Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Very Little Christmas - Behind the Scenes Video

A Very Little Christmas gets released in stores and as a free download from my website next monday the 6th of December. Till then enjoy the little behind the scenes video I made.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Album - Artisan Guns

Apparently 17 songs just wasn't enough for a Christmas compilation and I agreed to record Artisan Guns Christmas song this Saturday (despite it all needing to be done before Tuesday) we'd planned to record it the other week but Jonathans hand ended up being put in a cast and a couple of members just couldn't make the recording.

Anyway its recorded now and is really great. We ended up using all of my guitars, Matt used my acoustic for the main part (and then doubled the end with his jumbo) then added a rhythm track on the Musicmaster, a dirty rhythm track on the Gretsch then played a part on the Tele, which Jonathan also used again later to double the Organ part.

Theres some really cool backing vocals in the end part where the "bay" and "bee" of "baby" are split in to two parts sung by reuben and matt. One sings the "bay" and holds that note while the other comes in with the bee over the top and they end together. So we recorded this part with them both infront of the mic together.

Alex added a few layers of toms, rims, tambourines and samples from his drum pad that don't make much sense on their own but together work really nicely off each other. We recorded the electronic drums with a delay plugin in time to the click so that they delay would be part of the drum performance, but also so I could adjust the delays various settings and sound later. The final section has a pretty big sounding drum kit in it, I've got 2 room mics up in the recording (and they're both fairly high in the mix) the ribbon which you can see in the photo and my Blue Kiwi set to omni in the corner behind where the photo was taken, just next to the door.

Finally Jonathan (who came straight from cricket) added some Organ which helped to tie the song together, for a couple of the parts we turned the leslie up to 8 so it was just starting to break up. Its probably one of the most satisfying sounds ever.

The album is coming out on the 6th of December as a very limited CD release in stores and online as a free download from www.littlemonsterstudio.co.nz

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Album - Cool Rainbows

So I said all the tracking was over for the Christmas album, well it was nearly done...

Today Alex added some drums for Cool Rainbows song we recorded on Tuesday. We were going for a kinda wierd roomy sound so I got Alex to set the drums up in the corridor, something I've not tried before. 

In the past I've put mics out there for wierd room mics etc but never moved the drum kit out there. Fortunately with Alex's stripped down kit we had just enough space to fit him in (although I'm sure we could've squeezed a floor tom in there too) Drum sound was really nice, probably wouldn't suit most things but fits in really well in this song. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Album - The Crawley Christmas Singers

The picture above is for a very special joint effort going on to the Christmas Album. The Crawley Christmas singers, featuring Lisa Crawley, Matthew Crawley and (the lesser known for music but still very important) Emma Crawley.

Real life family band.

Also in the photo is Simon, cameraman for Nightline. They did a little feature on the Christmas album that you can see here


Back to the recording, we recorded all 3 vocals, Acoustic guitar and Piano live and then overdubbed a toy piano solo.

Not long after the photo was taken I put an SM58 in front of Emma (on the left) as a placeholder to stop her getting too close to the KM184 which was popping a bit. The KM184 sounds great on a female vocal and as Emma was taking the high harmony I gave it to her, while Lisa took the Kiwi (set to supercardioid to cut down on piano bleed) and Matthew sang in to the warmer Baby Bottle.

Thats all the songs tracked! (although I think we might be adding some drums to Cool Rainbows track on Friday)

Christmas Album - Cool Rainbows

I recorded a Cool Rainbows Christmas song on Monday for the Album. For a while we tried recording it live outside and all the birds and occasional cars sounded really cool in the background but then we opted against recording it live and moved inside so Djeisan could focus on playing+singing it better individually (he mostly wrote the song that morning) Emily came out later and added some vocals too but I was really slack with photo taking.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas Album - The Bayonets

Another song for the Christmas Album, this time was the Bayonets turn. We started with a guide guitar to a click, then Joel put his drums over that. While Joel was playing drums Phil and Martin sat outside and re-wrote the majority of the melody and a few lyrics!! Then we added acoustic, electric and bass guitar before some vocals and then glockenspiel and Joel programmed in some of a plugin organ sound on my computer. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Christmas Album - Dear Times Waste

Recorded Dear Times Waste's christmas song today, ended up keeping it quite stripped back. We started recording with vocals and guitar live (no click) I had the guitar amp set up in the bathroom to avoid bleed. After that Claire added some drums.

Halfway through the first take of the Bass drum I was thinking how cool it would be if we tuned it to be a note that would work with the song. By complete fluke it turned out that I'd accidentally tuned it to an F# that works quite nicely with the D pedal note that most of the song is based around. 

Theres a bit of organ and some BV's but not much else. Really beautiful song though. 

I'm really pleased that so many of the artists/bands have taken care to write/arrange something to the usual standard of their output for this album rather than throwing together a weak/novelty christmas song. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chelsea Jade - Choir Day

We recorded various choir parts for Chelseas album today, Anthony also featured in the Choir but there are no flattering/in focus photos of him.

With most of the group vocals I end up recording I like to just double or triple track them and pan stuff rather recording in stereo. Wide Cardioid on the Kiwi suits this nicely.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Malcolm Jack - Roundhead Single

Spent the day at Roundhead yesterday in the Brick Room producing a single for Rockquest 3rd placers Malcolm Jack.

I knew that I'd be mixing the vocals to be quite wet so I got Jordan to print reverbs from each vocal track individually to protools for me (which is what he's doing in the photo above) You can't beat the real thing.

I've been having a bit of a listen back today and I think it sounds pretty good so far. I'll be mixing it from here this week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Christmas Album - Bannerman

Bannerman recorded their Christmas song on Wednesday evening. 

We tracked Drums, Bass, Organ, Keys, Vocals and electric guitar live. Ritchie sung and played guitar in the bathroom and the guitar amp out in the corridor and everyone had headphones. 

I even had my Leslie set up in the laundry for Finns Hammond to plug in to, but different years of hammond connectors meant no real Leslie fun (although we ended up running it through a plug in Leslie emulator in protools)

After that Cole played some tambourine and then Finn and Oliver recorded their Trumpet and Trombone parts respectively. Ribbon on the Trumpet and MD421 on the Trombone.   

Christmas Album - The Gladeyes

I had the Gladeyes here on Sunday for another Christmas Song for the album, its not far off now, soon you'll be able to download it for free (or purchase one of the limited run of CD's)

The Gladeyes album was one of my favourites of last year, if you haven't heard it yet you really need to. 

Recording was fun, we tracked individually to a click, guide guitar and vocal, everything went really smoothly! Great! Here are some photos! 


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