We had the privilege of recording Alex Mills, an artist born and raised in Barbados then relocated to Australia. Alex is a guitarist, singer & has recorded a couple of songs in USA. The plan was to record one of his written songs in the Avid S6 studio & that was exciting as I had no idea that we could record in this particular studio.
One of the major highlights was getting to know the artist (Alex Mills) his workflow, writing songs skills and his journey through the musical experience. Most of his music is inspired by life experiences and in particular the song recorded for the day was about his upbringing. Alex had a demo stems prerecorded that we used as a guide. Part of our preproduction plan was to have a listen to the demo version before Alex came in the studio.
The S6 is a digital console that requires patching when wanting use outboard gear just like any other studio. The difference being the patching is done digitally changing channels on the stage box. The Avalon preamps I found them to be very interesting as they really boost the levels of microphones bringing out beautiful characters. Avalon preamps are Australian made and they do cost quite a couple of dollars and they are worth the price. The choice of microphones used are the Shure sm7B and Royer 121 for the main vocals, AKG C414 for guitar. The plan for mid-side microphone setup did not go as planned as the channels on the multicore/stage box did not respond. Therefore we suspended the idea. A lesson I learnt there was that it is very important to check before which we did and thought that microphones were faulty. We intended to use the Royer 121 and the Neumann K184 pencil microphones for the mid-side.
One may ask why use the shure sm7b dynamic microphone and a Royer 121 Ribbon microphone at the same time. The reason is that the sm7b is built to capture smooth, warm vocals that connect the speaker to the listener according to the manufacturer .(Shure , 2020). Alex Mills voice is a smooth voice which does work well with this type of microphone. On the other hand the Royer 121 is a Ribbon microphone and offers an exceptional midrange detail, low self noise and excellent transient response. 9 recording hacks, 2020). According to Guy Gray, blending these to two microphones together cause phase cancellations but you do it slightly and it can bring a nice feel in the mix.
Another highlight was recording a well organised artist makes a whole lot more difference. We spend more time recording & adding during the recording which made the project a smooth sail just because Alex is a well organised artist well practised and works very professional with the producer. He is also an exciting, funny guy who makes the whole session pretty much relaxed. The relationship between Alex & Guy Gray proved that they work relationship is professional and they know each other’s workflows and know when to stop the recording. It shows that they have been working together for a while now.