Cor, its been a while hasn't it?
As you know, we have recently put out Mary's latest album Another Road and over the next few weeks I'll give you some information about how we did it, and my perspective on the other side of the glass.
This album is 100% Mary's - no covers, no cowrites, and it is 100% new: these songs have never been heard before. They have been recorded from scratch in various places - Old Space in Cardiff (where we did the archive albums), our home studio in Cardiff, and in Mary's home studio.
For instance, Mary recorded the accordion on 'Valentine' in studio one at Space Studios in Cardiff, in the vocal booth. Mary's vocals were tracked between there, and her own studio. I think she did some vocals in our home studio as well, after we moved out of the old place.
There's another turning point, in that these songs are the first that MHM / Space have been involved in the recording and mixing, that haven't been done all in Pro Tools. Mary recorded and comped her vocals (as well as editing instruments and making the track arrangements) in her studio, using Pro Tools. When it came to Mixdown, I used a different digital audio workstation - Studio One.
We started planning the album release at the end of 2019, and we had slated a summer release. Then the world got turned upside down, and what should have been a fairly simple process of us being sat together in the same room for a couple of days, turned into the insanity and drawn out process of working remotely - not a new process for us, but still frustrating in having to send mixes to Mary and then have her make notes and come back to us.
In the planning, we discussed various instrumental changes - I had a long list of bass parts to play, Jessica had some guitars, sax and uke to put on. That was fine - we'd planned to track these with options of different takes, then have Mary come to us and we'd mix it together. Yes. That worked out well didn't it?
Thanks to our friend Rona, Mary had to comp together all of her edits, and print all of the tracks out, then put it into to Dropbox to send to us.
After the tracks arrived, I assembled the tracks in the new DAW - Studio One. We'd stopped using Pro Tools the summer before as our venerable old HD3 system finally gave up the ghost. So with all that done, all the tracks were ready to go and we could start the tracking process of the other instruments.
Christian Thomas sits in a darkened room and does techie stuff. He engineers, mixes and provides technical support to Mary and Jessica.