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Setting Up The Recording Studio For The Session

23 Dec

The setting up of the recording studio, was one of the biggest challenges of the entire project. We booked the recording studio and started prepping the recording. Unfortunately one of our band members had to pull out of the session time at the last minute. This meant in order to meet our original deadline, the pressure was on to get the recording done in time. We managed to book one evening and a whole morning. Steve had said in his lessons that recording the one track should take a day, but we weren’t going to take that chance. Me and Matt asked the band to arrive at 10:00 so we had a clear hour to check. We also managed to set up the studio and run all the cables the night before as well as setting up Perin’s drum kit. The morning of the recording arrived and we asked the band to arrive at 10:00 giving us enough time to check everything was still in place. The band started to turn up by this point we had all our tracks labeled and had double checked all the inputs.

To illustrate this I have produced a floor plan of the various micing positions. Chris Ramsey our photographer also turned up to snap some rehearsal pictures, which show the various mic set-ups as well as the band. Please visit Chris’s Website to see some of his other work.

As getting the rhythm section down is the most important part of any recording process. We were going to concentrate on getting the drum track down. Even though modern recording techniques mean, we could have recorded each part separately, because we had been to the Troubador and filmed the Heathenz at 5 Degrees Below. We knew that a lot of performance and charisma would be lost if we recorded them seperately. Posing this problem to Steve he suggested that by re-amping. We would be able to record the band live as a group and still have clean audio. This would be achieved by using the Pro-tools plug in Amp Farm which emulates various guitar amps and basses. We would then feed this sound back to the band on their headphones using headphone sends. This meant to all intensive purposes they were playing live. The only problem this left us with was, because the plugg in uses TDM hardware plug ins we were unable to mix guitar and bass in the Pro-tools suite. This was fine at the beginning of the editing process when we were dealing with the drum tracks, but more difficult when we started to mix the final track.

Amp Farm Enabled The Band To Play Together Live Without Audio Spill
Aaron Acted As Our Gaffer On The Session, Which Enabled Us To Be Quite Efficient

The first day turned out to be pretty productive, even our camerman Aaron Triplet turned up with the glide cam and shot some footage of the rehearsal before the recording and well as Chris the photographer. After getting the main tracks down, we got the various harmonies of Mark, Spencer and Perin down as well as re-recording both Spence’s Vocal as the original performance was for the instrument track and was only a guide vocal. After recording Mark’s guitar solo and some other parts we decided to finish for the day and listen to the rough track. We burnt copies for the band as well as ourselves and went home and listened to the rough re-recording minus any Editing, EQ and FX.


Reahearsal At Troubadour – From the archives (recent archives)

23 Dec

After meeting the Heathenz for the first time and deciding that we were happy to work with the band. We were invited to Troubadour Studios. A popular Falmouth recording studio to see the band perform. This was primarily to listen to a range of new songs, which the band had in mind to be our single. Never a group to miss an opportunity it was decided to go to the studios with camera and sound gear. Recording the rehearsal would enable us to listen back to the set and choose a song which we all agreed suited the challenge and had the most commercial viability.

Troubadour is quirky space, located in some sort of old warehouse unit up a flight of stairs it is a hidden treat. Walking up the stairs you are confronted by an assortment of old tech. Old Mics, Reel to Reel machines and a plethora of old instruments. Turning the corner you enter the main live room. A mixture of rugs, chincey lights and more old tech.

We set up a C1000 at the back of the room into a fostex, for archive purposes and set up two cameras to capture the action. One was on a tripod the other was handheld. This was a good opportunity to get a good feel for the band and their chemistry.

Aaron listens to the mix through a door, a technique that he continues to practice every shoot.

The rehearsal went well and was good practice for us and multi-camera filming. Because this was only intended as a rehearsal, we didn’t bring any lights. But Aaron was quick to invent a novel way of lighting up the band for our first amateur photoshoot.

These photos were then used for the setting up of the myspace, facebook etc till we could get a professional photo shoots. It was a great evening and although we came hope exhausted it was a fantastic way to kick off the project.

The audio was used to judge the best songs and the video will be edited into a quick behind the scenes video session with the band including an early performance of Jonny’s Dead.

The Search Continues…

5 Nov

Our second year Broadcasting project is a big one. The Duration of the project will be about 6 weeks. Will Include recording a band, making a music video as well as the promotion of the band including a website. The band will be a local unsigned band with an original song. The project looks to be a great challenge and will act as a good first project for the hive.

If You Know Of A Local Band Or Want To Help With The Project Or Want To Join The Hive Please Visit the Hive’s website