Around this time every year I organize a set of recording sessions for the final year students on the BSc Music Technology course at Swansea Metropolitan University. The idea behind these sessions is to record a band ‘live in the studio’ in full 24-bit/96kHz surround. The past couple of years I’ve booked Gypsy Jazz but they weren’t available this year, and so on the advice of my colleague Pete Williams I booked Roots & Galoots, a Bluegrass band based in South-West Wales.
I have to say that initially I was a little dubious because, with three vocalists, I felt that it might be difficult to achieve any decent recordings in the time allotted—each group of 3 or 4 students gets 3 hours to do the recording—without recourse to setting up a PA etc.. The whole idea of it is that it’s basically an acoustic session. Anyway, it turned out very well. Roots & Galoots were highly skilled musicians and very professional in their approach, and you can see from the following video how they managed to balance themselves up:
Brilliant! Like a ‘real’ recording session from the 1950s (or earlier). No overdubbing, no drop-ins, no MIDI, no samplers, no editing, and no place to hide for either musicians or engineers. Just good musicians recorded straight with good equipment. Deep, deep, joy.
[Note: the video was recorded with my Nokia N70. No post-production apart from trimming the start and finish.]