This Summer NAMM was an extremely busy but very productive time, I was there for a week and throughly enjoyed every moment of my time there! I toured the Show, talking to gear manufacturers, having impromptu interviews with them, Matt Ross Spang, Doug Fearn, Jonathan Pines and of course Glenn Fricker!
I’ve been very fortunate to have worked in Nashville many times over the years. One of the highlights for me was of course working with The Fray in 2009 at Blackbird Studio D. Blackbird is Gear Paradise! Owner John McBride has assembled the best collection of equipment I’ve ever seen!
The band were in town for just a couple of days so we crammed a lot of recording into a very short space of time! Isaac came out of the bus around 8am, we immediately set up and cut around 8 or 9 Christmas songs (5 were finally chosen for the EP), the recording was done live, just a Vocal and an Acoustic guitar for their Christmas EP that year. The set up was simple, a Neumann KM56 on the acoustic and a Neumann U47 on vocals, both going through 1073’s tapping a Fairchild 670. Yes we used the big guns!
If I was going to add more instrumentation to the recording I would have done one of these two options 1) use a dynamic mic on the vocal (preferably in Hyper Cardioid) 2) Recorded the Acoustic and Vocal separately. But it was a live recording with no comping or editing of any kind and frankly Isaac was singing and playing so well, (even though it was early morning!) that we just kept the momentum going and captured some great ‘off the cuff’ performances. Momentum is so important, even if there was a technical issue, as long as I was capturing the performance then that was is the most important thing!
After finishing the acoustic songs we immediately got launched into recording songs for the upcoming album and B Sides for additional material for iTunes! I flew home a couple of days later and mixed everything, for the live Acoustic/Vocal songs I did mainly volume automation on the vocal to keep it front and centre and show off Isaac’s incredibly emotional and expressive voice. I mixed using automation on-the-box but was blessed to be able to output the two tracks through a Neve 8068, it seemed to add just a little more low mids in particular to the mix and round off, albeit in a very subtle way, the transients.
Please check out the two videos I did from the Show, I hope it conveys the amazingly positive feeling of the show! Nashville was hot and a little humid but wonderfully welcoming! I look forward to going back again next year and I hope I get to see even more of you then!
Have a marvellous time recording and mixing,