This was a super fun function band recording project to mark the end of 2016! We were tasked with recording and mixing an entire portfolio of work that would capture the talents of a collective of musicians who perform under the umbrella of Paul Wharton’s Jukebox function band company.
The project spanned multiple studio days spread over a window of two months. It’s hard to get 20+ musicians together at the same time after all! Each individual outfit had their own recording day and once they were all captured we followed up with several dedicated mixing days, and finally mastering provided by Pete Maher.
Starting out in our large hall, we recorded the Jukebox jazz quartet: Drums, Piano, Bass and Saxophone performing three classic jazz standards; beautifully, I might add. We always love recording our grand piano and this was a double treat as the pianist also did a lovely solo version of ‘You’ve Got A Friend In Me.’ On kit that day was Daniel Whitelegg. Judging by the amount of drums he brought with him there was definitely going to be some great drum recordings by the end of the day. He had an entire Yamaha range with him! Three different bass drums to choose from and a whole host of other stuff. And his playing was spot on!
The whole cohort were extremely talented and clearly, very well rehearsed. Professional musicians like this made our job of making a professional function band recording really easy. When you’ve got great music playing with quality equipment it’s hard not to get a good recording.
Half way through the first day we headed up to the live room with the first rhythm section. Using our new custom build baffles we got a clean, isolated drum recording with a guitar amp in the same room, boxed off in the corner with four musicians in there altogether.
The baffles, purposely mobile, made great separators when it came to overdubbing the brass parts the next morning and a perfect vocal booth following the next rhythm section that finished up on the second day. Smoothly landing on the third day getting all the vocals done, including lead and backing parts to all five tracks in one day!
After the tracking days had come to an end we got the great news that Paul wanted to include a string quartet in the portfolio! What a treat for any audio engineer. The quartet, Grazia Strings, were incredible and did the job swiftly and professionally. We actually recorded them in the small room due to everyones mixed availability and using our two 3u Audio Warbler MKVIs through our new Audient preamps we didn’t even need EQ… the sound was pristine. Complimented by our Steven Slate Verbsuite you would struggle to believe it was recorded in our small live room.
As mentioned earlier, when you have musicians of this caliber in the studio, getting the recordings to sound right doesn’t even feel like work. The tracks blended together seamlessly and we got through it in what felt like no time. And the time we did spend on it we loved every minute!
What an awesome function band recording project to be involved with!