Just got back from the other dates with Kingston and Best Before, all the bands were great to hang out with. I had a great time in Tauranga with Grace and Best Before on Sunday before their show on the Monday.
As it was the last night of the tour Kingstons manager (and current session guitarist!) Tim decided that each band could do whatever they wanted to the other band...
Kingston introduced Best Before as "The Fags" and played Gay Bar through the PA while Best Befores new band name was put on the front of the kick drum. Later while they were playing Kingston got up on stage and put hats, bras, make-up and feather boas on Best Before and in their last song sprayed silly string all over them.
Best Before retaliated with a special show in Kingstons last song. The following video should explain all...
Started the first date of the Kingston + Best Before shows tonight (I don't think 3 dates really constitutes a tour) tonight was at Zeal, which is always a nice venue. I am a big fan of the QSC HPR series, they never fail to impress. Zeal has four of the 3 way powered cabs loaded with a 15"s, four 18" powered subs and 4 of the 12"monitors. I am so glad that my friends at Jands sorted them out with such a great PA. (and enough DI's for ridiculous synth bands who need 6 DI's, plus a DI on the bass = 7! Crazy.)
Kingston are fresh back from recording their album in Canada+America, so fresh that Scotts guitar etc is still in customs and he's borrowing my Tele, tuner and Hotcake for these shows. I love hanging out with the Kingston guys and am looking forward to the drive to Hamilton with Ben Barter tomorrow.
Best Before and Kingston (despite not really being the sort of music I would choose to listen to at home or on the bus etc) both really stand out as well rehearsed bands who have sussed out their live performances. Really great performers, confident, engaging, interesting and exciting.
Looking forward to the next 2 Dates, looks like it could be fun! (I forgot my Camera so photos are courtesy of Sha's IPhone, she runs a cool website here)
Finished tracking for all 6 songs yesterday, got some more guitar, handclaps, tambourine, shaker, vocals, backing vocals and clarinet all done!
It was my first time tracking a Clarinet (well up close anyway, I have recorded them in orchestras before) and I think it was a success. I opted for a mic that I knew was very sensitive and not too coloured; the Blue Kiwi (it also happened to be already set up!) Sounded great, captured all the air and detail!
EP is sounding really good, now I have to get cracking on mixing it all!
Day three of Glass Owls EP tracking, Tomas showed up first thing this morning with some rather impressive bandages (due to a small incident whilst longboarding at considerable speeds)(apparently) Fortunately he only had one song left on guitar! We almost finished all the guitar parts today, (we had an idea for one more just as they were leaving) and we finished vocals on a couple of tracks.
Tomorrows plan: finish vocals for 4 remaining songs, record some clarinet, handclaps tambourine and shaker. I love spending days geeking out on guitars.
Glass Owls again today, we got drums bass and acoustic tracked on the remaining 3 songs and then started some electric guitar tracking. It gets pretty hot in studios generally when they don't have air conditioning, it was SO HOT today in my room with the doors and windows closed and up to 5 of us in one room with doors and windows closed playing drums etc... So we made sure to take lots of breaks and managed not to die. Chris Tom and I went to feed the Chickens, they are lots of fun.
Pretty pleased with how everything is going, I'm looking forward to hopefully finishing electric guitar tomorrow and starting on some vocals.
Number of drums and bass tracks recorded = 3 songs Total number of photos taken=3 (yeah slack I know) Number of cups of Tea enjoyed by Anthony=1 Number of cupcakes consumed=7 Number of Sparrows fed=approx 18 Number of baby Sparrows Tomas held=1 Number of Ducks fed=0 Number of Crabs sighted=approx 1000 Number of Scoops of post recording Ice Cream in Dave and Anthony's cones=2 each Number of Scoops of post recording Ice Cream in Tomas's cone =3
Glass Owls came out to my place to start work on their EP today, we're doing drums and bass live with some acoustic live and an electric guide and then everything else on top. After recording Tomas Anthony and I headed out for some food and found some sparrows who very much enjoyed eating the cones from our ice creams then visited French Bay where we found so many crabs! Tomorrow looks set to be another fun day recording.
(I think after I took this I must've adjusted the snare bottom mic I just worried and took a look over at it but its fine now, not that I should be too worried I don't think I'll be using that mic in the mix, or the toms for that matter) (also yes a bass clarinet case is replacing the missing right leg to stabilise the kick!)
I am feeling exhausted having spent the weekend recording a few more songs for the Great North Album. It took some time but we managed to get 3 songs tracked, 2 with live vocals. All the songs were pretty new and in the heat things got a bit stressful and grumpy but we made it through.
One song we ended up completely stripping back and re-arranging, going from more up beat poppy feel to very very mellow. So mellow that Hayden was able to sit in the same room to track his acoustic and vocals.
On one of the other songs we wanted to add a rattle on the ride cymbal and Olly hadn't got one so I carefully dismantled one of our taps! You can see the tap taped on below.
I spent alot of time on Friday messing around with our piano, carefully replacing felts and playing around with different adjustments so we could track some piano and vocals live with the album closer "All Eyes". After a while we ended up not tracking the vocals live for that song but put down a live acoustic piano anyway.
We intend on replacing all the other keys on the album but considering how piano focused this song is I thought it would be best not to replace it (considering we're not going to a click)
(yes that is a beta57a on the piano, sounded great too!)
Dale from Great North popped round today to record his backing vocals on the songs we have for the album so far. He finished quickly and we decided to try my somewhat noisy piano (the sustain pedal is dodgy) and managed something passable on one of the songs, although we might try another piano instead later. After the piano was too noisy we put down some Glockenspiel and then Dale got me to record a song he'd written about his son Thomas, which was really nice. It also gave me a chance to get the Neuman KM184s out for a spin, recently when I've been tracking acoustic its needed something dirty and rootsy and not so perfect etc so I've been leaning towards large diaphragm condensers and even sm57s etc. So it was quite nice to hear my Martin 000-15 really shine. Fortunately I'd just put new strings on too!
Sorry in advance for lots of photos but this post spans a week!
A little over a year ago Artisan Guns came round for a long weekend to track their first EP Bird and Bone, we did it mostly live in my bedroom and bathroom, the EP was released a few months ago with distribution through EMI and a great video for their single "Autumn" things are really starting to pick up for the band.
I spent almost every moment of the last week with the band recording their second EP in a private studio in town which came with the luxury of nicer tuned rooms, Protools HD, some more mics, more pres, seperate rooms and its considerably closer for the Howick boys than Oratia! Its located in a block of offices and thus we had to record loud stuff (such as drums and guitars) from after 5pm, so we ended up getting in to the studio around 2 or 3 tuning and setting up and recording through till 4am most nights. Fortunately we our good friend Rose's lovely family let us sleep at their house over the week while they were away.
Over the 5 evenings we managed to track 6 songs completely I've had a listen through at home now and am really happy with the result so far. I'm going to be mixing from here so hopefully should be done in a few weeks.
We opted for quite a stripped back mic up of the kit, using only the overhead, room, kick and floor mics for most songs. We had my Kiwi set up in the hall for a couple of songs that warranted a bigger drum sound and we stuck up the TLM170 as a second room mic for the few songs that needed a wider drum sound. I like keeping things pretty minimal but its good to have some backups like the snare and rack tom mics even if I don't end up using them.
Vocal Mic Shoot-out, from left to right; TLM170, Blue Kiwi, TLM103 and Shure KSM353 We went for the TLM 170 on Matts Vocals and then my Blue Kiwi on Reubens
My Princeton+Ac15HH, Dave Dobbyns Les Paul, My Gretsch, Jonos um creation and my Tele
Beatiful Gibson reissue, wish I had taken a picture but we ended up tracking a very expensive beautiful GIbson J200 with an SM57 through a cheapish valve pre for an old grimy sound
we recorded the intro Guitar on "Brand New Game" through this tiny practise amp, it sounds perfect!