ETHERIA: A Modern Musical

2002 Jeffrey L. Sponsler

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Notes on Equipment and Engineering

Equipment

Synthesizers and Instruments

Recording, Editing, Computers, and Effects

Recording and Engineering Notes

In general, the mixing goal for this project was to create a very clean but lively sound. I want the listener to feel like he or she is in a club or theater hearing the instruments live. The mixes are therefore "in the front" of the speaker and not pushed into the back as so many recordings are now done. My mix goal also includes being able to hear each instrument clearly and related to this, if the track is not clear and did not support the final mix, I would remove it. Again, when you hear a live band you hear all the instruments.

This is a jazz/fusion project ultimately. My goal was not a rock sound and so keyboards dominate the arrangements. Since this is a jazz rock opera having big orchestral string sections is common throughout the project. Keyboard parts were created first using a MIDI sequencer (on the Amiga 3000), drum sequences were created next, and then live instruments were recorded using a synchronized ADAT machine.

AMIGA 3000: Ten years ago this machine was way ahead of its time for music and mine still functions in my studio as a MIDI recorder. A synchronizer box, the JL Cooper DataSynch, slaves the Amiga to the ADAT master.

Vocals: I tend to use chorus effect for most voices to give them thickness and a bit of reverb to create 3D space. Most voice tracks were created using a Sennheiser microphone and a compressor up front. Later, tracks requiring editing were moved from the ADAT through a MOTU 896 to NUENDO where digital audio editing was performed. Then the tracks were moved back to the ADAT tape for mixing. All mixing could have been done using NUENDO but I am comfortable mixing on the 8 Buss and have not yet gained proficiency in the Virtual Studio Technology (VST) arena.