In the last post I showed how I realise natural timing and phrasing in Logic. I used this method for the cello-part of a string-quartet arrangement of “Throw back the little ones” by Steely Dan. When everything was to my likes I created a clicktrack and recorded the missing string-voices piece by piece, from the lowest to the highest voice. I started with the viola, then the second and first violin.
I recorded with a single AKG C1000 directed from slightly above towards the instrument. Afterwards all stems were normalised to -2db. I ended up with extreme Panorama-settings:
1.Violin: Hard left
2.Violin: -25 left
3.Cello: +25 right
4.Viola: Hard right
The classic string-quartet setting would place the cello hard right, but from a more modern perspective of mixing it sounds much better, if the cello is placed more in the middle. The second advantage of this placement is, that the viola is not covered too much by the other instruments. Because of the mid-focused tone of the viola the instrument is easily overpowered by the more brillant violins and cello. Placed in front the viola is better cutting through and the overall sound seems to be more balanced.
Then I added the vocal-stem, created a new bus for the complete string-quartet and balanced the singer against the string-quartet by applying volume-curves.