Album Challenge: Post 2

There was a time when I agonized over microphones. No longer. Not only is content king. But the differences between two mics in the same class can be amazingly small and account for < .8% of your songs goodness. No science was use to validate this statement.

I like my sm7. It tames dynamics and sibilance. Best of all after using it as hammer you can still use it as a mic.


I did a few recording runs trying some different placements. Then I settled for about 6″ away. The diaphragm is pointing at my chin more then my mouth to minimize sibilance. That way I can use less multiband compressor later on. A pop filter is always a good idea at this close distance.

There are a million ways to set up mics. None wrong or right. I do think it’s important to take time and listen to what they sound like. Record them. None of my decisions are based on reading or rote. I do read about recording but the final proof is in listening. Does it work for your music?

Here is the next version. The tempo has increased. I worked out a rhythm on the hi-hats and kick and wrote more lyrics.

I’m using BFD 2 for the drums. When I was listening to VSTi drums a few years ago BFD 2 sounded best to me. Best in terms of realistic acoustic drums. The piano is from Kontakt 4. Those are two big resource hogs suckling at the teet of humble Reaper.

Here is something a bit further along in production. Most of the lyrics are done. The basic song structure is there. Bass is added. Turns out I like transistor style distortion so I’m using it on vocals and the bass guitar. I broke up the drums a bit with some fills and changes in patterns.

My philosophy on production is to try out lots of things. Record them. Then see if I like them a bit later. Often I’ve liked a part when I was playing it and then decided it didn’t quite work with the song a day later. So here I recorded a few bass parts, a piano riff up near C5, some expressive screams from my daughter, and a few other ideas. Many things are still rough but I’m generating ideas and polish would get in the way.

I did some math and realized if I keep working at this rate I’ll never finish before October 8th. But things are always slow at the start. Getting back in the flow of recording, writing, and producing takes time. For now, I’m not going to sweat it.

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