Revolution Tracy Chapman Cover



I had a meeting with the duo a week before they came into the studio, and went to see them play live at Chaplins, just to get a feel for the dynamics, they were a great fit for the FMP.


We decided what songs they were going to play.  It was only supposed to be one track, Tainted Love by Depeche Mode but once we got in the studio they were on a roll and banged out 10 songs. Some of their own and a few cover versions. Very professional.

I thought this was the best song out of all 10 and the first I mixed. When I got home that night I decided that this was going to be the song for the FMP.

I was very lucky to have this song video recorded as well, by Siv.  I will get to the video recording later. Andy was also present in the recording session.

This recording was done in studio 2 because it was just the acoustic guitars and two singers. If there were drums involved I would have picked studio 1 as there is a separate booth for drums.

The mic setup was done by myself  an hour before the duo arrived.  I wanted the mic setup done before they arrived so the duo could just take there seats and we could start recording straight away and have the full 4 hours recording time.

The acoustic guitars were DI’ed

The vocals SM58’s

C4000, in the middle of where their seats were placed.

and there were a pair of C1000’s that you can’t see in the video, placed at either side of the room. One by the piano, the other in between the drum kit, and the peavey amp.

The recording was done in one take, no overdubs, just raw.


The Mix.

I  had to edit down every song that they played from the recorded session, as it was one big session (8gigs) and placed in a new session.

After listening to the track i noticed a few things, I wanted the guitars to be a lot brighter with the vocals separated so they jump out of the speaker and sound like they are live. The unmixed version sounds like there is too much bass from the guitars.



I opened up my trusty mixing template, deleted all unused tracks. So I had only the tracks I needed, including the vocal plate reverb and then imported the wav files into the clip list, making sure they were 44.1kHz 16 bit. From the clip list I added the tracks to the designated slot. So the C1000’s went to the O/H L and the O/H R and so forth.


The Overheads

By rolling off the low end on the 7 band EQ, , and a slight boost on the high end I was able to get rid of the bass on the overheads. I also added a compressor to the overheads to gain some boost in the high end.

The Guitars

With the 2 guitars, I thought I would have one with a lot of high end and the other a lot of low end as there is no bass guitar in the recording. guitar.

So I added CLA Unplugged and CLA Effects through bluecat to Ians guitar, as you can tell there is half way EQ on both the unplugged and the effects plugin with extra treble on the CLA unplugged.



Where as on Yui’s guitar there is extra bass and less than half treble, both have a little delay on.

I intended to have Yui’s guitar to have more bass, so Ian’s guitar would cut threw the mix, so I added an EQ as well, just to scoop out the highend of Yui’s guitar.

The C4000 was there to capture the whole recording close up and the C1000’s from a far.  I actually picked up the C4000 by mistake, instead of the C1000’s, but found good use for it, as a distant room mic. There are no effects on the C4000 mic, but it is going threw the acoustic guitars aux, where there is an EQ, stopping the lows from getting through and a compressor to attenuate the lows.


The Vocals

What I did with the vocals was I duplicated the vocal in the template and added Yui’s vocal to the second track so both vocals would sound similar. Both vocals are the same in the template.


Both vocals are being routed to Ld Vocal Lvl and also sent to the Parallel Compression and Voc Plate reverb which is then sent to All Effects.

All the individual tracks are being routed to one of the above busses and then routed to the submaster, I added the submaster to the template because I didn’t want to overload the master with too many plugins. From the submaster to the master. I have two plugins a 7 band EQ and Maxim, which I didn’t use for this song. I used the EQ slightly just to roll off the low end.


On the master is Ozone 7, because it is an acoustic song, I wanted to brighten and add warmth to the whole mix. I did this by adding 2 EQ’s. as shown below.



The Video

Luckily as I said before Siv managed to get a video recording of the whole song, without any interruptions. So what I did was after mixing the Tracy Chapman Cover, bounced it down to wav 16 bit 44.1kHz.  Searched the internet for video editing software, after going through the options, I chose HitFilm4Express, before I get ahead of myself, I had to eliminate the volume from the video, so I went to and imported the video file to Windows Movie Maker, on the top panel, you can adjust the volume from the movie, so I turned that all the way down, then exported it, as an MP4. So I had a video without audio.

I then imported the video file and my mix to  HitFilm4Express, with 2 parts on the timeline.

I could adjust the mix to sync with the video. This took a long time, to get right, as I didn’t know how to use the video software, but I got to grips with it. It took about three tries to import the video and audio together. Then syncing up to the music track perfectly in time with the video was tricky. With a nudge here and a nudge there, I think it synced up well.

I then exported the newly created video and uploaded the video to YouTube. The video is at the top of this post.





Posted in FMP

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