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.


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

In four hours we tracked an amazing seventeen tunes!


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.


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!



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.


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...