Sometimes I arrive at the studio 2 hours early to scrutinize every microphone placement and ensure the quality of the capture from a technical perspective. That’s me as an engineer.
Other times I’ll hire an engineer to handle the technical duties, while I tend to the creative stuff, offering ideas to the talent that improve the song and assisting each player to their best performance, whatever that entails. That’s me as a producer.
And from time to time, I’m the talent being recorded. I get to sit back while some poor engineer loses his mind on mic placements and some unfortunate producer goes grey over groove templates as I thrash away at my instrument of choice.
But more often than not, I’m the engineer, the producer and the talent.
SONS OF GRANVILLE
One of my favourite projects is recording film scores with composer Thomas Beckman. Typically, he performs all the string and keyboard parts while I add the guitars, ukuleles and bass. His avant-garde arrangements are a stark contrast to my pop sensibilities, so we cover a lot of ground: www.sonsofgranville.com
GEE & BROWN
A while back, I met a singer-songwriter with an album of smooth acoustic folk music. He was inspired to go in a new direction: something a little more modern and electrified, but still conceived from his acoustic discoveries.
Recently, Nick Gee and I started writing songs together and really developing a chemistry in the studio. Inspiration now flies readily, along with bowls of pho and the finest french press. We set a goal to get our songs picked up by major artists, and I feel that coming even sooner than we could have hoped!