Yesterday, we travelled to Cwmbran Brass Band Hall in South Wales to record our eight-piece brass ensemble parts.
It was like a mini re-union, as we got together people from school and uni, and boy did it sound good!
Everyone was a complete star; very accomodating and helpful, which was nice We really enjoyed the day, although we were exhausted by the end of it.
Jim played trumpet, I played Flugel and Ben conducted! It was*very* warm in the band hall, as the sun was beating down and (obviously) we couldn’t have any windows open. Still, it helped me keep the Flugel in tune; the cold really plays havoc with brass instrument tuning.
I haven’t played any horn for quite a while, so I had to spend the couple of weeks before practising to ensure my lips were up to the job. It was a good experience playing in an ensemble like that again. Reminded me a little of my old brass-banding years – only this time with pro musicians and music written by us!
Poor Ben had to conduct us with a click track in his ears. It started off that he was conducting along to the actual track on headphones, but he soon realised that brass groups play just behind the conductor. This meant that we were always behind the track – very distracting for Ben…
After we figured that out, it all worked ok and we got some amazing parts down. A quick listen back confirmed that the mics we’d borrowed from a friend (thanks, Thom!) were perfect for the job. Superb clarity and a real sense of space.
Now we’ve just got to find a space in the mix for the extra sounds. He he!