One Microphone and some magic!
My most productive period of blogging was during the last run of Burning Red Red Matter, its a content creation club, reasons to blog, simple inspiration, that sort of thing. It has been rebooted for season 2, so I am going to try and stay on top of this bad boy for the first time in ages!
I’ve done so much recently, posters, t-shirts, videos, yet I have totally forgotten to write anything about it! The first topic for Red Matter is travel. Whilst I haven’t done anything that is particularly travel related, apart from a few trips to London for gigs and the odd race here or there, I have done a lot with my new band Featherjaw. One trip we made was on a damp Sunday afternoon back in March.
Lead singer, Owen and I, often find ourselves waxing about things that would be cool to do, things we have seen other bands do, ideas that we have picked up from one too many documentaries and general idiot grade grand plans! One idea we discussed at length (partially due to an excellent Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers documentary) is how modern recording trend is to split, cut, splice and separate virtually every second of every song and thus remove the energy from the performance.
Think how many videos you (may) have watched where a live performance truly comes to life and then the album version just feels flat. Having spent enough time in studios with previous bands, recording is hard work and really requires a great deal of grit to fight your way through the repetition, whilst trapped in a box/room. It isn’t conducive to that vibe, the magic that only happens when a band are put in the same place together.
There are countless videos on youtube that are recorded on one camera with no additional microphones and sound incredible, I had recently bought a CW Stoneking album that was recorded on one microphone, band gathered round, positioned tactically to get the level for the recording…can you see where this is going?
I contacted my friend, Phil at One Louder Studios and booked his “big room” for 6 hours on the aforementioned damp Sunday. Between, making the booking and the date, I had the bright idea that we could film each version of the song on my myriad of cameras and you could watch us play exactly what you are hearing!
Phil kindly loaned us one of his posh microphones, my friend Sarah was roped in as producer, partners were roped in as camera operators (thanks Rhi, Pedro and Becky) and we attempted to record a few songs around one microphone!
Here is the first completed result!
If anyone is curious, I filmed the fisheye angle on my Lidl “Action Sports Camera”, the main static shot on my canon 1100d and the moving shot was on my Lumix DMC-TZ40. The colour balance was all over the place, hence the balck and white and some treatment in the exposure department to try and balance the three (very) different cameras out.
It was an interesting concept to set up, film and edit. So much was in the control however or whoever was holding each camera, but the outcome I think really holds up well. It’s truly amazing what can be achieve with one microphone, one laptop, 3 cameras and a whole bunch of talent!
Here are a bunch of screen grabs from the various takes that we didn’t use and some from the other songs, just to give you some idea how it was set up.