KENSINGTON #3: MAKING A RECORD PART II
We started with 2 weeks of pre-production, that means to re-record and re-arrange al our demoed songs, to shape them in the best way possible. We would play the songs in the live-room, and James would record, listen and suggest things. Sometimes that means editing the structure of a song, or maybe changing a drum part, or guitar sound, whatever feels good and sounds the best. You are making a master plan for the actual recordings that are going to end up on the record. Quite an intense process, you really have to ‘’dive in’’ to your songs, but hearing the end result more that makes up for the endless hours of playing the songs over and over again, with the four of us, in the room.
After pre-pro it was time to record the actual parts separately, starting of course with drums. We experimented with loads of microphones and analogue tape, to create an awesome drum sound. Niles did an insane job, recording all his parts in just 2 days, so Jan was up next to record the bass guitar. All of his fat grooves were caught on tape, guitars were up next. Again, a lot experimenting with mic’s, guitars, pedals and amps. Because we had 10 weeks, this gave us a little more room to fiddle around with gear, which was nice. After guitars, the tea and honey, ginger and whiskey came in to play: it was time to sing! Since we are a band with two lead singers, this took a little more time than usual. When all the vocals were beautifully captured, it was time to add percussion, strings and a guest vocal performance by Owen Brimley, lead singer of Grammatics, the band I was raving on about in yesterdays blog. Check out the movie for some footage of us recording the parts.
With everyhting recorded, we could start mixing in The Chairworks, a fancy pantsy studio loaded with awesome vintage gear. For instance, the mixing desk was formerly owned by Gary Barlow of Take That, so we mixed on the same desk where “How Deep Is Your Love” was created, another dream come true for us . When James used up all his magic mixing tricks, it was time to send the mixes over to Sterling Sound in New York, where mastering engineer and legend Greg Calbi (mastered records for Kings Of Leon, Bruce Springsteen, Grizzly Bear, Interpol etc.) applied the finishing touch. Our record was finished and sounded fantastic, we were more than proud.