ACOUSTIC & FOLK RECORDING

Eastwood Records has worked on a number of acoustic recording projects with solo artists, singer songwriters and folk groups, including Stefano Giaccone, who fronted Italian 'hardcore folk' band Franti in the 1980s, up-and-coming Arabic soul singer Juliana Yazbeck, and Hayward & Parsons, the unaccompanied folk duo that grew out of A Walk Around Britain and now campaigns on behalf of the British Pilgrimage Trust.

We can provide production and engineering for acoustic lineups with a variety of instruments, and are happy to arrange parts for guitar-based ensembles, string sections, woodwind and more. In terms of acoustics and workflow, location recording is the recommended format for these sorts of projects. A live room setup with good sight lines and sufficient time to establish a decent sound is key.

 

Analogue recording

Analogue warmth is often treated as the holy grail by contemporary folk and acoustic musicians. But what does this mean in practical terms? In fact an 'analogue' recording philosophy is more about microphone placement, gain staging and particular EQ and compression characteristics than using old equipment or tracking to tape. These are all techniques that can all be carried out in the digital domain.

Classic German microphone models, such as the models listed here, were designed to operate optimally with sufficient space between the performer and capsule. As well as providing a well-balanced and rich sound, judicious microphone placement allows the acoustics of the recording space to be captured on the recording, which accounts for the 'roomy' sound of many postwar records. Likewise, the use of pressure-operated true omnidirectional microphones, which has fallen out of favour in non-classical circles, enables the full audio bandwidth to be captured in all its glory.

Analogue circuitry with transformer

Recording on a digital system with generous headroom margins also provides many of the sonic benefits associated with analogue audio. Firstly, it leads to a beautifully open sound by capturing transients and dynamics in full. Secondly, it reduces the risk of digital summing errors, which leads to a correspondingly natural sound. Finally, sensible gain staging means that digital plugins operate efficiently and within their limits. Compressors and other dynamics processors behave as our ears expect them to, which ultimately helps the mix to sound more 'analogue'.

That said, for artists who favour analogue equipment, Eastwood Records has a range of vintage and transformer-equipped microphones, preamps and DI boxes that can be used for both live captures and studio recording. And for those who wish to master their project to 1/4" analogue tape, we can do this on one of our well-calibrated two-track tape machines.

We'd be delighted to hear more about your project: