Shortstop From Tokyo

“Eyes” by  Shortstop From Tokyo
Audio MP3

Ken Pendola of Shortstop From Tokyo

I set up the drums in the live tracking room underneath the drum cloud and the guitar in the isolation booth with a talk back. I put the bass in the control room running through the Avalon DI box. For microphones I used the Beta 52 on the kick drum. I put an SM57 on the bottom of the snare drum and a KSM 44 on the top of it. I used the SM81 on the high hat and the KM184 on the ride cymbal. I used the MD421 as our tom mic’s. I used the AKG 414’s as overheads and the SF24 as the room mic. The room mic was placed about ten feet behind the snare drum. I close mic’d the guitar amp with both a SM57 and a MD421.

Kyle Kedzuch of Shortstop From Tokyo

I set up the U87 in the Isolation booth for vocals and then a U87, Royer R122, and a MD421 in the main room. I set up the three mic’s in the main room for the horns in a triangle pattern facing inward in order to get the least amount of bleed as possible. The horns were run through the Grace Preamp. The microphones for the sax (MD421) and the trombone (U87) were a little less than a foot from the instrument. The Trumpet was about a foot and a half from the Royer because I didn’t want to break the ribbon microphone. For Backing Vocals we just used the U87 already set up in the main room, which was run through the Grace preamp. Recording the Saxophone solo he did the solo two times through. First time through the microphone was above the bell more pointed to the keys to get more of a breathy high sound. The second time through was in the bell, which was more raspy and low.

First mixing session was devoted to getting a rough mix together for the class to review. No automation was done but EQ and Compression were added in the box. I wanted to try panning only hard left and right and center for this project because I had read a lot of interviews it seemed really popular. I liked how that turned out especially after I doubled the horn parts and panned their duplicates to the opposite side and delayed them by 6ms. It made the horns sound a lot fuller. EQing and compression was mainly done inside the box. Guitars were the biggest challenge and if we had an amp modeler I would change the tone. Guitars were a big messy 4K wash of guitar. Kick was EQ’d for more of the beater sound; the lows were filtered out except for about 125hz and then a boost at around 800. Snare was EQ’d for more of a fat drum sound instead of the snap so around 200hz was boosted and some 1-2khz were cut as well as abnormalities. He didn’t hit the toms once throughout the song so I was able to dump those completely. High hat just was EQ’d to cut through so there was a boost at around 2-5K. Overheads sounded great so I mainly cut out the kick and snare drum and boosted some the highs above 10K to make it sparkle. I wanted bass to drive the song so it had a boost of the lows from 100hz down and then cut of mud out of 200hz and then just added some extra string noise at around 1K. Horns were EQ’d some low cut at around 100 Hz and a boost at 125-150hz to give it some fatness and some 1K to 5K to cut through based on the horn (trumpet around 3K, Trombone about 1K, Sax around 5K).

Jeff Piper of Shortstop From Tokeyo

After critiques there was a lot of time spent on editing to make it sound tight. The horns were off and the snare and kick rolls were off time. I also edited together the double track of the vocals during the chorus so that they sounded thick but not like they were double tracked. In an effort to make it more exciting I took a sample of a cymbal crash from the drum track and reversed it. I put it in right after the second chorus before the sax solo. I put it there to create a subtle tension right before the sax solo. The solo was really lacking in performance so I actually took two different takes of the solo that were recorded with different microphone positions, one on the holes and the other pointed in the bell of the sax. I edited together those two tracks so that they sounded like one with an effect. The higher part I mixed in a lot lower in the mix also so that it sounded full and not like 2 tracks. After editing was pretty polished I had a session in which I recorded back in drummagog tracks and reverbs. The drummagog snare and kick were separate tracks from their originals that I mixed in with the original tracks. I mixed them in so I didn’t lose the feel of the player. Everything was automated especially the dynamic vocals the variation of the guitar parts. The horns were automated also so that they wouldn’t compete with the vocals. I also parallel compressed the drums and guitars. The drums I compressed through the Drawmer 1968 and the guitars a parallel compressed through Pro Tools compression.

Overall I think my mix turned out pretty well. There was a lot of editing that went into this project more than others I have done and it really helped my mix out a lot. If I could change one thing about my mix it would be the guitar sound, I really don’t like it and so it kind of hides in my mix. I tried convincing the band to not go with a fuzz guitar sound but they disagreed. I had to make a separate mix for the band that didn’t have the “hugh” at the end and they also didn’t like the double tracked vocals in the chorus, which I totally disagree with because it now sounded really thin and lost a lot of energy.