Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in artist, Homepage, tutorials | 0 comments

Engineer
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Andrew Krivonos
andrew@breweryrecording.com

Last October, Jhene Aiko came down to the Brewery Studio to record her famous feature verse for Omarion’s chart-topping single “Post to Be”. All the artists shined on the record, but Jhene Aiko’s provocative lyric “…but he gotta eat the booty like groceries” created its own viral movement and became the quotable phrase for 2015. The catchy summer tune produced by DJ Mustard, also featuring Chris Brown, slowly rose to #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since been certified gold.

Here’s how we did it!

Jhene came in with a draft mp3 of the verse she was going to lay, we were going to do the final version that night. Jhene wanted to change some of the lyrics from her draft, so we listened to the draft on loop until she made her revisions. She was questioning whether she should keep the “eat the booty like groceries” line from the draft, and obviously the line did not get cut.

Loading in Rough, Instrumental and Draft
I loaded up a wav of the Omarion/Chris Brown rough mix, but this did not have instrumental space for Jhene’s part; it went straight from Chris Brown’s verse to the hook. I flew in 12 bars of an all instrumental wav file after the second verse of Omarion’s rough mix in grid mode to match what Jhene had referenced to.

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Presets Before Recording

Before she hoped in to record, I adjusted some of my reverb and delay settings to match her style more. Her vocal tracks would bus out to multiple reverbs including my favorite Lexicon PCM 60 and PCM 70 hardware units, one set to Vox Plate, the other to a Hall. I tossed some EQ filters and modulation effects onto my delays and bussed them out to reverbs to create greater depth of space.

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Recording
She recorded through our Telefunken AK-47 mic for a little more richness in the low mids and brightness in the hi-end. We ran her through a Neve 1073 pre and then a UA 1176 pre before hitting Pro Tools. We ran through the lead vocals first, focusing on getting the the best skeleton. We tried doing bigger chunks of vocal takes instead of breaking the lines up too short, but we did punch in a few last minute lyric changes too. The top vocal track is her lead take, and the second is her first layer for fill ins and backgrounds.

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Delays and Effects

Once inside Pro Tools, I set up some new audio tracks that routed to all those reverb and delay aux inputs. I automated some delays to go off only at the end of certain phrases – this keeps the vocals full of spacial depth without making it too muddy the whole way through.

Harmonies & Adlibs
We ran through a couple of takes of ad libs but wound up keeping just one. Then we added some harmonies to our fill-ins and harmonies, panning and eqing them for separation, and also Vocaligning them to be a little tighter.

Mixing & Bouncing

We mixed in her vocals to the rough mix sent over from Omarions camp into a 2-track acappella. I wanted to ensure we got her effects, delays and settings cooked just right for her so the stem would be enough to master off from. We sent our acappella and full mixes in as 2-tracks to Omarion’s engineers for touchups as it was going on his album.

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