Spontaneity is the key 

When recording a group who normally plays together in a loud Irish Pub, the session tends to move fast. I was prepared for this group of six - whoops - I mean seven (see what I mean about sponteneity?) incredibly talented musicians when they arrived for a brisk Friday afternoon recording session.

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The session band in their natural habitat at Fastnet Pub in Newport, RI

In four hours we tracked an amazing seventeen tunes!

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We set everyone up together in the big open space and recorded everything live with no overdubs or fixes.  Most tunes were done in just one take.  The instruments were:

  • Guitar
  • Banjo
  • Mandolin
  • Bodhran
  • Whistle
  • Fiddle (x3)
  • Button Acordion

From the first time I heard the session band, I had looked forward to having the lovely tone of these instruments swirling about in my big room.

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I had to reach into the recesses of the mic locker to capture all this stuff simultaneously.  Do I need more nice mics?  Of course!  Everyone needs more nice mics!

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I spent a late night and most of the next day doing mixes of all the tunes. I'm used to a client sitting next to me agonizing over tenth-of-a-dB changes for hours on each song, but in this case... my preview mixes became the final mixes - well, except for a few that I wanted to hone a bit more.

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The DAW of choice for this session was Avid Pro Tools.  I could have just as well done it in Cakewalk, but I am trying to stretch out my skill set a bit.  After a quick DIY mastering job in Izotope Ozone, I handed all "the data" over to Timmy May on some thumb drives.  

And here's some of what we did...