Earlier this week our mobile recording rig was once again out on the road. This time we were headed for Hertfordshire where we recorded the pupils at Bonneygrove Primary School in Cheshunt. Arriving nice and early to avoid the traffic on the M25, we found ourselves in Cheshunt a little before 7am which meant frequenting a popular fast food type place for a spot of breakfast. It wasn’t perhaps the most stylish of venues but when you have been up since 4.30am, I’m not sure that matters too much!
Having partaken of a bacon sandwich and latte, it was time to head to the school. Arriving just before our appointed time of 07.30 we were met by a number of teachers who were just starting to arrive and shown into the school hall.
To make things easy we were allowed to bring our vehicle right up to the outside door for the hall which meant unloading the recording gear took moments. If possible we always ask if there is someway to bring the vehicle nearer even if just to unload. It’s about 10 or 15 trips to bring all our kit in, which if the van is parked right outside the hall doesn’t take too long at all. We have been to some schools where you have to park in the car park, and then get through many doors to access the hall or recording space.
At Bonneygrove there was no such problem. In fact we had all our kit into the hall in less than 5 minutes. This gave us plenty of time to work out the best layout for the recording session and place the microphones as necessary. Often the biggest challenge we face when setting up in schools is discovering what system the school will be using to play backing tracks.
This wasn’t helped when the teacher arrived and said, oh we’ve been having trouble with the sound system lately so we aren’t sure if it’s working properly. Luckily we have also planned for such an eventuality. If the school sound system either doesn’t work or we cannot find a sensible way to link our system to it, then we simply implement our own audio system for playing the backing tracks. This is what we did for the recording at Bonneygrove Primary School.
The Recording Session
The pupils had prepared 5 songs to record. These included ‘This is me’ from the Greatest Showman, their own School Song and Reach for the Stars. Mostly we were recording quite large groups for each song with 2 or 3 year groups singing together. We also recorded a couple of songs which featured the whole school. As there were only 5 songs to record we were finished by morning break time which is quite unusual. But nevertheless we recorded all the pupils and there were other activities planned for the hall later in the day so this was definitely a case of not faffing.
The CD Album
The recording is designed to celebrate the schools 60th Anniversary and focuses on the theme ‘Broadening Horizons’ – Building strong and lasting memories. The CD artwork has already been designed and signed off so the discs will shortly be in production.
If you have an anniversary coming up at your school then why not think about recording a CD. To find out more you can call us on 01225 302143 or click here to email us via the contact form