The latest Song Talk Radio backup band jam session was for my own song, I Never Write Her a Song. We rehearsed for a couple of hours, and then performed about three takes for the video recording. Thanks to the guys who put their hearts and souls into the performance, especially David St Bernard who took on the vocal part with great verve! Phil (bass) also took us through an exercise to ensure all four instrumentalists knew each other’s parts well, and worked together to create a unified groove.
David St Bernard – vocals
Neel Modi – piano, songwriter
Joe Romasanta – guitar
Phil Emery – bass
Gary Duke – drums
Bruce Harrott – consultant
I captured the room audio, and the vocal audio to separate tracks so I could mix them in post-production to get the best sound quality and ensure the vocal sat nicely above the mix.
I got to play drums for another Song Talk Radio Backup Band jam session, this time with the show’s co-host Bruce Harrott and his catchy feel-good song I Could Do Anything. We had co-host Phil Emery on bass, and Eric Sorenson and Braeden Mitchell on guitars and backup vocals.
We practiced and developed our individual parts for about 90 minutes, then recorded several takes. Once again, I recorded both audio and video, and captured the vocals as a separate track and mixed them in during post-production.
All in all it was a fun afternoon, and I feel honoured to play with such talented guys.
The Song Talk Radio Backup Band, consisting of Phil Emery on bass, Bruce Harrott on acoustic guitar, and myself on drums, along with Eric Sorenson on guitar, and Alon Rodovinsky on guitar and backup vocals, accompanied Janice Ho on her soulful song, Dance Without Judgement, in an energetic arrangement. I got to channel my inner Phil Collins on the fill at the end of the second chorus :). Great fun and great performances from Janice and the band.
I recorded the audio and video, and captured Janice’s vocal as a separate recording, to mix it together in post production. I accomplished this by taking a send from the room mixer, and ensuring her mic channel was the only input going to it. The send ran into my Focusrite interface to be recorded in Sonar. In addition to this, I setup my Zoom H2N recorder in the front of the room, near the camera to capture the drums and guitar amps. My Nikon D7000 was setup on a tripod to capture the video. I didn’t use the audio recording from it, as the Zoom captures a much warmer tone, and I could manually adjust the gain on the Zoom.
In post production, I first got the audio mix completed in Sonar. EQ moves on the Zoom recording consisted of a high-pass filter, scooping out some of the muddy low to mid-range stuff, and a hi-frequency shelf to cut down the cymbals a bit. Then with Janice’s isolated vocal, a deeper high-pass filter and a high-frequency shelf to increase intelligibility and shine. Gentle compression on each track, gentle compression on the master, some multi-band compression, and finally a limiter to chop off the peaks, gelled the sound together. After that, a simple sync with the video track and I was done.
Janice talked about this song and two others on her guest spot on Song Talk Radio.
I was asked by my friend Kira Braun to record and photograph her “Weekend to End Women’s Cancer” fundraising recital. Kira performed with several of her friends and her teacher on some classical and contemporary tunes. It was a fantastic show, and the talent on stage absolutely top-notch.
My wonderful partner Hema was volun-told 🙂 to handle video while I took photos and recorded the audio on my Zoom recorder, which resulted in better audio quality than the camcorder. I then synced the audio and video and uploaded 13 videos to youTube.
The final performance was the highlight for me, and certainly they saved the most fun song for last!
I hosted a showcase event for our Songwriter’s Cafe meetup group today at the Central Bar. It was a great experience, and I got to see many great performances. In addition to announcing the performers, I also photographed and sound recorded the event to share with the individual performers.
Live mixing was handled by Phil, and Bruce helped out with some stage management. Belinda (our lead organizer) brought members from her other groups to populate the audience, and took some great photos too.
This event was unique in that almost all the songs performed were originals.
I provided digital photography, video and audio recording of a independent singer-songwriter showcase. I used both “on-board” and room sound recordings for the highest quality audio, combining an intimate sound with the feel of a live venue.
All of the final videos are available here: bit.ly/O6uMVF