As mentioned in my last blog post, the group had decided that the main objectives for this studio session should be to track the ukulele as well as some simple shaker to thicken the percussive elements of the song. However, we encountered a problem when we turned up at the supervisor’s office to hire out the microphones we’d elected to use, specifically to record the ukulele. The SE4s (pair) were unavailable so we decided to use the only other small diaphragm condenser pair available to us, the Sennheiser E614s. After a sound check we found that to our amateur ears the sound produced by these mics wasn’t too different to the sound produced by the SE4s we’d planned to use so we promptly moved onto tracking the ukulele.
After listening to the original Stay The Night to see where the ukulele is prominent in the mix we concluded that it would be wise to record ukulele for each part of the song (verse, chorus, bridge etc.), as we might want to change it up a bit when it came to mixing. Due to Guy Dixon’s superb ukulele playing, we quickly and easily tracked the parts we needed.
Using the same mic set up as the one used to track the ukulele (E614s with NT2A in centre) we tracked some more claps (produced by Jordan’s hands). When combined with the claps Ananda’s and my hands had produced and recorded a few weeks prior we achieved the effect of multiple people clapping that we’d had trouble achieving with just the two tracks of clapping (even with FX).
That day, Ananda had brought in her shaker to record on the offbeat as well. We recorded first just the sound of the shaker being shaken in the air, then another track of the shaker hitting Jordan’s hand so it made a heavier percussive sound as opposed to the aurally soft texture of the shaker being shaken in the air by itself.
As we’d tracked everything that we intended to track that day we decided to undertake some reflection on where we were at in the recording process so we could better gauge how much we still had to do. We concluded that for the James Blunt song all we had left to track was some bass guitar and MIDI pad chords to solidify and add further texture to the mix. For the ‘man anthem’ we also needed some bass guitar and to come up with and record a bridge, pre-chorus and perhaps a small intro (all on electric guitar).