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Riff Panda Collective

Riff Panda Collective

The Riff Panda Collective The Riff Panda Collective recently filmed some promotional videos at Threecircles Recording Studio. You can view the videos below. Who are Riff Panda? The Collective is a group of local musicians including Tom Reavey and brother Dan. Both brothers taught me when I was at school. Tom taught me drums and Dan taught Jazz piano so it’s a treat to record them at the studio. I recorded them at the beginning of the year. We recorded their pop function band as well as a smaller Jazz outfit. They then came back to record video footage to sync up for prootional purposes. Tom’s daughter Charlotte is also part of Riff Panda. She has recorded in her own right at the studio several times. You can read about one of her recent sessions HERE. What do Riff Panda do? Riff Panda is a top UK party band ideal for weddings, charity balls and corporate events. They are available as a 6-piece band or as a larger band featuring a horn section and extra backing singers. Riff Panda are experts in filling the dance floor with their high energy pop, rock, soul and funk. For more information about the Collective visit their website:...
Haydn Cox “Stranger Things” – Mixed at Threecircles

Haydn Cox “Stranger Things” – Mixed at Threecircles

Strange Mixed Things… Haydn Cox mixed his song “Stranger Things” at Threecircles. This was because he was struggling to get a good mix by himself and needed some help. The song is a fabulous homage to the recent Netflix show of the same name. The track also has a great 1980s feel in general which is no bad thing! This also meant that Haydn needed the mix to feel right. To cut a long story short, this was where I came in… The problem… Haydn booked a day in the studio after we sent a few emails back-and-forth. He had already mixed the track but was striving for a polished, produced sound. I had a few comments about where I thought I could improve the arrangement. Haydn made the necessary changes before sending over the audio files. There were A LOT of tracks in Haydns’ production. Part of my job, then, was to sort out what was necessary for the mix and what wasn’t. In the first place, I compiled several layered sounds into one to free up voices in Pro Tools and save the CPU. Even so, the track still needed 160 voices to play back! The solution… In this situation, much of the work involved getting the vocals to sit in the mix. I relied on Waves’ VEQ4 plugin for tonal shaping. Haydn had already used a lot of good reverb sounds. This meant I only required a “short room” preset from the TC M3000 to bring everything together. Also, like every song, this benefitted from automation. LOTS of automation! This is where the AVID C|24 console...
New Charlotte Reavey Video

New Charlotte Reavey Video

Charlotte Reavey has uploaded a new video of her singing Alicia Keys’ “If I Ain’t Got You”. She recorded a video recently at the studio. She has been here several times so is no stranger to Threecircles Recording Studio.   Furthermore, she is the daughter of local legend Tom and sings with the Riff Panda Collective. The Collective recently recorded and filmed Jazz sessions at the studio. Check back soon for more of their video features.   A classic vocal mic…   Without a doubt, one of the most-used vocal chains in history is to use an AKG C12 with a Neve 1073 mic preamplifier. Besides this, many people also use a Teletronix LA-2A for compression. Yet to use the originals would cost you well more than £15,000 today. So what can we do to achieve similar results?   With many female singers that come to the studio, I reach straight for my Apex 460 microphone. This mic is a modern take on the classic AKG C12 valve microphone. That mic would cost around £10,000 in today’s market so is out of the reach of many. The Apex is a great alternative and even better once modified.   I modified the microphone with a kit from Microphone Parts. The kit contains a new valve and premium parts. Additionally, I added a better head grille to the mic to improve its performance. It’s a very flattering microphone that suits a variety of voices. You can read more about how I modified the mic here. https://www.threecircles.co.uk/recording-studio-essex/news/c12251-tube-mic-build-client/   A classic mic pre…   So now that we have the microphone sorted, what about the preamp? I...
Hoshino Dry Hire at Threecircles Recording Studio

Hoshino Dry Hire at Threecircles Recording Studio

Why dry hire? Local band Hoshino recently booked dry hire sessions at the studio. Dry hire was a perfect fit for this band as bassist and synth player Matt Milligan is also the bands’ producer.   Matt is no stranger to recording studios, having worked for Unity Audio as well as PMT. Furthermore, Matt and the band have a clear idea of what they want to achieve and are used to recording each other.   Matt asked me to help with setting up drum mics and getting a solid sound for the record. Secondly, guitarist Adam wanted to track guitars in stereo. This provided me with a new set of challenges. I had to try to get as wide a sound as possible while still creating a focused sound. Lastly, I aided the band by setting up a vocal chain for singer Elloise. The Session Check out this great new video from Hoshino. This documents their recent recording sessions at Threecircles.   More info about the band can is available at the following links:   https://www.facebook.com/hoshinouk/   https://hoshino.bandcamp.com/   If you have a band, are competent in a studio and want a cheaper rate then why not ask us about dry hire? HOSHINO 2017 - "Holding On" OUT MARCH 15!WEDNESDAY THE 15TH! "Holding On" is out and we play Nambucca with DUSK AMETHYSTS and Grace Sarah!EVENT PAGEhttps://www.facebook.com/events/1765851630410636/?__mref=mbBig up Lucy Constantin for this awesome video!Posted by HOSHINO on Wednesday, 8 March...
Leigh-on-Sea Location Recording

Leigh-on-Sea Location Recording

I was recently invited to travel to Leigh-on-Sea near Southend to record a small baroque quartet who wished to record a song cycle of 9 German arias by George Frideric Handel. The quartet contained a Harpsichord which was the main reason for doing this recording on location – they are difficult things to move! I agreed to meet at the house at 10am and setup before the rest of the performers arrived at 11.30, giving me plenty of time to get ready. The Leigh-on-Sea Quartet The “Leigh-on-Sea Baroque Quartet” that I was tasked with recording; consisting of Harpsichord, Cello, Flute and solo Soprano. Location recording was requested due to the inability to move the harpsichord. This, however worked in my favour as the room lent itself to recording – lots of soft furnishings that meant that the acoustic was musical but fairly dry. Not knowing what to expect, I inevitably packed more much more equipment than I ended up using but this afforded a certain amount of options during the recording. The musicians were set up in the music room towards the rear of the house – affording some distance from road noise – and I set up in the front room. I ran a small 8-channel multicore between the rooms which afforded me some acoustic separation. This is really beneficial as monitoring on headphones when tracking without any speakers can be rather troublesome. Control RoomMy makeshift control room for the recording.   I used my trusty Presonus Studiolive 16:4:2 digital desk which fed my Macbook running Logic 9. A pair of PC speakers were utilised for playback duties. Once...
Cambridge Location Recording – Day 2

Cambridge Location Recording – Day 2

Before heading back to Caxton near Cambridge for the second day of location recording, I made a detour via the studio to check through the rough mix from the day before. I find that Genelec speakers tend to make everything sound pretty good so I wanted to check the balance on my trusted Yamaha NS10s in the studio. The good news was that the mix was working well and most importantly the bass was clear and defined – something I had been worried about when using the Genelecs. I had packed down a lot of my gear the night before and brought back a lot of the spurious equipment now that we’d finished tracking drums so setup was a simpler affair – I created a “control area” out of the way in the main music room where I could setup speakers for playback as well as have mics setup for vocals with a set of headphones and a floor wedge covering fold-back duties for the singers. The 'Control Room' The “control room” setup for the second day. This was in the music room to facilitate easy recording and communication with larger groups of singers not to mention freeing up the billiards table for the social activities! Vocal mic can be seen along with the fold-back monitor for the group recordings. I chose a Neumann TLM103 for the main vocal mic with a metal pop shield and SE Relexion filter to try and capture as clean a recording as possible. I ended up not using the relexion filter after all due to a shortage of mic stands – I had clearly...