There should be a complete absence of extraneous noise from the final mixdown. Thereshould be no clipping or distortion present in the recording and you should takewhatever steps are necessary to ensure that external sources of noise (such as the airconditioner!) do not encroach on their work.The performance itself is not assessed, but if a performance is particularly poor it willnot lend itself to easy recording or a good quality result. Bear this in mind whenstudents are choosing your stimulus material; there is no point in choosing a particularsong if there is nobody available in who can do justice to the vocal part, for example.
MIDI sequencing cannot be used in this task
. Any keyboard/synth parts mustbe captured using either a microphone or DI techniques. Mixing automation
permissible in this task. It is acceptable for the automation to involve an element of MIDI (for example MIDI controllers used to control levels of individual tracks) - it is theuse of MIDI programming for instrumental parts which is forbidden in this task (only liveperformers may be used).
Mixing Your Multi Track
Balance and Pan
As for sequencing, balance and the use of stereo field are interlinked. It is up to you tofind a good compromise between recording enough tracks to facilitate successfulpanning (without sounding contrived) and recording so manytracks that it is very difficult to blend them all without causing congestion in certainareas of the mix.Care should be taken to ensure enough time is left for the mixing stage so that all theeffort put into the rest of the task is not wasted by rushing out a poor final mix.
The appropriate use of signal processing and effects accounts for 45 per cent of themarks for this task. For AS level, you will be expected to use EQ to reduce problemfrequencies and ensure that all the recorded tracks sit well in the frequency spectrumwithout any restriction or awkward resonances. It is not always necessary to adjust theEQ on each recorded track — time well spent with mic placement will diminish theneed for additional EQ at the mixing stage — but there will be some adjustment of EQrequired to accommodate multiple tracks which inhabit the same range of frequencies,especially around the often crowded 100–600Hz range. It is likely that if even one track significantly detracts from the recording because of deficiencies in EQ, you will score 3/6or less for this criterion (another reason for keeping the overall track count down andconcentrating on quality rather than quantity).