Wilson Biggs Capstone


Coming up with a capstone was fairly easily. It was practically handed right to me. My friend Nebil told me that Zack was planning to do a house band" for his capstone. I saw this as the perfect oppurtunity - I would work with his band to get a few songs recorded and published onto CD for my capstone! Zack assented, so we began!

Over the course of the year, me and Zack's band, which, in the end, included Nebil Ibrahim (senior, bass), Kia DaSilva (junior, piano + vocals), and Adnan (senior, guitar; used to go to SLA), worked together to practice three songs to being able to record them. It really helped to have a stepfather, Ted, who runs his own recording studio, that could be my mentor and give me a space to use.

Once we had the songs down, we spent two evenings at Ted's recording studio recording the songs. He guided us through the recording process, leaving me with studio quality tracks for me to mix. Then, through May, I mixed the three songs, using tips from Ted and the band and guides I found online to help me get a good end result. I then used Kunaki to publish the album to CD. But the process is ongoing! We are planning to tag along to the end of the Music Club concert and sell CDs! All of the profits from the CDs are going to SLA to help them get new equipment for the music room.


Annotated Bibliography

Audio Animals Ltd. "How To Pan Live Drums Tutorial." Audio Animals. Audio Animals Ltd., 5 Apr. 2014. Web.

While this source isn’t the most polished and professional looking visually, the content is what counts. The graphics in the tutorial were immensely helpful, as they gave me a starting point for panning the drums in the songs, which helped them sound much more realistic and less cramped. I referenced it constantly when mixing the drums in the tracks.

This source is quite credible, as it was written by a group that runs not only the website it was posted on, but also a mixing and mastering house, recording studio, and record label. That shows how much experience with the subject the writers had when writing the tutorial.

"Mixing Top and Bottom Snare." /r/AudioEngineering. Reddit, 10 Apr. 2015. Web.

This source is a conglomeration of answers to a user’s question about mixing snare drums that have been recorded in two tracks: a top snare and a bottom snare. This is how the snare was recorded for our songs as well, and I was unsure what to do with them, so this helped a lot. There were a lot of ideas expressed in the responses, which gave me some ideas of my own. I ended up muting the bottom snare on all of the tracks, as it sounded better without it, but without the response by “aderra”, I would never have thought of just doing that.

This source is probably the least credible of all of my sources, as it is an open forum, but it is still credible, as there are many responses by professionals in the industry with experience with this subject.

Bandcamp. "Bandcamp for Artists." Bandcamp. Bandcamp, n.d. Web.

This source explained how I could use Bandcamp to host the album digitally and allow people to listen to it and download it whenever they pleased. I decided to use the site after reading this, and it has been very easy to use because of it. It also provided general information on how payment works on the site.

It is written by the site about the site. It’s as credible as can be.

Benediktsson, Björgvin. "A Powerful ‘n’ Punchy Guide to Mixing Your Drums." Audio Issues. Audio Issues, n.d. Web.

This source helped me immensely with mixing my drums, as I wasn’t sure how to make them sound at all decent when I first began to mix the songs. The kick drum sounded dull, things were kinda all over the place, and it sounded like crap. This guide really helped me fix these issues; I now know how to make the kick and toms sound punchy, and how to use compressors when mixing drums. It also helped me mix everything else, as I wasn’t sure how to use compressors beforehand, but it described them well enough that I knew how to use them for the rest of the song.

This source is credible as the author writes these articles professionally for amateur producers in home studios; I am part of that demographic. The website has also been mentioned in a number of professional music publications, which lends it more credibility.

Benediktsson, Björgvin. "7 Advanced Guitar Mixing Techniques for an Amazing Guitar Production." Audio Issues. Audio Issues, n.d. Web.

This source helped me a lot with mixing the guitars, played by Adnan throughout the EP. I had a hard time with them sounding very harsh and clashing a lot with the piano and vocals. While panning helped this somewhat, there were still problems. This article gave me a few ideas for improving the guitar mixing; the EQing at 800hz was immensely helpful, as was EQing the reverb.

This source is the same as the one directly above: “This source is credible as the author writes these articles professionally for amateur producers in home studios; I am part of that demographic. The website has also been mentioned in a number of professional music publications, which lends it more credibility.”

Fredv. "EQ Tips Cheat Sheet." Cheatography. Added Bytes Magento Development, 15 Nov. 2011. Web.

This source was incredibly helpful and useful. I wasn’t sure where to start or how to EQ tracks before I read this source, but reading it really helped. I used it as a reference for much of my mixing, allowing me to have a better sounding mix than I would have otherwise. It also helped me solve problems I was having with some of the tracks.

This was a very credible source as the writer was an audio professional and music enthusiast. It was also commented on by many amateurs and professionals alike for how helpful and accurate it was. It’s been given a 5 star average rating based on 19 people’s ratings, which is also a sign of how credible a source it is.

Gugulethu. "Advice On Mixing Piano Sounds." TalkinMusic. TalkinMusic.com, n.d. Web.

This source helped me mix the pianos on the album. Much of the EP focused on the piano, so it was important to make it sound as good as possible. I was having problems making the piano sound realistic and not cheap, and this source allowed me to fix that problem. It goes in depth, which is helpful as well.

This source is quite credible as the author is an audio professional; he writes articles like this all the time as well. His site is used very often by home producers for tips as well. These facts lend to its credibility.

Kunaki. "Kunaki Distribution Capabilities." Kunaki. Kunaki, n.d. Web.

Kunaki is a music publishing service that allows you to sell CDs cheaply. I have read about this service before and this page on the site described how it works and convinced me to use it. CDs can be bought in bulk from the site, as well, which is the plan for selling physical CDs; we will buy a number of CDs and sell them at a higher price to generate profit for SLA to use.

This source is credible as it is written by the company about the company. How much more credible than that can you get?

PSW Staff. "Tech Tip Of The Day: Using EQ To Conquer Hum - Pro Sound Web." ProSoundWeb. ProSoundWeb.com, 29 Sept. 2010. Web.

I was having problems with some hum in the bass tracks, which was noticeable after compression and effects were added to the drums. It was a bit annoying, and I needed a way to at least quiet the hum down. This source helped with that, as it outlined the best ways to remove the hum from the track.

This source is credible as it was published on a website catered specifically to audio professionals and was written by audio professionals. It was also “provided by” (read: the website received money from) Sweetwater, a professional audio company that is very well respected.

White, Paul. "Improving Your Stereo Mixing." Sound On Sound. SOS Publications Group, Oct. 2000. Web.

This source is about panning and using stereo to your advantage when mixing tracks. This helped me mix the album and pan more than just the drums well. I used panning very often on the album because of this, allowing me to separate sounds that would clash otherwise. It also makes the track sound wider and more realistic.

This source is very, very credible. It was originally published in Sound On Sound magazine in October 2000. Sound On Sound is a professional audio magazine that has been around for many years and is followed by many professionals. It is highly touted within the music production industry for its in depth articles.