Davy Knowles

The official website for Blues/Rock/Roots musician, Davy Knowles. 

Filtering by Tag: recording

Update From The Studio #3

The last day. 

Man,  that went fast.  8 tunes, 3 days.  Very happy.  Great studio,  great engineer and great band.  I'm a lucky guy. 

For the most part,  I only ever played one guitar and one amplifier,  the no longer rented (now bought) Fender Telecaster and my Bludotone Bludodrive, 'Mabel. Only pedal I used was a tuner and my Pete Cornish boost for one solo. My trusty old 1934 National guitar made it on a track too. Only other effect was the Fulltone Tube Tape echo our engineer, Anthony used on my solo tone.  This was definitely done in the true spirit of what we set out to do.  Minimal fuss,  just simple, raw, great sounds.  Trying to capture performances.

Michael Coakes,  a friend of mine and a fantastic photographer,  took some cracking photos,  again in the spirit of our 'vintage vibe' recording.  Check out these polaroids.

Cheers,  and can't wait to share the new stuff with you!

D

Update From The Studio # 2

I think I'm going to call this next release 'Three Miles From Avalon'.  I wrote a song recently by the same name, we put down the rhythm track to it yesterday.

It was really about being on the cusp of achieving what you set out to do,  having it in your sight, but somehow never quite reaching it.  The last couple of years have been a bit tough, and it's only now I feel i'm starting to get back on track.  It felt like a good time to vent a little about it in a (hopefully) musical way.  

I do realise that you are always on the cusp though, and that perspective is subjective to time.  

I used to hate the studio.  It was like a poor imitation of the kick I got playing live.  I was told we needed to record so we could go gig other places. Get more gigs. Agent needed material to entice promoters with, then we can play more. Money? Nah. I've always been a bit shit about that.  Makes me squirm. Playing more was my incentive.  That's never changed.  It's just that now,  I don't really mind playing for a room full of microphones anymore.  I'm actually really enjoying it this time around.

So here are some pictures of us playing for a room full of microphones,  taken by my good friend Michael Coakes. 



 

Update From The Studio #1. 'The Old Fashioned Way'

We're back in the studio.  

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It hasn't been long since I was recording last,  but this is different.  Very different. 

Firstly,  I've been sitting on a lot of songs. They needed taking beyond the home demo's and sketches that I had scattered around.  It was time. 

Secondly,  this is a band.  

For a while recording, to me,  has been about assembly.  Don't get me wrong, I don't mean generic production line, get it on the conveyer belt and here's a record that sounds done. But rather,  let's assemble some great players,  people who we know will do a great job,  and let's record these tunes,  bit by bit, by bit.  Make a mistake? It's OK,  we can go back and fix that.  There's always been a bit of a safety net,  and I've definitely needed it sometimes. I'm not ashamed of it, there's nothing wrong with this approach, and it's kind of the norm these days,  stop and start, stop and start. But it has left me finding it difficult to gather the adrenalin, the excitement, and the energy the same way I do when I play live.  

Not this time. 

This feels a little meaner, a little more dangerous,  a little more exciting.  For the first time in a long time I feel I am part of a band of musicians who are just going to play. Live, together, and to two-inch tape.   It feels a more honest representation of actually what I sound like and what I do.  Actually, more importantly, what we do. It's invigorating. 

We have 3 days in the studio,  2 days left.  8 tracks to cut.  2 down.   I purposefully hardly brought any gear to the studio,  and so far for both the tracks we've recorded I have used the same guitar (a rented Telecaster) and the same amplifier (my trusty Bludotone Bludodrive).  No pedals, except for tuning up. I wanted this album to sound stripped down, raw, energetic, aggressive, a performance record. All about the vibe,  the feel. Less about 'perfection'.  Production is minimal, and taken care of by myself, the band, and our engineer, Anthony Gravino,  as we go along. 

I also can't believe that this is my first time recording analogue, to tape. It's extremely satisfying,  and that sound... There is nothing like it,  no plugin, no emulation, that can get that beautiful warm, glue on your sound.  It sounds like a record immediately.  There's also a beautiful lack of freedom.  Something about the limitations in recording this way that really spurs you on to capture something magical. 

It's sad that this is kind of a novelty now.  Recording a band playing live to tape. But sometimes it's the old fashioned way of doing things which are still the best.