Recording Project plan
Genre: Brazilian electronic lounge (funk / bossa)
Artist: Ronaldo Januario
1) Project Scope Statement
The recorded song will be a stand-alone single designed to be released commercially or part of an EP that will promote our artist’s, versatility with various genres: acoustic / electric blues, bossa nova, Brazilian pop / funk.
- Ronaldo is regular performer around West End and Brisbane and regularly tours interstate with various artists, primarily as a side-man playing mostly harmonica
- Ronaldo is primarily a harmonica player but also plays guitar and provides vocals. He performs in a number of formats including: solo acoustic work, duo acoustic work, blues bands and in his personal project Cachaca Groove.
- Thorough knowledge of the Brisbane local music industry
- Live performance credentials
The genre is characterised by the fusion of traditional bossa nova and samba rhythms combined with modern production values that incorporates:
- sound design
- electronic beats
- traditional Brazilian bossa nova rhythms
- acoustic classical guitar
- Modern jazz / funk instrumentation:
- electric instrumentation
- pop / funk music associations
- contemporary jazz / funk structures
- groove focused
- complex layers of rhythmic patterns
- simplified harmonic progressions.
This genre allows for the addition of many different musical elements. Our production will in corporate:
- bass guitar
- acoustic percussion, ‘pandero’, shakers
- tuned cowbell
The production team will focus on creating a sound that would be consistent with the genre
- Chill out is similar to this genre and indeed, many contemporary Brazilian artists feature on classic chill out compilations such as: Cafe Del Mar.
Extra instrumentation will include:
- Brass instruments – trumpet and
- Reed instruments – tenor saxophone / alto saxophone
Flexible and evolving production plan:
Feasibility – initial recordings
A decision was made to alter the direction of the project after considering the merits of the various styles that our artist wanted to record. The feasibility of recording blues songs that were still in development, suggested a collaborative performance on a song that was assessed by both artist and the production team. By allowing our artist to experiment with different genres and styles, we’ve reached an unexpected but mutually agreed outcome for the first stage of this recording project.
The production team intends to create a more contemporary sound that incorporates elements of traditional Brazilian bossa nova rhythms, funk rhythms and electronic production.
This change in direction also signals a change in the original production values. The original plan was to record an acoustic blues project. This has now evolving into a more contemporary fusion of all the elements mentioned above
A recording environment and aesthetic will be created to meet the intended production values mentioned above. A creative process will be designed and follwed in order to meet all expectations of the stakeholders involved in this recording project. This creative process will allow for numerous testing stages which allows for the refinement of songwriting, recording and reflective practice.
The various stakeholders have been brought together and will continue to be brought together to achieve the desired sound and scope required of the genre.
The results of the first dedicated recording session to achieving a new direction in production values
- A song will be arranged, recorded, performed, mixed and mastered with the intention of the song being part of a commercial release.
- An organic feel within the recording will be achieved by live performance with the artist while recording
- Vocals will be recorded separately
- Contemporary production values for Brazilian Lounge music incorporates musical and sound design elements such as:
- The completed song will also incorporate additional instrumentation such as:
- bass guitar, electric piano, trumpet and saxophone.
- The song will be mixed and mastered by the team to appropriate industry standards and will be made available for the artist to release a CD single.
- Our artist is primarily a live performer so, Live performance will be attempted wherever possible in order to create a ‘band’ feel to the music. Production team members will perform with the artist and be recorded by the team’s DAW and console operator.
- The completed song will be provided in .wav format at 44.1Khz in 16 bit quality, necessary for creating a CD
- The completed song will be presented as a finished product that incorporates industry standard production values consistent with contemporary Brazilian lounge music.
Studio dates have been set and are as follows
- Session 1
SAE neve studio – Saturday the 30th of September, from 9am – 5pm
- Session 2
overdubbing (vocals and additional instrumentation),
mixdown & mastering
SAE neve studio – Saturday the 7th of October, from 9am – 5pm
- Session 3
Mixing and Mastering in the Audient 8024 studio using, Native Instruments – Izotope
SAE Audient 8024 studio
5) Roles and Responsibilities
- Simon Audus:
- Live room engineer
- musician (bass guitar, keyboards)
- Console operator
- Shlok Bhattacharya:
- electronic production
- musician (keyboards)
- DAW operator
Initial acoustic recordings were done in Pro Tools and the artist recorded a guide track during two previous sessions in early in September on recently on Saturday the 23rd of September at the SAE – neve studio.
Care was taken to deconstruct the chord progression of our selected track into it’s basic elements to ensure that the rhythm pattern performed by the artist was consistent with a steady tempo.
- A time signature of 4 / 4 was established
- The key signature was established as Emin
- The tempo was established at 110bpm
A foundation rhythm track and associated sound design will be created within Ableton Live and then exported into pro tools.
All live performances will be recorded into Pro Tools and also mixed within pro tools.
The exported stereo file from pro tools will be mastered in Izotope. and mastering, from the ableton session.
- This is a collaborative student project and will not involve any funding.
- Approximately 20 hours will be spent on this project including recording, mixdown and mastering.
- Professional musicians may request payment for their contribution to the project; this may incur some fee if the artist is willing to pay studio rates for musicians services. This scenario is highly unlikely and guest musicians will be happy to receive a copy of the mixed and mastered recording.
8) Risk Management – Mitigation Strategy
Recording sequence – syncing electonic production with live instrumentation
Abelton is a premier piece of software used in the creation of electronic music production and the ability to create sound design and midi sequences is exceptional. There are however sometimes problems that can be experienced when something is created in Abelton and then needs to be exported into pro tools. This is an issue as pro tools is the DAW of choice for recording live performances so, the logical sequence of events is to:
- Create the foundation rhythm track in Ableton first, then export into pro tools
- Perform the rhythm track live in time with the performer and record the output of the Abelton directly into pro tools
Exporting electronic music production files into the recording and mixdown software
Care will be taken to ‘freeze and flatten’ any sounds produced within Abelton, before exporting to pro tools for final mixdown. This will ensure that waveform files are exported that contain all the necessary information used in it’s creation. This is an important aspect when creating tracks that are reliant on midi files triggering samples that are accessed via plug ins that may not be available in the studio that has been chosen for final mixdown and mastering.
Using sample pack plug ins to create virtual instruments
Research will be conducted on using sample libraries and plug ins to produce any instrumentation that will be used in the creation of the track. Time can be spent unnecessarily attempting to access the correct instrument sound within the sample library in plug ins such as Kontact. Careful research should be conducted prior to entering the studio in order to maximise time and minimise lengthy delays.
Extra musicians and instrumentation
Coordinating extra musicians can be a difficult task and then finding out that certain requirements haven’t been considered before attempting to record a particular instrument should be considered. As the scope of the project increases, then so does the planning required. Considerations should be:
- Research into recording techniques specific to the instrument that needs to be recorded.
- The musician may have a requirement for using a particular microphone or a particular recording technique. This should be determined before the musicians enter the studio and preparations made to ensure that the recording process goes smoothly and the results match expectations.
Appropriate back-up of music files
All project members and musicians who need access to a ‘rough mix’ of the day’s recording have either a hard drive that has been correctly formatted for the macintosh system or a USB 3 storage device to enable fast transfer of recordings to storage devices at the end of a recording session.
Recording outcomes and quality meets expectations of both artist and production team
Reference tracks should be chosen by the musician and production team that satisfy artistic considerations that are also realistically achievable by the production team on the basis of both ability and available resources.
Research should be also be conducted on how to best achieve the production values that have been agreed upon by all parties.
Ensure that the artist is happy the results
Communication is very important at every stage of the production. Appropriate measures should be taken to enable clear and reliable communication between the production team and the artist to avoid important decisions are not made regarding the production without the consent of both the artist and production team.
Clear communication regarding expectations
A short production meeting should be held before recording begins to ensure that everyone involved is aware of what is required of them and what steps may need to be taken to ensure that recording outcomes meet both artist and production team’s expectations.