Recording Session Report!
This past weekend we did two marathon tracking sessions (20 hours total!) with audio engineer extraordinaire Don Godwin at the Old American Can Factory, a former industrial building in Gowanus, Brooklyn, that now houses all manner of artistic enterprises, including the legendary BC Studio (recently the subject of this documentary). Sweet Soubrette's last album, Burning City, was recorded here, as was Charming Disaster's album Love, Crime & Other Trouble (not to mention various recordings by Sonic Youth, Brian Eno, the Dresden Dolls, and Whitney Houston, to name a few).

On Saturday we tracked the rhythm section: Darrell on drums and Bob on bass. Don had more than a dozen mics on the drum set alone. The bass signal was being recorded directly as well as through a miked amp in another room, and there were multiple room mics to pick up the natural sound of the cavernous, reverberant space. It took Don hours to get everything set up (this studio is used by multiple recording engineers, so each one sets it up from scratch), I went on a snack run, then Darrell and Bob arrived, and after another hour of tweaking we were off and running. We tracked not just the 4 tunes we were definitely planning to record (Ghost Ship, Big Celebrity, Night Owls, and Talk to Me) but a bonus fifth song, a new number called Settle for Less that's really fun to play. Everything sounded gorgeous.


On Sunday we tracked the horns: Erin on sax (a beautiful new instrument made of silver), Cecil on trombone, and John on trumpet. The setup was a little less intense than for the drums, with only half a dozen or so mics going. We've been practicing these songs a lot in the past weeks and it really showed -- the three of them were really locked in and it sounded beautiful. We got through all five tunes much faster than anticipated, so they were released early to enjoy the unseasonably pleasant weather (creepily warm for December).


I stuck around and Don and I tracked the final ukulele parts and rough vocals for all 5 tunes, PLUS three bonus songs that we hadn't planned on doing -- but we had the extra time, so now they will probably be included on the album: Robber's Daughter, Oahu, and Devil's Moon. The plan is for me to play piano on two of those numbers, so I'll be practicing the shit of out them over the next few weeks.

 

Here are some pix from the two sessions. Enjoy!


The next round will take place in early January, to track Lyndol's piano and backing vocals and Heather's violin. I'm so excited to share these recordings when they're finished.


xo

Ellia