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  • Captain Chup

Abbey Road Institute Session #2 : Arley

1 band, 2 songs, 3 different recording techniques.

Arley is an acoustic Folk/Blues trio. The recording was done during 2 sessions of 4 hours. The first day, I recorded the 2 songs in "close micing": the classic studio recording technique (one or more microphones in front of each instrument).

The next day we recorded the two songs in mono with one mic and then in stereo with just two mics.

I did the mono takes with a Neumann U87 in omni position and the stereo takes with two Royer R121 in Blumlein. I discovered single-mic recording with Klaus Blasquiz during a course at ARI and then with John Cunibertti's "One mIc session".

The interesting thing about recording an ensemble with only one or two microphones is that the mixing of sounds is done organically and naturally: to balance the musicians, you have to direct them to move forward or backward from the microphone. Once the recording is done, you can't do anything else!

This kind of recording is reserved for bands of a certain level that play in place, in tune and that have rehearsed a lot. This kind of recording allows little or no editing and individual correction in case of mistakes or false notes. The group has to listen to each other to manage the volumes between them. As far as mixing is concerned, we are closer to mastering with a global treatment.

These 3 recording proposals each offer a different sound, mix and experience with their advantages and disadvantages.

Mono recording may seem the least flattering but it is the most direct, undistracted, compact, efficient. The sound is less defined but not without quality. In particular, we have a consistent sound with power and impact.

The blumlein recording has for me the most beautiful depth, the softest mix between the sources, a very good perspective and the respect of the timbre of each source.

To place the instruments in the left/right panorama, the musicians must be placed on either side of the microphones during the recording. I decided to give a natural "live" perception, as if the band was playing in front of us in concert.

Finally, the most commonly used recording called "close mic" is the cleanest with the most polished, clear and efficient sound: each instrument was able to receive a personalized treatment (equalization, compression, reverb, volume automation, etc.) during the mixing.

It's very exciting to make "unconventional" recordings with risk taking and commitment. I can't wait to try it again.

Each track is available in the 3 versions: One mic Mono, Two Mic Stereo, and Close mic. The playlist is at the beginning.

Arley :

Pauline Villain : Vocals

Alim Elborki : Guitar, backing vocals

Léo Flank: Cajon, percussions, backing vocals

Bonus Claps: The Claptains: Mina Roth and Theo Slagt

Recording performed at the Abbey Road Institute Paris in November 2018.

Recording, mixing, mastering : Léo Chupin

Pre-Amp : SSL 9000K

Mix " In The Box " on Protools

Assistant : Théo Slagt

Song 1 : Release :

One mic Session :

Two Mic Session

Close Mic Session

Song 2 : Tie Me Up

One mic Session :

Two Mic Session

Close Mic Session

Arley : Léo, Pauline & Alim.

Me, instaling the Blumlein couple.

shot of a one mic trackin of "Tie Me Up" : Arley join by "the claptains". For the mix the C414 was left (not precise enough and too much room sound).

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