Kerosene - Album using Auria - First video release

edited February 6 in Creations

This is an overview of how we put our band Kerosene’s new album together, using Auria Pro, to edit, EQ, compress, mix, master etc.
I thought it might be a useful tip thread for anyone else undertaking such a task.
There may be some that don’t like certain methods that I’ve used, but we are all different, and it has worked for this album.
Please feel free to comment, add to or criticise the methods used, because that’s a great way of learning!

We started at a point, where we had narrowed down our songs to 12, that we loved and felt would work on the album.
The basic songs were recorded by us in various studios, and then mixed with a well balanced and clear sound. With time constraints and cost, we got the best we could for our limited resources!
We lived with these mixes and then decided what we could do to improve each song.

Every song had different elements that we wanted to improve. For example - Kicks or snares being louder or sharper, guitars made clearer and chunky, or vocals balanced or improved. We even decided to remove whole verses or choruses, shorten intros, breaks etc.

To this end, we did the rest via the magic of the internet. New overdubs, song edits, vocals etc., were all sent to me using .WAVs, via DropBox.

I created a template in Auria, 16 Stereo tracks. Anymore needed, could be added afterwards.
On the settings, I selected a buffer size of 4096 - the largest possible, as I was going to use a lot of FabFilter plug ins. There was no MIDI to worry about, as we were dealing with .WAVs only. The buffer size would have to be reduced to 512 or lower if there was any MIDI involved.



After setting the correct tempo and time signature (they are all 4/4, except for one 3/4 song), I imported the .WAV of the song to be used. The gain on this .WAV, then had to have gain reduction, so that it never peaked above 0 dB.
This .WAV, was then copied to other tracks, so that I could mix various elements - Drums, Bass, Guitars, Vocals, Bottom EQ and Treble EQ, for example.

Overdubs were then imported to other tracks. Kick, Snare, Percussion, Bass, Guitar, Vocals and any other additions.

For overdubbed drums, I used Drumagog, to replace or blend the original samples that had been DropBoxed to me.

FabFilter plug ins were applied to each track and the PSP channel strip was used to gate, expand etc.
On the Insert channel strip, I put Pro Q2, Pro C2, Timeless or any other FX needed and Pro R.
All of these inserts had to be balanced on the output level, so that what was increased by gain, was decreased by the same amount on output. Got to keep that 0 dB ceiling!

Different EQs, Compression, reverb etc., were used on each track, depending on what was needed.
For example, a sharper, more consistent Kick, more bottom end or more treble.



Once everything was well balanced mix wise, never peaking above 0 dB on the master fader, it was time to add Pro L2 for mastering.

Using the LUFS Loudness setting as the mastering guide, I set the levels to an acceptable loudness.
Each song had different dynamics. This particular song ‘Heart Set’, was quite a punky pop song, so I could live with the meter going up to -10 LUFS occasionally. I know some people won’t like this fact!
I used the Hard Rock & Metal Punchy setting for this one. True Peak Limiting was on, 8 x Oversampling was on, 16 bit Dither was on, and I set the overall out level to -0.25 dB.

The song was then mixed down to AudioShare. 16 bits, stereo and within the Locator range for length of song.


The mixdown was shared and tested on all sorts of listening devices, like, cheap earbuds, iPhone, iPad, expensive speakers, cheap speakers, and my favourite test - the car stereo!

Feedback was then given on what everyone was happy/unhappy with, what needed tweaking and overall sound.
These changes were then applied and then shared again, until we were all happy.
TaDa!
Album details, where to find and advertising spiel, to follow on next post!

https://youtu.be/3lq4h5yO_Jw

«1

Comments

  • edited January 20

    Cool Stuff! Thanks for posting.

    Look forward to checking out the results.

  • The album is released on the 1st of March 2019.
    Teaser videos and streaming releases, are being brought out in the build up.
    Album can be pre-ordered at Bandcamp here:

    https://keroseneofficial.bandcamp.com/album/broken

    £6 for download or £8 plus £2 P+P for the limited edition CD to be sent to you as well as as download access.

    Spotify here:

    https://open.spotify.com/artist/2Ks5Cj0AMljfHSrlMuxZzg?si=Uc79Th7eTBGwyHr3iVO9og

    YouTube here:

    Facebook:

    https://www.facebook.com/kerosene.uk/?ref=bookmarks

    Twitter:

    @kerosene_baby

  • Small world - I know you guys. I was around in Manchester in the early 90s. I used to hang out in Banshee, worked in the Salisbury and was also in a band around then, heavily involved in that alternative/grunge scene that was going on there at the time. A GF I had at the time was good friends with Gus. This was me circa 1994:

  • @richardyot said:
    Small world - I know you guys. I was around in Manchester in the early 90s. I used to hang out in Banshee, worked in the Salisbury and was also in a band around then, heavily involved in that alternative/grunge scene that was going on there at the time. A GF I had at the time was good friends with Gus. This was me circa 1994:

    Small world indeed!
    I pretty sure we would have known each other by sight at the time!
    We parted ways with Gus after the first album, but I think he stayed in the touring business...
    I’m shocked! All that time in SOTMC and we were from the same scene!
    I assumed you were in the USA?

  • @DefRobot said:

    @richardyot said:
    Small world - I know you guys. I was around in Manchester in the early 90s. I used to hang out in Banshee, worked in the Salisbury and was also in a band around then, heavily involved in that alternative/grunge scene that was going on there at the time. A GF I had at the time was good friends with Gus. This was me circa 1994:

    Small world indeed!
    I pretty sure we would have known each other by sight at the time!
    We parted ways with Gus after the first album, but I think he stayed in the touring business...
    I’m shocked! All that time in SOTMC and we were from the same scene!
    I assumed you were in the USA?

    I'm in the UK, was in London when SOTMC first started, but I'm now living on the Kent coast.

  • I’m in Kendal now. Guitarist in Manchester, bassist in Germany and drummer in Devon.
    Thanks to the modern era, we can now make songs online!
    Who would have thought it, back in the day?!
    This generation doesn’t appreciate what they have at their fingertips!

  • edited January 20

    I probably know your band from back then.
    I recall a few names - Slum Turkey$, Suicide Kicks and others.
    What was your band called?

  • Yes it's a lot better than recording stuff on a Fostex 4 track with no effects and a cheap mic :)

  • Johnny Roadhouse was the place for Musical gear, selling and buying.
    Or A1 music if you had more money...

  • @DefRobot said:
    Johnny Roadhouse was the place for Musical gear, selling and buying.
    Or A1 music if you had more money...

    Haha - A1 music, what a bunch of wankers. The shop was right next to the pub where I worked, so I knew a couple of them well. Typical guitar shop frustrated ego showoff wankers. I couldn't stand the place.

    Johnny Roadhouse however is where I spent all my disposable cash (or what little of it there was). Everything second-hand and cheap as chips, and the staff were friendly normal human beings.

  • Very interesting.
    I am not qualified to commend on the mixing / mastering results, but would like to hear @Tarekith

  • Good technical breakdown BTW - and the waveform looks like it's a dynamic track that hasn't had all the life crushed out of it by the limiter :)

    Listening to the YT mix the song has some great swings between quieter sections and then really loud ones. That's exactly what mixing and mastering should achieve IMO. (And BTW going to -10 LUFS in some sections is absolutely fine - it's only a problem if the whole song is pinned up to those levels).

    The only suggestion I would make would be to use the Group Busses more - it's so much easier to adjust the levels that way. For example I would send all the drum channels to a Group named "Drums", the bass to another Group named "Bass", all the musical channels to another Group named "Music", and then the lead vocals to another, and finally the backing vocals to their own group as well. That way you can balance your mix with just 4 or 5 faders instead of fiddling around with 40 or 50 different channel faders. It should also make it much easier to achieve that 0db level.

    Congrats on the album - it must have been a huge endeavour recording all that, and pleasing various bandmates as well. Hope the release is a roaring success!

  • Thanks @richardyot
    I’m hoping to get my head around Group Busses more. As you say, it’s easier to balance instruments that way...
    The YouTube video for Formula Rock, is from an EP we released in December. It was a testing ground for making the album. I learnt a lot doing that.
    None of that EP is on the forthcoming album, so it’s all new.
    It has indeed, been a huge endeavour. But this way, we can all be happy with the results after tweaking. So often, you can walk away from a studio thinking ‘I wish we could change this or that now’.
    This way of working, gave us that chance. Months of reworking, re-recording and editing, could be done with OUR time and money, rather than expensive studio costs.

  • Using the Group Busses is really easy! See this post for some more guidance:

    https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/comment/479947/#Comment_479947

    And yes I completely agree that being able to take your time is one of the best things about current home recording technology. My old band only ever had two days in a real studio, and we had to record 5 songs in those two days, the pressure was immense and there were no second chances.

    You guys as I recall recorded at least one album in commercial studios, which must have cost a fortune and really added to the pressure to get things right first time.

  • @DefRobot said:
    I probably know your band from back then.
    I recall a few names - Slum Turkey$, Suicide Kicks and others.
    What was your band called?

    Sorry, I missed that post. My band was called Strawberry, we weren't up to much, I was on vocals originally and was really terrible :)

    One band we always played with was the Flying Deckchairs (I think that's what they were called, the something Deckchairs anyway).

  • @DefRobot : thanks for the post!

  • this is a cool idea. showing the behind the scenes of the mixing of an album. plus, it makes for great bonus content to use on social media ...especially around the albums release. lets fans dig in if they want more.

    if i have one comment/suggestion it's to re-upload the audio on most of those YT videos.. the sound quality is god awful aliasing, tape noise, hiss ...not good. people have pretty discerning ears these days.. if it sounds like that and it's not intentional lo-fi or some nostalgia from the 80's where they can excuse the sound quality.. they'll just skip it. 480p? theres no excuse to have such low quality audio online in 2019.

  • @richardyot said:
    Using the Group Busses is really easy! See this post for some more guidance:

    https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/comment/479947/#Comment_479947

    And yes I completely agree that being able to take your time is one of the best things about current home recording technology. My old band only ever had two days in a real studio, and we had to record 5 songs in those two days, the pressure was immense and there were no second chances.

    You guys as I recall recorded at least one album in commercial studios, which must have cost a fortune and really added to the pressure to get things right first time.

    The best thing about starting in a proper studio, is mainly for the drums and to capture that ‘band playing’ feel.
    We don’t have all the Mics and acoustics to capture drums properly. Time pressure is horrible. I love the fact that we can tweak to our hearts content at home, with the fairly cheap technology at hand.

    Yeah, first album and singles cost an absolute fortune. Recorded in Woodstock, then mixing and mastering in Manhattan. Probably didn’t take on board how lucky we were. If we had more time, we would have tweaked A LOT!

  • @BitterGums said:
    this is a cool idea. showing the behind the scenes of the mixing of an album. plus, it makes for great bonus content to use on social media ...especially around the albums release. lets fans dig in if they want more.

    if i have one comment/suggestion it's to re-upload the audio on most of those YT videos.. the sound quality is god awful aliasing, tape noise, hiss ...not good. people have pretty discerning ears these days.. if it sounds like that and it's not intentional lo-fi or some nostalgia from the 80's where they can excuse the sound quality.. they'll just skip it. 480p? theres no excuse to have such low quality audio online in 2019.

    I completely agree with the sound on YouTube uploads. Some were from the 90’s and were found on old VHS tapes. I don’t know if you can keep the ticker tape of views and overdub a better sound source?

    I’ll ask our guitarist, who uploads the videos, if it’s possible to redo the sound. Thanks for the critique, it’s helpful to know what can be improved!

  • edited January 20

    yeah, the more i was watching them the more i figured they had to at least be from the 90's ...

    think you can do it w/ the YT video manager. you might have to download the mp4 of the video from youtube account . re-edit it and then re-upload it. I've read something about not losing comments, view count etc unless video has over 100,000 views. but not sure.

  • @BitterGums said:
    yeah, the more i was watching them the more i figured they had to at least be from the 90's ...

    think you can do it w/ the YT video manager. you might have to download the mp4 of the video from youtube account . re-edit it and then re-upload it. I've read something about not losing comments, view count etc unless video has over 100,000 views. but not sure.

    Thanks! I’ll pass on the info :)

  • @BitterGums
    Again, thanks for bringing this up. I’ve found how you CAN edit just audio via the video manager, as you say, if it’s below 100,000 views.

  • @richardyot

    Look! Group Buss used! Cheers ;)

  • edited January 21

    @DefRobot said:
    @richardyot

    Look! Group Buss used! Cheers ;)

    Close - but not quite. What you've done there is to group the channel faders, which is similar to using the Groups (or even a bus, there's so many ways to do this in Auria). But using the actual Sub Groups between the regular channels and the Master fader will be more flexible because you can then add additional effects to process the whole group (rather than just the individual channels). Check out my mini-tutorial again:

    https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/comment/479947/#Comment_479947

  • edited January 21

    @richardyot

    My bad! I’ll stick the dunce cap on :D
    Yeah, I grouped the faders, but it helped on this one for finding the level of added vox.
    I have used those busses before for fx plug ins that can be applied via Aux send and return. You can give various amounts to different tracks with less CPU usage that way, I find.
    I’m gonna see if I have permission to post ‘Heart Set’, as it gives more gravity to the tech talk!

  • edited January 21

    Here’s the song from the above walkthrough.

  • @DefRobot said:
    Here’s the song from the above walkthrough.

    Great job :)

    Lots to like here: strong chorus, good powerful vocal, really tight arrangement, and punchy and powerful mix. Love the stop/start dynamics in the track. And it rocks while being catchy. Can't ask for more.

    The production is great, the track is really dynamic and exciting. Maybe there's just a smidge too much top end, but that's probably subjective.

  • maybe the graphics psyched me, but for most of the track the singer represented the Audioshare screenshot and the band being the side diagram role.
    It gave an interesting virtual stage when filled by parts that popped up now and then.
    But I'm not shure that it was intended this way, as the 'band' part is quite boxy and those complementing sections were sparse.
    Some unintended phase flip ? (possibly by a mid/side action or the encoding)

    For the musical part I fully agree with richardyot, cool stuff :+1:

  • @richardyot said:

    @DefRobot said:
    Here’s the song from the above walkthrough.

    Great job :)

    Lots to like here: strong chorus, good powerful vocal, really tight arrangement, and punchy and powerful mix. Love the stop/start dynamics in the track. And it rocks while being catchy. Can't ask for more.

    The production is great, the track is really dynamic and exciting. Maybe there's just a smidge too much top end, but that's probably subjective.

    Ta mate!
    I do err on the side of brightness, maybe the result of my older ears...
    I do compare to similar sounding songs by other bands though, and I think it’s pretty close.

  • @Telefunky said:
    maybe the graphics psyched me, but for most of the track the singer represented the Audioshare screenshot and the band being the side diagram role.
    It gave an interesting virtual stage when filled by parts that popped up now and then.
    But I'm not shure that it was intended this way, as the 'band' part is quite boxy and those complementing sections were sparse.
    Some unintended phase flip ? (possibly by a mid/side action or the encoding)

    For the musical part I fully agree with richardyot, cool stuff :+1:

    Haha!
    The video is purely a quick placemat for YouTube.
    We haven’t got a video for this one at the mo.
    Will only be an album track I think...

Sign In or Register to comment.