This album was a treat to be a part of. It begin 13 years before I got involved. I’ll let Eddy tell the story:
“In 2003 my father died as I was traveling sacred pre-Christian sites in Ireland. Over the trip I wrote an album’s worth of songs dealing with loss, impermanence and grief. Started putting the album together and tracking in early 2004 then experienced a severe breakdown, and scrapped the project.
On Sunday, June 4th,2017, 14 years later, after losing both my brother Michael and my dear friend and longtime musical partner Brad Clarke earlier this year, I recorded the whole thing in one epic session; 13 songs altogether; 10 originals plus covers by my dearly missed friend Van Lawton, The Cure and PJ Harvey.”
Needless to say, this record has ghosts. We tracked the record in one day at The Halo Studios in Maine. We got Eddy’s guitar and vocal takes in about four hours, then spent another three or four recording tin whistle and backing vocals. There were a lot of room mics on this album, pretty much all the overdubs (whistle, backing vocals) were recording with ribbon room mics, where I had the performer stand in a different spot of the room for each overdub. For multiple takes, it sounds like a room full of musicians playing when you add them all together.
For the technically minded, this is the first album I’ve ever mixed using the Harrison Mixbus 32C DAW. This is a great mixing platform based on the open-source Ardour DAW, but with Harrison’s emulation of their famous 32C analog console bootstrapped on to it. I really like the workflow, and especially the sound, in mixing this way. I definitely plan to continue using Mixbus for mixing.
Very happy this song from The Droimlins was released. This is probably my favorite track from the EP we did earlier this year. These are a bunch of great songs, but this one had something special in the performance. The Droimlins describe themselves thusly:
Multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Otis and songsmith Eddy Dyer, both formerly of The Reagan Babies have again joined forces tocreate The Droimlins, Lowell’s newest Celtic Gypsy Punk outfit; regaling you with songs of Drinking And Rebellion.
The recording was done very simply, in a small, untreated room. It was done live in one take to preserve the performance aspect of what they do. The arrangement on this song is fantastic, the interplay between the guitar and the accordion, with the vocals sitting right on top, is really good.
I recorded the accordion with 2 dynamic microphones that have excellent sound and fantastic rear rejection, so I could maximize separation from the guitar & Eddy’s voice. Accordions produce sounds from both ends, so you really need 2 mics to do it justice. I used a pair of ribbons to record Eddy’s acoustic guitar, along with a tube mic for Eddy’s vocals. These all gave really nice tones, despite the very far from perfect room, with lots of flexibility during the mix. Because there was significant bleed between everything, I didn’t bother recording room mics, and they weren’t needed in the mix.
This one was fun. The basic tracks were recorded in the same way as Rest Inside (her debut EP), using my recording rig. The first track (An Aftertaste) was recorded at home, with the rest of the tracks done over at Halo Studios’ live room. The performance of An Aftertaste on the home recording was just too good, so we kept it. All the songs basic tracks were six tracks total: stereo ribbon mics on the guitar, an AKG 414 on vocals, a pair of Gefell room mics, and a DI out of the guitar.
However, there was much more post production on this one. I used the DI output to reamp the guitar on several tracks, including Little Hoaxes/Little Hopes above, which is my personal favorite track on the album. This one has a lot more texture and sonic depth than the previous recording, and the growth of the artist as a songwriter and performer is apparent since her debut EP. I also did the mixing and mastering on this one.