Brook Mowett - I Want You
This production created a huge learning curve for me to aim higher when recording acoustic instruments. It was a process that really gave me a lot of respect for producers who can get a great sound from such a simple instrument. In this session JP and I created a reverb chamber in the stairwell of the SAE Brisbane Campus. The idea was to create a unique shape and colour to the reverb and to also test the ORTF stereo miking configuration in a more complex environment.
The Reverb Chamber
The chamber was set inside a 3 level stairwell with a well isolated sound. Colour of the reverberations would get darker the lower the level the microphones would go. We found that the best place for the ORTF pair was at the start of the first level facing away from the corner of the stair platform. The rokit 6 speaker was on the adjacent platform on the second level. With this in mid, the RT60 within the space was at 2.5 seconds which was quite long for the type of recording we were conducting. I was impressed with the overall sonic quality of the reverb, but found that the solid brick material on the walls were absorbing quite a bit of the sound in some areas. In future I may use some harder materials in specific places to control the path of reverberation.
Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
The original plan in my pre-production was to record both the guitar and vocals separately and to mix them in total isolation. The problem with this was the songs are normally played Live and Brooke performed better with the guitar in her hand. The guitar had a naturally harmonic mid range resonance and was tuned in drop D. I decided to record the guitar with an SM57 at the 12th fret and an Omni condenser AT2050 pointed close to the bridge. The vocals were recorded with the Rode NT2A in a cardioid polar pattern. I found with the slower bluesy songs the guitar had a really nice clarity, but when played fast lost a lot of quality in the 3Khz-5Khz range. Also, when played soft the microphones were able to pick up a better colour in the music and it sounded better with the reverb chamber.