Last week we travelled to Derbyshire to record a CD with the pupils of Buxton Infant School. Recordings 4 Schools operate out of two locations, one in Bath and one in Milton Keynes. Travelling up from our Bath studio that morning meant leaving at around 3.30am. The good thing about such an early start is there is generally very little traffic on the road and our van rolled into the Peak District town of Buxton just before 7am. This left time to grab a coffee from the local petrol station before heading to the school to set up.
The recording was taking place in the School hall, as most do. Because there were doors at both ends of the school hall and it was used as a throughfare by staff and pupils on a regular basis, I decided the best place to set up the engineering desk was in fact on the stage as that wasn’t being used. It also made things a lot easier at lunchtime as the hall had to be transformed into a dining room which is often the case in Primary Schools.
This particular recording used a combination of piano accompaniment and backing tracks. With advance knowledge of this we set up a Direct feed to capture the backing track as well as some specialist DPA microphones on the piano to capture the full detail of the performance. The children were then brought into the hall by class and year group and the recording session ran exactly to time. With a short break for lunch, we carried on recording into the afternoon and had recorded 17 tracks by the end of the school day.
At that point there was around 30 minutes to clear all our recording gear from the hall and reload the van as some sports training had been scheduled in the hall for after school that day. With no time to lose, the days work was backed up onto 3 separate hard drives and the van was loaded in under half an hour ready to head back down South. The recording was then mastered in our Bath studio and artwork created using a design from one of the school pupils. The CD’s were then professionally printed and packaged and delivered to the school within 7 days of the actual recording session.