Studio diary #4: So close we can smell it!

In the last 3 months or so, we have been ploughing away both rehearsing for the autumn gigs and conducting more recording sessions. All of the music is now fully recorded for all 10 songs.

Vocal recording has been taking place under the production of Martin Hawthorn and is now over half way done. The band FANS have very kindly allowed us to use their rehearsal space for this, as and when we have been able. It was originally built as a recording studio and has a vocal booth. We’re very pleased with the results so far. The aim is to finish recording over the coming weekend so Martin can start the mixing in earnest.

Scheduled release date is 3rd October to co-incide with our next gig at The Library. We’re hoping to have CDs and merchandise available on the night with digital downloads available in the weeks following.

We’re itching to get back out playing live and also to get the album released.

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Studio diary #3: Big sounds afoot

This last period has seen a combination of recording and writing.

After the gig at the end of March, we have gone into full hibernation mode. Our rehearsal time is not plentiful (two of us play in other bands), so it has been good to be free of live commitments. We have had a few enquiries about playing in the short term but have had to be steadfast in saying no at this time.

As for recording progress, all of the keyboards are now laid down and around 95% of the bass guitar on the 8 tracks we have been working on so far. We have also made some headway with guitars (both electric and acoustic), with 6 of the songs now having complete guitar tracks and sounding very big!

The writing of a brand new song is also well under way which we are all very excited about. We intend to develop and record this very soon as well as continuing with writing more new material. Our goal is 10 tracks for the album.

There is still no definite deadline for the album release. We’re aiming for autumn and with the progress we are making, it seems achievable but we’re hesitant to make any promises at this stage.

Until next time …

Studio diary #2: Steady as she goes

There hasn’t been much of an update for a while on the recording front. Most of the whole of February was taken up firstly with the Leeds University gig and then various other issues which rendered us unable to rehearse or record.

We had made a little progress laying down some guide tracks and a small amount of bass and keyboards right at the beginning of the month and as March struck, we continued with this in earnest. There is currently no guitar or vocal content apart from guide tracks but we’re already getting a picture of how the finished article might sound.

We have decided to record the backbone of it using the Tascam DP32 and then transfer the information to Garageband for editing and mixing. This approach makes for a quicker and slightly more natural feeling recording process. DAWs/computers are very powerful and useful tools but not always the best to use on the fly, especially with the additional hardware required.

Presently, there are 8 songs being recorded. There was a 9th but we felt it did not really fit. There are barebones ideas for more so you never know.

One thing we have learned is that we can’t rush this. It will be ready when it’s ready and our previous ideas for a deadline were perhaps a bit over zealous. We would obviously like it to sound the very best that it can. Things are progressing steadily but definitely and the lessons learned from this process will ensure that we can get a song from the initial writing to fully recorded stage more quickly in future.

We’re currently still light on the gig commitments for the rest of this year. Our next outing will be at The Black Swan on 28th March with Luna Reign. We do want to keep a light calendar for a while to allow for recording and more writing but as always if something comes along, we are usually more than happy to play.

Studio diary #1: The journey begins with a single step and a large boot!

As everybody emerges, bleary-eyed into 2015, we are turning our attentions to all things recording.

The last thing we recorded and published was the single song Smoke and Mirrors back in the summer of 2013. Apart from this, there are no existing recordings which are representative of the band’s current sound. And so we felt it was long overdue for us to commit something to disc. Therefore, we have resolved to self record and release our debut album in 2015.

We are delighted to have the involvement of Martin Hawthorn, who has kindly agreed to produce the album with us.

Martin was the bassist and founder member of 80’s and 90’s bands Excalibur, Loud, PADD and Hardware and he has worked with such production luminaries as Simon Efemey and Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman, amongst others.

As we unboxed the the new studio equipment last night, pre-production began in earnest. The first stage is to strip back the existing songs and take a good look under the bonnet as we’ve never done to this extent before. It’s amazing what you find when you put everything under the microscope.

Apart from inevitable tweaks and reworks, there’s more writing work to be done and pending ideas to be developed over the coming days and weeks. It’s going to be a very interesting and busy period!

We are curtailing seeking any live work for the time being but as always are receptive to any offers.