Last weekend we were on location in Bexhill, East Sussex to record Sussex Brass Band
Recording a Band is often said to be one of the most challenging things you can be involved in as a sound engineer. Fortunately with nearly 20 years experience of Mobile Recording you can rest assured that when you contract 4 Part Music to record your Band you are in safe hands.
Sussex Brass was formed in 1968 and has its origins and roots in Pevensey Silver Band, Hastings and St Leonard’s Band, Wellington Square Boys Band and, others.
The Band is a traditional format Brass Band comprising Bb Cornets in three sections with two soloists, an Eb Soprano Cornet, Bb Flugelhorn, Eb Tenor Horns, Bb Baritones, Bb Euphoniums, Trombones and Bass Trombones and an array of Tubas (or Basses) in Eb and in double Bbb. Behind this there is a battery of drums and percussion of every imaginable kind.
The repertoire ranges from traditional “brass band music”, spirited marches and the like, through jazz, swing, rock and pop, as well as contemporary works composed and arranged by the band’s musical director and others. There is truly something for everyone.
You can find out more about the band on their website.
As with most of our Band Recordings, we spent an entire weekend on location. The venue for the recording with Sussex Brass was All Saints Church in Bexhill, East Sussex. Like most churches there were other things going on (this is particularly common on a Sunday morning obviously). We had been advised we would have access from 11.30am on both days.
Helpfully, we were able to park right outside the venue which made unloading fairly easy. Once inside the band had set up in the Quire area of the church. This has the benefit of containing some of the acoustic from the band to give us a cleaner recording. Having a nice acoustic space is important for any recording. However, like anything you can have too much of a good thing.
Brass Bands are not known for being quiet, so therefore it is important to tame the acoustic. Too much echo or reverb, could actually make for a terrible sound. The usual rule of thumb when it comes to reverb is we can add but we cannot take away.
We had a total of 13 pieces to record over the 2 days and the Band Leader had prepared a comprehensive schedule. Sensibly the band had also allowed for a number of breaks throughout the session. Bands are always good at supplying food. Not surprisingly therefore, throughout the weekend there was plentiful supply of tea, chocolate, cake along with fresh pizza from Dominos.
Everything ran to schedule and most of the pieces were laid down in 2 or 3 takes with very few edits to be done.
To assist throughout the weekend, Steve (the Band Leader) had asked a close friend and colleague to listen to the pieces and offer advice after each take.
This is often a very good idea. It’s not in any way suggesting the band leader hasn’t picked up on things. But it’s always easier to offer comment if all you have to do is listen and follow the score. We can always set up a separate production desk if the producer wants a particular mix of the recording via Headphones. A lot prefer to listen in the natural acoustic of the recording venue.
A few photos from our weekend on location with Sussex Brass.
Find out more
The album is currently in production and will be available to purchase in the next few weeks. Meanwhile if you would like to find out more about our professional recording services for Brass Bands then please give us a call on 01225 302143. If you prefer you can send us an email via our contact page.