Tim Boniface

Live studio jazz recording for commercial release

Returning clients are our greatest celebration, and Tim is someone who has made Crown Lane his regular home for his music. The arrival of our Yamaha Piano coincided with the recording of this project – and, a few test sessions aside, it was the first project to be recorded using it.

Room 1 is the perfect acoustic for ensemble recording with instruments of equal or complementary dynamic – such as a jazz ensemble. In this context each person responds to the nuances of the other – which would be impossible if recorded sequentially. The double bass however was a potential issue as capturing the detail at the neck of the instrument, a condenser microphone must have the gain set relatively high, and in the same room, this then picks up spill from cymbals and the snare. We introduced acoustic screens with vision panels to semi-isolate the bass which helped considerably.

Tim’s saxophone was tracked simultaneously, but in the control room – so as to be able to cue the other musicians through their headphones. This allowed for some overdubs to be completed at a later date for the saxophone too. Initially we used both our microphone and one favoured by the artist – however in the end we only used the Neumann in the mix – as we both decided it captured everything we needed, and avoided any potential phase and movement issues.

The end result is a stunning suite that holds together beautifully, with each instrument interlocking though holding its own natural place in the mix.

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