2ube and Tape

So I thought I’d give you an update on what I’ve been up too this week. It’s been filled with stress, but the good kind. The kind you feel when the pressure’s on to do well that helps drive your passion.

For me this week it’s been a live streamed gig. At uni we have a weekly gig called The 2ube (Odd name I know, blame LIPA managers) that I help run. And every few weeks we have the great pleasure of livestreaming the whole thing. I say pleasure, but really I mean the feeling of wanting to pull your own eyes from your skull. It’s a lot of fun, but also a lot of work and most of the time everything that can go wrong does so. This time I was in charge of mixing the broadcast mix, for the whole world (Or the 200 odd people who listened anyway) to hear. Due to the usual chaos that ensues at this event, we only got half a sound check for the broadcast mix, meaning we had to mix the 11 piece band live from scratch, along with some others. But luckily, apart from a few hiccups along the way it mostly sounded good. I was mixing alongside my friend Sophia and I feel we did a really good job overall, but like i said, de-eyeing almost happened.

So after that I’ve been “mastering” the live performances that sounded decent. Originally we hoped to get five multi tracks out and recorded into Pro Tools, but as so often happens in the audio world, the ancient gods of recording had other plans so that didn’t work out. I say mastering loosely, because I’m essentially trying to improve on my live mixes using EQ, some stereo spreading and then limiting them. It’s actually working out surprisingly well. I’m sure I will post the results in a few days.

I’ve also been in the studio this week, learning how to use a tape machine and recording with a band. The band was just standard affair, it’s a folk band and we were recording guitars and vocals. The tape was more interesting. If you’ve never used a tape machine before I really suggest trying to get a hold of one and giving it a go. It really makes you feel like an actual sound engineer. Getting the screwdriver out to align the beast was a lot of fun. I love tape. It’s such a hassle and possibly not worth all the effort these days but It does sound great. It’s nothing particularly noticeable either, some slight harmonic distortion and roll of on the high frequencies but there is some magic in that magnetic strip.

One of my current projects is to record and mix a band full in the analogue domain. It’s more of a challenge for myself than anything, but they sound very Led Zepplin and I just couldn’t help myself. You’ll probably hear more about this later when I may have less hair due to ripping it out over this recording.

Anyway enough of my ramblings. I’ll leave you with a link to the livestream I mixed and hope you have a great week,

Liam.

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