About Me

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My name is James (or CMX Jay)(If you see CMX Jay anywhere That's Me!). I'm a Live Sound Engineer, Recording Engineer, Mixer, and a slight Gamer. Be sure to also follow me on Twitter @ CMXJay

Monday, September 26, 2011

Vocal Editing

I've been working with a band named Doc Holliday. I'm making a demo EP for them with my class and after we did our Vocal Overdubs I thought I would post a bit it.

The vocals sounded good in the mic and we didn't have a live room to put him in so we needed to do the Vox OD in the control room so it was monitored over headphones. In the headphones the vocals sounded good but as soon as we put them to ANY set of monitors they suddenly sounded muffled, muddy, and masked. I spent a lot of time adjusting a couple different EQs on his vocals to try and fit them into the mix. After I have the assignment handed in maybe I'll post a before and after sample of the vocals. I used an EQ removing some 125Hz and 250Hz and added some frequencies in the upper mid range and that really added clarity to everything. I also did some volume automation to bring up key words in the vocal and slowly bring down the held words to define what he was saying. These two things made a world of difference! It as like 2 different vocal takes entirely and I didn't touch Auto-Tune! The band didn't want anything tuned and wanted everything to sound as live as possible (there's actually a few things I did to achieve a live as possible sound, but that is a different post).

One song i was editing was very very VERY trippy song and there where a few vocal parts I really wanted to "fuck with" so to speak. This song was basically an acid trip and I was doing everything in my power to encourage it. One thing I did was I doubled the vocals in parts. I would copy the vocal part to a different track and move the copied region ever to slightly so the time delay was unnoticeable but it was enough to add extra body. I was doing this "in the box" and didn't have access outboard gear so I couldn't do the "using efx as a processor" trick so this is what i did to compensate. And of course I used pan as an efx. Nothing creepier then hearing a huge vocal scream and then hearing him whisper in your ear.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I don't usually share stories but I thought this is a good one

If you can't tell from my picture, I look pretty Metal, never caught dead without a black tee of a metal band, back leather studded bracelets. I've got an arm tattoo, a graphic leg tattoo of a demon, rocking the converse kicks, cut off jeans or ripped jeans. Typical metal head

So I'm on the bus, dead center in the back, the bus is packed and so quite you can hear a pin drop. I'm texting away. Now I have one of those htc Legend smartphones and if you don't know, the speaker for it is on the back, so in this situation it's pointing towards the whole bus, volume maxed. In the middle of my text i get a phone call. And throughout the whole bus you can hear "BABY YOUR A FIIIIIIIIIREWOOOOORK! COME ON LET YOUR COOOOOOLOURS BUUUURST"

Yeah, that got some looks
You may now laugh at my expense

Friday, June 3, 2011

ReAmping Drums

So I'm attending Nimbus which is also The Harvard of Recording Schools. And one thing that blows my mind that gets done a lot is using sound to re trigger drums. 
Well I've included what I can best describe as a Re Amp'd Snare Drum

I know you're thinking "What Am I Looking At?" This is probably more confusing so allow me to explain what is going on.

In the control room a pre-recorded snare track is being played and the recorded snare doesn't sound that good. So it is patched so the track is being sent to the Studio or Live Room. In the Live Room the signal is being played out this speaker which is being played very loud. Then speaker is then placed face down with the center of the speaker to the center of the snare. The speaker is suspended off of the snare head with the drum sticks. And everything is taped into place. Now the snare track is playing a new snare drum and everything is mic'd a recaptured.
This isn't the first time we did this. But it is the first time we did it with something pre recorded.
We've been in school and decided that our kick drum wasn't boomy enough so we put a kick drum in front of a kick drum in front of the kick drum being played. And we Mic'd the last Kick and it was amazingly low and boomy.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dancing Zombies! by Trash Da Bride

In Honer of The Zombies Movie Marathon Month I decided to share a band I helped record called Trash Da Bride! Trash Da Bride Facebook Page If you "like" then you can go and listen to a song we recorded called Dancing Zombies (which BTW was the most fun I've had in a recording studio)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Let's Exchange Mixing Tips and Tricks

I haven't been buy here lately because everything has been so hectic lately but i think I'm getting a grasp on it so I'll be here more often.

I thought I would share you guys a recording and mix I did with a buddy i used to go to school with.
Rising By Frisco Honey This is a local band we got last minute and they sounded pretty good. However mixing has been a painful and slow process especially when your school goes bankrupt. But I have yet to find a negative opinion on it.

Leave a comment or question about how you liked the song and or the mix, tips on fixing it up, or questions on how I did what, either here on on my SoundCloud page. None of my mixing or recording techniques are secrets.

The cool mixing tip i posted previously was used on this mix

Hit me up on Twitter @CMXJay

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cool Mixing Tip

Hello Friends

Sorry I'm kinda sherping my blog because of a busy personal life and i really didn't have time to think of anything to blog or have a lot of time to blog so instead I decided to show you guys a really cool mixing tip for almost any genre of music. This is some one of my personal tricks I don't like to show others so consider yourself lucky. This is also done in ProTools FYI
I call this my "Stadium Reverb" Layer

1. Make a Stereo Aux track and set the I/O inputs to Bus 1-2
2. In your VOX and Guitar tracks add Buses 1-2 to your extra sends (make all these sends Pre and unity gain)
3. On your Aux track, insert a ridiculous Reverb that's just way over the top to much
4. On your Aux track, insert the 1-band stock EQ and make a low pass between 4.5kH - 5kHz
5. If you listen to this solo'd track now it should sound like your Vocals and Guitars are in a large empty concrete stadium and you're standing in a closed off hallway outside. A very cool sound
6. Now play everything and slowly add this new Aux into your mix as a subtle layer behind your mix you already have.

I find this layer really adds a lot to your mix and it's really easy to do and it's just all around awesome.

So have fun with this and if you have any questions you can leave a comment and i'll get back in a few days or if you want a more imitate response then twitter me https://twitter.com/#!/CMXJay

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mac N' Ched or Perogie Casserole

This is gonna seem like a pretty random topic especially seance my last topis was about Nazis and Zombies and killing them, as you have probably figured out this topic is about COOKING!

I know your probably thinking to yourself "WTF man?" well as i said before I don't want to rant I want to share my knowledge and I think this is another thing i can do better then anyone else. Plus this is an awesome way to show your mom your not eating like a broke ass bachelor, or REALLY impress a date or really fill up people and make them say "That was probably the best meal of my life and I've had every meal from Epic Meal Time"

I gladly take on any one's grandma in a Mac N' Ched or Perogie Casserole cook off. Bring It Grandma! I'm not afraid of you!

So because I'm assuming most of you are like me and NOT stay at home parents or retired grand parents and don't have a lot of free time to make dinner I'm going to skip making perogies by hand steps because you're probably just gonna buy them frozen from the store, Which is cool by me. HOWEVER if you have a parent or grandparent who makes this kinda stuff at home and by hand get them to make you home made perogies. It makes this 10,000,000,000% better (i might be over exaggerating a little in that made up percentage)

And if your doing this Mac N' Chead style then go buy the plain Macaroni noodles from the store. get the big bag too. You're just pissing away money and powdered cheese if you do this with the KD stuff. You're going to make the cheese sauce by hand because this is where the amazingness comes from.

This is for 2-4 people (or one person with a few days worth of left overs)

Here's What You Need To Get From The Store
-Flour (2 tablespoons worth)
-Milk (One cup of any percentage you like)
-Cheese! (2 cups, what ever kind you like but from personal experience Cheddar is king and Moz just burns)
-Butter (2 table spoons worth)
-Meat! (ground meat works best, get as lean as you can because it's cheaper and you don't have to drain as much fat. Once again from personal experience get Spicy Italian Sausage or Mild Italian Sausage if your not into spicy. I'm aware this comes wrapped up like sausage while ground meet is just a big wad of meat so, yes you are gonna have to take them apart and get all the meat out so you have a meat wad. I'm aware how inconvenient this is but it does make it 10,000,000 times better then then other meats) (get about 2 people's worth of meat)
-Perogies or Marconi noodles (both awesome, I recommend doing both, but for separate nights obviously) (This is for the big 2kg bag of perogies or the 1 or 1.5kg bag of Macaroni noodles)

Before You Cook:
-Grate Cheese
-De-tube Sausage
-Make Sure You Have A Big Enough Casserole Dish (Don't laugh but this one fucked me up a few times)

Prepare To Be Busy As Hell:
You actually will be as busy as hell so if your texintg or watching t.v. or trying to game while doing this you'll just burn shit. Trust me I know first hand. Prepare to do nothing but this
This will still be in point form but now you're going to need to do this in order as it appears
1. Preheat oven to 350
2. While oven is preheating cook meet (not partially, cook it entirely)
3. When meat is half cooked start boiling water
4. When meat is done keep on "low" or "min" and water should be boiled by this point
5. Add noodles/perogies to water
6. As soon as you get perogies/noodles in the water you're going to need to make cheese sause
7. Turn burner to about 5 or 4 is your stove is one of those quick and hot stoves
8. While pot is heating slowly add butter  one tablespoon at a time and stir continuously until melted
9. While string melted butter add flour one tablespoon at a time and continue string continuously until it's kinda clumpy
10. After clumpy-ness is achieved add the milk! keep up the string, don't stop! then milk will eventually turn yellow
11. Add 1 cup of cheese and keep string until the cheese is entirely melted
12. repeat step 11
13. Congrats you now have cheese sauce your grandma would be jealous of. Your perogies or noodles need to be drained so do that. If done properly both the cheese sauce and the perogies or noodles have finished at the same time.

Time For The Easy Part:
(You can text/watch t.v./Kill Nazi Zombies while doing this next part)
1. Pam THE SHIT out of your casserole dish (burnt home made cheese sauce is a nightmare to clean up!)
2. Add a layer of perogies or noodles
3. Add a layer of cooked meat
4. Add a layer of home made cheese sause
5. Repeat steps 2-4 until out of food or casserole dish
5.5. If you have any left over grated cheese put it on top to add that extra bit of awesome
6. Bake for 20 min with lid on
7. Bake for 5 min with lid off
8. Bake for 5 min with an open door

The Best Part:
Eat This Shit!

Obviously this is a fat free, carb free, vegetarian friendly meal.