This morning I’ve got the fifth installment in an ongoing series of journal posts to help bring you behind the scenes of The VinylCast and have a peak at just how we make the sausage.
How do you make a live recording sound amazing? That was my next goal. Depending on how deep you want to get, there are a near infinite number of factors at play. To keep it simple, it really comes down to the equipment, the people doing the recording, the location and perhaps most importantly of all, making some great sound to begin with.
I could upgrade my own gear which would literally costs thousands to tens of thousands, if not more depending on just how all-in on amazing sound I wanted to go. I happened across a better option later that week.
While hunting around for potential recording locations for future episodes, I got to chatting with the head of Selkirk College’s music school. I mentioned about working on improving the sound of the show to get his professional advice. He recommended one of his graduates from the year prior who had tremendous talent with recording and mixing and was a good guy that could be relied on and trusted.
I got in touch, and after a quick call talking about the idea, the opportunity, the business and what the business really needed…which was him to a T, and after some discussion he was on board as an equity partner in the business.
Perfect! Not only did Drey bring talent in recording but he also brought a host of his own high-end recording gear…mic’s worth more than I care to imagine, and a full professional recording rig. I had never met the guy in person. He lives in the Lower Mainland of BC, an 8-hour drive away. At the same time, we also added a video/ web specialist to the team named Zeb as an equity partner. We now had high end recording equipment and personnel, we had a web and video pro, and I could focus further on the business development and booking bands. Everything was perfect in theory and now just needed a test run.
I arranged 3 band interviews around the Kaslo Jazz Fest on the August long weekend and invited Zeb (easy as he lives in Kaslo) and Drey to join me for the weekend and do our first run through’s recording together. I was impressed with Drey right from the start, showing the commitment to the project to drive a full 8 hours our to Kaslo for the weekend.
The weekend proved a perfect test run for a new team. Working in a new venue, with each other for the first time, there were several unexpected hiccups to test us. We had The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra call us 15 minutes before recording time to say their bass player was severely ill and they were going to the hospital…5 minutes later they call back to say, nope, the show must go on, and they would come and do the show, then go to the hospital. That’s Rock and roll at it’s core for you.
On the Friday night of the long weekend, our first artist to record with, the legendary Fred Penner called just before recording time to ask for the address of the hall. Turns out he was about 80km away. He still made it by 7:00pm that evening though, committed to do the episode. We had a very deep and emotional conversation into his fascinating past, and then he played us a few of his unreleased tunes. The best part of all however? After the show when his eyes light up at the sight of Drey’s guitar. “Can I touch it?” he says and picks it up to play some tunes. At 70 years old he was as excited about music as someone on the first day they pick up a guitar. It was truly inspiring to see. Shame about the parking ticket and note from a neighbour left on his windshield about his parking though.. Oops.
Out of that first Kaslo weekend we edited together a truly awesome episode featuring The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra that will be featured in Season 1. Working together with the new team was truly excellent, and a great first weekend to get to know each other, have some fun, and create some recorded magic.
Now the true test though. What would people think? I sent the episode back out to a few of the same contacts from round 1, as well as to a few people in the industry and waited…fingers crossed.
The first reply from Universal Canada’s rep that I had been working with on booking bands, “This is Fantastic! I can’t wait to hear all of the episodes.”
And then from a booking agent in the industry, “The VinylCast has tapped into the “Behind the scenes,” approach that I look for. This show has hit on exactly what makes music personal to the listener.”
YES! So, Stoked! The show was officially awesome, and the new team worked great together. Now… I just had to put together the logistics to make the whole operation run… a bigger task that I first thought. That’s where we’ll pick up tomorrow.