One day in the studio to track six (6) songs of Horn Section parts. Setup at 11:00am and finally walked out with files in hand at 5:00pm. A huge and frankly exhausting day but extremely happy with the results. A reality-check of just how much energy it takes to complete such a production task. All parts were double-tracked and in some cases tripled with alternative parts. EP has been mixed and upon several listens appears to be “I.T.C”… IN THE CAN!!
A massive day in Studio 1 NEVE yesterday tracking Horns for the Rebellious Bird debut release. Editing and mixing these today before dropping the Horns into the main mix sessions for final tweaks tomorrow; mastering Thursday… Friday onwards… REST!
My absolute gratitude to engineer Mark Kelson for driving whilst I was performing alongside Ellie Lamb on Trombone and Jeff Mead on Tenor Sax. Beautiful section.
This week and next I am completing the debut release for Erin Downie and Rebellious Bird.
This EP has been over two years in the making during which we have endured: Moving homes (twice), Full Time Study, Floods, Single Parenting and Broken Hearts.
But we persevered.
I am incredibly proud of this upcoming release and consider it some of my best work. Erin sings beautifully on these tracks and the band is wonderful. Horn section will be dropped in next week.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard and at times sacrificed part of themselves to complete this project.
This EP is testament to the gift of love and the privilege of sharing music. Not an opportunity to be taken for granted.
I will deliver the masters to Erin before the end of September and sincerely hope something is done with this recording, for a debut release of this quality is a very rare gift indeed.
When tracking vocals for both a lead and accompanying backing parts it is great to utilise different mic's so the resulting lead and BV's have a contrasting timbre. This assists in providing a separation between the two final sounds within the mix. Additionally different vocal approaches between songs benefit from this to exploit different characteristics in a lead vocal - especially when working with a very accomplished singer - such as Erin Downie.
Thus far we've opted for my OPR Ultra-Mod Ribbon and P12 valve condenser by Peluso. Sitting in waiting is the CM7 FET condenser by Wunder but as yet has not got a guernsey. I've set up three input channels with HPF, EQ and soft-knee compression: OPR Ribbon required several dB cut around 350Hz and a subtle boost at 12kHz; the P12 is actually coming in flat - this mic' has been modified 4 times from stock and is quite sublime. The Ribbon is providing a wonderful thickness in the mids for a female lead vocal whilst the P12 has a very similar body but as one would expect from a condenser has more subtle high end making it wonderful for the more breathy takes. These then matrix out into a single master record buss, which allows Erin to simply move between mic's and audition each characteristic.
,,, and a reminder of the January 19th show to open the Skylark Room for 2018. Link for Bookings here: http://www.theskylarkroom.com/upcoming-gigs/rebelliousbird
Well, virtually. In the form of the EastWest Hollywood Strings library I am using for the track "UnRavel" by Erin Downie & Rebellious Bird. As recommended I've recorded the sections of the string ensemble separately, through some slightly overdriven API Vision strip (UAD) and some usual Valve analogue harmonic distortion (a la ToKwerX) then brought them back into the session as four stereo tracks. Oh Phükk! These are incredible. Don't get me wrong, I adore real strings, but the price tag of recording the 20+ players to produce the parts I've now written... that's way out of my budget. So for the first production using my new Christmas String Ensemble (thanx Santa) I am absolutely elated. Sincere apologies to my friends at the MSO.
"Rebellious Bird" This Saturday May 27th sees the 7 piece ensemble lead by Erin Downie take to the stage at the Skylark Room as part of their 1st Birthday celebrations. Very much looking forward to this one.
Take 1 Bad Cat, 1 Cool Cat, 1 Warm Console, 3 Excellent Microphones. Blend them together and ensure phase coherence...then turn it up!
Nico Di Stefano is a wonderful guitarist and a very cool cat. His new amp is cool too, but it's a Bad Cat - which is still a very good cat. Exploiting the Neve Genesys console tracking solos for the upcoming debut EP for REBELLIOUS BIRD. Due for release this Spring...stay tuned.
Last Saturday saw a benefit concert aimed at raising funds to continue the campaign for a Great Forest National Park by the Wilderness Society. I got to perform with this very exciting ensemble above, Rebellious Bird. We are amidst pre-production for their debut EP recording in January. The event raised over $13,000 for the campaign and was supported by many volunteers. I'd like to personally thank all of them, but in particular my friend and colleague Steve Ward, who set up, oversaw and co-operated the Sound system for concert (and whilst I was performing). Thanx Brother.
PS. Steve is also my FOH engineer for the "Bros. Jones" quartet - he's the 5th Jonesy Boy!
Rebellious Bird is a neo-soul groove machine, featuring the soaring vocals of Erin Downie. After several years of embattled health Erin has excitingly commenced preparation for the recording of a debut EP for the band. I am blessed to be Producer and Engineer for this project, having recorded Erin several times before. I have long hoped to assist in capturing her voice, her fantastic songs, in a larger ensemble. Pre-Production has begun as we now struggle to create a short-list of tunes for the EP from Erin's prolific repertoire. Stay tuned gang ...