I recorded a band called The Remnants along with Ben Keane. It didn’t really work as Lead and Assistant Engineer we both did both jobs. I’d generally pick the Micing and Techniques then he’d run the desk but we’d end up doing everything together so we work well as a fantastic team. We both take home the stems and both mix. The Remnants stood us up on payment after we stupidly had already given them some of the tracks that were near completion. They had a product, not one that was complete but they, to this day, use it. They could be very immature and although I didn’t completely dislike them completely I found them to have a very immature almost Del Boy attitude that they were the next big thing and going to make loads of money. They signed to a ‘Record Label’ which was a guy who had a Facebook page who put on events at the Buffalo bar and so they though that he had loads of money. He didn’t.
I may sound like I’m moaning but the only person that I’m annoyed at for them getting away with not paying us is myself. I had no contract written up and signed, I wasnt a registered sole trader/LTD company and so even if they had signed a contract I’d probably get done for tax evasion as it would seem that I wasn’t going to register the income from the Recording had I taken them to court. It was a huge S**t sandwich and myself and Ben had to take a bite but since then I’ve become registered and written a contract for the bands to sign, we now take a deposit on an agreement we make before anything actually takes place. 1 bad experience has allowed me to prepare for the future but I still have the tracks we recorded. The only thing that could still come round to bite me on the back side is the tracks they use that are incomplete being heard by people and when they say they could do a better job, giving us a bad name.
Here is a before and after of a session with them which I’m sure gives you an idea as to what they’re like…
Enough Said. That’s after recording ‘Mean Woman Blues’. We recorded another track with them previous to all this which we agree’d to do for free as it was our first ever recording with a band from outside the college which they were overjoyed about of course but that was when they had a different Bassist. He had a similar sense of humour to the rest of them but seemed more mature and professional. He subsequently left the band after falling out with them and started his own. Since then hes been in touch and wants to get back in the studio with myself and Ben so we must be doing something right!
We recorded 3 tracks and were told that it would just be 2 of them playing acoustic Guitars and singing. When they turn up they also have a Bassist which they didn’t tell us about so we set up the Hartke Bass amp. I was attempting a technique/some research into using a Condenser on the front of the Acoustic Guitar over the nexk for highs and then an SM57 behind to pick up the lows which worked well when we attempted it with one Acoustic Guitar and the Sontronics Sigma Ribbon mic on the front but I think with all the noise in the room it was just a bit too much bleed so sounded messy. Instead I placed the Sigma between them, STC-1 over the sound hole on one Guitar which was perfect, STC-1 over the 12th fret on the other Guitar, NT-2 Each for vocals, D112 on axis central on the Hartke and a 57 towards the edge of the cone also. I tried duplicating the Sigma, panning one left and one right then inverting one to represent each side of the Mic similar to the MS configuration but it just sounded messy. There were enough Microphones in the room as it was.
For one of the tracks we dubbed an electric piano that they got a guy in to play using 2 DI boxes for the L+R outputs on the Keyboard. It got frustrating working with them as they were happy with inferior playing such as Guitars going out of time it was like they were too lazy to re-record them and get them right. From this I learned to be more pushy, I guess at that time I was just trying to get the experience and now I’d rather work with people who want good results. Their Drummer was sick at the time hence the 2 acoustic track but when he was well again they came in and played a full track. These tracks they were playing were kinda 50’s/60’s so I used Glynn Johns on the kit. I just used Maxim to Master these as I didn’t want to spend much more time on the Mixing or Mastering after they buggered off but I thought I’d get the tracks on here for a listen.
Also heres a picture of Studio 2 where we recorded ‘Shes Got it All.’