The Deep Dark Woods – Oct ’08

Just spent 2 weeks with the Deep Dark Woods from Saskatoon. They’re a great band who have 2 albums out already and this is going to be their 3rd. They are really together and tight live, so I knew that we should be trying to capture as much of that as we could in the studio. The idea was to spend one week at the Factory in Vancouver, recording all the live stuff, and then going back to the Henhouse, my place, for overdubs, some editing, rough mixing etc.


Tracking was really smooth, and once we were set up, we were firing through songs pretty quickly. The band was all in one room. Amps were slightly isolated, and we built a small booth for Ryan, the lead singer. Although, it wasn’t really a booth because he’s so tall, his head was above the highest baffle. It helped a bit though in keeping the drums out of the vocal mics, but on a few of the louder tunes, there’s still more drums than vocals. It sounds cool though and adds alot of character to the sound. And yes, this means that pretty much all the vocals were done live off the floor and not fixed… impressive. I think the most takes we did was 4 of one of the tunes. Only one song, “2-time loser” had overdubbed vocals – and only because it was a really loud song – drums were cranking, amps were ripping, and I could hardly hear any vocals in the vocal mic. Anyway, we got through 12 songs, plus an extra instrumental and a cover of a mississippi sheiks song in the days we were there. We also spent some time overdubbing a few things, experimenting with some sounds, and I submixed the drums, which I love doing there in the lovely old Neve console. It allows me to work with just 1 or 2 tracks of drums later on at my place. If we do it right, about 80% of these submixes actually work for the final mix and it saves alot of hassle down the line. Plus, comitting to those sounds early really helps the creative process, I find.

Back at the Henhouse, we did some more guitars, pedal steel, a few vocal things, and rough mixed the entire album for the fellas to take home with them. I’m completing and mixing it in the next couple weeks, so all-in-all, it was a pretty quick project, but sounds fantastic!


~ by stevedawson on October 11, 2008.

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