Monday, 16 January 2012

Recording diary: Day 1

Apparently last night was the coldest night of the year. Not hard really as there has only been 2 weeks in the year, calling the coldest night is slightly defeatist I feel. Anyway, I’m inclined to agree with the powers that be, it was bloody cold. At 7.20AM I began to defrost my car and felt the frostbite instantly set in.

Loaded in and ready to head to Coventry to pick up Chris Donald, I waited for Chris and Jake with the heating on full blast. Eventually they turned up and Chris joined me as navigator. Wagons rolled.

After sitting in the rat race for what seemed like hours we picked up Mr Donald and loaded in the mass of recording equipment required aided by fellow Fiction Fighter Josiah Gillespie. Onward to Dormston.

By now the weather had bloomed into the idyllic winters morning. We reported in with my Auntie who lives across the lane from St Nicolas’s church in the old farmhouse (which will also host some recordings in the week). We were introduced to the vicar and the workmen who are restoring the belfry and without further adieu we loaded our complete collection of our equipment into the church.

We were all like excited children as we walked inside, faced by the tired but beautiful wooden beams that straddle the roof, the weathered stone and the modest yet grand masonry that makes up the main arch. Once everything was in it was down to business.

Chris D set about with a snare drum, hitting it in different locations within the main hall to gain the best sound and once decided on dead centre, Jake set up. Tuning the kit took some time as the cold had taken its toll on the skins but all good things take time and once Chris and Jake had fettled with each drum the result was monstrous.

The microphone set up became fascinating. 11 on the kit and 2 room mics. Once they had been set in place it was time to break for some soup and sandwiches, which were kindly, provided by my auntie.

After we were fed and watered we head back in to the church for Chris D to fiddle with levels. This took a while as positions had to be tweaked in order to gain the most out of the church’s natural acoustics.

Eventually after a few false starts Jake laid down the drum track for ‘Abacus’, which is the track we tend to open with live. Slowly but surely Jake and Chris worked through a lot of the drum tracks required leaving only 2 for tomorrow.

By now we were tired and hungry but pleased and ready for more.


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