Professional Sound - Indepth

More Joy of 8-Tracking by Blair Packham

I had been making a record with singer/songwriter Arlene Bishop at Studio 306 in Toronto, when I had the revelation that once we had the drums recorded, we could do all of our overdubs at home on my DA-88.

I had an AKG 414 that sounded good on Arlene’s voice, but we needed a really good compressor — so I got a TL Audio dual valve preamp compressor. That way, we could go direct to tape. We had a DA-88 tape striped with timecode, and we’d do a rough mix onto one or two tracks on the DA-88 in synch. Then at home, listening to that rough mix, Arlene could overdub vocals and I could do guitar overdubs to my heart’s content. We could then go back to the studio and transfer the remote overdubs back onto the two-inch master tape and mix it. We then have the benefit of getting the drums recorded with a better mic selection and a big room, as well as the intimacy of recording at home, all on one recording. I’m now able to work on projects that are meant for release at home. It’s the difference between doing a demo and doing a master. You get the feeling that everything you do now counts. And at a much cheaper price.

Blair Packham — producer/composer; projects include the television score for the series Destiny Ridge and various TSN themes, as well as numerous artists projects.

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About Andrew King
Andrew King is the Editor-in-Chief at Professional Sound. He is also a co-host of Canadian Musician Radio and NWC Webinars’ series of free music and entertainment industry webinars.
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