Project Roundup

Time for a quick whizz through some recent projects – two still in progress and one complete!  First up some heavy rock covers with Empire Of Rust.  The band wanted to play together so the tricky part of this day’s work was getting the monitor mix right.  Although we had a lot of space to play with, I decided against putting the members of the band in separate rooms as a) it’s not conducive to getting a “live” performance and b) I didn’t want to have to set up talkback and run cables for miles.  In the end a mix of guitar/bass/vocals was brought up to the level where it could compete with the drums and we were away.  I hedged my bets on micing the drums with both mono and stereo setups based around a ribbon pair and a Microtech Gefell overhead.  Guitar was amp and DI and bass DI only with guide vocal on handheld SM58.

Here’s the drum setup:

Empire Drums 2

Lead Vocalist Jenni added leads later at my home studio.

Empire Vox 1

Keyboard and guitar overdubs were flown in over Dropbox (it happens more and more as musicians record at home in their own time) and mixing is in progress.  The larger than life, heavy Zeppy sound is coming together, these guys should be a blast live.

As a contrast, my friends Ben and Gaby who perform together as Franklin did a session of very simple and sparse vocals and guitar tracks.  This was blissfully uncomplicated – Ben played and sang into the Perception 420 which is a real star on acoustic guitar, adding sparkle with out thinning the body sound.  I put up an over the shoulder dynamic to add a little weight in, but only a dab was necessary.  For Gaby I tried a combo of SM57  with foam shields and the Neumann KMS 105, which I have increasingly spotted in studio vocal booths.  The result was really nice, smooth and silky air from the condenser and some edge from the dynamic.  With virtually no room sound getting in bleed was very contained which gave more option to space out at mixdown.  More work is to come but a very solid base, watch out for their beguiling tune High Tide in particular.  Keep up to date with them at


And finally, drum roll….he’s done it!  Phil Martin’s second album “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark” is finished and we can hardly believe it either.  It’s taken ages but it sounds fantastic and will be available to buy when the sun comes out again [tbc].  Keep up with Phil on his musical adventures at and of course check out the album when it pulls into the station as it really is rather good.



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