Saturday, 27 October 2012

Day 6

Today was a much more satisfying experience in the studio having laid down 2 guitar parts for 2 of my songs.

I used the same setup as I usually do for my guitar recordings with the AKG 414 on the body and the MXL 441 on the neck. I really love the sound of these mics working together and the warm tonal quality of the Neve Genesys preamps.

I walked out of studio feeling very happy about what I'd achieved.

Looking forward to the next session which will hopefully include percussion and perhaps some vocals.

Stay excellent!

Jess Solimene

Days 4 and 5

Day 4
Oh wow. This was an incredibly frustrating day. I was supposed to be laying down more vocals for the song "Brave". My voice was just not co-operating and the more I tried the more forced it became and the more frustrated I got.

I came to a point where it was just not going to happen so we put an end to the recording. I spent the rest of the session editing and mixing "Brave".

I decided that I will come back to do the vocals on Brave because I was just not in the right frame of mind.

Day 5
I decided that I should start recording the other tracks so that I'd have more than one thing to work on as I think my ears and brain were becoming fatigued.

So I recorded the scratch tracks for 2 of my other songs using a Radial JDI and recorded a little bit of brushes on the back of my guitar.

I spent a little more time editing and mixing "Brave". It's sounding pretty good at the moment. I'm quite satisfied with the recordings.

Stay excellent!

Jess :)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Day 3

Today I recorded the melodica parts as well as the lead vocals for the song "Brave."

Recording the melodica was an interesting exercise because I've never had to mic a melodica before. It's quite a strange instrument in that it's a reed instrument with keys so it's difficult to know where and how to mic it whilst avoiding picking up the clacking sound made by the plastic keys. In case you're wondering, the melodica sounds pretty much like the lovechild of a harmonica and an accordion. It's one of the best investments I've ever made. No jokes.

I ended up using a trusty AKG 414 as a sort of "bird's eye overhead" (Yes, I just came up with that term) and a shure SM57 along the back of the instrument. This gave the sound a really nice quality.

Once the melodica was done and dusted, I moved on to recording the lead vocals. I soon discovered that it's probably not the best idea to record two instruments that require lung strength in one day but ended up with some great vocal recordings.

I once again used the AKG 414 set on the cardioid polar pattern (this may seem as if I'm a one mic woman... I use lots of different mics I swear! I just really love the tonal quality of this mic).

My assistant and recording engineer today was Ninette Botha. We always work well together in studio and have a great time doing it.

Until next time my friends!

Stay excellent!

Jess Solimene

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Day 2

This afternoon I had my second session in studio. It was a lot more productive than the first session.
Today I recorded all the guitar parts for the song "Brave" as well as the shaker and tambourine parts.

For the guitar recording, I went with my preferred set up of the AKG 414 (large diaphragm condenser) on the body of the guitar and the MXL 441 (small diaphragm condenser) on the neck around the 12th fret. The AKG was set to the cardioid polar pattern. The mics were placed about 50cm apart from one another and each approximately 20-25cm away from the guitar itself.

For the recording of the shaker I used the AKG 414 once again. This was pretty straight forward and only had to do a few takes.

For the tambourine I used the AKG 414 with a 20dB pad (setting found on the Neve Genesys). Unfortunately my camera battery died before I could take a picture of the set up but I positioned the microphone with the front facing the roof so that i could play the tambourine over top of it. This produced a pretty good sound but bear in mind that there were panel absorbers hanging from the roof.
The tambourine recording was a little more complicated than that of the shaker because in case you didn't know: It's pretty difficult to keep a tambourine quiet! In the end, after a lot of shuffling and changing hand positions, I was happy with the result.

The song is sounding pretty good thus far. I'm keen to start recording the melodica as well as some other percussive elements in the next week.

Until next time!
Stay excellent!

Jess Solimene

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Day 1

Setting up the Pro Tools session and the Neve Genesys console in the control room.

Setting up the mics in the live room. Using an AKG 414 on the body and an MXL 441 on the neck.

Tracking guitar parts/scratch tracks in the live room with my Crafter acoustic guitar.

Listening to playback in the control room.

Still working on the arrangements of the songs but the next blog should be a little more detailed :)

Stay excellent!

Jess Solimene

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Slight Delay

Due to unforeseen circumstances I had to postpone my first studio session which was scheduled for Friday the 21st of September until this Tuesday the 25th of September.

A lecture was scheduled at the last minute for this past Friday which clashed with my studio booking and because right now education comes before creation, I had to cancel. This was incredibly frustrating but all is well and I will begin the recording this Tuesday.

Looking forward to it!

Stay excellent!

Jess Solimene

P.S. To all my South African friends and followers: Have a happy Heritage Weekend!

Sunday, 16 September 2012


My name is Jess Solimene and I'm studying Sound Engineering at SAE in Cape Town, South Africa. I decided to get into sound because of my prolific love for music. That said, I am a musician too.

I'm currently in the pre-production phase of recording my first EP. This means I have to decide which songs are going to go onto the EP and work out arrangements for each. I also need to plan out the recording sessions from tip to tail to ensure that time in studio is used wisely.

I've been writing music for many years and I'm excited to get in the studio and record a couple of my songs.

The purpose of this blog is to keep all those that are interested up to date on my progress. I'll be posting studio pictures and blogs throughout the production process.

My first studio session is Friday the 21st of September.

Look forward to updating you then.

Stay excellent!

Jess Solimene