Friday, 27 May 2016

First year completed!

Two weeks ago on friday, I officially finished my first year of university! While it is only the first year, in which getting a pass is all that really matters, most grades i've got have been in the 2:1 area, even with a few 1sts!
I'm pleased about the grades, but at the same time, grades aren't the only thing you come to uni for. I've had a load of my own recording projects i've done which have varied a little between recording to recording, however I certainly feel that my production skills have come along in leaps and bounds since my time at Brockenhurst college. This is certainly from teaching i've received from lecturers, but I have so much to thank my coursemates for, with many tips and tricks picked up from them that I have benefited from greatly.

With my course aside, I've been pretty busy these past few months, recording the alt-rock band Recluse in February, fighting in a Judo competition towards the end of that month, taking part in and holding a couple of recording sessions in the months up and til now, going to a gig every so often and of course Judo training bi-weekly, however the most time consuming thing has been mixing the songs for Recluse.

I started mixing the first song around the start of march. I got a mix completed, however I found that the guitars didn't quite sound beefy enough. In reality I should have double tracked the guitars, however during the recording session I forgot to so instead I re-amped the tracks during one of my mixing sessions, running them through a Mesa/Boogie Stiletto Ace in the university. While I had the mics set up, I also ran the vocal tracks through the amp, which gave me a raw, saturated to mix into the tracks if I wanted. Capturing these additional sounds proved very helpful, solving my issues by both fattening the guitar sounds and also giving me the opportunity to add some edge to the vocals if they suited the mix.
At this point, nearly all the mixes are completed, with five tracks definitely completed, three mixes currently in limbo as to whether they need tweaking and one last mix which I will hopefully finish in university tomorrow! The band hinted to me about sending the mixes off to the mastering engineer that worked on their last album, a proposition i'm pretty excited about. I managed to see them play live last week at long last, supporting a Kings of Leon tribute act. While I enjoyed the tribute band, I would have preferred to see Recluse headline the gig.
I'm pretty proud of the whole experience of working with the band, the mixes i've been doing and everything to be honest. I feel that the whole project has been a great piece of work to sit as my main piece of work of my first university year.
Aside from skills, it has also taught me that I cannot rely on using university studios for mixing, purely due to time and booking issues, especially if i've got a nine track album I need to mix. For next year, in the last few weeks invested in a fairly expensive pair of studio monitors, so I can record in university and do my mixing in my house next year. I'll include some pictures of gear i've brought in my next blog post.

I've been thinking a fair bit about the house lately, very much looking forward to it!
Lately the noise here seems to have increased with the progress on the building site, with the trains remaining the same irritating noisy entities that they were when I first moved to Cardiff. I could be totally wrong, and instead just got more fed up with the noise disrupting everything from mixing music, playing guitar and even just watching Youtube videos.
While I've definitely enjoyed living here and have certainly seen the benefits of living in halls, even if only for the first year, I cannot wait to move in September. Going to probably take a bit if getting used to sharing a house with eight people but I'm sure it'll be great!

As a brief sidenote, in some previous blog post I had  mentioned the list I had made of everything I had drunk or smoked in the conclude this year, here is the list that spanned from the 16th of September to today. It's a long list, however I know that had I wished I could have certainly added a lot to many different sections of the list.

Times drunk: Too many to count
Times chundered: 1

Captain Morgans rum: 1L, 10 shots
Diserrano: 1L, 7 shots
Desperadoes bottles: 44
Cider pints/bottles: 84.5
Beer pints/bottles: 78.5
Crabbies bottles: 13
Hooch bottles: 9
Glasses of Wine: 8
Gin & Tonics: 14
Various Cocktails: 18
Vodka shots: 32
Sourz shots: 8
Sambouka shots: 3
Tequila shots: 6
Jager bombs: 11
Absynth shots: 2

Nights high: 10
Joints smoked: 14

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