Audio Production Techniques Report: Billie Jean

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Audio Production Techniques Report - Phillip Ghignone Billie Jean Billie Jean was a worldwide commercial and critical success; it was one of the best-selling singles of 1983 and is one of the best-selling singles worldwide. It was composed by Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones and produced by Bruce Sweiden. The song is highly regarded for its production and catchy riff based songwriting. Analysis Key F Sharp Minor Form Intro, A¹, B, A², B B, C, 1/2B, B, tag 1, tag 2; or Intro, Verse 1, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Verse 2, Pre-Chorus, Chorus 2x, Bridge, Chorus (with repeats, tags and ad libs) Style This song is classified as R&B because of the following characteristics: a strong backbeat, driving bass line, soulful singing, instrumentation (see below),…show more content…
Instruments are introduced at the beginning of new sections, such as the pre-chorus and chorus. Dynamics each verse begins in mp and increases dynamically to mf at the pre-chorus; there is a slow crescendo to f during the transition from pre-chorus to chorus. Tempo the tempo of this song is moderato at approximately 116 bpm, however it feels much slower due to the emphasis being on the 2nd and 4th beats rather than on the 1st and 3rd. Articulation the repetitive bass line is markato, with an accented 1st and 3rd beat; vocal melody uses a variety of articulation throughout In Bruce Sweidens ‘Sound on Sound’ Interview, he reveals the various microphones he used to record the various instruments of the song. He has additionally stated that for certain instruments such as keys and bass, microphones were not required. Below is the list of equipment that he exposed in his interview and his ideas and methodology behind each decision. Instrument Equipment Michaels Lead Vocals Shure…show more content…
According to him, ‘they are clean and quick and can handle fast transients’. For example, they were used on the kick and snare on some of the cuts on Need You Now. For the Acoustic Guitar Recording, Paul sent the microphones through a Gordon Preamp, and then through a Manley Vari‑mu, with some subtle compression, to add some air at the top. The acoustic piano was recorded with two Telefunken 251s, going into a GML preamp and GML EQ. Microphone Placement For the acoustic guitars, Paul used a Neumann/Gefell M582 close to the 12th fret, pointing downwards, and a Neumann U67 placed towards the body of the guitar, pointing upwards. This is to effectively blend the high frequencies of the guitar strings with the warmth, resonating tone that emanates from the sound hole. The Acoustic Piano was recorded in a large piano booth, so to get more of a concert grand sound, Paul moved the mics further from the piano than what would be normally recommended. For a more traditional country sound, he would put them right on the hammers. Compression and Equalisation With regards to compression, Hillary (a singer from the band) was recorded through a 67, going into a GML preamp, a Tube‑Tech compressor, and a GMP EQ. High/Low Pass
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