After spending most of last week trying to lay down a drum part for Until Tomorrow, this week has been spent messing around with mic placements in my lovely little studio.
As I think I’ve mentioned one to two times before, the main idea for this album is to sound as raw and acoustic as possible, with the main focus being on my vocals and guitar (so it sounds much more like my live sound). I do, however, want to try using different micking tecniques and I love listing to people like Ani Difranco who always makes such wonderful use of this, especially on albums like To The Teeth.
I had two songs I wanted to record this week – one was a tune I’ve been gigging for a while (called Rostock) and the other was one of my new songs (which currently doesn’t have a name… or rather it doesn’t have a proper name, as it’s currently called ‘The slightly funky tune in Bm’ which isn’t too catchy). I thought the acoustic guitar parts on both these would sound nice with some ambient micking going on, so I went off to do some experimenting.
After messing around with a ga-zillion different mics I finally came up with what I think sounds like a pretty nice mic combination. Up front I’ve got the good old faithful Rode NT1a, which is running through my TLA Audio compression unit.
To the left of that and up high in the room I’ve got an industry standard SM58 which I’m running through my new valve pre-amp. I really needed to boost the levels on this as is was so far away from me but it really does add a wonderful acoustic room tone to the overall sound.
Next up is a set of Behringer C2 condenser mics – one pointing at the 12th fret and the other pointing at the finger board. And finally the plugged-in sound of my acoustic, which I’ve also got running through my TLA audio compression unit. It didn’t seem to take much mixing before I got a really nice warm roomy type sound. Hopefully I’ll have something for you to hear in a couple of weeks so you can see what you think.
I’m also pretty excited to be off on my travels again on Sunday. This time I’ll be heading over to Poland (woohoo!). I’ll be playing a couple of house concerts over there as well as performing on Balcony TV Poznan. I’ve not played a house concert in a while so I’m looking forward to it. I’ve also got the added bonus of my brother living in Poznan so I get to hang out with him for a few days.
As always I’ll be armed with my camera and Flip, so they’ll be lots of pics and vids!
When I return to the UK I’ve got plenty of gigs to keep me out of trouble, kicking off with a Nicky Swann-a-thon consisting of three gigs in a row (Royal Castle Dartmouth, Spice Bizaar Dartmouth and The Lion Newton Abbot). I’ve also got a few fun Katie gigs to look forward to – Chris (Woods) and I will be headlining a festival in Salisbury and I’ll be playing at The Cheese & Grain in Frome as well as playing at Exmouth Festival… can’t wait.
So be prepared for oodles of audio and video clips over the next few weeks!
(image: Katie Marie Photo taken by Lisa (Indigo Blue Photography) and edited by Sandra (Soul Photography)