Permanent Revolution - Backup Vocals Tracking Session, Reflection

This was just a short 4 hour session to add a few back up vocals to the tracks.

The back up vocals fell into 2 categories:

1 Gang Vocals

2 Solo back-up vocals by the bass player Jimmy.

Everyone was there on time at 9:00 ready to go, the band went for a walk to grab coffee while we set up, and discussed the mixing we’d been working over the week. I believe that this session was also a preview for the band of shape the tracks were starting to take.

The Set Up

There wasn’t a lot to set up just 2 microphones and some head phones so it’s was a pretty casual start. We were all pretty slow to get started and didn’t really hit the ground running like we have in the previous sessions. It wasn’t all wasted time, since the last session we’d actually started mixing the tracks so we were playing those to the band, discussing things we were happy with and unhappy with and it served as a bit of a reflection on the project up to this point for the whole group.

Gang Vocal Set Up

Jimmy Backup Vocal Set Up

Paul voiced that he was not 100% happy with all the lead vocals we had tracked and asked very humbly if we would mind redoing some of them. Adam and I agreed that we thought some of them could have been better and we all had a pretty honest discussion about it. No feelings were hurt and we decided to write out the list of songs and as we went through them today to flag any that we thought could be improved. By 10:00 we had started tracking so we were still on the road with plenty of time.

Reflection is the most Important Part of the Learning Process

The Tracking

We started with the gang vocals which the boys executed with ease. There was a great energy to these takes and it was amazing how much dynamics it added to the songs. There was only really Gang vocals on 3 songs, we played the whole track to record those few parts and after capturing a good take the boys came back into the room to listen back to each track. This all went without any drama and we then moved onto Jimmy’s Back up vocals. These were just a few lines and a few call and response parts on 4 songs, which were done with relative ease, they added a great contrast to Paul’s vocals and really brought the songs to life. One song we decided would actually benefit from some added gang vocals, so once we had finished Jimmy’s parts we recorded some gang vocals onto one last song. This was all done by 12:20 allowing us time to pack down and reflect.

The Pack Down

We were packed down in a matter of minutes and had plenty of time for discussion and reflection. We discussed which songs we wanted to redo lead vocals for and we all agreed we would send Paul MP3’s of all the songs in the next few days so he can really go over them and we would set one more session to make sure we are all happy with the vocals. This will add one more session to our project plan but is still well within scope, because we have everything we need to start mixing and have already gotten a head start on. We will continue to mix as planned with one more session to be arranged asap, just to fix up a few vocal parts. I believe we are still well on target to have the project mixed and ready to be sent for mastering by the 29th of July (end of week 9) as per the production plan.

Permanent Revolution Production Plan

After Thoughts

Now that the main part of the tracking is done there is this strange feeling of relief even though the hard work is just about to begin. I am honestly really happy with how the tracking for this project has gone, we had a good plan, we stuck to it and referred back to it, the band and production team have all put in the work to get this done and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far.

Now we just have to mix it...


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