Recording our music

Recording our music

Our songs are born on the road. We travel through the country(side) with just an old acoustic guitar, a contrabas and a tape recorder. Back home we go through all these recordings to find the best songs and finalize the arrangements and lyrics. We’re now at a stage that we feel comfortable recording some of these songs “for real” so about a month ago we took some time to record the songs beautifully…

TheNorthColor-StefWe setup shop in a fantastic building in Oirschot where all sorts of creative companies work, including Dennis’ architects team. With a sea of space and even a small soundproofed booth we had everything we could wish for. The first day was spent re-recording some drum parts and making Stef a more integral part of the songs. He joined later so we already had some drums in place, that were not his own choice or style. When Stef pulled out an assortment of dried goat-nails on a string as a shaker I knew legendary things would go down that weekend. And they did…

The second half of the first day was spent recording Accordeon with Karin Koster who we met earlier this year. She’s a great player and loves improvisation so we spent a good two hours recording various elements. Especially our songs that have a “sea” theme become breathtaking with accordeon, its just instantly taking you to a Mediterranean beach view.

TheNorthColor-recordingdebut-RikvanBavelThe second day we focused on re-recording acoustic guitars to replace to rather lo-fi location recordings. We also added some beautiful electric guitar layers for some glamor here and there. Sjoerd is especially great at finding smart little picked lines and details that totally take the song in a new direction. Opening opportunities.

We also recorded some organ parts with Sjoerd’ vintage Philicorda, which can be heard on the song “Signal Gone”. This song was lacking direction and we spent some time with Rik, Dennis and Sjoerd to figure out what the arrangement needed. It wasn’t easy and the long hours of recording resulted in some irritable moods. But we figured it out and turned out to be one of our most fun and unusual songs.

We wrapped up our recording sessions by doing contrabas and electric bass, using both a direct signal and amp in the room. Contrabas is a tricky instrument to put to tape and some time was spent to find a sound we liked.

“exploration is also about discovering what you don’t need”

We had a blast. Finalizing these first songs for our debut was an amazing experience. Balancing studio with our “in the moment” vibe and pureness is a learning curve. There’s something magical of these first, sometimes iPhone recordings of our songs, and the magic is easily lost when trying to record it too perfectly in the studio. There’s beauty in imperfection for sure. We surely spent time recording things that we might end up never using, but exploration is also about discovering what you don’t need – more so than to confirm what you already know…

To be continued!

Author The North Color

The North Color is an indie folk band from the Netherlands. Writing and recording while traveling places, painting in colors and impressions.

More posts by The North Color

Leave a Reply