Live Recording

I spent Saturday evening recording 4 bands live in the basement of Cafe Kino in Bristol.  It was part of my former band-mate Henry Ireland’s residency there.  Throughout the year he is putting on 3 gigs, each one featuring a stylistically different performance by Tiger and Panda, the band he is in with my other former band-mate Olly Watson.  He has very nicely asked me to record these three performances as they happen, a chance which I jumped at.

He really wanted me to record using my Tascam 4 track cassette recorder, as that is what we have always used as Grizzly and the Bears, so that’s what I did.  I used my Behringer double preamp (it’s crap but it is what I have) to power 2 Large Diaphragm condensers to form the main stereo picture.  I used them in Mid-Side configuration, which I will have to use a computer to decode, as there is no way of flipping the phase of a track on the portastudio (that I know of).  To add extra weight to this main image, I threw my Realistic PZM boundary mic up against a wall.  The final track I had left I filled with a direct out from the sound desk, with an even mix of the vocal mics in it.  Kino is such a small venue that they don’t really mic amps up, so direct from the board wasn’t an option for recording it all.

I haven’t yet had a chance to listen back or decode the stereo imaging yet, but the few listens I could grab on the night sounded pretty good -clean but loud, which is what I was after.  My thinking is that so long as I’ve got a good, strong signal on tape, it should be easy enough to get a decent stereo picture when I mix down. I’m hoping to use my school’s recording studio to do this so that I can bounce all 4 tracks across to digital simultaneously.  This way I will avoid any chance of differing tape speeds causing phase issues (which would be an issue if I bounced the tracks across one at a time as I’d have to do with my laptop).

With permission from the artists involved, I will post clips from the recordings on here once they are mixed down to digital.  I have to say, this was one of the most stressful, but also most enjoyable recording experiences I’ve ever had and cannot wait for the next one.


Sun -Red Mt.

My good, old friend John just put some new music up on bandcamp.  As far as I know, he hasn’t made music in a while (no for public consumption at least), but this is fantastic stuff.  Please listen and download…

An Evening to Myself

This evening I have the house to myself because the other half is out at her staff summer do.  I had the whole of last week to myself also, but I was out every evening, so that didn’t really count.

Anyway, I would usually waste such an evening loafing about watching TV I didn’t really care about (not being able to carry on with the current boxed set without the other half present).  but I have decided not to do this tonight.  I am going to be productive and get stuff done, so here is a list of what i want to do tonight:

  • A half-hour of TV (probably The Simpsons) (it was the episode where the hobo tells them stories.  A bit meh)
  • Type up all of the handwritten stuff I have for one story (All handwritten work on Nation of Duty now typed up)
  • Write a song (attempted, and riff roughly sketched out, but no lyrics ready, and no subject forthcoming)
  • Listen to 2-3 records I haven’t heard in a while, and have been yearning to listen to lately (one of these is Kind of Blue) (I have listened to Miles Davis: Kind of Blue and Silkworm: Developer)
Wish me luck!

Poppit Sands | polite records

Bizarrely, just as I was typing that last entry, Henry was busily putting something else good onto the Polite website.  This is the only album to be recorded by the band that Henry, Olly and I were in for a good few years, called Poppit Sands.  It was recorded in a holiday cottage near the eponymous beach on a summer (or Easter?) holiday one year.

You should probably buy it…

Poppit Sands | polite records.


Dowry | polite records

A long time ago I started a record label called Polite Records.  It started small and has remained that way.  Up until recently, most releases on the label were burned onto CD-Rs by hand (a couple of CDs were duplicated for us by companies such as Hi-Fi Copies).  Now, however, we have been able to release something on vinyl, which has long been a dream of mine.

I can take very little credit for this turn of events, as Henry Ireland has been the driving force behind getting the record out and as supplied the money to make it happen.  He and Olly Watson are the Tiger and Panda of the record, so it seems right that they get all of the credit, if anything it is nice that they put the Polite Records name on it at all.  Oh, I did record it for them, but that’s minimal input really…

Anyhow, the point of this rambling post is to say that you should totally buy it from here:

Dowry | polite records.