UA NAMM 2018: Producing Pop Music with Jacquire King – Part 1

by: Universal Audio

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so jakirah is a music producer and mixer who's done some records that you've heard many of them you hear on a regular basis it seems to have a knack to make records that you hear and what we're going to do today with Shakir is we're gonna switch the actual session from the actual record that Shakir produced and he's going to show us one of the ways you can think about going from A to Z with with the session sounds fair sure sold okay so that is cool clean dirty rock and roll yeah at the same time clean cut dirty my rock and roll it's so beautiful and my personal thing that I love about this track is how much time you know how much music you left in the track yeah it's not like cut for radio no it's it's own thing it's a rock song it's a you know it's like kind of an old school rock song but was there any pressure on you from the label maybe from that is from these guys to a you know let's make let's cut this down let's make it more efficient how long is the song it's like foreign change yeah I think you know that's a good question I don't let's see

yes 348 348 it's under you know it seems very it seems very long because the arrangement takes so many twists and turns I know that's wonderful but we rarely hear that and this this was a big radio song like it did it did very well it has a Grammy nomination we'll find out tomorrow Saturday Sunday if there's a it's his rock performance nomination I mean I always got to beat that this is beautiful well I mean yes good competition yeah that's how it works so I think that's delightful that you you left so much music so much playing in there as opposed to just cut it down to a pop song wishing pop song format which it was let you could lend itself to also sure and that's beautiful needs to be noted so let's look at we decided with the chair when we discussed what we're gonna do here today we said you know what instead of talking about the stuff let's just do the stuff so check your said you know I'm just gonna work on the actual session and obviously you're not gonna try and recreate the sound from the record you're just gonna do something using the session from the record maybe work on drums yeah and see what you process would be in and then I will be asking stupid questions as you go so that you know I slowed you down as much as possible sounds good yes so I mean I just give you a little as you can see you know I'm just gonna give you a little bit of history about like how the song was recorded how is put together because once I do a little bit of work on the drum kit and the bass guitar which is the band's rhythm section there's other things that I want to sort of show you there's a lot of programming and there's there's a lot like there's a lot of tracks in this song I mean it's sound it's primarily the sound of a four-piece rock band but there's you know there are where are they there's some there's some keyboard there yeah there's some synthesizers in here that kind of play along with the guitar parts there's a there's a decent amount of drum programming and that's this is green that reinforces the drums and like the stomps that kind of go through the bridge and later portions of the song and you could show you how they kind of underpin and and and support the sound to kind of give it a little bit more of you know because in a way you know recording a band like that it has a kind of a vintage sound to it yep you know and and I feel like we were successful in making this track pretty punchy and big so we'll get into that you know you can see you know just as a there's tempo changes in the song you know so I had the band performed the song and kind of map out for them we're like what tempos what section should be and as you can see that in the bridge and the solo the tempo comes up but then settles back down didn't the last chorus you know does that cut to a clique yes okay okay so the that's the song once there's the the intro to the song where the feedback is and all that sort of stuff that was cut separately because we didn't have a click so once we kind of got the body of the song recorded from where the click was we recorded that intro piece after the fact and cut it on to the front of the song it's kind of the way that came together what was the musical impetus a idea behind raising the temple of what went click on the on the bridge for example on the solo just because that's like that's what naturally what the band would do when they're performing you know like if I just you know just let them play the song like they kind of speed things up in the in a in the and that part of the solo bridge of the song and then they settled that down but they don't they didn't go back down to the same tempo like 109 is where it starts does that one or not yeah I don't have my glasses so the tempo comes up and then it kind of settles back down but it doesn't it's not as slow as the earlier courses that's cool okay so enough about that and you know the drums come in and out of the arrangement it's a pretty dynamic arrangement it just he doesn't play just like a groove through the song it's kind of you know he goes between like tom fills and and and a groove so let's see let's just let's listen to what just the the drum kit itself sounds like as its recorded as you can see there's only at the moment there's just one EQ on here so we'll listen to that for a moment so you can like you can really tell in the kick drum it's like it's a flat rounder and warmer and it kind of comes across in the mix so let's um what did you record this this is recorded at Blackbird studio D in Nashville in Tennessee fantastic roll yeah it's really good but you know it's just like there's a lot of a lot of room tone I mean I there is a somewhere in here there should be an amp

young stud you have to raise the fader

what's that so that that's that's a microphone that was placed on the floor near the drums and then run through an amp well it's going through a sansamp but then it also is going through an amplifier and then mic the microphone is amp-hour the amplifier isn't Mike okay no a lot of times I like to to excite the room especially with the kitchen room and low-end I like to put a microphone through an amp that's it like in front of the drum kit not not facing the drum kit but facing facing away to kind of excite the room more and it took some generate some more low-frequency build up in the in the space otherwise the rover's can sound a little book that's platy yeah yeah I mean because the high frequencies and the mid-range stuff is gonna speak more more in the room so I'm like trying to reinforce the low end because it's a big it's a bigger room you know and just and and but then all kind of you know also getting a cool sound that's distorted and then and miking the amp as well yeah so so you're getting the you're getting the amps influence in the room and the room mics and then you can specifically mic that that amplifier did you guys get that are we all clear on this what you care did is he took the bass rub don't see the whole kit that was yeah yeah well in this particular case if the microphones laying on the on the floor in a in a place that kind of sounded cool so it takes the whole kit mono feeds it into a sansamp pedal which is a distortion pedal she's the output of that pedal into an amp has the amp on stun so it sounds big in the room so that the overheads and the room sound have more of that distortion in it and then mics the end right yeah just a guy just to introduce them like color and tone into the room so I'm just gonna what I'll do here is I'm just gonna sort of solo up some things and put some it's a bike so many cues what it's not a good dancer doesn't matter what my kid is I mean oh I mean I think we I mean my T used an re 20 like a a dark sort of dynamic microphone that is like you probably use on a kick drum if it's suitable for that type of sound you know you know microphones are like lenses yep you know you just like you should pick a microphone to sort of be that the equalizer um you know make sort of that capture so we let's brighten the snare up a little bit here so you're you open this there and you're going for your for the for the plug-in folder what did you hear that bothered you there or that well did you hear that you could make better it's just I mean the snare drums it's just a little little little dark sounding you know is he going to be careful because you don't want too much hi-hat bleed in there yeah you know especially when you're trying to record quickly and get a good sound you I'm gonna make sure the capture is really good with that overhyping the high end and so now that it's time to mix I can spend a little more time and be careful I'm gonna just I'm gonna do that so let's uh now the overheads we're not I'm gonna EQ it with a little bit of of content here let's make this a loop [Music] it well I'll explain that in a second I mean me I'm an EQ the so how do you choose your EQ like what's your urge how do you you have about 800 plugins there yeah which one's your inspiration well it just depends you know it totally depends on what it is I'm hearing and the kind of the sound quality okay that I want to impart you know in it in this case I want I'm pulling up an SSL because we're gonna go for the black knobs but you know you guys probably know about that I just kind of want a precise I want I want a for band EQ that has I can be really precise with you know I'm kind of want to pull out a little bit of the mid-range and and hype the top I mean you could really choose anything it's just like in my mind this was the thing that you know I could if I pulled up and the thing is if I pulled up an API EQ then I'm limited to those frequencies and I feel like I kind of want to be I like the sound I just kind of wanna be a little more surgical and you know it's just like this also has a good dynamic section that maybe well maybe we'll use and go throw the EQ in here [Music]


just a little bit of you cute as alive yeah and you know if you also listened when I change when I put the EQ back in you're gonna hear it's gonna fit it's gonna affect other drums in me I'm a cueing the snare but you got to kind of like listen to the whole thing because it's gonna you could clean the kick drum just got more articulate and that's you know that's one of the reasons why you shouldn't be ich ewing too much in solo yeah you you should you should use that as an option sometimes so you can be very specific and know exactly what you're doing so that that seemed to help let's let's throw a little bit of dynamics in like low ratio [Music]

[Music] but just putting a little different a little bit of compression on just a very low ratio it just kind of gives it a little bit it helps the transient response kind of speak a little bit clearer and reigns the tone like the sustain of the drum in just a little bit so it's it's also helping accentuate the attack of the drum because at low ratio with a slow is a slow attack on the compressor like the ssl basically the compressor is too slow to catch the initial head of this there and so it lets the hit go by so you're compressing the snare and we actually get it punch here because the transient goes through clear so if the attack of the song goes through and you compress after you get the attack and you get more sustain from the from the compression after that's the trick that's what people love those ssl compressors this sound punchy yes they have it definitely that's also the reason I chose it for the snare drum cuz they because the the ssl has a little bit of a crunch factor yep you know it's just give me a little bit of that spitty aggressive character so I just pulled up an API EQ there has those fixed frequencies over which instrument for the overheads putting overhead yeah for the overheads I mean the kick drums the kick drums sounding pretty pretty good to me right at the moment it's like it's the least of my it's like the snare drum was a little dull I kind of want to open the high the overheads up a little bit put this on a shelf now see I've turned I put that low high and low on shelves okay because I want to roll off some of the low end a little bit higher with we own the overheads though okay open the top end up a little bit cool so he's not really playing cymbals so but well but you can hear how it brightens up the snare drum yep and the kick so let's let's take let's take a little bit of middle out of the kick drum and this let's try I like the C cute it's like the five sixties cool on the kick drum or you know it's it's a great EQ just another another one that has fixed frequencies [Music] okay so notice how Jake here is working in the context of the whole kit not still owing the base run for eight hours and then removing the solo and realizing that it's not right and also these are very light touches but listen did you see how light it touches are can you believe the difference before and after with those back touches okay so this microphone that I wanted to talk about I'm gonna solo this absolutely she specifically hear it can you raise it yeah what's that sounds bananas yeah so what that is is it's a that's a batter side mic on the kick drum so we're the pedal where the pedal hits the kick drum I've got there's a microphone there it's in figure eight and that's why you're hearing a lot of the the bottom of the snare drum there now it's it's a tricky mic to it's a tricky mic technique to use because you've you're you're really putting into question a lot of the phase relationships you know so you got to be really got to be really careful with it you can press the hell out of it right yeah on the way and it's it's yes it is very very compressed it just kind of just it sits there you know the sound is very very condensed and compressed it's a beautiful thing and it just adds like you can hear the can hear the roundness of the kick drum and then it's just kind of like a dirty sound and you can mix in a little bit it's you know it's not something I use all the time because it can be a little bit tricky [Music] it's it serves us well in this song cuz let's go back to we'll get our L some elements back and I'll take it in and out okay yeah it's subtle but it's adding a little bit of point and to the kick drum also pick this very is it it's great Eddy so you have the bass drum here and the figure eight is facing one side two bass drum and one side the back of this they are like the feet is the figure eight facing to the base I'm sorry I thought you're explaining and you're I don't question sorry the figure eight okay so the the figure eight it's a four fourteen yep and so the mic is coming in from the side so here's the kick drum the mics coming in from the side the pedal hits the kick drum yeah and so the figure eight is this way in that way sounds fantastic it's you know experiment with it it's really really cool it but it you have to realize that it's gonna it's gonna mess with the yeah the phase of things and sometimes sometimes depending on how loud I might want to use that if I record it you need to gate it and and key it off of the the or sometimes you know sometimes I've even duplicated it and and and key it off the kick and the snare and she can make the polarity more in agreement with like the snare drum like I'll I'll switch it'll be different for each time you hear it like kick and snare myself yes okay alright it's a it's a messy microphone but he's great for this kind of is not good for Steely Dan record but it's good for this kind of stuff yes Westy D that is no longer making records so it's okay so let's actually I wanted to see about this what's going on with a base here how did you record these bass okay so it's a DI and an amplifier okay I was just kind of which scene with the sansamp the sansamp is overdub I was it's been a while since I recorded this so I wasn't sure if it was like a component of the sound that we're hearing all the time just an intervention there what's that there's just one intervention at the end of these two trees yes yeah yeah yeah they're just they just they they highlight where there's a bass riff later in the song just to kind of reinforce it well with another another track which is a separate performance it's not you know it's it's overdone again so on the main track that was tracked live with the drummer yes okay so yeah so this was tracked as a band and then you know we go in and once we we made several takes that I cut together you know they played they played are they play to the the click and the programming we have and then I cut some takes together multiple takes and then once we have that then usually usually at that point when you're cutting case together like that the drums are pretty much what you're going for like the drum performance to have that be solid and then we just kind of go back and maybe correct some punch in some things on the bass but try to but trying to capture as much of the performance relationship as possible especially with a band because recording one thing at a time which is not the wrong way to make a record but you but you also have to realize that you take the band dynamic out of it you know it's like if you're recording people that are used to playing together and that wrote the songs like in a little room together you kind of want to try to capture some of that magic takes a lot longer if you multitrack that if you pay to mix it takes a lot longer to mix for me to mix a record that we attract layered yes the record has been tracked together because the players already do the mixing of the dynamic organically it's big big difference I hate the I don't hate it but like when you a could Bob the pop record where everything is put together it's like a puzzle you had a recut all the pieces all the time so it's nice so capturing performance anytime you can a relationship you know even if it's two people you know that it helps kind of get some of that magic to happen where you end up not having to work so hard to create a relationship so there's there's a base di which is like a tube di and then an amplifier which I'm pretty sure we used an ampeg b15 which is you know there's a UA emulation of which you know what let's and then you can see that there's time adjuster on here and that's just delayed a few samples or 20 samples just to kind of get because the DI is is a little bit ahead yeah see how it's a little ahead of of the so you can see right here on this little transient yeah so ahead so they kind of like phase aligns them a little bit more so let's listen to the bass with the drums that's just the amp [Music] that's and that you know the DI is cleaner and it's it's mostly about the DI is really helping us with the sub sub lows clear cuz the amp is not really gonna give you that oh so um but let's just for fun you know I'm I want to uh

this drug it is amazing yeah it is so let me see if I I'm just gonna set this up with a sound that I like without with just the drums and that we're hearing in the end this bass di and I'm interested to just compare like the recorded b15 to what this is okay now granted it's you know I it's a little hard to hear in here but yeah [Music] let's let's reference this real quick Wow okay this is actually a little fatter what's that this one is a little fatter yeah it is what a great player just turning these down so I'm not messing with them so that's why I'm peeling the bass back a little bit the mix are the EQ obviously we're gonna have a little bit of a volume difference here so a louder [Music]



it's pretty wild yeah it sounds really good right by the way you peel into a hardware with software comparison there is a whole booth of it back there we can compare they have like a ABX yes shootout where you can listen to LA to 1176 and if you find out which one is which they give you a t-shirt it's back there and that's something I did with these guys we did oh you did yeah it's the Jamie little nail session oh yeah yeah so it's we recorded you know go check it out I won't waste time talking about it because there's like a whole great display yeah interesting thing you can do back there it's beautiful it's fun here the difference between you know their the analog and emulation equivalent sister we're out of time so he's we gonna keep up keep going at three okay so you can save this and then we can keep going on three yeah so what so what we'll do it three years I'll pick up where we left off on this because there's some things that didn't get to and then also come back at three because in this vocal that's on this record it was recorded with analog hardware and some of the some of the vocals that are in the comp are recorded with the unison stuff from Apollo Apollo okay and and it'll be interesting to see if anybody can tell the difference the difference so thanks a lot Jake here Jake it will be back at 3:00 and we actually pick up where we left off which is great okay and in the meantime there's a demo right now I think I'm not 100% sure what's going on but I know that we have to get off the stage that's what I do thank you thank you thank you very much I'll answer some questions

More from this creator:
Watch producer/engineer Jacquire King (James Bay, Kings of Leon, Tom Waits) at the UA booth during the 20018 NAMM show, as he breaks down how he used UAD plug-ins and the Apollo interface on the track, "No Good" by Icelandic blues rockers, Kaleo.
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