Invoice and Pricing:

This is part of my final major project: click here to return to the main menu:

If I was doing these recordings as a form of income, I would have to take into account multiple different factors in order to determine an price to charge for my services including:

  • Recording, either at a home studio or a rented one
  • Mixing, are they just paying you to record them or do they want a mix?
  • Sound Engineer vs Producer, are your clients asking your input on the track in question?
  • Mastering, do they want the track mastered?
  • Travel, are you going to the band or studio or are they coming to you?

with some of these in mind I looked at Absolute Music for some idea on their pricing schemes, in which a recording would cost you £30 per hour, while if you wanted the track mixed, it would cost you £80 per track.

North Road at Bournemouth and Poole College has a rate of £14 to book a studio for 5 Hours, which means that a 10 hour session would cost less than an hour at Absolute, as long as you are a student at the college.

So If I wanted a recording session of 5 hours at Absolute for then to be mixed, it would cost £150 (5x£30) + £80 = £230, while of you then wanted to get that track mastered, you would have to send it off to a mastering engineer, with Abby road studios, for a master song file being £80 and a CD master at £50. This would mean the final track would come to £310.

This then gives me a rough Idea of how much it would cost professionally to get a final outcome, So if I offered to do everything at half the price, at north road the result would be as follows:

Recording Charge: £15 Per hour

(meaning that if I booked the North Road Studio’s I would be using the first hour to cover the cost of the session, while only being able to earn a maximum of £64.)

Mixing: £40 per song,

(NOTE: I could charge by the hour, but the client won’t know how much time you took unless they were with you when they mixed it, so makes more sense to have a single fee.)

Mastering: £40 per song,

( I could also offer a deal where if they chose to have me mix and master the same track, they get a discounted price, such as 10%)

So if you look at this Invoice FMP Sound the Siren you will see that the band did two sessions with me with a total of 10 hours recording time, plus they wanted a mixed that was mastered, giving them a 10% discount to the overall cost.

However I would be receiving £179 due to me having to pay for the cost of 2, 5 hours sessions in the studios.


Final Major Project:

Below are the links to the various sections of my final major project, broken down into the recording and mixing of the seperate artists, followed by mastering, and then an evaluation of the project.

Also there is a link at the top of each page which will link you back to this one.


Song 1: For the Best: Drink Up

For the BestPart 1: Recording:

Part 2: Mixing:



Song 2: Sound the Siren: Get Out

sound the sirenPart 1: Recording:

Part 2 Mixing:




Song 3: Ellie and Evie: Love me like You Do (Ellie Goulding Cover)

Ellie_Goulding_-_Love_Me_Like_You_DoPart 1: Recording:

Part 2: Mixing:



Song 4: Glen and Lindsay: “Got No Pity”

10672290_795921630430215_1360791897344031873_nPart 1: Recording

Part 2: Mixing



Song 5: The Motion: Down to Dusk:

1513773_1109538649072585_5148921140570090489_nPart 1: Recording:

Part 2: Mixing



Final Tracks:

Mastering Notes:

Invoice and Pricing:


Band 4: Glenn and Lindsay: “Got no Pity” (Mixing)


This is part of my final major project: click here to return to the main menu:

Firstly I went through all the available takes the band did, selecting the one which was most suitable; since they didn’t play to a click I had to go on consistency, while the vocals I had to go on what I had, which was a about half a songs worth of vocals between both singers.

I chose not to use the track of the D112 on the outside of the kick drum, as it lacked the higher end punch the Audix had, as well as the later also having a decent low end response as well, resulting in me only using the D6.I also chose to only use the top snare, as the bottom one ended up sounding too noisy and since the drums where very simple in the arrangement, It didn’t fit with the rest of the  mix.

Next I went through the track and tempo mapped it, as this allowed me to work out what tempo they were playing at, ranging from 80-85bpm, plus also being able to understand the songs structure to then put the vocals in the right places, which I then added markers for.


2.1I did this by using a combination of different techniques, involving tab to transient, the “spot” feature to move tracks by milliseconds, as well duplicating the existing segments so they were at the right time. The female vocals where also recorded on many separate tracks, so I had to sum them down to the lowest amount ending up with two.3

Once this was in place I then proceeded to warp certain parts of the drums to tide some sections up, since I had used a combination of the piano and the drums to build the tempo map, creating a more consistent recording, while also adding two additional snare hits to the beginning of the recording to give it more of a lead in before the song starts.4

Now the song assembled the song with everything where It should be, I then proceeded to EQing separate tracks, starting with the Kick drum, which I boosted the bandwidth around 75hz by 5.0dB to further accentuate the “boom” of the kick, while cutting 300hz by 3.6dB creating a dip for the bass’s fundamental frequencies to sit in, plus also take out some of the “boxiness.” I then boosted 3Khz by 6dB to exaggerate the beater, adding clarity to the kick drum.5

By listening to the track, I also noticed that the kick was getting drowned out by the rest of the mix during the choruses, so I sent it pre-fade to a mono auxiliary input and then automated the volume so that during these parts both kick channels would be playing, making it louder.6

I edited the snare track, boosting around 240hz by 3dB to get bring out the “body” of the snare, while cutting 300hz by -3db to take out further emphasise the body by getting rid of the “boxiness.” Finally I boosted around 3.21Khz by 4dB to add to the snare “rattle” making a nice compromise giving I didn’t have a bottom snare.7

The Overheads were panned hard left and right, and bussed to a stereo auxiliary input, then I added a High Pass Filter (referred in future to HPF) with a 6dB/Octave shelf at 148Hz, which gently rolled off the lower frequencies so the kick could be heard more clearly in the mix.8

The bass track was then supplemented with a HPF, which was placed at 35.3Hz with a 12dB/Octave Shelf, which rolled off the un-needed extremely low frequencies, while boosting 87Hz by 2.5dB, so its doesn’t overlap too much with the kick, but boosts the fundamental frequencies. I also boosted the mid range around 600Hz, by 2.7dB, giving the bass a warmer tone.10550947_10204126448305462_6001693741697622701_n

I was going to compress the bass, but I decided against it due to it not playing that often, giving the player more time instead of worrying about keeping a consistent rhythm throughout.

By panning the Piano channels hard left and right, It more accurately represents how you would hear it if you where sitting down playing it, while also keeping it out of the way of the vocals and bass in the mix, sitting in the center. I chose to do this and then bus the separate channels to a stereo auxiliary input, where I could control the overall volume as well as EQ-ing the tracks, boosting 855.6Hz and 2Khz by 4.4dB and 5.3dB respectfully to bring out the instruments presence in the mix over the other elements.



Next I moved on to the Male vocals, Which I added a HPF at 100.8Hz with a 6dB/octave shelf to gently cut his deeper voice to make room for the lower elements in the song such as the bass and kick drum, not making the mix as muddy. This was the compressed with a 2:8:1 ratio and a -23.6 threshold, with the addition of the makeup gain adding 3.1dB to bring up the track to a constant level, while the A/R time being 13.6us/5.7ms allowing the higher falsetto parts to be brought down.12


The Female Vocal tracks I EQ-ed similarly, using a HPF’s around 99.3Hz and 172.9Hz with 6dB/Octave shelves to filter out some of the throat resonance, as well as give more frequency range for the male vocalists voice to sit in, while boosting around 1Khz to give her voice a more warmer tone.1614

These tracks where then also compressed similarly with a 2:8:1 ratio and a lower threshold of -25.7dB, while having a A/R time of 10/53.3ms, this compressor slowly compresses the signal, working with the sustained notes at the end of the choruses.15

Finally I send all the Vocals via sends (Pre-Fade) to a stereo auxiliary bus, which acted as a reverb channel, allowing me to control both the dry and wet signals. the room itself sounded  quite good, so I had to try and emulate it with a reverb that complimented them, ultimately setting on a medium room reverb with a diffusion rate (87%) plus a middle ground decay time.



I then applied a master fader and checked all of the levels to see if anything was peaking, and made some minor adjustments, setting the master faders output to -0.4dB.

Band 5: The Motion: Down to Dusk (Mixing)

This is part of my final major project: click here to return to the main menu:

We only had two instrumental takes to chose from, but had several vocal takes, including the guide vocals, so I chose the ones which I felt where slightly better, though due to the tight musicianship of the band, any of the takes could of been used.


After listening through the tracks, I had correctly guessed that Kaia’s guitar pedals would be a problem, and as a result the rhythmic hits on the guitar where accentuated by the reverb, as well as having certain parts of the track (after the choruses)  where the boost pedal was used made the waveform much louder.  I then took it upon myself to try and make the impact of these pedals my top priority.



First of all, I took the waveform for the guitar and duplicated it onto another mono audio track, which I then used the audio suite section on Pro Tools to invert the phase of the track. This meant that now when both tracks where playing, there would be silence, due to both waveforms cancelling each other out, so I then went through the track and cut out all the excess audio except for the rhythmic hits, before consolidating them to be one final track.




This was then bused to an mono auxiliary input, so that way I could alter the volume of the guitar with one track, as if I had left them separate, If the main volume wasn’t the same as the inverted volume, the waveform would not be completely cancelled out.

I originally thought of doing this by cutting out each of hard transients and then fading them in and out, but this way I had much more control, plus if I wanted to add them back in, I just had to mute the inverted track. It wasn’t as obvious once the song got going, but in the intro the cancellation was sounding a bit too obvious, so I used the clip gain reduction in between notes, pulling them down anywhere between -6 to -12 dB depending on how loud the where.6

I then used a send to bus this combined auxiliary input to another auxiliary input, pre-fade to act as a reverb fader for the channel, allowing me to have both the wet signal and the dry signal together, with a decay and diffusion setting which would make the already reverbed signal.




2I then copied a bars worth of the opening high hats and placed that over the guitar so the guitar wasn’t left by itself for too long, filling in the gaps. I then automated the reverb and volume channels to drop down when the “boosted” parts of track where playing .

After this I then started EQing selected tracks, starting with the Kick drum, which I used a High Pass Filter (referred in future as HPF) with a 12dB/Octave shelf set a 40Hz, to cut out some of the sub sonic frequencies which this song didn’t need. I then boosted the bandwidth around 78hz by 4.8dB, to emphasise the “boom” of the kick more, while reducing the bandwidth around 400Hz by -5.2dB, cutting out some of the “boxiness” and making some more room for the bass’s fundamental frequencies.



I then proceeded to the overheads which I decided to sum together to form a stereo audio input, as this would mean I would require less tracks and signal routing if I had left them separate but wanted to affect both of them.

They where then compressed lightly with a 2:8:1 ratio at a threshold of -24dB, taking some of the edge of the cymbals while giving them more sustain, with an attack/release time (in future referred to as A/R) of 24.7us/10.6ms, with what appears to be a u is actually the measurement for micro-seconds, where 1 microsecond is equal to 1 tenth of a millisecond, meaning that the compressor turns on pretty much instantaneously.10








The DI’ed bass was EQ’ed with a HPF with a 12dB/Octave shelf set a 50hz, again to get rid of any sub-sonic content, while cutting 200hz by 3dB getting rid of some muddy frequencies. I then boosted 551.1Hz by 2.9dB to give the bass some more mid range to compliment the guitars.11

This was then Compressed with a 3:0:1 ratio, an A/R of 17.6us/8.8ms compressing it immediately while leaving it on for the duration of the song, with a threshold of -24dB and make up gain of 3.3dB bringing up the overall level.12








I then created the stereo image for my vocal section by having the main vocal in the center while having the harmonies panned at 2,3,9, and 10 o’clock respectfully, before EQing the main vocal using a HPF with 6dB/Octave Shelf set at 334.2Hz, which would take out some of the resonance from the throat, making the voice sound more like a head voice. I also then boosted the bandwidth around 1.38Hz, adding a bit more harmonic content in the higher mids.13

I then compressed the vocal using a 3:0:1 ratio, set at a threshold of -24db, to smooth out the vocal and then brought the level up by 3.3db using make up gain. The A/R was set a 17.6us/8.8ms so would start compressing as soon as the vocals where heard, with the release meaning that it staying on for the whole of the track.14








I then used the sends on the vocal tracks to bus them to another auxiliary acting as a reverb channel, Where I again had control of both the dry signal and the wet signal so I could blend them together.  This reverb was slightly different to my guitar reverb, with it having a more sutile effect due to less more diffusion but less decay.


Finally I added a master fader and checked the song to make sure my gain staging was good so nothing was peaking, which I then decided to give myself more headroom, setting the fader at -0.6dB.

Band 4: Glenn and Lindsay: “Got no Pity” (Recording)

This is part of my final major project: click here to return to the main menu:

The second college band that was recorded was a 4 piece, with a slightly different set-up, consisting of drums and bass guitar, plus two vocalists, one who was female and the other who was male and played piano. They were performing an original song tentatively titled “Got no Pity” which came from a line in the song.

This song was written on the piano by the male vocalist, including the lyrics, and then was adapted for the rest of the band, as a result the singer didn’t know what tempo the song was at, plus the rest of the band relied on him to begin the song, as the piano plays a chord before the first bar which swings into the first bar they all play on.

Me and Dan decided on doing a live take without vocals, and then overdubbing the male and female singers over the top, however the male vocalist wasn’t available to finish the vocals, so he did two takes of the instrumental, and one of the choruses, leaving us during mixing to duplicate it across.


IMG_1460For piano we tried a stereo mic-ing technique we hadn’t tried before, using two AKG C518M’s which have a vice grip attachment designed for drums. We had it so they were facing opposite sides to each other, one over the thicker bass strings, and the other of the thinner higher pitched ones.

Overall the C518M has a fairly neutral frequency response, making it not biased towards either the low end or high end, making a good match for the piano’s large frequency range, plus it has a role off from 1Khz bellow, so it can be placed close to the strings without being overpowered.

Its cardioids pick-up pattern is also beneficial, as it will only hear the strings in the piano, letting us close the lid more, keeping it open enough  with a book, to isolate it from the rest of the room.


Drums and Bass:

For the drums we also tried something different to our usual set up, choosing to record both the outside of the kick and the inside using a AKG D112 outside and an Audix D6 inside. By having this set up, one microphone can pick up the boom of the kick; as its only hearing the resonant head, meanwhile the other is closer to the beater head, allowing it to pick up the pedal “click” as it hits.

The Audix D6 was a good choice for the kick drum, as its cardioid pick-up pattern combined with it being inside the kick drum, isolates it from the rest of the kit, allowing it to pick up the kick with more clarity. Meanwhile its frequency response favours around 50-100Hz, allowing it to pick up the boom of the kick, while it reduced response from 200Hz-1Khz makes room for the bass’s fundamental frequencies. It also has an exaggerated response around 2-4Khz which is where the click of the pedal sits.


The D112 shares a lot of similarities with the Audix, including pick up pattern and frequency response, as it also has a exaggerated response in the lower frequencies around 50-100Hz as well as the higher mids around 2-5Khz. However it also has a proximity effect when it is placed 10cm closer to the source, making it even more sensitive at lower frequencies, though it doesn’t have the same cut as the Audix does around 200Hz-1Khz, so it won’t be as defined as the Audix in that part of the spectrum.


For the Snare we chose to use a double mic it with 2 Shure Sm57, one placed on the rim, facing the center of the drum, while the other underneath at the same angle point up towards the center of the resonant head.

As mentioned above the Sm57’s cardioid pick-up pattern allows it to focus on the source, while its frequency response is exaggerated around 240Hz, allowing it to pick up the body of the snare, while also having the higher frequency range boost around 6Khz, which is where the “sizzle” of the snare is.


The bottom mic-ed snare needs to have its phase inverted as when the snare is hit, the beater head is pushed down, while when that air hits the resonant head, it is pushed out, so if one mic is hearing a rarefaction and the other is hearing a compression, they will cancel out to some extent.

For the overhead we used a pair of AKG CK1000s in an XY coincident pair set up. As mentioned before this stereo mic-ing technique has both capsules above each other, so that the sound is received at the same time with their pick up patterns overlapping, with the microphones being placed on the center line of the drum kit to get a balanced sound.

The CK1000s frequency response fits its use as overheads well, as its got a boost between both 2-5Khz and 7-15Khz, allowing it to pick up the ringing overtones of the cymbals, plus its cardioids pick up pattern makes its useful to, as we where tracking bass at the same time, so by placing the bassists sound source behind the microphones, he is isolated from the drums more effectively.


Speaking of Bass, we recorded the basses dry signal by having it go into a DI Box, as well as using another AKG D112 for the amp, because of its response from around 200Hz to 1Kz mentioned earlier.



IMG_1472For both sets of vocals, we used an Avantone CK6, as its frequency response features a role off from 100Hz downwards, allowing the singer to be closer to the microphone, while also feature a strategic cut around 300-400Hz to avoid some “boxiness” which might occur. It also has a very pronounced higher frequency range around 10K, so it can pick up the higher notes more clearly.

Band 5: The Motion: Down to Dusk: (Recording)

This is part of my final major project: click here to return to the main menu:

The final college band I recorded and the 5th overall for my Final Major Project, was a 4 piece band consisting of a singer who also played rhythm guitar, a lead guitarist, a bassist and a drummer performing an original song titled “Down to Dusk.”

Since the singer and her guitar where the foundation to the song, me and my recording partner Dan decided to track her first doing vocals and playing guitar, to act as a guide, then track Bass and Drums at the same time to the guide track. Once this was done we would then track the lead guitar over the top of the rhythm and then do all the main vocals along with all the subsequent harmonies the singer wanted to add, acting equally as producers and studio engineers,

The Pro-Tools session was set at 16 bit/44.1Hz, and at a tempo of 182bpm.


IMG_1165We decided to use a RODE Nt2a to record the vocals, as its cardioid pick-up pattern setting would allow us to record the  guide vocals without picking up much bleed from the guitar she was playing at the same time, as well as having a frequency response which is exaggerated from 5Khz onwards, picking up the singers “presence”, while the higher end response picking up the singers “sibilance.”

It’s has a build in High Pass Filter so  the singer can be close without the song sounding too bassy, plus the addition of the pop shield helps filter out some of the pops caused by fast moving air hitting the microphone, such as the syllables “b” “p” and “t.”


IMG_1164For the guitars we recorded both of them through a Peavey Bandit, with a Shure SM57 placed just off axis to the center of the speaker cone, resulting in a slightly warmer tone.  The Sm57 has a build in High Pass Filter, meaning it’s a good choice for close mic-ing, with its cardioid pick up pattern only hearing what’s in front of it, so won’t get any reflections back off the walls. It also has an exaggerated higher frequency range, with a boost around 8Khz giving the guitar more clarity.

For the Rhythm guitar the vocalist wanted to use some pedals which she put in-between her guitar signal and the amp, with these being a tube screamer like pedal to boost her signal in certain parts, as well as a reverb pedal which combined with a Gretsch hollow body guitar I assumed it  allowed her to emulate the natural amplification of the hollow body when she’s playing acoustically. This would hinder me later in the mix, but she was so used to playing with it her performance would of not been as good if we had taken it away.

Bass and Drums:

In order to track bass and drums at the same time, we decided to DI the bass and then have the incoming signal, as well as the guide tracks and click in the mix, this feed then went to both the bassist and drummer.

For the drums we had a fairly simple set up, which consisted of a Shure PG52 outside the sound hole of the kick drum, a Shure SM57 on the rim of the snare facing towards the center, and a pair of Samson CO2’s out in a XY coincident pair formation.

IMG_1161The PG52 is a large diaphragm, dynamic cardioids microphone, so as mentioned before would isolate the sound of the kick from the rest of the kit. It also has a frequency response which has a boost around 100Hz, letting it pick up the “Boom” of the kick, while also having another boost between 3-4Khz, picking up the beater sound as well.The PG52 is a large diaphragm, dynamic cardioids microphone, so as mentioned before would isolate the sound of the kick from the rest of the kit.

IMG_1162The SM57 also is a good choice to mic up the snare, as mentioned before with its High pass and cardioid pick up pattern, allowing it to be placed close to the snare, which is one of the loudest instruments in the studio. Its frequency response also favours the snare, as its got a boost between 200-300hz, followed by a cut between 300-400Hz, allowing it to pick up the “body” of the snare, but also reduce some of the “boxiness” of the recording.

Having the overhead in an XY pair means that both capsules sit on top of each other, meaning that they don’t get phasing issues because they are receiving the sound at the same time, and by having them above the cymbals down the center line of the drum kit avoids them picking up the air released from the impact, as well as getting a tight, balanced stereo image.


Using Samson CO2’s as overheads works quite well, as they have a boost between 5 and 15Khz, which is where the cymbals ringing overtones sit, as well as having a role off from 100hz downwards, leaving out the low end so it doesn’t interfere with the PG52 on the Kick.

Band 3: Ellie and Evie: Love Me Like You Do (Ellie Goulding Cover:) (Mixing:)

This is part of my final major project: click here to return to the main menu:

Firstly I went through both the live takes, where both the girls were singing and playing guitar, and the overdubs, the tracks which were performed over the live tracks, and decided to use just the overdubs since they gave me the most freedom, since after listening to the “live tracks” I felt the room didn’t sound as great as I had hoped it would. This then left me 4 tracks.



However since the live tracks was their point of reference for doing the overdubs, fulfilling the purpose of a guide track, so I used it to then create a tempo map of the song, and although fairly consistent it fluctuated between 85-90bpm, which meant that any added MIDI would also speed up and slow down, making it sound more realistic.


3I then grouped both the guitars together so I could edit them both in the edit window and mix window, and then used the warped tool to tighten up some of the guitar parts.


Also since the singer who played guitar on the overdub didn’t start playing until after she heard the song, the intro was a bar too short so I duplicated the first bar in front of the original to make it sound like the guitar didn’t start too soon.









The Chimes I recorded didn’t seem to fit in the section of the song they were in, so I used the audio suite to see how it would sound reversed. To my surprise, It sounded quite interesting, as they now got louder as the clip progressed, building tension. Due to them not needing  to be in time, I placed them at the start of the song, as this made a nice transition into the guitars, adding momentum.


Even with the addition percussion, the song was still lacking dynamic range and  sounding a bit empty, so initially I decided to add some bass guitar to the mix playing root notes of the acoustic. However the guitar was out of tune slightly, so no matter what I played it didn’t sit well with the guitar, same when I tried piano and synth’s.

I then went through some of the loops in structure free, to not only fill out the lower frequency range, but to also add a constant element in the mix.  I ultimately settled on this R’n’B loop, which sounded like it was using a Cajon as the basis for the rhythm, fitting well with the acoustic nature of the song. I then started to listen to the original song to get myself more familiar with its structure, which gave me the idea to layer the drums with an electronic sounding kick and snare.









Once I had the loops in place, I then bounced them down to two stereo audio tracks, giving me a total of 6 tracks.

I then bused both the guitars and both the vocal tracks to two separate auxiliary buses, so I could adjust the volumes of their overall respective levels.












Now that I had all the elements of the song I thought I needed, I then proceeded to EQ-ing certain tracks, starting with Ellie’s vocals. I could of EQ-ed them on the auxiliary bus, but because their voices are different, trying to make one vocal sound better might make the other one sound thin, or too pronounced. I added a High Pass Filter (here on referred to as HPF) with a 6dB/Octave shelf at 636Hz, to both of the girls audio tracks, taking out some of the lower frequencies which resonate within the throat, giving a more “Head” voice sort of sound.


I then listened to Evie’s vocals and took out a really resonant frequency around the 4Khz mark, while on Ellie’s I then boosted the area  6Khz to sort of even the spectrum out, creating an overlap so than there isn’t a massive drop in content.


Then on the vocal bus, I added a compressor to bring up the overall volume of the track, using a 4:8:1 ratio, and 10/80 attack/release time (here on referred to as A/R) so only the higher parts will get pushed down below the threshold, set at -19.8dB. Also by having a long attack and slow release times means that the compressor takes a long time to get back, keeping it on for the duration of the track.









The guitar bus I added a HPF to also, with a 6dB/Octave shelf set at 493.3Hz, while boosting 1Khz by 3.2dB and 2Khz by 5dB, This cuts out the lower frequencies, making room for the drum loops by taking out some of the” muddy sounding” frequencies, while also accentuating the higher mid range on the guitar.13

I then added a compressor to the bus to even out the guitar, having a fairly hard ratio of 5:7:1 and threshold of -25.2dB, giving one consistent level, with A/R times the same as the vocal compressor, getting it to sit in with the drums and the vocals.










Finally I added in yet another auxiliary input and set it up as a reverb fader, having its input the sends from the other two buses, while having them pre-fade meant that I could still have the dry signal, while adjusting the wet signal to taste being set at 100%.









For the reverb I used a medium hall setting, as this gave me the ambience the track needed to blend all the individual elements together, while also finding a sweet middle ground between an acoustic cover and borrowing production elements from the original.