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Mr Blue Sky


All Instruments and vocals: Luke Richardson

Additional vocals: Gregory Slobodian

Recording, mixing and mastering: Gregory Slobodian, Luke Richardson

This cover was a pain in the butt.


We started work on Mr Blue Sky on the 22nd of April in  2019 and it then took us until the 23 of September in 2022 to get this done and released. Now that wasn't 3 years of continuous work, we did have to deal with covid during that time and it was mostly on and off work for the most part but it still takes 1st place for the longest time myself and Luke have spent on a project.

The main problem with this cover (aside from the fact that I suggested that we do it) was the sheer amount of tracks that had to go into it, and unfortunately my version of ProTools can only hold 64 audio channels at once. To get over this problem, we ended up having around 5 different sessions just to cover everything: a main assembly session with the backing track, a lead vocals session, a choir session, a strings session and a claps and other misc instrument session. Because of this mixing became a chore - but we managed to get it all done in the end after a lot of different bouncing down between each of the sessions.


We also used a lot of automation in the mix, not only just for volume but to make space for each of the instruments and vocals that would come in and out during the track. Using EQ automation we could make space for instruments and vocals to take the spotlight when needed and then duck back into the cacophony of the track. This technique is definitely something we'll probably start to use more going forward to give our mixes extra polish.

Programming the strings wasn't too fun either. Unfortunately I couldn't get anyone to play any real strings for us so everything you hear is all MIDI and instrument samples. We had 4 different string samples running to create an almost passable string section: Kontakt Komplete, Sonivox Orchestral Companion Strings, and 2 different Spitfire string samples - Epic Strings and BBC Symphony Orchestra Strings. In the end they sound okay together, but there are still some issues: especially when the parts play in unison and all of a sudden the string section sounds like its been played by a single violin.

Mastering wasn't too tough, just the usual back and forth between myself and Luke. This track had a lot going on in it so getting the compression and limiter right was a bit of a faff; I ended up doing some automation on the limiter just so the busiest parts didn't end up sounding crushed. What bothered me the most is that after all that work we couldn't even upload the track to soundcloud because the automated copyright system thinks the track is the original. I just hope that after all that work it does well on spotify when we add it to our next album.

If you've read this far you're probably thinking I hate this recording and what we've put out. I don't. I really like what we've done here; it was a really ambitious project and I'm proud of how it all came out in the end. I enjoyed the recording part of the project too - especially when I got to reprise my role as college chamber choir head bass for the vocal parts and listening to Luke's granddad's radio static. We've both put in a lot of effort and care into this project (mainly Luke) and I'm glad we saw it through to the end after 3 years of work.

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Mr Blue Sky - Luke Richardson
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