Hello folks and a Happy New Year! As many of you will know we’re currently working away on our live album and I thought it was about time to share a quick update with you all. Unfortunately we were delayed over Christmas because I (Dan) got a bad chest infection and was out of action for 2 weeks. We had planned to get a head start with the extra time off but never mind. We’ve been on the case since New Year and we’re not letting it set us back too much.

It’s been an interesting process so far, with lots of technical stuff to work out and refine. Not to mention practising loads and getting the performances in shape which is a separate challenge in itself. Recording live is difficult because there are no second chances. No opportunity to go back and fix things later as you would normally with an album. You can do some things of course but you’re really limited by the quality of the original recording. It’s also a technical challenge because we need to isolate the different instruments enough to make them useful in the mix but also be able to hear each other properly while playing. This is why in most studios you have different recording rooms for each musician. Isolated and then monitored with headphones. Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury but we’ve found creative ways to solve some of these problems.

Gary is a bit of a wizard at these things and we sometimes jokingly call him “McGary” for his inventions. A hat tip to MacGuyver of course. Check out this solution to sound bleed on the vocal mic for example.

Our pizza box innovation

A cardboard pizza box cut and fitted over the mic stand.

Another angle on the pizza box mic guard

Then a coat draped over it to offer some isolation.

A coat draped over the contraption completes the effect

You’d be amazed how well this works and the early recordings we’ve got have a great sound I think. Raw in many good ways but also clear and crisp in others. The Zoom R16 is working well for our purpose and we’re all very happy with it. Recording straight to SD card is very useful.

The story so far has been one of effort with little to show for it. But we have some good takes of a couple of the tracks and we are improving all the time. We all knew it was going to be a challenge and now we’re seeing quite how much. Progress is being made though and we’re anxious to share the songs with the world. It’s gonna take time but we’re sticking at it and we’ll keep you up to date as we go.

Take care,

Dan

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