After a great deal of planning, in 2009 we managed to get the whole band together to record a collection of tracks for the band’s first official CD release. We hired the Creative Arts studio at Bournemouth School for Girls for a weekend and set about laying down about 20 numbers. 14 were considered to have made the grade and after a mixing process best described as “band collaborative”, the album was complete.
It was a steep learning curve for all concerned; many members of the band had not played for a recording session, and I’d not recorded digital multitrack direct to a PC before. Nonetheless, after a few overdubs, and re-syncing some of the multitrack segments that had mysteriously moved during mixdown, the result was something the band were proud of.
This is how Julian Whitehead – Joint MD First Trombone, and artwork designer – described the album in the sleeve notes:
“This album (the band’s first), represents the culmination of a project by our sound engineer – Pete Alcock – using traditional microphones
and techniques. No electronic cheating or fancy studio trickery here. The recordings on this CD are faithful to the classic Big Band sound of the
1950s, using a matched pair of BBC PGS ribbon microphones as designed by the BBC in 1954 and still in use by the Corporation today.”
You can listen to a couple of sample tracks from the album here:
This was a view of the band in action in the “studio”:
And this was my little setup in an adjacent room. Submixed the various sections into my 8 channel sound card inside the PC. Things have come on quite a long way since then, but we got a nice clear recording with good separation.