Allow me to introduce the team and the project a little more.
From left to right: Brad Toews on piano, Steve Heathcote on drums, Trevor Dick on violin, Will Jarvis on bass and Corey Lacey on electric guitar. We are working on a project that is a compilation of classic worship songs from over many years. Presented in a style that blends smooth jazz, world, contemporary and even a touch of classic.
The players are amazing people as well as remarkable musicians. Certainly among the best that I have worked with over 30 plus years of recording.
A lot of time and preparation went into the project before we entered the studio. I have highlighted some of the technical preproduction work that I completed in previous posts. The team was also very busy in terms of working through some complex arrangements. Here is a shot from the session yesterday where the team was revisiting the charts looking to get that little extra from the presentation of the material.
We covered four bed tracks today and that was our goal. Each bed track consists of 15 channels for the drums (kick, snare top, snare bottom, hihat, toms 1-4, ride, left/right overheads, 4 room mikes), 3 channels for violin (1 direct, 2 stereo effected), 1 channel for bass, 2 channels for piano and 1 channel for guitar. We seem to be taking about 2 hours or so for each bed track. And I am looking first and foremost for “keeper” takes of bass and drums as well as piano. We track anywhere from 5 to 10 takes per song. We review and highlight the best performance.
The assistant engineer is operating the Pro Tools rig although I do jump in from time to time. My son Joshua, pictured below, is keeping track of the studio log.
His role is to keep the minutes from the session — takes, logs, punches. Wonderful to have him by my side and I am hoping he gains a lot of insight into professional production in a recording studio.
My own role is to ensure that we capture the best performance from a technical perspective and to create a good working environment for the team. Which means keeping the technical attributes of the session in the background so that the team can focus on performance.
The past two days have been a wonderful experience. Thoroughly delighted with how the project has been progressing. Day three begins in about an hour or so. We have 3 songs on the goal sheet for today.