Turn It All Around - Video and Single
The audio you hear in this video was recorded live at the video shoot in Hollywood, California and there were no overdubs. Here's how we did it..
The overall recording concept was to have a live performance on Stick and vocals with prerecorded drums and strings underneath.
The drums and strings played out of an Apple i5 Macbook Pro running Digital Performer 7 while simultaneously recording my vocals and the Stick on 7 new tracks.
To get a nice look to the video there were a lot of moving lights and neon fixtures on the set. Unfortunately, these lights have LOUD built in fans plus the neon lighting is notorious for generating high frequency noise in the audio path.
To reject the noise I needed a vocal mic that was highly directional so I used the old standard Shure SM58. As a recording engineer I have used 58's and Beta 58's recording live performances of some of the biggest artists in the world because the mic is stable, predictable, and the off axis rejection is excellent. Beta 58's are even better. Sennheiser also has some great products for this kind of work.
The mic went directly into a MOTU Traveler MKIII with a little bit of the Traveler's built in compression and no EQ. A Waves C1 compressor, MOTU EQ4, MOTU gate and MOTU eVerb were used during the mix.
Since the Traveler was the audio interface to the Mac it also provided the playout audio for the drums and strings. The vocal harmony you hear was done in real time with a TC Helicon Voicelive printed in stereo.
The Bass side of the Stick went into a Presonus Bluetube preamp and a DBX 166 compressor to stabilize the low strings. EQ was switched off. The EMG pickups on the Stick are so good that you can record them flat and they sound fantastic. Effects were a Line 6 MM4 for a touch of light stereo chorus to make the hi bass strings pop out a bit.
The Melody side was the EMG pickup directly into a Roland VG88 used in stomp box mode. The cool thing about the VG88 is that it doubles as a multi effect stomp box on steroids, so you don't have to use a Roland GK pickup. I created a preset in the VG88 to give me an old Fender Tweed sound with stereo vibrato. Love that bluesy vibe!
The drum track was created with Spectrasonics Stylus RMX. This is an AMAZING application! I was a part of the beta test team for Spectrasonics during the development of this product and honestly, it is the greatest most useful appllication available for doing any type of grooves.
The Strings were a combination of 20 year old EMU EIII samples combined with Quantam Leap VLSO strings played out of Native Instruments Kontakt 4.
The video was a line cut that was switched in real time so the audio and video were never edited. We did three takes and I chose the second take to be the video. The itunes single is the audio from this live performance.