original. acoustic. music.

In the Studio...

The day finally arrived - a Saturday night that both Darrel and I had no other commitments and we could get down to some serious recording.... and Darrel caught the flu.

However - the will of the mind can overpower the weakness of the body, and Darrel, a primary school teacher (that rare breed of individual who can call upon seemingly unlimited secret reserves of energy to teach 6-7 year olds five days a week), staunchly yet politely told the flu to take a flying- er, to go away, and stepped up to the microphone despite feeling like the inside of a rancid marshmallow and unable to say the letter "m" due to a blocked nose.

Over the course of the evening we recorded 5 complete songs as well as a few tracks of "bonus material". We chose songs where I sing the lead part, as Darrel wasn't too confident in his vocal abilities in his flu-y state.

The track listing: Can't Help Loving You, Release, We Could Be Good, Woman.

It was such a joy to use our microphone - it is a fabulous piece of engineering indeed. We recorded to PC (2-track analogue) using Cool Edit Pro 2 because I just couldn't face messing around for hours with my MBox, uprooting it from my studio and then trying to integrate it into our studio setup at Darrel's place.

We ran the two acoustic guitars directly into the mixer panned hard right, and ran the AKG Perception 200 and a Shure SM58 dynamic into it panned hard left. We did this so that we could adjust the levels before mixing it down to stereo. The Shure was there to capture the live sound of the guitars and retain some of the character that can be lost through DI. I had hoped we would be able to get some separation, but it turned out the Shure attached itself to Darrel's guitar and wouldn't let go - mine didn't get a look in. The AKG also picked up a lot of guitar (which I had expected) but so much so that the DI signal from the guitars became almost completely superfluous.

The quality of the vocal sound was streets ahead of anything we have ever recorded - the AKG has a wonderful warmth and depth compared to the dynamics we have been used to. Darrel and I ended up ditching the Shure and performing to the AKG with DI and microphone channels panned centre once we realised the mic was doing most of the mixing for us.

The studio at Darrel's place is at the apex of an A-frame roof - the ceiling slopes down at about 45 degrees on either side. the acoustic is pretty good, but space is at a bit of a premium. With a bit more time I'd like to do some planning and experiments in mic placement and nail down the equipment setup, but all-in-all I was very happy with what we achieved.

Stay tuned for more tracks from this session and we'll keep you up to date as new recordings come to light. 13 original tracks in our repertoire so far, and one more on it's way...