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Pre-production… in the studio at last!

So, the album has begun! We’re in the studio, and in the middle of pre-production.

The studio is in the South-East of Glasgow and is the newly re-opened Carrier Waves studio, run by Keir Long and Andrea Gobbi. It’s such a convenient place for us to record… we’re all within 15 minutes drive of the place, which makes mornings and evenings so much easier.

Our engineer and producer is Keir, and he’s been really great so far.

 

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So, what exactly is pre-production? Pre-production, for us, is basically everything except actually recording the final tracks.

We’ve had 3 days so far and in this time we’ve spent a good amount of time testing out microphones and Keir has been working out the best position for them on our instruments. We’re all playing acoustic instruments so time spent on this is crucial. I could attempt to tell you how exactly we’re all mic’ing our instruments, but all I can really remember is that we’re using studio mics and all taking a DI out of them too, just to have an additional option to add to the sound.

Actually I lie, I have noticed I have 2 Neumann mics on my harp that I, eh, think perhaps are using an XY position?!? Maybe?!?

We’ve also been using the time to finalise arrangements, and we’ve been recording them in the studio, which has enabled us to have far better quality listen-back tracks. We’ve been doing this, then coming back the next day and changing or adding to arrangements as we’ve been going on.

Oh yes, and how can I forget. The clicks. We are all currently living metronomes going around all day and all night with CLICK CLICK CLICK going round and round and round our head! For most of the tracks (actually maybe all, we’ve still a few to work on tomorrow) we’re playing to click tracks, so basically a metronome through headphones.

This is for a few reasons… to keep us all strictly in time, and it makes life a heck of a lot easier if we’ve any edits, drop ins (when you, eh, make a mistake and want to correct it without playing the whole track again) or overdubs (for example, when we want to add in an additional harmony).

Keir’s been busy “mapping” out our click tracks today, so that means he’s literally creating a click track for us to play along with that follows any tempo or time changes between tunes. As a result we’ve heard a variety of clicks today… kinda drives you scatty after a while!

 

We’ve one day left of pre-production tomorrow, and then actual tracking starts on Monday.

We’ve been working 10-6 for the past 3 days. I’ve been spending most evenings going home and working on my own parts for changes we’ve decided on that day.

Tonight, however, I’ve left the harp at the studio as I’m babysitting my beautiful wee 10month year old niece Eilidh. She was giggling away when I arrived… I love that she recognizes me! She’s in bed now, so hence why I’ve had the chance to catch up with this blog. Hopefully she’ll stay asleep. She’s suffering from a terrible cough just now so please send her your get-well thoughts…

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