy.
  • Record 0VU -3 to -5

Effect for distinction

  • Very low flange.
  • Compress with low threshold, but slow attack
  • Gentle chorus (50-50 mix) – makes smooth.

Double Bass

41-261Hz - Fundamentals
<70Hz - Response = -3dB (less power)
70-250Hz - Critical range (tonality)
80Hz - Body
800Hz - fullness/warmth
2.5kHz - clarity, brightness, edge
5kHz - string sound
7kHz - end of harmonics Sounds up to
10kHz if played with a bow

  • Loud above 70Hz & fairly transient.
  • Play on a fairly hard surface, but not too live.
  • Jazz – +80Hz, +250Hz, +1.5kHz • Pop – +80Hz, +250Hz, +3.5kHz

Compression

  • High threshold
  • 12:1 ratio –  medium attack – medium-slow release

Get the gear

Specific items for a DIY budget:

  • AKG D112
    The egg mic – great for capturing bottom end and works well on kick too.
  • MXR Bass Distortion+ Pedal
    Great affordable pedal for giving your sound a boost live and also can be used as a DI when recording.

Check out Part 1 – DIY Recording Vocals.

Check out Part 2 – DIY Recording Drums.

Check out Part 3 – DIY Recording Guitar.

Check out Part 5 – DIY Other Instruments.

The Hot 5! #012

Published by ukindietouring on January 6th, 2014 - in The Hot 5!

UK Indie Touring - The Hot 5 Logo by Jhinuk Sarkar

Happy New Year, welcome to 2014 and our first Hot 5 for the year! Shout out to Rooms Magazine for the support of this feature, and to illustrator Jhinuk Sarkar from Paperfig for our lovely logo. This is where we get listening at UKIT to find 5 tracks of up and coming bands around the UK that we think are worth sharing. Here we go, in no particular order…

 

#012-01 THE KINGSMITHS – BRETON
We start the year with this eclectic song from The Kingsmiths. The Brighton quartet has produced a catchy tune, with intricate guitars, interesting vocals and good dynamics.

 

#012-02 ARCS & TRAUMA – THIS PLACE THAT I LOVE
We always have a soft spot for experimental indie, and this month Arcs and Trauma has got that spot! Fat riffs, prog riffs, melodic riffs and a great soaring chorus, it’s a nice piece of work from Hartlepool in NE England.

 

#012-03 CRASH OF RHINOS – INTERIORS
With good dose touch of old skool post punk, loving this punchy song from Derby’s Crash of Rhinos. Great beats and shouty yet melodic vocals.

 

#012-04 CALICO – NIGHTOWL
A soothing tune for our first instrumental of the year by Brighton’s Calico. Nice use of horns and keys too. Sit back and relax to this one.

 

#012-05 THE DRUMATICS – SHOW STOPPER
Hailing from London Town, The Drumatics have given us a pacing and ethereal electronic number that has song very cool vocals and drives all the way to the end.

Top Tips for UK Indie Bands from 2013

Published by ukindietouring on December 21st, 2013 - in Indie Bands, Industry, Resources

UK Indie Touring Top Tips for Indie Bands 2013

It’s been a big year for us here at UKIT; as well as the usual talks with a range of music industry types and putting on showcases and tours, we’ve introduced our monthly feature “The Hot 5″ and started to concentrate on creating more great resources for UK indie bands, such as our  DIY Tour Checklist and General Production Techniques series. So we thought a great way to end off the year was looking back through some of the top tips shared with us over 2013…


David Adams, Music Content Manager at SoundCloud says:

“Whatever an artist wants to create, being able to understand their audience is more important than ever. Understanding the fan base, connecting directly with them and creating long lasting relationships is of real value. There is a whole community of creators and listeners on SoundCloud with whom an artist can begin to interact with.”

 

Erin Rizzo, Business Development and Artist Relations at Radio Airplay says:

“Work hard and never stop promoting! The music industry has been turned upside down by the internet and specifically social media – Artists need to take advantage of all that social media offers in order build a strong and solid online fan base. With the pool of emerging artists growing larger each day the competition gets harder. When you stop promoting and building your online presence, people forget about you and someone else is waiting to take your spot.”

 

Simon Pursehouse, Director of Music Services at Sentric Music says:

“Be nice and do your research. I’m approached by a hell of a lot of artists on a daily basis and if you fall at the first hurdle then you’ve completely screwed it up for yourself. You may have written the best song since Yesterday, but if you’re introductory email is a load of nonsense sent to a hundred emails all CC’d in because you stole them from somewhere it’s never, ever going to get listened to.”

 

Howard Monk, Founder of The Local says:

“I look out for a band who sounds good – even if they’re rubbish in many ways, one thing should be right and that’d better be the sound. Being able to work the social networks and stuff like that should come later. Spend time getting good at what you do.”

 

Winston Giles, CEO of The Music Licensing Directory says:

“Artists need to be easily contactable. They should have their email address prominently displayed on their websites and Facebook page and they should check email often. Music licensing happens fast and artists should reply instantly to any music licensing request. So often we can’t get in touch with artists because they don’t have their email address clearly visible.”

 

Clive ‘Lewis, Founder of Electronic Rumors says:

“Know why you want a label. Know what they can do for you that you can’t do for yourself. Maybe they have good PR experience, maybe they have a big fan base or you want to be associated with their brand.”

 

Mark Carlin, Director of The Islington Mill says:

“I think perhaps the one thing that a lot of individual artists and bands forget is the power of collective action. By teaming up with like minded groups of people with different skills and interests can really help to move your ideas from one thing into another realm, often more powerful and far reaching than you could have thought. It also makes the idea of doing something independently more realistic and achievable.”

 

Steven Endersby, Senior Marketing Executive at WeGotTickets:

“Lots of bands and promoters don’t seem to think about selling tickets for their event until it’s too late. When you’re promoting your show you need to close that loop – you’ve made posters and flyers and spent hours distributing them, you’ve created and updated Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud pages, generated loads of interest in the gig – but you’ve not given people a way to get their ticket. My advice is to get those tickets on sale early so that all your hard work leads to money in the bank and people through the door, watching you play.”

 

Bobbi-Anne Lombardo, Director of PledgeMusic says:

“If the artist is engaged in what they’re doing and is truly taking it upon himself or herself to create a journey – something for fans to interact with on a regular basis – they fly. When artists come into the lives of their fans with something exclusive they can’t get anywhere else, we’ve found that fans respond.”

 

Steven Howell, Director of Music Insurance Brokers says:

“As soon as a band takes their equipment out of the house to play a gig they should consider insuring it – can you afford to replace your kit if it was lost, stolen or damaged? If you can’t afford to replace it and you don’t have alternative kit then this could affect your ability to write or perform. In some ways the earlier in your career you are the more important it is to insure your kit – as you could find your music career is stopped before you even really started.”

 

Jon Skinner, Founder of Music Gateway says:

“Be unique, do not copy and cross musicial genres. Market yourself through your content for example using the dance market to drive exposure of your songs and the number one piece of advice COLLABORATE, you learn so much, be inspired and develop your skills through the use of working with others, a must!”

Have a great festive season and good luck in 2014 from the team at UKIT!

DIY Recording: General Production Techniques – Part 3 – Guitars

Published by ukindietouring on December 11th, 2013 - in DIY, Recording, Resources

IMG_7364

In session three of DIY Recording we are looking at guitars, as part of our five part series on General Production Techniques, with tips and tricks to help with your sound. Recording is an art and a science, so try these tips out using your ears and creativity. 

Guitars are such a variable instrument in terms of the sound they produce, and a lot comes down to taste and the style that the song calls for. It is really important to get the source of your sound right; making sure you have selected the right guitar and amp for what you are going for. Production techniques can only do so much!

Another thing to look at is the condition of your guitars – do they need new strings, are they in tune? Is the intonation right or do they need a set up?  If you are using guitar pedals, look at your signal flow to make sure you reduce any electrical noise and get the right sound of your pedals working together. Humbucker Music have a great article for more information about this.

With each guitar track it is a good thing to record with two microphones to capture a range of frequencies; one track with a dynamic mic such as a Shure 57 and one with a condenser mic such as a MXL 990 (see above photo). If you are using a quad box, listen to each speaker and pick the ones that sound the best to mic up. You can try a distant mic to capture extra ambience.

Electric Guitar

50Hz - HPF
240Hz - Body fullness
400-500Hz - Body roundness
2.5kHz - Presence/boost sustain

  • Compression – 8:1 ratio, moderately high threshold, attack/release depends on tempo.
  • Reverb - Up to 3s decay.
  • Generic crap sounding guitar -Use a harmoniser with LFO pitch shifter or flanging.

Distorted Lead Guitar

250kHz - Boost for warmth
3kHz - Boost for more distorted, cutting (industrial) sound

  • Reverb – up to 2.5s decay.
  • Articulation depends on amount of distortion – the more distortion the less articulation.
  • Compression – the more distortion – the less compression needed.
  • Natural ambience – put on a separate track, pull out 400Hz to remove room sound, apply a boost at 7kHz.

Rhythm Electric (Clean)

80Hz - HPF
100Hz - Bottom end
250-500Hz - Fundamental frequencies (careful)
4kHz - Presence and brightness
7-14kHz - Top order harmonics

  • Depends how amp is set up and environment Think about distance miking up to 1m.
  • Compression – high threshold, ratio 4:1, get it to sit in mix and not squash it.
  • Reverb – generally plate, can give a full stereo reverb (especially for simple arrangements).

Distorted Rhythm (Power chords etc)

100Hz - HPF
400Hz - Body of Sound
2.4kHz - Edge/Presence

  • Try rolling top end off with high shelving EQ.
  • Touch of distortion – touch of compression. High distortion – hardly use any.
  • Reverb – not to much (or it will be too thick)

Acoustic Guitar

80-120Hz - Emphasizes the bass strings
500Hz - Fullness or body (too much – boxy)
1kHz - Presence
2.5kHz - Clarity/treble strings
4kHz - Brightness
12/15kHz - Highest harmonics

  • Aim to get natural blend of notes & warmth, clear but not too crisp.
  • Thick strings/thick pick can cause boominess – in a studio tone is most important, so use a thinner pick &/or lighter strings, especially where it is the main instrument.
  • Compression - Steel string (rhythm) needs to be evened out (mild compression).
  • Nylon is transient, needs to be compressed more so. Compress as needed depending on style of the sound.
  • Reverb – If being plucked – 1.5s decay time. As a rhythm instrument – up to 3s decay time (careful of clutter and crashes).
  • One trick for moving guitar is pan dry sound L and reverb R.

Effects/Fixing problems

  • To make a 12 string sound – can use a harmoniser.
  • Ambience/distance mic – eg hyper cardioid at 2m.
  • Tuning problems – add chorus or pitch shifter.
  • Fret buzz – try a de-esser.
  • Dead strings – try heavier compression / roll off lows / add high mids.

Nylon guitar (when played with a pick)

250Hz - Adjusts body & fullness
1.2kHz - Brightness

  • Reverb – decay 1.5-2.5s.
  • Try a distant mic 1-2 feet.

Steel String (as rhythm)

100Hz - Boominess
5kHz - Presence/closer or further away
12Hz - Harmonic limit

  • Reverb – decay 2.0-2.5s.
  • Crispness – mic up to 20cm away.

Classical Guitar

80Hz - LF problem (boom)
300Hz - Body
750Hz - Resonance problem

  • Reverb – try a hall reverb up to 2.5s.
  • Sound – warmth + mellow sound.
  • Normally miked at bridge to get higher harmonics.
  • Mics – AKG C35, SE300B (capture crispness).

Get the gear

Two mics that are definitely good to have on hand and aren’t too expensive are the Shure SM57 (works great on snare too) and MXL 990 Condenser Microphone (also works great on vocals).

Specific items for a DIY budget:

  • Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone
    An extremely clean, smooth and affordable condenser mic, and as with the MXL 990 an use as room mics, distant kick drum mic or OH mics if no alternative.
  • Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone
    The classic  microphone for when you’re on the road, it’s always handy to have the ’58 nearby as it can often produce great result for such a cheap microphone. Can use on the snare or toms if you don’t have alternatives. Even can work ok on the kick drum, if you don’t have another mic for it.

Check out Part 1 – DIY Recording Vocals.

Check out Part 2 – DIY Recording Drums.

Check out Part 4 – DIY Recording Bass.

Check out Part 5 – DIY Other Instruments.

The Hot 5! #011

Published by ukindietouring on December 2nd, 2013 - in The Hot 5!

UK Indie Touring - The Hot 5 Logo by Jhinuk Sarkar

Our last Hot 5 of the year and we’re pretty pleased to have brought you 55 tracks from 55 indie bands in 2013! There’s lots of HAWT tunes out there! Shout out to Rooms Magazine for the support of this feature, and to illustrator Jhinuk Sarkar from Paperfig for our lovely logo. This is where we get listening at UKIT to find 5 tracks of up and coming bands around the UK that we think are worth sharing. Here we go, in no particular order…

 

#011-01 GENTLEMEN – LATE NACHT
This quintet from London have been attracting some attention lately and you can see why with their big psychedelic sounds and moody vocals.

 

#011-02 MOTHER TONGUE  – READING BOOKS AND LEARNING
A collection of musicians from Manchester, Mother Tongue have captured a range of pop sounds; this song has aPaul Simon inspired african vibe, layered with plenty of rock riffs.

 

#011-03 THE SAVAGE NOMADS – JADED EDGES
A classic jangley indie pop tune, The Savage Nomads from London no doubt get people moving to this number!

 

#011-04 CONSTANT WAVES – THE HEIGHTENED CORRESPONDENCE OF SHORTENED STATURE
We found this month’s instrumental from Birmingham’s Constant Waves, a self described Math Dance band melding different genres. This has moments beautiful intricate guitars and great emotional build.

 

#011-05 HUGO SHEPPARD – SISTER
A big fat synth bass line, some old school sounds and big vocals, Londoner Hugo Shepard has produced a great track.

© UK Indie Touring.