Sunday, October 31, 2010

Christmas Album - Alaska

Another Christmas song, this time from Alaska. They made a really nice arrangement of an old Christmas song "Oh Holy Night"

The Alaska arrangement features Harp, Acoustic guitar, Mandolin, Cello, Vocals and some stripped back drums. 

Recording was good. Nice sounding instruments, played well, captured with good microphones. Really its difficult to mess it up.

Here are some photos!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Christmas Album - Hold Dear

Hold Dear recorded their christmas song today. If you've not heard of them they're quite a new, but very fun band. I recommend getting along to one of their shows asap. 

We opted to keep quite their song quite stripped back, its really enjoyable as it is, we considered bass and maybe drums but really it probably would've detracted from the song. I got Jonny to double the acoustic guitar part with a roomy electric, I wanted to get some of the acoustic sound of his pick hitting the strings in there too so just set him up sat infront of his amp with the volume down and put a mic a wee bit away from that. (see the last photo)

We tracked the two vocals together with Chloe and Jonny facing each other to help with their phrasing and just general feel of the vocals. 

Chloe recorded some Melodica and then I got her to quickly double it on the piano. 

It was a REALLY nice day again here in Oratia. Wow. Hello summer!

Christmas Album - Luckless

Ivy (aka Luckless) came in to record her christmas song on Saturday. She had a drum beat from a little drum machine that I re-made in an evening this week using samples from my marching drums and various percussion, I also used a snare hit from a drum beat on my new casio keyboard (the little white one in the photo above) 

Yesterday we recorded various guitar parts and lots of vocals. I played some bass. Ivy played some shaker. Got some reaaalllyyyy cool guitar tones, Ivy's Hagstrom sounds amazing, I love playing around with loud guitar amps+pedals.

Christmas Album - Chelsea & James

Recorded Chelsea and James's christmas song the other day. James played some drums, then chelsea some bass, then we layered the rest on top.  We recorded some woodblock and cowbell through my princeton, sounds SO Phil Spector. 

James also played some toy piano through the princeton, sounded less Phil Spector but still really cool... 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Christmas Album - Canadia

Canadia came over to record their song for the Christmas Album, we tracked Drums and Bass live to a guide electric guitar and vocals from Ashley in my bathroom. Then we recorded an array of guitar and vocal parts over the top.

The guide guitar sound was really cool with the vocal mic capturing the room sound so I left the vocal mic in there for when we tracked the main electric guitar part. (Ashley posted a picture on his blog here it kinda just cuts out the kiwi set up recording the room sound) Later we recorded the other electric parts through my princeton for its lush reverb. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Christmas Album - Josie Tuck

Just recorded a christmas song with Josie Tuck (and band) live with no overdubs and its great. I really like to record like this sometimes (dependant on band and song etc) I like a bit of bleed between mics.

I switched the ribbon in the picture above to be another pencil condenser (as seen below behind the beta 57a) on Bruce's banjo after hearing the first few takes and that the ribbon wasn't really sounding very good and that the banjo was lacking something. I think once I'm going to end up using the condenser on the banjo, although it didn't have as much body it sounded more open and natural which is what we're going for.

Ellens bells were more than loud enough to cut through everything and didn't need miking up. I also played jingle bells from my desk, again they didn't need miking because they were meant to be quiet in the mix and the roomy bleed in to the other mic's was more than enough!

Also because there was no click everyone opted for no headphones which was how some of my favourite teacups recordings got done, theres something nice about just capturing people playing naturally.

I also got them to record a very special refrain at the end (which you'll hear in due time)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chelsea Jade Recording

More Chelsea Jade recording, arranging, editing today. Tracked some vocals and some acoustic and James and I played some bass.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chelsea Jade

I love this piano wholeheartedly. We've had it since I can remember. The pedals squeak and clunk and the hammers make little noises, I find myself sometimes sticking bits of felt all over it and spaying it with WD40 and one of my brothers stuck note names all over the keys years ago but it sounds so rich and full of character.

Jonathan came and recorded some more piano for a new song in the morning and then the afternoon was spent tracking drums on "Mountain Song" from Chelseas one week ep. The drum+piano recording on the original were done live in one take apparently. But both have been so difficult to recreate for this recording. I've grown quite fond of the original and getting all the great spontaneous moments and then improving on the parts in the new takes has been a bit of a challenge but definitely worthwhile.

We tracked the drums on Mountain Song in two halves, using Alex's kick on the second louder half and then my marching band kick drum on the more ambient first half. Ever since I've had the marching drums I've wanted to try the bass drum as a kick in a drum kit, it worked so well!

Alex ended up moving the snare and bringing the rack tom in closer as seen below but this photo shows his kick pedal on the marching drum. Yum.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Christmas Album - Glass Owls

Just finished recording Glass Owls christmas song. I think they showed up with it in mind of being quite folky and had ideas to record cello and violin etc... By the time they left it was sounding more Smiths/Cure/Joy Division-y.

I played drums and listening back to them now I'm actually really surprised at how well that worked out. I used a cymbal and hi hat sample from another song I'd recorded recently. Then the drums are just a floor tom and snare with the Beatles trick on the snare drum (top skin almost fully loose with a teatowl half covering it). We also made a sample of a snare hit with tambourine on top of it which I doubled the end snares with. No photos or video of me playing drums fortunately (I probably looked ridiculous)

Michael came to and played some casiotone organ DI'd through my sansamp to get it a bit dirtier sounding. He also features in the gang vocal...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Christmas Album - Bearcat

Recording the "choir" we tracked each part a few times for a big group vocal. Lovely.

Just recorded the Bearcat song for the Christmas Album which will probably be stuck in my head all week, thanks Dan and Josie. I just need to record my bass on it and it'll be done. What a nice weekend spent with friends. 

Oh look some photos!

Theo is not usually this angry. 

room mic for the drums


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