Safe, by Sustain

September 3, 2010 4:14 AM

First track I've recorded by the small choir I've put together this year. I write and arrange, they sing. It's been my project since christmas - please let me know what you think!

The Sustain choir are now 9-strong, and they are really just my friends, or friends-of-friends, who either can or would like to sing.

I've always written for many voices, but until this year only every achieved recordings through multi-tracking myself. I'm so excited to have this choir up and running, but it's been quite a challenge recording and mixing them. Any thoughts or critique therefore would be much appreciated.

Thanks, I hope you like.

posted by greenish (6 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I think it's pretty darned great. Fantastic job, all of you!
posted by iamkimiam at 3:42 PM on September 3, 2010

Nice voice, and good song. I love the choir arrangement! You definitely need a better mic, though. I've found that a good mic for the money is the AKG Perception series. A good all around condenser mic, with a large (one inch) diaphragm. Sounds best out of all the affordable mics I've used, (I have a recording studio)... and I use it in the field because it's replaceable for the money, and sturdy. I suggested it to a choir director friend of mine, and the church loves it. They each come with a shock mount system, and case as well. That would bring your sound quality up considerably. Good job!
posted by Disbro at 2:51 PM on September 4, 2010

I like your voice greenish and this is a promising song. I was mentally reaching for my guitar at points in this - wanting to start putting a little bit of ooomph and bump 'n' grind behind it in a subtle kind of way, just helping it to climb up there. Agree with Disbro re mic. Can't personally comment on the Perception series, but I use an AKG C414, amongst other mics, for a lot of my acoustic stuff - AKG is good gear. Another good mic producer is an Australian outfit called Rode. One of their multi-pattern condensers like the NT2-A would be a bit cheaper than an equivalent AKG and, in my view, just as good.

But I'd also comment on mixing. I guess because you have the choir involved you feel that everyone has a right to be heard (as it were). I can appreciate that in a social sense, but if I'd been involved production-wise I'd have backed the choir (the backing vox effectively) off quite a bit more than you've done here. I'd have been a lot less democratic! Problem is that your excellent and characterful vocal is getting swamped by all the counterpoint etc that's going down here. There are also related frequency issues that need to be looked at - there's a bit of "masking" happening too, and some EQ tweaking might help to deal with that. I mean - it's all absolutely fine, but it just needs to be balanced and EQ'd with a bit more subtlety and finesse (and ruthlessness....:-)). Hope you take that as the const. crit it is, rather than being offended. Oh and if you ever want that little bit of bump 'n' grind on guitar (electric or acoustic) - let me know.
posted by MajorDundee at 3:39 PM on September 4, 2010

Nice job putting together the choir! In my own way, I'd actually like to hear more of the choir. I guess I didn't interpret them as backing vocals, just thought you wanted a wall of sound, which a 9 voice choir can get! So I wanted to hear more choir, but I agree that achieving the balance you need is essentially a mixing issue at heart.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 11:32 PM on September 6, 2010

Thanks for the comments :)

I have actually been using a pair of Rode NT1s, it's just that the space isn't terribly good ech0-wise. The mixing is still in progress, but good call MajorDundee on the EQ and spacing.

abc123, I have a new track recorded now which is more choir and less me - I'd be keen to know what you think of that one! to be posted shortly.

Thanks again for listening!
posted by greenish at 12:01 PM on September 7, 2010

This is great. I really like the arrangement with choir; it really helps set the track up as something different. I know this is an older track, but I'd be interested to hear more stuff, so if you've got more, let's hear it!
posted by dubold at 1:39 AM on February 22, 2013

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