Over the course of the last week we hunkered down to complete the remaining elements of the next 3P - Crowds. After reviewing our options Stephen decided to track the vocals at our friend Crispin Day's new studio in the backyard garage of his house. Crispin has done an amazing job turning the building into a functional control room that's ideal for vocals and overdubs. He's also got some beautiful rack gear to boot! Most of all, the space had a great vibe to it that made the session feel really relaxed while still being incredibly productive. Vocals were split over a day and a half with a full day to start followed by a half day. All the members of BamBoo were present for the first day, and on the second Stephen and Steve went by themselves to finish off the parts.
For microphone selection we went with our tried and tested favourites. For my vocal parts, which tend to be more aggressive and louder, we used an SM7B. We used an AKGc414 for Steve and gang vocal overdubs. I. Love. Gang vocals. I really do. There will never be a song I'm working on that I can't hear gang vocals for. There's something really powerful in a multi-voice recording that always catches my ear. Having so many timbres of voice layered on one line or phrase just brings something to life for me in the song every time I hear them. However, part of what makes something special is not having it all the time, so gang vocals are generally sparse for BamBoo - but man do I get excited when an opportunity to do them arises.
As mentioned above, Crispin possesses some excellent outboard gear which we put to good use during the sessions. Possibly the coolest piece of outboard in the studio (and rightfully placed directly in front of the producer's chair) was the STA-LEVEL.
Also in Crispin's toolkit were a couple beautiful Vintech Pre/EQ units, a wcked API-heavy lunchbox and a 500-series DBX compressor. Each piece of gear got some use throughout the day as we wrapped up vocals on day one and decided to lay down some acoustic to give everyone's voices a break.
We originally wanted to use one of Crispin's acoustics that was in the room, but it had a preamp section that was a little loose, causing a rattling in low notes. After a few failed attempts to tape the preamp up to prevent the buzz we opted to instead use a guitar we saw hanging in Crispin's house. The strings were absolutely dead, but with the help of some creative EQ and Compression we managed to get a good sound that served the song well. It was a great way to finish the day!