It was lots on fun working on the album for Son of Dad. The band are a bunch of funny characters. The first question the drummer Matt asked when he arrived to the studio, pointing at the screen in the control room, “So what version of Garage band is this?” He was obviously joking.
We tracked the guitars, bass, drums and guide vocal all live without a click track as the guys wanted to capture the same energy on the album as they have on stage. They all feed energy off each other so it was important for them to all play live. I completely isolated the guitars and bass from the drums and we did the guide vocal in another tracking room. This meant we had total isolation between all the instruments and vocals so we could overdub some bass and guitar parts where needed without having to worry about spill from the instruments into other mics. The guys have been playing together for 7 years so they are very tight. Some songs we just used the original bass and guitar parts that were played along with the drums. Other songs we dropped in takes and added layers.
The brass was also tracked all the same time but I placed each player in their own separate tracking room with their own instrument and room mic. This allowed the sax, trumpet and trombone to be played at the same time like what they are used to but we also had very minimal to no bleed between the instrument mics plus they all had their own room mic which helped make a much fuller sound. I used a combination of ribbon and condenser mics for the brass, we spend a while making sure everything was being tracked close to how we wanted the end product to sound so that we were able to get a nice big full brass sound.
The vocals were overdubbed on the track last. We spend quite a bit of time tracking and compiling the best takes as well as autotuning in graphical mode to give a natural sound but completely in tune all the time
“I Won’t Leave”. I kept saying to the guys, ‘This will be your hit song.’ I was not going to let it leave the studio without it sounding like a hit since it has so much potential. I kept pushing Craig and Nina to give the song more energy in the vocals. Nina would have definitely performed the song more laid back she kept saying, ‘I can’t do punchy’ but I kept pushing her and pushing her and guess what… She can do punchy! She just needed someone to keep telling her she could for two hours! We were all very happy with the outcome of that song. I even ran some of the clean guitar through distortion in the verse to give the song more energy and now we are all in love with the song.
From all their crazy stories in the studio it was definitely a memorable recording. I remember not being able to see the computer screen and one point because my eyes were all watery from laughing so much. Checkout their songs on our website, I recorded, produced, mix and mastered their entire album myself here at Current Sound. Find them on facebook and come along to their next gig, they are always a crowd favourite.
-Tom Watson (Director/Producer)