We’ve spent plenty of time in the recording studio over the past few years, however, it took me a while to get used to the recording process. Thankfully we’ve always chosen our recording partners very well, especially Jonny Cole from the Mill who has always been very supportive and isn’t afraid to tell you when and how things could be improved (in a very nice manner of course).
Much of the first day of any recording session is getting the drums mic’ed up, tuned and sounding huge, it’s the platform on which we overlay everything else….yes I am the most important member of the band (ask any drummer that question – standard response) 😉
I play a Cambridge Drum Company custom beech kit which you can see here, 22 x 18 Bass drum, 12 x 9 & 13 x 10 Rack toms and a 16 x 16 Floor tom. This plays absolutely beautifully and the quality always shines through on our recordings, it really rings. I use remo pinstripe heads with a powerstroke on the bass batter head and a mixture of Istanbul Mehmet, Zildjian Custom A and Paiste Signature cymbals.
Recording ‘This is a feeling’ followed our usual format of playing live to a click track. It starts off with the drum beat and I was going for a sort of stuttered slower dance groove to allow the guitars to provide a melodic platform for the vocals to sit nicely on. The pace changes between the verse and chorus so we relied on Jonny’s logic wizardry to set us up a click that varied throughout the song. I’m sure he made it appear easier than it was to program!
As a drum track it’s a really interesting song to play with the change in pace to the chorus, the trashy wash through the latter part of the chorus dropping back cleanly into the verse groove and providing lots of opportunity for fills mainly on snare triplets but also across the full gamut of toms (If I’ve got them I’ll play all of them!)
As I mentioned before we play the songs right through to the end as our basis for recording. This helps to maintain the feel of the track whilst keeping to the click. The worry is that you lose some of the life and soul of a tune by keeping to rigid timing. The fact that this song changes tempo does help that but we always feel that we are able to transfer the bands energy and interaction to our recordings through playing it together even though parts are added later on.
Generally, we will then listen to the recording and make any changes necessary to get a clean full version. The beauty of following a click is that you can quickly notice when things aren’t quite on the button and the technology allows Jonny to be able to ‘drop me in’ at any point of the recording to repeat certain sections, fills or even single strokes.
I really like how the drum recording ended up straight from the desk, huge thumping bass with a snare that cracks all the way through. I know I am biased but I love the tune and think that the dynamics of the verse versus the chorus makes it a really interesting, emotive tune. Pete always writes the best lyrics too so I can’t wait to hear the final version.
In the meantime, have a listen to the drum track in the music player on our AAA page and let us know what you think.