So, I got summoned to record Starcake. As an engineer/producer this cant be taken lightly for a lot of work goes into making a record. It was subtle at first but we decided to set a date and we did it. The studio was booked to start setup on a Friday evening. Mainly set up the drums and the microphones around it, and yes make sure it’s all gets to tape.
I had spoken about this recording with super Mundet! (Edmundo Gomez) , he pledged his support to the project until the end! So he is engineering and I am producing, my work has suddenly being reduced in half, I became the unwanted assistant.
We started pre-production in my home studio a week before the recording where we locked a basic form of the songs to a click track. This was done in reason that can later attach to the ProTools session via rewire. This click track will later conduct the band through the different takes with the exact same tempo and tempo changes. This allows for time correction of the recording in case it is needed, useful to fix drum tracks or adjusting timing in different instruments.
The main focus when recording in the studio was to get everything we could live, the piano, the drums and bass in order to take advantage of the space and the great equipment Zapboombang has to offer. Everything else will be overdubbed at a different time.
We got great results, the drums sounded great, Barry played a DW, maple five piece and the microphones where sublime in the hands of Mundet!, over all we had a great time. We even went for Vietnamese sandwiches, what else can you ask for?
After the weekend, the tracks came back in incredible condition. The sound was pristine and fat, so we proceeded to clean the tracks. Find the right takes and splice them in, correct any time fluctuation and clean punches and unwanted noises. This process usually optimizes my session quite a bit because this is where I remove all silence and unwanted useless audio. So two birds with one stone. It is crucial to fix all timing issues at this stage for anything else overdubbed with this timing will be harder to fix as you keep adding instruments to the session.
Now with clean tracks we can proceed to overdub the bass and guitars.
We did the bass in a couple of weeks, one song every night or more if we had energy. We obviously skipped some days during those weeks. We used my Focusrite ISA pre amp to control Gonzalo’s five string Warwick. For some reason Mundo’s Neve module was scratchi.
Once the bass is recorded, we can proceed to recording guitars. For this Mundo is the right man, he’s got a great collection of guitar gear from amps to cabinets, attenuators, fx and more. Not to mention his surgical ear and guitar production experience. So he sits with us providing the colors and textures we want to hear and suggesting cool effects. After drum recording, this is one of my favorite things to do, build the guitar tracks.
This can be a very daunting experience for the guitar player who is used to perform his part as a continuous performance. For this process we record part by part choosing the final sounds and creating stereo images for most of the parts. So each song can easily take between 2 to 4 hours of guitar work. We end up with at least 12 to 16 tracks of guitars.