Recording Cats in Paris’s 2nd album.
13th-15th August 2010
As seen through the eyes of Marcus Alexander (assisting on the session).
I’m assisting George as he tracks 7 songs by the self proclaimed purveyors of odd-ball pop – Cats in Paris.
We concentrated on just the drums to start with, with a view to laying down bass, synths and vocals at the same time for maximum ‘vibes’. No click is being used as the boys prefer to get the ‘feel’ from just playing together and they certainly don’t need a click to achieve the right groove and tightness.
An hour so passes and drums are setup. Tuning begins with a bit of dampening applied on specific drums. The snare proves a little elusive to capture and a bit of experimentation ensues: first with tuning and mic position, then with mic choice. This coupled with some fine-tuning of some serious phase alignment produces a powerful snare sound that coupled with the carefully sculpted and potent kick, forms the solid foundation of the drums.
The toms sound is achieved with relative ease, some careful and tweaked tuning, mic placement, and EQ provides a tom sound that is the perfect balance between tone and resonance. George comments: “sounds like the Beatles tom sound.” And it does!
George is using some modern and vintage ribbon mics as overheads and in front of the kit to capture overall kit sound and cymbals. The ribbons help take the harsh high end out of the cymbals that can be difficult to control. The end product is a very pleasing rounded and balanced kit sound that combined with the kick and snare are making the drums sound very natural yet powerful and punchy.
Midway through the second day, 7 songs have been tracked on drums and it’s time to look at the bass. A DI and cab sound are carefully EQ’d and tweaked for phase alignment and tone. The result is a very defined and impressive bass sound that can be both aggressive and delicate, depending on how it was played.
Next – some experimentation happened after watching Futurama to the tune of Violins being put through a vintage Marshall amp. Lots fo nice feedback…
Their long awaited follow up album to ‘Courtcase 2000’ is due to see the light of day in the next month or so!