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As Autumn reddens, one last glance back at Summer…

October 4, 2010

Not content with kicking off the summer with an epic trek to Cornwall and back, in mid August we headed out on another driving endurance test to the Green Man festival down in the Brecon Beacons, for 4 days of music, cider, mischief and a hell of a lot of rain. Despite the worst weather possible, a top time was had by all with highlights including The Flaming Lips Saturday night headline slot (check out this time-lapse sequence of their show opener!), Steve Mason on the Friday, and the sublime talents of John Smith, accompanied by the equally gifted Jon Thorne: Their set early on the Saturday evening was extremely special, and we were all moved by it. That was even before the cider had properly kicked in…

A third marathon drive, this one all the way up to Northumberland via Whitby was squeezed in before I headed out to NYC for an 8 day tracking and mix session with The Portlands at Skyline Studios. 6 planned tracks became 10, plus a further 6 acoustic numbers were laid down, so all in all a successful trip for the band. This new material is due for release soon, but in the meantime here’s the video to the track “Noctilucent” I produced for them at my home studio earlier in the summer. I’ve also just found this recent clip of them doing an acoustic version of “3 Spaniards” from the “on the couch” videocast. While in NYC I also became the proud owner of a mint condition 1969 Fender Jaguar in sunburst. Thank you 30th Street guitars!

Workwise, I kicked off the summer with the mastering of James Neal’s “Mine” album, a project I had worked with him on for over a year while at Futureworks. I recorded and mixed all 11 tracks in the Neve and SSL studios, and as I write the artwork is being finalized and the album should be out soon. While the world waits, here’s a Sneak Peak.

While at Futureworks and working on the “Mine” album I also produced for Stuart Hudson, a.k.a. The Young Vanish. We recorded a handful of tracks, before moving the project to my home studio after I graduated. The first track we recorded (in my dining room!) was Drag Queen. We took a very simple approach to the recording: double-tracked acoustic guitar parts, using different guitar/mic combinations for each take, then hard pan them, leaving plenty of space for the lead vocal in the middle and 3rd and 5th harmonies for BV’s just off to each side.  Stuart’s Guild M20 recorded really well with an ’87, and we put up a ‘414 in front of a Martin 0028. Reverbs came via a TC M3000… I’m really loving the ‘acoustic guitar spaces’ and the ‘wood rooms’ at the moment. At the last minute we put a really simple bass-line down, and once we were happy with the overall balance I put the whole mix thru’ two stages of stereo 1073’s (Neve clones) gain, which really gave it some warmth and brought out much more of the low end. Working with Stuart is an ongoing process and I hope to have some more tracks up soon.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll get some more examples of my work posted, including a dub mix for a short film, sound design for an animated computer game trailer, and various music production projects I’ve been doing with other artists.

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One Comment
  1. JoannaNewsom permalink

    A very productive summer sir. Time to basque in your hard work? No. Time to make more albums 🙂

    Joanna D x

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