Behind Dead Sapiens "For All That Have Fallen"
It's been a good few weeks since my last blog update, and the reasoning behind it was because I was working on the Next Dead Sapien single which drops on April 9th 2021. I really wanted to challenge myself on this release and go the extra mile with this single as a natural progression from "Been A While".
The drums are entirely programmed and I spent a lot of time focusing on humanisation of the drums by controlling the MIDI velocity of each element of the kit to provide a closer representation of how an actual drummer would strike a drum vellum. For the first draft of programming I had all notes quantised to the grid and then manually adjusted the notes one by one to closely represent human reaction time. Once I was satisfied with the results, I printed out the samples into their respective channels to allow for a greater amount of detailed processing come mixing.
The Bass and guitar tracks were all DI's that were comped together to allow for optimal performances and additional care was taken around the guitar tracking to ensure minimal string noise and unwanted frequency content (See earlier blog post). Once comped and edited, I reamped both instruments using a combination of different amp sims to achieve the desired tones.
The vocals were tracked with an SM7B Dynamic Condenser microphone, that ran into a "cloud filter CL-1" preamp to give the microphone a boost of 20 to 25dB gain before reaching my converter pre-amps. This strengthening of the signal meant that I didn't have to run the gain knob on my converters as high, which lowered the overall S/N ratio that would have otherwise been an issue.
Vocals were then put into a folder, duplicated, and then labelled "Un-comped vocals" and "Comped vocals". the vocals in the un-comped vocals were muted/disabled to avoid excessive CPU usage and the vocals in the "Comped" were then Comped along with any unwanted breaths were removed and fades were applied. The vocals were then bounced, the folder duplicated again this time with one being labelled "Time align" and I used Cubase's warp feature to align the phrasing of the vocals to glue the instrumentation closer to the vocals. I was happy, I duplicated the "Time Align" folder and labelled the new folder "Vocal Tune" for vocal tuning with Cubase's VariAudio Feature.
The overall justification behind this process was to ensure that if any mistakes were made in the vocal editing process I had back ups of each stage that I could recall for further editing.