Tuesday, 26 May 2015

WVC+1 Waiting For That Day @ StarMount Studio

Finally after 6 years of waiting, we have got the chance to record the latest album for WVC TRIO+1 "Waiting For That Day". Its such a special occasion as this is one of the must do list set 6 years ago. We were recording Tokyo Blue "Naked Soul" and WVC was also releasing their debut album at the same time frame. The band was so good that we set out a goal to be able to record them one day.

The band, lead by Tay Cher Siang on the piano and keys are one of the hardest working jazz band that we know of. Constantly reaching out to the audience for the passion they have on jazz music, having performances in large to small scales. Most importantly they also held several music workshops to share their passion and spread the awareness towards jazz music to the local communities.

We were delighted to have the band in the studio. As this was also special to StarMount as we were in a transition to change our system entirely, from Pro Tools HD environment into a total alien system- Pyramix Masscore.

It was also a bold decision as we were considering system upgrades to improve our workflow and output quality. And we got a demo unit courtesy of Salzbrenner Stagetec Mediagroup Asia to try out the system. It was in Pyramix 8 Masscore with Horus interface and we were loving the sound already.

We did not want to put the session at risk and decided to go on with our current Pro Tools system for a smoother workflow. As we proceed to recording the 2nd song from the band, we just couldn't hold it longer than to halt the session, requested 30 minutes break, reroute everything into Horus and Pyramix and resume recording.

We were then able to record at 192khz 24 bit, and we were impressed by the powerful DAW to handle high track counts without breaking sweat. The Horus mic pre were solid and had ample headroom for us to track the entire album without the need of any compressors. We did have the stereo piano through Neve Portico 5043 for the color and also the drums through the buss compressor from the Audient Zen Console (we called it the magic box)

The AD/DA conversion was superb. We had a larger stereo spread, higher headroom, and a better representation of separation as compared to our previous Lavry Blue. Though we love the punch and tightness  from the Lavry Blue AD/DA, Horus seems to have an upper hand for recording natural acoustic instruments.

We had maximum of three passes for each songs, sometimes one. It was thrilling to work with such efficiency and it challenge us to capture the chemistry whenever music is being played. Cutting down direct mics and focusing more on the overall was our objective. We would want to preserve the performance at its most organic form, which was in line with the band's idea of recording.

We love our tube ribbons, and it was placed on the acoustic double bass and as additional mono overhead for the drums. The bottom end was lush yet having a cushioned texture, and surprisingly we could get enough separation from the drumkit, which was just less than 1 metre away from the double bass.

sE 4400a pair was our favorite on the grand piano. We were able to play with different tones by switching polar patterns and its flat shape provides sufficient flexibility and reach for a semi covered lid. For a touch of color, Neve Portico 5043 were called up for the job, applying some sweet transformer characters towards a powerful and composed piano tone.

3 different microphones were used for saxophones, sE Gemini MK2, JZ 11 and AK47 by Telefunken. All of them contributed to the detail and tone, fitting the mood of the songs. No EQ were applied and what you heard from the record were just from the microphones.

"Waiting For That Day" is out in CD album and also available on iTunes. If you are in Malaysia, and better, in KL, Catch them live (WVC Trio +1 Concert) on the coming 24th and 25th of June 2015 at KL Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) for two nights of musical journey with the band.

Can you tell which tracks are of Pro Tools and Which are from Pyramix?

WVC Trio+1 with special guest visiting

+1 Julian


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