Lonely Exile Here, by Bones In The Walls

First time poster, long time creeper.

This past November we put to work recording some holiday songs in a folk / surf rock / spaghetti western sort of style. The whole project was done with VERY minimal equipment but thanks to Ardour the final product came out really great! I’m continually impressed with what the software is capable of! These songs were produce with terrible equipment in a far-from-studio environment, but the end result still impresses me. Hope you like them!

Good stuff! I love the minimalism. I’m curious if you could elaborate a little more on your workflow. How do you record, what mic(s) are you using? What plugins do you use?

I don’t know what everybody else does or what is industry standard. I’m sort of learning as I go. And my equipment has a lot of restraints.

I used a cheap $30 FIFINE Dynamic Mic, into a MBox M2 USB interface feeding into an Ubuntu Studio laptop. The M2 is super old, but it works… Only at 480 and not 441 though :frowning:
All the instruments were acoustic so I mic them straight into the M2. Guitar first, then vocals, percussion and finally, mandolin.

Once everything wass recorded I started with gain staging, adjusting gain only and not faders at all.
Then I throw an EQ plugin on each track. I usually use Calf 5 EQ for all of them. I start with an EQ on the master too, and use “broad strokes” and start off generally with the sound I’m aiming for, but I don’t overtinker there.

Then I “trim the fat”. I shelf ~10 db of the lows and highs that don’t add to the sound I want. Then use a 1-2 knobs to bump the specific frequencies i want to accent on each track.

Then I toss Calf compressors on any tracks that are too dynamic and need evening out. Some tracks will need the comp before the EQ.

I also add a light Autotune plugin to my voice because… I’m so flat… always.

Then I add effects :slight_smile: specifically delay, reverb, and tremelo. I use Calf’s delay and reverb, and the guitarx’s tremelo and distortion I believe.
Last is the chain are the faders, I try to keep all tracks around or below -12db before hitting the master.

On the master fader I adjust the EQ again to hone in further the sound as a whole. Then I throw a limiter on right at the end. I set it to ~ -1 dB output, limited about -3 dB, And then I bump the input as high as I can before the limiter has to run too frequently at the rowdiest parts.

Once that’s all done I export it, and listen to it on as many speakers as possible and take notes. For the next few weeks I’ll adjust things here and there until I get a consistently decent sound on most speakers and headphones.

I’ll happily take suggestions on how to do things better. As I said, I’m just sort of figuring things out as I go with the poor equipment I’ve got, learning mixing from YouTube and reading books.

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