Day 1

I arrived at the studio around 9:00am yesterday. I wanted to make sure that everything was ready before the team started to arrive at 10:00am.

My assistant engineer had laid out all of the studio mics, cables, cues, stands according to my input list. He had setup the board for tracking and monitoring. And the piano tuner was already at work on the Yamaha concert grand.

Here is a photo of the console before we started tracking:

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We used up 48 channels — 24 for tracking to the Pro Tools HD rig and 24 for me to listen to the input sources.

Here are the before and after shots of the drums. I spent two hours positioning mics before getting the sound I was looking for from the kit. One important lesson about tracking: placement is critical. Location, location, location.

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Getting the piano going was easier than the drums. That took about thirty minutes. Although difficult to see in the photo of the drumkit above, the blue moving blanket was wrapped around the piano lid once I had positioned the stereo piano mics. The drummer, tracking with 14 mics, 4 of them in the air room mics, and the pianist, tracking with two mics, were separated by two sets of gobos.

No bleed. Amazing.

Bass was much easier to get setup. As was guitar and violin. After three hours of setup, we were ready to start tracking.

Here is a shot of the control room. My assistant operated the Pro Tools rig — computer screen at the far end, I had my own “copy” right beside me — while I was free to focus on the session proceedings. We were able to complete two bed tracks in six hours — meaning that we had keepers for the drums, bass and piano.

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End of day we closed the session at around 7pm. Backups, goal sheets for the next day and time to go and get some food.

Great fun and awesome sounds in the room.

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  1. […] kit and were tracking by 1 p.m. Link to Richard Cleaver’s site for the latest pics and DAY 1 Breakdown. We had a productive time tracking two songs: “Holy” and “Come Thou Fount”. […]

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