Last week we travelled to Dartford for our first recording of 2015 with Dartford Township Choir. Dartford Township Choir is a voluntary, non-profit-making, group of people, who like to sing. It was created in 2008 to promote and organize adult participation in world music singing workshops and public performances.
The recording took place at Christ Church Dartford, and as usual we arrived at 7.30am in order to get set up in good time so the choir could arrive at 9am to warm up and be ready to record by around 9.30am. Whilst this usually means an early start, it’s imperative that our sound engineers are never late and also it is much better to travel early to avoid all the traffic.
The venue was ideally suited for the recording session. It was in a quiet location and had plenty of space for the choir to be comfortable whilst recording. The CD itself was only intended to have 4 tracks, which may not sound a lot. However Dartford Township choir tends to work on small projects often using guest conductors or Musical Directors. This particular project was to put together a short CD to celebrate a few months workshops lead by Mike King.
The choir website sums up the brief as follows: On Saturday 24 th January, eighty-five of the choir members who
had performed in the Sing Soul concert in December joined Mike King and the recording team of 4 Part Music for our first studio-level recording under the direction of Mike King.
It was hard work but very rewarding. All the participants will receive a copy of the CD, and it will then be available for purchase through Dartford Township Choir.
Despite only recording 4 songs, Mike is thorough and made sure the choir were well prepared. Most of the 4 songs we recorded also had soloists but instead of recording them with the choir, the plan was to dub them in afterwards. This required a bit of clever recording on our part, but there was nothing insurmountable. It was also a lot easier to do all the choir elements of the recording first and then record the soloists together at the end of the day when the choir members, or most of them, had gone home.
As well as looking after the choir, our sound engineers were also well catered for and there was a regular supply of cakes and biscuits throughout the day – this is the best way to ensure it’s a good recording. Our engineers respond very well to tea and biscuits!