In Session with Jeff Child

JJeffChilds1eff Child is a didjeridoo shaman, but he also writes funky reggae-rock tunes and performs every part. Last week, he came to Vogville with local producer and fellow multi-instrumentalist Mike Paton. After briefly surveying the scene, Jeff opted to start with the acoustic guitar bed tracks. His initial guitar performances would provide the rhythmic backbeat needed to guide the drum recording. Since he was playing all the parts, the rhythmic tendencies would be consistent, and the transitional moments in each song’s arrangement would have a special cohesion, kind of like a ‘secret sauce’. I sensed that he could pull this off without the mind-crutch of a metronome…so we immediately put the man to the test!

Us engineers and assistants could only ponder at the music inside his head, but we certainly enjoyed the “unveiling” as I will call it, that occurred throughout the process as Jeff added successive elements to the songs, like the bass, electric guitars and vocals. As for the drums, we kept it simple on the capture. We used only 4 microphones (kick out, snare, overhead, staircase), shaping the sound of the live room with a few baffles. Mike discovered a bass-y spot half-way up the front staircase. which we fed through a crushing compression to give the sturdy back beat a little more aggression and….I don’t know…. indie cred?

JeffChilds2

While the drums were being torn down to make way for guitar amps and vocal booths, he recorded scratch vocals from the control room. Jeff recorded his guitar parts from the control room, with the signal feeding a Mesa Boogie amp on the other side of the glass. Jeff and Mike worked together to concoct guitar tones for each song, and when it came time to record them, Jeff would perform the pedal switches on the fly. He chose to go barefoot, because he is a feel player after all.

One More Time” Teaser

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