Jaxon Arundell - Acoustic E.P. - Pre Production Plan
Record an E.P. of acoustic songs that Jaxon has written. The E.P. will be used to showcase Jaxon as a singer/songwriter and to attract an audience to his other work including his band’s upcoming E.P. and his work as an engineer. This acoustic E.P. will be in stark contrast to the heavier E.P. to be released by the band. To showcase the two sides of Jaxon’s songwriting. A light mix will then take place to turn this EP into a coherent curation.
We will record 5 songs live with guitar and vocals together and all mistakes included. We will use full microphone set up so we have pre-production time to make sure our plan works and make any adjustments necessary before the actual tracking. We will be paying close attention to any phasing issues and make sure our set up works, once we have our set up locked in, it will be important to be consistent across the main sessions. We will be finding our mixing preferences during this process. Our goal is to achieve a natural reverb from the room mics.
Main Body of the Song:
Once we have recorded the scratch tracks we will use them as a guide to record clean guitar takes with no vocals so we can really focus on the little details, adding double tracking and melodies where needed. Once this is done we will set the vocal mics up and record several good vocal passes of each song with a focus on phrasing and personality but with the intention of comping the vocal takes.
Extra Textures and Melodies:
Once all the rhythm guitar and vocal tracks are done we will comp the takes into a comprehensible mix and then set about adding a little bit of decoration where necessary. Our approach to this will be minimal and we will be looking for just a few simple guitar melodies and maybe some MIDI textures or effects just added very subtly to give the songs a bit of character and to keep the listener engaged.
Jaxon Arrundell - Vocals, backup vocals and guitar
Shay Jagger - Live Engineer, Desk Engineer, Mixing Engineer
Jaxon Arundell - Artist, Mixing Engineer
A Post Modern Parable
The No Girlfriend Waltz
Original Live Room Sketch For Guitar Tracking
Our goal will be to capture a dark ambient guitar tone and a close and intimate vocal performance within the indie folk genre. We have been particularly influenced by Elliot Smith, Nirvana, John Frusciante and Nick Drake. On one hand, we want a vintage low-fi sound but we also want to put everything we've learnt into these recordings, to make them really something special. For this reason, we have gone all out on our microphone choices and set up. We have chosen to do this in the Neve live room which has a dark sound and have chosen to use the Rode K2 valve microphones as ambient room mics and the Royer R121's as Blumleins in the centre of the room to really capture a darker tone. while the AKG C451B and AKG C414 on the guitar will give us a brighter, cleaner sound. This will allow us to blend the tones when mixing and will also be a great learning experience for us both.
Before committing to microphones for vocals we tried out a whole bunch to find out what suited Jaxon's voice the best. We settled on a Shure Super 55 and an AKG C414 as the two close mics for the lead vocals. This will also give us a nice contrast of vintage low-fi and crisp detail to blend as we please. We will be using the Royer R121 on the backup vocals and harmonies just for a something a bit more gentle.
We have designed our own setup and sound based on the room and equipment we have available to us. We did do some research on production techniques and equipment (specifically on Elliot Smith) but decided while those things worked for him, he worked with what he had, which was actually very little and it was the intimacy and aesthetics of the recordings that made them special. So in a sense, we are referencing the aesthetics with an open approach and exploring the sonic boundaries on our own terms.