Back in March, Rob Stow & I shared recording and mixing duties for the band Spirit of Play, at Alaska Studios. They rehearse reglar in Alaska’s practice rooms but wanted to make good recordings of two tracks for an online “festival” they’d entered.

The band consists of a drummer, a bassist, 12 string rhythm guitar and three of the band take turns with vocals/backups. They seemed more comfortable playing together rather than individually so we baffled the drum kit after mic’ing it up and did a couple of takes to get a feel for levels and tone. We also found they prefered playing along with vocals so to get the most relaxed peformances we set up vocal mics as well, but didn’t track them ’til the instruments were done. Getting two songs tracked and mixed in the day proved difficult in a 10hour day so we returned for a couple of hours each on two further evenings to finish off the mixes. You can hear both “Geek of the Week” and “Wave or Particle” on their MySpace site, and I’ve included snippets from “Geek of the Week” in my 2sd portfolio.

The songs were entered into the GeekPop festival, and a couple of months after the session we heard that one of the songs was featured in a New Scientist magazine podcast. Well done Spirit of Play!

The Geek Bit: The session gave Rob and I the chance to flex our engineer muscles in the full 24 track studio with separate live room, recording down to Logic 7.  We used a mixture of Avalon, Drawmer & Urei pre-amps and compression on both tracking and mix-down, AKG d112 for kick drum, Beyer 201s for toms & snare, AKG 414s in crossed-pair config for overheads, and an Electrovoice RE20 for vocals. All this went through the Avalon 8024 desk into Digidesign audio i/o.