Drum tracking reflections

drum kit with mikes

It’s been almost 5 months now since we started recording tracks for my debut album Incredible.  Since then we’ve recorded a choir (The Gospel Folk), a Violin (Peter Marcus Holden), Guitars (Nathan Eshman and Tobias “Tumbles”Preston and others), Bass (Ian Pav), Rap Vocals (Mango) and Piano (Me).  Still to come are the remaining guitars, more keys and lead and backing vocals.  But this is a retrospective about the drum recording session.

In September I met with Ian and did some rough piano tracks that we could give to the drummer for him to get a feel for the music.  Once the drums are done we can start to layer everything else over the top.

The Drummer was Andrew Mitchell.  Talk about fast hands!  I was there, but I’m still not sure how he got so many hits out of the drum kit that fast!  The studio we were using was Tru Sound Music in Canberra.  Dene Burton(the studio owner) was also the recording engineer.  Dene and Andrew have worked together on many projects before and knew exactly how the recording day would work.  I was a newbie, this was my first time in a studio.

We had the studio booked for the weekend (29-30 October 2011).  I was very excited and quite a bit nervous as I waited to find out what Andrew had done with my music.  When I arrived they (Ian, Andrew and Dene) were still setting up the kit and mics for the session.  Tru sound has 2 main rooms as well as a sound proof booth (which has absolutely no reverb) and the room with the desk.  I could but peer in as Andrew started to play and we could hear the first threads of Sixteen coming through the monitor speakers as the day took shape.

With 11 songs to record across the weekend we could have still been going late on Sunday afternoon.  However, Mitch had nailed the drum parts, and by 4pm on Saturday we had 10 of the 11 songs done.  (Some songs, like Recreate, were done on the first take, we just made him do it again for the sake of a second take!)  We were finished by lunch on Sunday and I was on the way home.  At this point I’ll mention that Andrew got a call Saturday arvo and was called in to play for a wedding Saturday night for 5 hours on top of the day in the studio!

We’ll be back into Dene’s studio next month to record lead vocals. I’m really looking forward to more time in the studio and working with Tru Sound Music and with any luck I’ll get it right on the first take too!