Labs got off to a flying start this year, with nearly £10,000 raised since our last mail (NB. Harry’s Tundra Atmos has proven to be a new star library in the making!). Your purchase of these libraries makes a huge difference to the lives of many, so thank you. We’ve decided to set a target for this year - to up the ante - and will be shooting for a total of £70,000 by the end of 2017 for our charities. Take a look below to check our progress!
HERE ARE THE Charity DONATION PORTALS:
A novel take on a human whistle, we’ve captured the results of whistling into our Yamaha upright with sustain enforced (brick on the pedal) - cue eerily reverberant and dank aerophonic beauty. Mic positions include close, at-the-strings and processed, which allows the introduction of some digital clipping. We tasked a Neumann M149 to capture the close field, and a Schoeps MK 5 to get sound at the piano strings. The processing involved converting via UAD into ProTools and slamming through their space echo emulator, plus a dash of EQ sculpting via their Pultec emulator.
The hammered dulcimer was recorded at Air-Edel studios with Nick Taylor as a personal pet project. I’m fascinated by how instruments are stereotyped and am always really interested in approaching samples differently to find an alternate life and use for instruments. With this dulcimer I wanted to get away from cold war spy thrillers, and so decided to see how quietly I could play the thing so as to usher out some magic. For me the quietest levels of sounds is where the gold is with sampling. With this in mind we needed a studio with a super-low noise floor which Air-Edel, one of the last remaining studios right in the centre of town, is excellent for. We used different mics but if I recall correctly the close mics were Neumann KM84s (the vintage cousin of KM184s). We chose these because they would give us a nice top end and help maintain our low noise floor.
For any of you who have forged a career as a film composer you will know that it is an existence blurred and slurred with a perennial exhaustion. I’m no exception - I’m tired all of the time. So, the biggest single challenge for me deep sampling this little beauty was not falling asleep all the time - first comes the snow blindness, where you can literally play two round robins and forget how many you’ve done, then comes the grey haze of falling asleep on the job. Air-Edel has been there since the early eighties and they have a button on the desk that plays a loud buzzer into the live room. So, first snow tiredness, then sleep, then the trauma of being sonically electrocuted into consciouness, over and over and over again. This was also the first experience I’d had of the samples vs oxygen problem - as we were recording notes that were so quiet I was prohibited from breathing whilst the note sounded. So, first snowblindness, then the sleep, then the electrocution, then suffocating slightly and the headache due to suffering mildly from the bends, but on dry land.
It was a total effing nightmare; I hope you think it was worth it!