I've been tricking around with computer music since my early teens, pain stakingly trying to get song ideas from my head and turn them into the stuff we hear on our radio's, I never imagined the learning curve that would be involved! I guess hours upon hours of sitting google-eyed, humpbacked over a laptop has finally bared some fruit.
This weekend my good mates at Cornerboy release a video for their song "Morning, Morning" a foot stomping folk anthem. The video is shot in Wexford and produced by Reel view, but importantly also the title track itself was co-produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by myself, all of course which was under the careful surveillance of Mr. Darcy himself, the songwriter and visionary behind these carefully crafted pieces of melodic poetry.
The Recording of Morning, Morning - Recording for the track began November 2012, most of it largely taking place in the sitting room of my parents house and at the drummers house, Mr. Michael Sutherland (Suds). Considering the recording conditions, the basic gear that was used and the time-frame needed, the quality of the track is remarkable. Using only two mics for all instruments, a Shure SM57 and a Rode NT1A condensor. I felt the best way to record was to let Suds and Michael play together first, since I felt drumming solo to a click track may have caused problems and overall screwed up the groove of the track. After about ten full takes of the song, the band sat down and choose the most competent and perfected recording (which if I recall was number 9!). After this it was down to the craftfulf task of layering on the keys, bass, banjo, fiddle and a bible full of backing vocals, not to mention extra drum sections, rimshots, claps, whoops and floor stomps!
As great as I think I am sometimes :-) the reason this track came out so well was the natural ability and energy from the live playing, the fact it is a well written and well transitioned track that is carefully arrangement to hold interest. These factors lend to give an energetic, dynamic song with depth and impact. It has been another lesson learned for myself as an audio engineer and a producer that (a) audio production gimmicks will only get you so far, make the song writing and arrangement a priority. This leads me on to young artists who wish to record songs for themselves in the future, don't get seduced by someone with all the flashy gear etc, I would much prefer selecting an engineer/producer with experience and a proven track record. (b) I found it much easier to make decisions on this track when it wasn't my own creation and the age old problem of getting too close to your own material never really became an issue despite playing some piano, bass and backing vocals to the track. It is why you should always get someone else to help "package" your music for you.
I had actually been part of the Cornerboy team during their beginning period, playing keys and backing vocals with them for numerous gigs, which includes infamous Whelans in Dublin and the spirit of folk festival in Co. Meath. Unfortunately I had strict intentions of traveling in the new year (2013), the choice of leaving while the ever growing popularity of the band surged made that decision that little bit harder, but I followed my heart in the end and went with it 100%.
These guys have put in an exhaustable amount of hard work to get to where they are and no one deserves it more. I am confident you will see the Cornerboy brand growing legs very quickly and know... ;-) there will be plenty more BIG folk anthems coming very soon! The boulder has started rolling.....
If you would like to purchase their debut e.p morning morning go to www.cornerboy.org
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