Recently I've been adding music to different streaming services, and I have music on the majority, if not all, of music streaming services. Below are links to my artist pages where the majority of my music will be published based mostly on popularity of the services. If I haven't linked a service you use below, I may be on that service, but possibly my music hasn't cleared to be on their service yet. There could also be the chance you just have to search for me on those other services. Regardless, below are links to my SoundCloud, Apple Music, Spotify, and Google Play artist pages.
Man, updating this is harder than I thought it'd be, but no matter. Recently, through social media, I announced a new project entitled (S.A.D. Vol. 3.2) 727: Sugar Cubes & Experiences. A whole brand new concept project, as well as my first full length LP, in which I created a light novel/ short story, converted it into a script, cast voice actors, as well as composed and/ or produced the whole project in its entirety through my multimedia company, West Street Entertainment. This project will consist of 14 tracks with skits that help tell the story with the music itself guiding as a soundtrack for the concept.
Along with this new project, I have decided to change my pseudonym as an artist from "B.Jeff" to "B*dot*Jeff". The pronunciation is just the way you see it as itself. This was mostly to alleviate those that didn't quite understand the pronunciation of my pseudonym, so I made a way for everyone to understand the pronunciation.
Attached you will see the album artwork, track list, and artwork for the first single, scheduled to release April 11 on my Soundcloud. Album release date soon to be announced.
Album artwork by: Me
Single artwork by: Jamil Hairston | The Jamil Show
The last session I recorded was for a three piece band called Frank's Lil Beauties. We came together to track a cover of Rancid's Maxwell Murder, and I mixed the song as well. The band consisted of Aaron James on bass/vocals, Sam Waldvogel on guitar/vocals, and Matt Diuk on drums. The session ended up being pretty straightfoward, aside from some small headphone issues, we ended up tracking both the guitar and bass DI into the two API 512 preamps. The bass went in without any processing, while the guitar went in through a distortion pedal; both were recorded right in the control room. The drums were miked in an XY stereo pattern, snare top, kick, kick beater recorded all the way inside the drum, toms, hihat, and a room mic. The vocals were recorded in the control room as well. Both Aaron and Sam decided that they would rather record in the control room instead of the live room. Since the song is only about a minute 30 seconds long, the session went by relatively quickly.
When mxing the song I used the original as my A-B track. So I went for the overall vibe of the song while also trying new things to the mix that the original didn't have. I threw a different reverb on the snare and guitar. I also double tracked the guitars as well with different distortion patterns in each and panned them out a little. I also added a slight distortion to the bass and both vocal tracks as well. The vocals also have a slight delay in the choruses as well that sounds more like a chorus-y reverb, as well as panning each vocal in the opposite side in the beginning of each chorus. Unfortunately I was not able to take pictures of this awesome session, but you can listen to the mix on my soundcloud, here and below.
Before starting my own podcast on the subject of overcoming adversity, I did some research on another podcast done with the same theme in mind. I ended up listening to, and researching, "Mike Rippeth" by Dustin Nicholson as an example of the structure for this podcast. The podcast was about a man overcoming his drug addiction, how he got addicted, the steps he took to get over it, and how he got over his addiction. The podcast had some entertainment value and wasn't just a dry, scoreless, singular audio file. There was a score that changed throughout the podcast when the feeling of the story changed. There were actual quotes from the man that was interviewed, as well as narration in between segments explaining the story.
With all this in mind, the way I approached my take on the podcast was, once I solidified a person to interview (Jeremy Beech) we sat in my room and I started bombarding him with very open ended queries. There were a variety of questions I asked him that led to many different answers and different subject matters, and when there was a specific tangent he'd get on, we'd stay there until we ran out of things to talk about during that tangent. The subject matter I was looking for were more serious stories, but I was not committed to the idea of only serious stories, although that's what we ended up with. The story Jeremy and I ended up telling was his greatest personal fear: Being Disappointed. His story takes us back to his childhood where his parents constantly got his hopes up, but rarely went through with their plans for him. Now, as a kid he understood when things just came up and things just happened to where his parents couldn't go through with their promises. He had a problem when the excuses he was given didn't add up, or were just cop outs so they didn't have to do anything. Throughout the editing process of the podcast I tried keeping the score at a general feeling, then changed it as time and emotion progressed. My favorite part of editing was where I took some of the quotes Jeremy gives and layered a pitched down duplicate of that quote to signify his father's voice and his dark side voice in his head. You can listen to the full podcast on my Soundcloud here, or in the link below.
I had the opportunity to track and mix a record for a local band called, Holy Smokes. The track is called Nucifera, and a group of engineers and I did the tracking while we all had our own mixes of the song. When mixing this song, like every other band I mix for, I started out with the drums. The kick I accentuated some of the fluffy low-end while trying to maintain some of the beater head for attack. With the snare, I ran into a little trouble with a ringing tone within it, to attempt at alleviating the problem, I did some gating and heavy compression for the fills' volume to be uniform to the rest of the snare and to focus the snare's sound on the initial attack and not the ringing tones that came from it. The hihat I tucked further back into the mix and panned to the left. I split the toms accordingly and accentuated the bounce-y tone they had. I compressed the overheads and tucked them back into the mix so the cymbals wouldn't be too ring-y as to not have the mix too top heavy. I just compressed and put distortion on the bass to give it some character since it was recorded DI. Similar to the bass I just gave slight compression and EQ to the congas and tamborine (aux percussion). The lead guitar was EQ'd to make it sound brighter, so less low end more high end while taking out that mid-range muddiness, then there was an autoamated a spaced delay when the chorus comes in, there are two takes that were panned as well. The rhythm guitar was EQ'd and compressed very similar to the lead, but I didn't add any extra delay, but rather a little reverb, and a filter and chorus in the intro of the song. When mixing vox I first make sure I can get the vox as clear as possible before doing anything else to it, so taking out a lot of the super low frequencies and adding in some higher frequencies in order to brighten up the vocals; the same to the background vox before panning to each side. Then I added a reverb and delay to both the lead and background vox. Also, I used a technique learned to create more dynamics in a mix and boosted the chorus about 1dB on the master track to clearly identify the chorus from the verses. You can listen to the final mix on my Soundcloud here or at the button on the bottom of this post.
Recently, I have been dabbling in attributes in Pro Tools that helps quantize drum beats; two options I researched were Beat Detective and Elastic Audio. Today I will explain the articles I researched on these two and share my own experience using the two quantizing options.
First I read an article on Beat Detective on Ask Audio. Generally the article explained how to use Beat Detective. It showed that using Tab to Transient you can select the amount of bars you want to quantize. Once you have your selection, you go to the Event Tab and select it from there. Then you make sure that the beat and bar that you have selected matches the one in the window of the plugin. From there, you go to Separation and make sure sub-beats is selected and start to change the percentage value to dial in all the transients in the selection -- once done hit "separate". Next, you go into the Conform tab and hit "conform", and there you go to Edit Smoothing, select "fill and crossfade", and hit "smooth". The selection, then, should be quantized. This article was helpful in explaining what it does and how Beat Selector worked, but it didn't give any information as to what could be cool about using the plugin. There wasn't much about any cool methods to use this in a mix; just mostly how to use Beat Detective.
The next article I read was based on Elastic Audio, a feature that allows you to individually move the transients, on Sound On Sound. This one also explained how to use the feature. Once you have a drums selection you change the tracks into Tick mode and change the way it's read to Rhythmic for drums since we're handling a rhythmic section. Next you change the Waveform view to the Warp view in order to see the warp markers on the track. You can either manually select the transient that's offbeat and drag it on beat, or you could go into the Event tab and select Quantize then follow the instructions in the menu and hit "quantize". If you use the latter method, you must have the correct tempo already put into Pro Tools. If you don't, you can deselect the conductor icon on the Transport Menu and select the tempo and tap out the tempo you want to conform to with "T" or type it in manually. This article was a little more informative with a real life example. It also did not give any special tricks or techniques with the feature, but mostly just how it works. I did appreciate the tests that were conducted with the other Elastic Audio reading options and how those worked.
When I was testing out both features on Pro Tools myself, I realized that I liked the Elastic Audio into Quantize method a little more than Beat Detective because Beat Detective sometimes has problems reading and conforming drum fills. When it does have problems reading and conforming, it's basically trial and error with the beat selection and sensitivity until it conforms properly. With Elastic Audio it was able to read and conform with relative ease and without having to go back and retrying things until something worked. Below are pictures of both my Elastic Audio and Beat Detective projects.
I had the pleasure of recording a friend of mine for a song we’re doing together, and decided to do a mic shootout with his verse as well. My friend goes by Cody Brinx and, like myself, he’s a rapper, so I will be recording rap vocals for his contribution on my song. His verse is simply a braggadocio styled verse, as that’s how the song’s vibe goes. Within this you’ll see the four microphones we used for his verse, and only partial parts of his verse as we agreed to not release any full material of the song until the whole project is finished, so first let’s review our research before we record.
In the ProSoundWeb & SoundOnSound articles I used as research they explained the basics of vocal recording. The main points both touched on are understanding your surroundings, mic selection, the client themselves, microphone placement, and the takes as a whole. Although you don’t need a huge room to record vocals in, it’s still best to have the flattest (deadest) sounding room possible so the reverb and reflections of the room doesn’t bleed into the recording (good headphones help as well). Having an isolation booth is helpful, but not necessary, a reflection filter would work just as well to deaden the area around the vocalist. Knowing which mics work best with your vocalist is also a huge factor (and what this article is for). Depending on the vocal styling of the artist mic selection is imperative. Knowing if the artist has a higher or lower vocal range will determine the best mic for their vocals as well as the strength of their voice as well. Some engineers prefer to have the microphone just above their mouth so the vocalist doesn’t sing directly into the capsule and reduce the amount of plosives and sibilance their voice will have (also use a pop filter always). Of course getting the best performances out of the artist goes without saying. Making the artist comfortable in the studio while recording will allow for the best takes from them. Within this session, I had Cody in the big tracking room with a reflection filter around every mic when recording into it with a pop filter as well. I did have him record directly into the capsule because capturing the clarity in his voice was the priority.
The four microphones I chose for Cody to record into were the Blue Kiwi, Rode K2, AEA R84, and Shure SM57 while the preamp I used was the Chandler TG-2. The Blue Kiwi and Rode K2 are both condenser microphones, while the K2 is a Tube Condenser. The difference between a tube condenser and a normal condenser is that a tube condenser has its own power box that acts as the mic’s personal phantom power, while a standard condenser mic requires phantom power from a preamp. The AEA R84 is a ribbon mic, which has a ribbon instead of a carbon capsule that captures and records soundwaves. Ribbon mikes are also notorious for being more sensitive (fragile) and more expensive. The last mic used was the Shure SM57, the classic dynamic multi-purposed microphone. Dynamic and ribbon microphones do not require phantom power to run. If you used phantom power on a ribbon mic the voltage would destroy the mic and dynamic mikes are already at line level so they do not need a boost of voltage to run.
Both the Kiwi and K2 were very clear and crisp on Cody’s vocals. The Kiwi accentuated the clarity of his vocals, while at the same time gave his plosives and sibilance a boost to the front and very obvious. The K2, on the other hand, was extremely clear and captured the clarity without increasing the amount of sibilance and plosives in his voice. The AEA R84, being a ribbon microphone, gave his vocals a darker and more low end sound to it, so the clarity was still there, but not as crisp, and kind of muddied his vocals. Granted, the R84 was being processed through the Chandler TG-2, which is a darker sounding preamp as well, so the mic gave his vocals double darkness to its tone. The Shure SM57, gave the flattest tone of all not really accentuating any specific part of his voice, but still very clear to the ear. It was a very stereotypical sound for the SM57 overall, with some dark tones brought out by the Chandler.
In order, the microphones that sounded the best to my personal tastes basically go in the order I listed the mikes with one change; Blue Kiwi, Rode K2, Shure SM57, then AEA R84. The Blue Kiwi and Rode K2 are both in a tie for my personal favorite, with this recording specifically I wanted a little more of the plosive and sibilance from Cody’s vocals, and so the Kiwi fulfilled its job. Although the K2 captured his vocals perfectly without any flaws, the sound wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in the recording, but any other day of the week the K2 might just beat the Kiwi. The Shure SM57 sounded exactly how I pictured it sounding, so I wasn’t surprised by the way it came out. The only reason it made it higher than the AEA R84 was because the preamp I was using didn’t compliment his vocals through the ribbon mic, but on other instruments, vocalists, and preamp this mic could sound amazing. Examples of the recordings are located below.
When planning out designs for a recording studio there are key elements to creating it. You need a DAW, mixing console (optional in today's digital world), microphones, cables, computers, and rack mounts full of preamps and compressors to flip through for a certain sound. Recently, I did some research on some of these items and this is where I'll show my findings.
The Audient ASP8024 is a recording and mixing console that was created and designed by David Dearden. The Audient uses features from both the analog world combined with the ability to run in concert with DAWs (Digital Audio Workspace) to give the best of both digital and analog worlds.
Each of the ASP8024’s input channels comes equipped with a Class A preamp and 4 band EQ. This Audient has 24 channels, 24 bus routes, 12 auxes, 2 cue sends, 4 stereo returns, and a stereo bus compressor. There are 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 channel models to this console, some of which can come with a Dual Layer Control section or Patchbay already installed.
The Dual Layer Control Module creates the ability to control the session in your DAW via Ethernet cable. The DAW layer can control at least 8 moving faders/ channel levels that can be used through the entire session. There are other control features within the Dual Control Module including transport control, track record enable, and plug-in selection and editing, allowing you to control the whole session from the board itself. The DAWs the Audient ASP8024 are compatible with are Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, and Nuendo.
The Bellari RP220 is a vintage dual tube mic preamp that is said to bring a smooth, warm sound through its two 7025 vacuum tubes. This preamp gives a smooth and sweet sound to any vocals being recorded through it that works well with the more pristine sound of today’s digital recordings. This preamp includes a +48 volt phantom power switch, 30 dB input and output pads, and a phase reversal switch. The RP220 also comes equipped with balanced XLR inputs and balanced XLR and unbalanced ¼” line outputs.
The Focusrite ISA Two is the sequel to Focusrite’s original classic ISA One Preamp. The Two is equipped with a Lundahl LL1538 input transformer – which are considered to be cleaner sounding. The transformer was created to have an extended flat frequency response so that the high-frequency drop-off is beyond human hearing. Just like other ISA preamps, the Two also provides a 60dB gain – adjustable up to 20dB with Trim Control. The ISA Two has a switchable input impedance between four settings. The input impedance has little effect on the sound of condenser mikes, but it does effect the sound of passive dynamic and ribbon mikes. This preamp can be used for a variety of instruments including, guitars, drums, and vocals.
The API 512c is a preamp that gained its fame for its capability to create low noise and its nice sounding front end. The 512c administers 65 dB of mic gain, phantom power, a polarity switch, -20 dB pad and a Mic/Line switch. It also includes a XLR and ¼” input on the front with mic accessibility in the back of the preamp. The API uses the power of their own transformer with a 2520 op-amp to create a rich-sounding analog preamp. Other features include a LED VU meter and 45 dB of line/instrument gain as well. This preamp would work well on guitars and vocals.
Previous works of Universal Audio included the Teletronix LA-2A and UREI 1176 LN before the creation of the 2-610. Both the LA-2A and 1176 LN are compressors, making the 2-610 the first analog preamp released by Universal Audio. The 2-610 is a tube mic pre that was inspired by the 60’s era Universal Audio 610 recording console’s preamp section.
Universal Audio’s 2-610 is two channels that uses 12AX7A and 6072A tubes, a higher-quality power supply, polypropylene caps metal film resistors, polarity inversion, and phantom power for each channel. It includes mic and line/instrument I/Os, including a line input on the back of every channel and ¼” jacks on the front for guitars, bass, or other electronic instruments. The gain knob is a 5-position knob that increases and decreases in 5 dB augmentations. While the level control knob is a continuous variable knob that controls the master volume of the channel. If you turn the gain knob clockwise, it increase volume and distortion levels while turning the knob opposite of that, decreases volume and leaves a cleaner sound. Both gain and level knobs lead to a separate, Class-A, dual-triode gain stage within the preamp itself. This would have a really nice sound on guitars, bass, and drums.
The UA 4-710d is both an 8-channel preamp and also an A-D converter as well. The first four channels on this unit holds a solid-state/ tube hybrid mic preamp based on another UA product – Twinfinity 710 – and their 1176 compressor. UA 4-710’s mic preamp allows for up to 69 dB of gain and a -15 dB pad. The combined rich sound of the hybrid makes the preamp versatile in sound when miking almost any source. The compressors are a good addition, but limited in ability. The ratio is maintained at a 4:1 ratio and a 10 dBu threshold, while the attack and release only have a fast (0.3ms to 100ms) and slow (2ms to 1100ms) mode.
The Chandler TG-2 is a single module unit that only includes the input and output connectors, so it doesn’t have the DI input ability, but the rear panel has the option of mic or line signals with a toggle switch located on the front of the unit. The TG-2 only has three rotary controls, two toggle switches, and two buttons making it easy to use. The red knob rotary has a 30 dB range, toggling in intervals of 5dB. The black knob is a continuously moving gain trim going approximately over 10 dB for fine adjustment. Then the grey knob allows the output-level control, i.e. output fader, similar to its rackmount counterpart. This Chandler preamp has a big richness sound toward the midrange with an airy top-end.
The Focusrite ISA428 is a heavy duty preamp that contains eight Neve-inspired preamps. Including eight mic-level XLR inputs in the rear of the unit, there are eight TRS line-level inputs and four instrument DI inputs in the front; plus all eight channels also come with inserts. Each channel also has a switchable input-impedance, high-pass filter, polarity inversion, insert switching, a LED meter, and +48 volt phantom power. The ISA428 leaves a clean and smooth sound on any acoustic guitar or drum kit (paired with the right mikes of course). Then with the optional A/D converter card, you get eight channels of hi-res conversion, up to 192 kHz sample rate.
The Daking Mic Pre IV has four, Class A preamps with Jensen and output transformers. The design is simple with all four channels having a ¼” input, five button switches for front input select, line select, a 20 dB pad, +48 volt phantom power, and a phase reversal. The gain knob moves in 5dB increments leading to a max of 55dB. The Daking records a smooth sound on acoustic guitars and drums without distorting, and headroom to spare. While electric guitars has a more warm tone to them through this preamp.
The Neve Portico 5015 is a half-rack combination preamp and compressor duo without an EQ. The preamp has a very high input impedance with rotary controls for more precise steps up and down; also includes a trim control. The preamp and compressor can be used either separately or linked together from preamp to compressor. The compressor has a five knob design with the ratio, threshold, attack, release, and gain that goes from a 1:1 ratio to a limiter. The preamp creates a smooth-dynamic low end to any instrument that will want you to watch out for proximity effect even more.
The Dbx 160a is an analog compressor that has been considered one of the best compressors ever made, as well as one of the most popular. This compressor isn’t subtle with its sound at all. The Dbx can be manipulated well when used on aggressive sounds/ instruments like kick drums, bass, drum machines and loud vocals. This compressor works extremely well for bassy instruments and creating a super-heavy, squashed and pumping sound.
The settings on the Dbx 160a are relatively basic: threshold, ratio, and output gain knobs, while also having an “over easy” option that is used as an auto compressor with a signal that is created more sensitive than the initial input level. It also comes with a cheat sheet of lights to help you dial in the compression more accurately. The unit itself is only equipped with one channel, and it doesn’t have the ability to be used as a brick wall limiter.
The API 527 is a VCA-based singular compression unit with five toggle switches to the left and four rotary knob controls to the right. The LED meter has switchable settings to show levels between gain reduction and output level, with a button at the bottom used for hard bypassing. The red rotary control knob is the ratio, which can be set from 1:1 to infinity:1 with markings for ratios in between. The white capped knob has one additional knob behind the initial one to adjust attack and release times. The attack knob has a range of 1 to 25ms while the release has a range of 0.3 to 3 seconds with a minimum of 300ms release time. The blue-green cap is used for adjusting the threshold with a range of +10 to -20dBu, while the black knob is for output level attenuation. The VCA system is designed to push out a constant output level regardless of both threshold and ratio settings.
The first toggle switch is a switch that changes the metering from gain reduction to output level. With this, the gain reduction meter means that if all the LEDs are on there is no gain reduction, and when LEDs disappear there is gain reduction happening. Whereas if it’s the output level, the LEDs show how much output that’s being done, with no LEDs meaning there is no output level. The second toggle indicates a linking system that couple side-chains together from other like API units. The third toggle button switches between a side-chain of a feed-forward or feed-back function. The feed-forward operation is used to side-chain from the original output, while the feed-back function is used for side-chain from the input to determine the gain reduction. Next, there is a toggle for a hard or soft knee option to create heavy or nice, gentle compression transitions. The last toggle is called “Thrust” which applies a high-pass filter to a side-chain that controls the mid-range and high-end while maintaining a nice, powerful low-end.
The UA 1176LN compressor is a legendary, single mono channel compressor. This compression unit only has balanced XLR I/O, no ¼” I/O. The 1176 comes with an input knob, knobs for both attack and release. The attack knob goes from fast to slow, while the release time does the opposite. There are also pushbuttons that go from a 4:1 to 20:1 ratio, and if you push all the buttons in at once, you get an infinity:1 ratio that crushes anything you’re compressing. Then there is another row of buttons that display what level is being shown on the VU meter.
Created in 1996, the Empirical Labs Distressor has made its name upon the legendary vintage compressor units. This compressor creates a large variety of tones and sounds that made its name so famous. This mono compression unit has a simple array of four knobs, four buttons, and two switches making it easy to operate. Aside from the standard input, attack, release, and output knobs the Distressor has an Image Link and British Mode options. Image Link erases the shift that could happen when a pair of compressors aren’t reacting together on both sides of a stereo source. While the British Mode mimics the all-four-buttons infinity:1 trick the UA 1176 is known for. The ratio range on this unit goes from 1:1 to 10:1 Opto to NUKE (brick wall limiting). You can also add harmonic distortion and a sidechain EQ to vary the compression characteristics.
The Warm Audio EQP-WA is a tube EQ unit that was inspired by the Pultec EQP-1A, even down to the color. The back of the unit has analog inputs and outputs for balanced XLR and ¼” TRS connections with a nice warning to not use both at the same time unless you want a weaker, compromised signal. On the front of the unit, the low-frequency boost and cut options are shared to a single frequency, while the high-end has separate boost and cut controls, including bandwidth control. Warm Audio has low-frequency options of 20, 30, 60, 100, 200, 400, and 800 Hz and high-frequency options of 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 16, and 20 kHz, with additional boost and cut options for certain frequencies. The EQP-WA includes two vacuum tubes within the unit, a 12AX7 tube and 12AU7 tube.
April 1, 2016 marks the release date for my forthcoming free album, S.A.D. Vol. 3: Young Kings Pt. 1. This project is 13 tracks of pure me, Everything that makes me the musical artist that I am, from the negativity in my life that creates my depression and anxiety, to the positive that makes me happy to be alive, to things I needed to get off my chest and everything in between. The project will take you to a deeper and more mature part of my mind and as my mind matures and changes, so will the music. The concept of this project is that each song represents a battle that I have had either internally or externally. From feeling like I don't put enough work in, to putting so much work in that no one notices. There's a lot of sounds, emotions, and feelings that this project shows from me, the source.
The project will be released here on this website, bjeffmoms.bandcamp.com, and datpiff.com
Album Fun Facts:
10/13 of the tracks were produced by myself, 12/13 of the tracks were mixed & mastered by myself as well, 13/13 of the tracks were written by me (except Fanaticus' verse in With You). 12/12 of the artwork photos were taken by Casey Brophy. 12/12 of the artwork was edited and designed by myself. This project is the fruit of my work put in creating music by myself with no physical help. This project was recorded and originally mixed in roughly 4-5 months (or 1 semester of school).
1. I Don't Belong Here Pt. 1 (Prod. B.Jeff)
2. Save Me (Prod. Fanaticus)
3. Mediocre (Prod. B.Jeff)
4. They Don't Care (Prod. B.Jeff)
5. A Letter to the Ones That Got Away (Prod. B.Jeff)
6. Alone (Prod. B.Jeff)
7. Virginity (Prod. B.Jeff)
8. Dreams That Weren't Meant to Be (Prod. B.Jeff)
9. Black and Milds (Jungle Remix)
10. I Don't Belong Here Pt. 2 (Prod. B.Jeff)
11. 3 Years Apart (Prod. B.Jeff)
12, I'm Solid (Prod. B.Jeff)
13. With You (w/ Fanaticus) Prod. Omito [BONUS]