Sound Engineer for Gigwise Office Sessions, Old Street
At Gigwise my main responsibility as lead engineer has been recording bands and mixing the audio for the Gigwise Office Sessions YouTube series. Of the 28 sessions head videographer Harry Balding and I have recorded to date, we have dealt with a range of up and coming bands to well established artists. We have produced over 28 live music sessions with bands from around the world, from pre production to post in less than 5 weeks.
The sessions were recorded using a Zoom R16 Multitrack Recorder, Zoom H4n handheld recorders and a small selection of condenser and dynamic microphones. Combining this with audio from the cameras the session were filmed with, I mixed all the sessions in Logic Pro X.
Although my role has mainly extended to recording and mixing, I have implemented call sheets that enabled quicker turnaround times for the bands, reducing inefficiency, as the sessions had caused disruption to the working day of other members of the Gigwise team. This also enabled Harry and I to work more efficiently, as we now had all information concerning technical specifications far in advance of the session date.
Many of the artists and bands that have come to the office to perform have been in middle of a UK or European tour, anticipating album releases or for one purpose or another have the need to promote themselves for important impact dates.
Some of the bands and solo artists I have worked with so far are:
Videos for Sony
Two of the sessions Harry and I have worked on have been with bands signed to Sony Music UK. We were given a strict brief on the audio and video specifications for the session, which we adhered to at the highest level of quality. As the label wanted to release one of the videos on the bands’ VEVO page under the brand of Sony and not on the Gigwise YouTube, I have given a link to the session below. Tiggs Da Author was posted on the Gigwise website as a private link, which is below as well. This has been used for portfolio purposes only, and is not intended to infringe copyright.
Link to Sundara Karma VEVO for Gigwise Session
Harry and Max
“I first met Max on the Sample Answer Tour in support of the Fratellis…from our first meeting I could see how passionate about music production he was.
He engineered the live gigs, recorded acoustic sessions…he even recorded new material with Sample Answer on the road. His attention to detail was surprising and the quick turn over of the recordings even more so.
I recommended Max to Gigwise, the online music magazine I work for, and it was here we really started to become an audio-visual production team.”
Harry Balding, Head Videographer at Gigwise
Band Documentaries and Interviews
My first audio editing work for Gigwise was on a documentary about the Libertines. I was tasked with cleaning up the audio of an interview with bassist John Hassall and drummer Gary Powell that had been recorded backstage at Reading festival.
Recorded on a Zoom H4NSP handheld recorder placed far away from the interviewees and in a darkened room behind the main stage of the festival, the audio had a high signal to noise ratio and had significant background noise from the bands playing onstage.
I was able to drastically improve the quality of the audio for use in the documentary using a mixture of EQ, automation and an iZotope RX 4 plugin to reduce the noise.
Key Tracks: Ben Folds
Some of our filming is done off site at locations around London.
For our Key Tracks segment of the Gigwise Youtube channel, Harry and I went to the Joe Allen restaurant in Covent Garden to film American singer-songwriter and producer Ben Folds.
We recorded a 45 minute interview interspersed with performances of Ben Folds’ classic songs, followed by an explanation of his thought processes when writing that material.
I recorded the interview with various microphones and Zoom recorders. In post production I mixed the audio from Harry’s cameras and my audio recordings to make a cohesive final mix that will be edited for the video production.
In December of 2015, Harry and I travelled to Oslo, Norway to shoot a documentary about Wardruna, a Norwegian music group that have a solid fanbase of Viking enthusiasts and a big influence in the metal community. We follow bandleader Einar “Kvitrafn” Selvikas as he shows us how his music is a reimagining of traditional Norse values in the 21st Century.
With a substantial knowledge of mythology and instruments of the era, Wardruna composed the music for Season 2 of the Vikings, a historical drama television series written and created by Michael Hirst for the television channel History.
Having filmed interviews, a live gig and background content over the course of a weekend, we are at the post production stage of the project.
Our challenges lay with the fact that many of the places we were to be filming were in public, so this presented a challenge for recording the audio cleanly in a windy and noisy environment. Adhering to the wishes of the management, we were not allowed to move around during the gig so I had to record atmospheric audio, using minimal recording equipment to capture the performance.
Gigwise Live Showcase
Filming at XOYO
“Gigwise are proud to present a brilliant night of exciting fresh talent and the best new music at London’s new Community Festival next month – headlined by the incredible Petite Meller, as seen in the London Evening Standard.”
Gigwise- October 2015
Gigwise’s showcase event at XOYO, Shoreditch, featured Petite Meller, Tiggs Da Author and K. Flay. With an intern in tow, we went down to XOYO to film the event. It was my first experience, other than filming background content on tour with Sample Answer, of filming in a professional sphere.