Sound Recording Engineer Duties

The studio is like your second home. Treat it with respect. Clean up after yourself and do not leave the studio a mess. There are quite a few people sharing the space.

Show Assignments

Show assignments will be made at the beginning of the semester. One week later, all shows you are assigned need to have a folder in the file cabinet and a preliminary database entry.

Pre-Production

As Recording Engineer for a specific project, you are in charge of your assigned recording. It is your responsibility to see the recording is successful (with as much help as you need). You are responsible for drawing up a microphone plot and input list (schedule a meeting with Denny, Josh, or Christopher if you need help we are very happy to walk you through the process). If you are recording a live performance, you MUST talk to the FOH Engineer for the show and together draft the mic plot and input list. Copies of these are to be put into the show folder in the studio, and given to the sound advisor.

If you are working on a Fine Arts premier recording, you will be required to do relevant research on the music and analyze various recordings of the music to be fully prepared to capture the performance.

During the week of the show you will supervise the load-in of the equipment and troubleshoot every microphone for signal and problems before the start of the rehearsal. Rehearsal will NOT wait for you to have your equipment set. During rehearsal, listen to the music and the quality of the recording you are trying to produce. Rehearsals are for checking your setup and making changes.

Recording

When recording a live performance, you need to start the recording 5 minutes before the start of the show. It is important to record most, if not all the intermission. You should stop recording during intermission as this saves the audio files from the first part of the show. You should not end recording until the house lights come up and the show is officially over. You would not want to accidentally lose an encore because you stopped the recording too soon.

If you are making a session recording, make sure to keep a log of your time cues for each take on each song. It is good idea to record extra time before and after each take.

Post Production

Mixing

This should be complete 1 week after the concert.

Editing

This is taking content from rehearsals and replacing parts of the concert where there were performance issues. This is not something we do on most recordings and will often be handled as a separate job.

Mastering

This is the final creation of the entire concert experience and includes creating an edited album. Currently we are using DSP Quattro for this work. Only the final mastered files are put in the CD Archive <google drive:Team Drives:Music Concerts Finished Recordings (CD Archive)>.  When you meet with your advisor about the final files we will want to open the DSP Quattro file to check how you organized your work.

Distribution

Put a burned CD in the files in Walker 212. Provide final albums to the director/conductor.

Documentation

Project Folder

The storage of audio files on the server (vpa_audio:year semester) must follow the following form and ALL associated files must be in the show directory.

  1. All shows should be recorded, mixed, and mastered on a department drive. During this process the back-up on the google drive should be regularly updated.  The back-up, final archive, location is: drive.google.com:VPA Production:Semester Folder:Concert Base Folder. Words in italics are specific to your recording. Several students have lost entire recordings using their own drives and not keeping back-ups, please don’t be one of those people.
  2. Base folder with title in the format: ID# (YYMMDD## where ## designates the number of the recording for that day) Group name (may have concert name)
    • Example: 05092501 Chamber (This designates year 2005 recording on September 25 2005, being the first recording of the day.)
  3. ProTools file with title that matches the base folder
  4. Audio Files Directory
  5. Fade Files Directory
  6. CD Distribution Master directory (ID# description CD master)
    • Bounce files(s) (titles: ID# and description)
    • DSP Quattro document(s) (descriptive names)
    • DSP Quattro DDP image (title: ID# and description)
    • PLEASE PUT THE BOUNCE FILES IN THE SAME FOLDER AS THE DSP QUATTRO FILE – it allows things to open in the future. And do this before you start work so DSP Quattro reference the file in the same folder as the document.
  7. Text document noting any special arrangements (esp. if there are broadcast versions of the CDs or other considerations)
  8. Alternative CD Directories (title: ID# description (ie. Broadcast CD))
    • Bounce file(s) (titles: ID# and description)
    • Waveburner or DSP-Quattro X document(s) (title: ID# and description)
    • Waveburner image or DDP image (title: ID# and description)
  9. After all mixing and mastering is completed and copied to vpa_audio, the copies on local drives should be deleted.
Screenshot 2016-09-30 11.15.34
Example Directory

Database Entry

Every recording requires a specific single entry in the Studio Recording Database. This database entry needs to contain the following information:

  1. Date and Time of the recording
  2. Venue
  3. Performance Group
  4. Performance Piece
  5. Track Listing (formatted and approved by Karen S.)
  6. Input List
  7. Recording Engineer(s)
  8. Status of Recording
  9. Output List (If Applicable)
  10. Any other information pertinant to the recording

Make sure that the database is always as update to date so that if need be, someone can step in to finish things up.

CD Archive

To facilitate quick and easy order filling, even of old production, the recording studio maintains a finished recordings archive on the google team drive. <drive.google.com:Music Concerts Finished Recordings (CD Archive):Year Semester>. It is crucial that once your master is approved, that you place a copy of all of the tracks for your production in here. The steps to do this are as follows:

  1. Insert the master cd into any Fine Arts computer
  2. Mount vpa_audio using the MultidriveMounter application.
  3. Create a new folder in <drive.google.com:Music Concerts Finished Recordings (CD Archive)>  under the appropriate semester folder (eg. 2006 Spring), with the title as follows (ID# Description CD#). If you have multiple discs, make a sub folder for each one
  4. Double click on the CD in the Finder
  5. Select all the tracks of the CD and drag them to the newly created folder
  6. When the copy finishes, change the file name of each track to reflect the name of the track
Screenshot 2016-09-30 11.16.24
Example CD Archive Folder

Physical Production Folder

In order to keep accurate physical documentation, and to maintain information critical to later steps of a production, it is crucial to keep a production folder, with all pertinent information inside. The following documents are required:

  1. A copy of the show program, with track start and end times marked on it, along with any additions (common in the case of Jazz recordings).
  2. A diagram showing the placement of all microphones on stage and in the house
  3. A copy of the initial input list
  4. Any and all notes made in the process of making the recording
  5. The master recording (on a gold cd, unless > 74 minutes)
  6. A copy of the CD label, the booklet and the double J
  7. Any other pertinent information to the recording

To Do List Details:

Recording ToDo List

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