Kesteven & Grantham Girls’ School

It’s Kesteven & Grantham Girls’ School centenary year and to celebrate they wanted to record an album of pieces performed by the school orchestra. Under the expert guidance of Bryan Rudd, the musicians of the 45 piece orchestra set up in the University’s very own Abbey Road Studio 2, the large TV studio (Monk’s Road Studios, perhaps?). We patched in the various arrays of C414s, C1000s and  MT201s and balanced live to stereo. Even though we were very pushed for time the recordings turned out very well due to the nice acoustic of the room and some really great playing by the musicians. I’ve never recorded a full orchestra before so this was a very enjoyable experience for me. I’ll post more details of the album when it is completed, for now, you can listen to one of the pieces below.

Kesteven & Grantham Girls’ School by audioproduction

John Stacey – Recording Prisms

Prisms are a local Prog-Indie band, mixing angular guitars with lots of interchanging time signatures, and adolescent lyrical content, in my eyes creating something quite unique yet skilled for musicians of their age (ranging from 17 – 20 years old). Jack, the lead singer/guitarist, is the cousin of an old friend, and after watching a video of them in the practice rooms at their Lincoln College study ground, I fell in love with what they are building and trying to do, so wanted to get them into the studio. Having won the Lincoln Battle of the bands very recently, and earnt themselves a four day professional recording session worth £2000, I felt this would be a very good experience for them to come in with myself and Luke Pickering, in an industry standard environment, before going away for this recording. It has been a worthwhile experience for myself and Luke, while producing a subsequent EP recording for the band to take to their professional session to work with.I felt I have learnt massively over the two day period, having to work through three songs, fully hands on, where everything right and wrong is down to ourselves and the band alone. Luckily the lads were very good musicians and highly professional throughout. John Stacey, Level 1 Audio Production.

Prisms: Square Dancing with Jerry Bruickheimer by audioproduction

Ricky Leacock, Prokofiev and a Tea Strainer

An out-take from the rushes of a documentary currently in production here at University of Lincoln, called ‘A Boatload of Wild Irishmen. Due to be screened at Galway Film Festival 2010. (Editor Chris Hainstock, Written by Prof Brian Winston, of our faculty)

© Mac Dara OCurradhin/Minerva Productions/University of Lincoln

Here Cinematographer Ricky Leacock (interviewed at Lincoln University) recalls a tale of when he went to film a performance of an unfinished work by Prokofiev. In 1937 the Russian authorities had banned Prokofiev from working on the project at the time. Prokofiev died in 1953.
Much later in the 1980’s Ricky used a rather unorthodox technique to get the best sound he could using early Digital Camcorders, to make a film of a new performance of this unfinished work in Siberia, alongside Conductor Sarah Cornwell (who found the manuscript in Prokofievs handwriting) and Victoria Leacock’s daughter.
Ricky had spent his life working on film 16 and 35mm. In his early career, sound was recorded on acetate discs, and sent back to the labs, where it was transferred to film.
See this clip \Sound took weeks to come back\

He witnessed over the years the changing face of sync sound recording. He went on to teach at MIT in New York.

Dickson Experimental Sound Film – first known sync sound recording

Audio for Visual Media, it all began in 1894

The Dickson Experimental Sound Film is a film made by William Dickson in late 1894 or early 1895. It is the first known film with live-recorded sound and appears to be the first example of a motion picture made for the Kinetophone, the proto-sound-film system developed by Dickson and Thomas Edison.
(The Kinetophone—consisting of a Kinetoscope accompanied by a cylinder-playing phonograph—was not a true sound-film system as no attempt was made to synchronize image and audio throughout playback.) The film was produced at the “Black Maria,” Edison’s New Jersey film studio. There is no evidence that it was ever exhibited in its original format. Newly digitized and restored, it is the only surviving Kinetophone film.
In 2002 the discovery was made – The Library of Congress has discovered the missing sound-track for this film, which was at the Edison National Historical Site all along. It was a cylinder, broken in half, labelled “WKL Dickson Violin with Kineto” and it has recently been repaired, transcribed, and put in synch with the image. This short film now takes its place as the oldest existing sound film. Before the image starts, you can just hear someone saying “Are the rest of you ready? Go ahead!”

Walter Murch, a legendary and Oscar-winning sound designer and film editor, was personally involved in reuniting the film with its cylinder phonograph soundtrack for the first time since the 19th century.

Recording Prisms

John and Luke are using their Easter break to record another local band. This time it’s Prisms with their intricate and complex sound; think Foals or Vampire Weekend. They chose to record barefoot guitarist, Paul, in the live room using a combination of a close mic (SM57) on his amp’s loudspeaker grille and a room mic (C414). As I popped my head into the control room to have another listen they were busy setting up the U87 in the dead room for vocals. The band are all very good players and are well rehearsed and, as John and Luke’s recording is sounding particularly good, I’m really looking forward to posting one of the tracks up here soon.

EP Recording Session

Mute, a young band from the Lincoln area, are recording their EP in the University’s multitrack studio. Level 1 Audio Production student Luke Pickering plays guitar and sings for Mute and this evening he is tracking his guitar parts. Fellow AP student, Alex Curtis is engineering the session leaving Luke to concentrate on his performance. The band have a lot of energy and a powerful sound which Alex is trying to capture. The plan is to upload the stems to Soundcloud for other students to create their own mix balances and remixes from. It should be a great little EP which you will be able to hear here!