For the final 3 song EP, Cheers, we decided to return to the workflow we had during the Charms EP and booked a few days in a row at Palace Sound in the West End. The intention is to record all the beds and most of the vocals over the next three days, allowing for lots of rest between parts for the players and lots of time for camaraderie with Stephen and the band. Palace Sound is a really cool spot that's packed with interesting and rare pieces of gear as well as an arsenal of all the gear you'd expect at a full-time studio. For Day 1 we decided to start with a song called 'Bayou'.
First up, as always, was the setup and tuning of the drum kit. For this 3P Nick opted to use one of Palace Sound's vintage Ludwig kits. The kit has a 20-inch kick that Nick outfitted with a marching-band style beater. This gave us a nice broad kick sound with tons of low end that really came to life when the room mics came online.
Up next Stephen and Chris, one of the studio owners, went through Stephen's mic list and began placing them and making preamp and outboard gear selections.
For room mics Stephen selected a spaced pair of Coles 4038's as well as a single Cascade FatHead II in the center. Inside the kick Stephen placed a vintage AKG D12 while placing a FET 47 outside the resonant head. For hi-hats and the ride we used Shure SM7B's and on the tom's we used a Sennheiser MD421 for the low tom and a Shure UNIDYNE III 545SD for the rack tom. At Chris' recommendation we opted for Beyerdynamic M160's for a spaced pair of overheads. Finally, just like the last 3P, we used a M201 for the snare top.
The kick mics were routed through a Chandler TG2, while the snare was routed through a 500-series API VP26, which was then sent through a Warm Audio Pultech EQ. The toms were both sent through a set of Chandler Germanium pre's as well as a Great River EQ. The kick and snare were also run through a set of DBX 165's, but they were bypassed for this part of the session. At the end of the signal chain was a set of UAD Apollo converters.
Nick was able to bang out his parts quickly for 'Bayou' so we moved onto vocals in order to maintain our plan of recording vocals for one song per day. For the vocal chain we went back to our trusted AGK C414 on Steve's voice, which was then routed to an API preamp and then a STA-Level compressor; a compressor that stole our hearts at Crispin's studio during the last EP's vocal sessions.
Once Steve finished up his vocals we moved onto bass for 'Bayou'. Stephen ran Mike's bass through a tube DI, followed by a API pre, then a Warm Audio 1176 with a medium attack and a slow release. That signal was then patched directly into the session. We haven't actually tracked a bass amp for a BamBoo song to date; we've found that we get all the low end and articulation we need via a DI'd signal.
Between the setup and tracking all the parts (minus guitar) for Bayou we had a very productive first day and everything is sounding fantastic! We're really excited to share this next 3P with everyone and I personally can't wait to hear what some studio love will do to these songs, which I think are some of BamBoo's best work to date.