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!!
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.
Spent today and will do so tomorrow with Pete Warren-Smith and Scott Bennett laying down grooves on the upcoming 2nd album for Stereo Volvo. So a bit of A-P for those who might be interested:
From this...through this...into this...
A couple of points for the engineers out there: my favourite secondary Kick (and cool Snare) mic' configuration "a la derriere" using my new Open Plan Ultra-Mod Rocket Ribbon; and the Overheads may look strange but this variation on ORTF ensures the Kick and Snare fall in the centre of the stereo image. Only 7 mic's on the Kit and it was massive; all condensers bar the Ribbon at "the rear": Wunder CM7 FET on the Kick, AKG 214 on the Snare, Josephson E22's on Rack and Floor, with a pair of AKG C451's on Overheads.
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.
Cleaning out the archives of ToKwerX as the process of recommissioning continues... so for someone this is truly a stack of Gold: AMPEX 1 x 1/2" 499 Gold & 4 x 1/4" 456 Grand, unused tape. Still in the plastic bags inside the original boxes. Also a couple of 1/4" pick-up spools. Make me an offer - come and pick 'em up - they're yours! You can find my phone number on the Contact Page of www.tokwerx.com
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 ...
Yes, these are lyrics from a song on the debut Strumpet album, circa 1995. And they perfectly describe today's activities at RMIT Sound Production. Our beloved NEVE Genesys console was in need of some special attention; an issue with the last eight channels not operating as expected. I thought many of you would enjoy seeing the construction quality of such an iconic and expensive console. All good now - NEVE has benefited from the Love!
Faders modules 17-24, 25-32 swapped out. Ribbons re-seated, firmware updated.
Well, this is a great band. Accomplished players, disciplined and focused. Able to adapt to my suggestions as Producer and respond to changes in arrangement that improve the composition. I am very impressed with Blue Eyes Cry.
The band have requested a live-feeling, not overly produced-sounding record and today we achieved band tracks for six songs; none using a click. Solos are recorded as part of the band track and although there are opportunities for overdubs the overall vibe is essentially "as the band plays it." Four songs to complete tomorrow, then re-amping the Bass (which I'll go into details about in tomorrow's post), a few guitar overdubs then on to Lead Vocals. Again details will be posted on the microphone and signal path for this when completed. So, all in all - an excellent day. Oh, and I'm lovin' the tone this AWA console achieves; truly unique. Thanx Mat Robins (owner and manager of Coloursound Studios).
It is with immense pleasure I announce the new album for Melbourne-based blues outfit Blue Eyes Cry is scheduled to record with myself at the helm in early February. Tracking will be at Coloursound through the beautiful AWA console, with all the remainder of the production being completed upstairs at ToKwerX. Stay tuned ...
When you heeded my 2012 advice and registered (for free) with the Plugin Alliance website as a member you will have received several amazing best-price-ever deals on high-end processors. The latest being the surgical and brilliant BX v2 EQ at a saving of $200 on the web price. A marvellous mastering tool but an absolute go-to choice across your mix buss; post compression, pre limiting. What's that? You haven't registered and you've missed out on this incredible members-only deal ... oh :(