It’s always a good sign when we arrive for a recording session to find the car park is literally adjacent to the school hall, and moreover there is a door right at the point it is needed. This makes a huge difference to the time it takes to get stuff in and start setting up. This was exactly the case at Cranmer Primary School in Surrey. Having visited the reception to sign in, it was then very quick work to unload the required recording gear into the school hall. The other way of speeding up the setup process is to understand exactly what we are recording. By this I refer to things like instruments and soloists versus just groups of singers. There is little point spending time unloading and bringing in gear which isn’t needed for a particular recording session.
Once all the kit was in the school hall, it takes about 30 minutes to get it set up and connected so we are ready to record. The recording at Cranmer was definitely an all day job. In fact the timetable allowed 15 minutes per group but without a break between 9am and 3.15pm. Definitely the most full on schedule we have ever had to work with in the last 20 years! Nevertheless the most important thing is just to get on with it. Luckily I was equipped with coffee and a few packets of biscuits so relatively self sufficient in the corner of the hall.
Despite the arduous task ahead with the shear number of groups to record, everything ran to schedule. Mostly we kept around 5 to 10 minutes ahead of schedule all day which was good as there was literally no room for slippage. No matter what, the school day was ending at 3.15pm so my job to was to ensure we had recorded everything as per the schedule. As we were rapidly approaching the end of the school year, it was also imperative to get the album turned round and into production by the following morning
Mastering the Album
In order to meet the very tight deadline we had to head straight back to our studios to master the album the same day / night. With school recordings around Christmas the turn around times are often tight anyway. For the last few weeks we have been out every day recording which means a lot of the mastering has to occur in the late evenings – or at least before we go out again at 5am the next morning. But as they say, where there is a will there is a way. And with a strong coffee, the job was done and Cranmer’s CD was ready to go into production by 9am the following morning which meant they took delivery of their CDs within 3 days of the recording session.
You can buy and download the Cranmer Album from our online shop.