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June 07, 2019Recording and mixing Le Butcherettes Live at Clouds Hill

It‘s been a while….

Last time I recorded with Teri Gender Bender was six years ago. When Omar Rodríguez-López asked me if I would be up for producing their new band Bosnian Rainbows, it did not take me long to agree. I heard them rehears in our studio 2 for their upcoming tour as Omar Rodríguez-López but somehow the band evolved into something that was more than just a solo project. Something that needed an own name. Part of that was Teri‘s unbelievable vocal and stage performance. It was unique. So when Teri said yes to a „… live at Clouds Hill“ session I was obviously stoked. Even though Le Butcherettes are not signed to our Clouds Hill label I thought it would be great for everyone involved to release a live studio record. Great for their record label RISE RECORDS because Clouds Hill might be able to give the band an extra push in Europe, great for the band because they can sell some exclusive vinyl on their upcoming concerts and last but not least: great for all of us because making a live record is FUN. Or … it’s supposed to be. But more about that a little later … 

Teri checked with their management and they rescheduled the band’s flights that were already booked for their European run of shows so that the band could arrive at Clouds Hill almost a week before their first show in Copenhagen. That would give them time to settle in our artist apartment, rehearse and then be fresh and prepared for the upcoming recording. Talking about preparation… Sometime before the Le Butcherettes live at Clouds Hill session end of March 2019 I had another live recording scheduled with a different band. I was also looking forward to that recording but after Muxi (Clouds Hill Engineer Sebastian Muxfeldt) set up the mics for that session and I started doing my thing in the control room I wasn’t happy with the sound. It sounded lame. Somehow limp and not like I knew the band from their records which I loved. I was playing around with EQ and compression in our API room. Added reverb and parallel compression to stabilise the sound but nothing worked. I began doubting my skills. Then I headed over to the live room and asked the drummer to play. There it was! The drum set sounded like a cardboard box. Phew! It wasn’t me.

As this article is not about a messed up live recording – more the opposite – I will keep this digression short: I had to call our drum tech and even he needed a couple of hours to get the sound straight. Soundcheck all together took 8.5 hours. After that, the band had not much more than 30 minutes until showtime. I felt sorry for them as much as I was annoyed by the situation. And – yes – the recording did not go well.