Recording strings at Voltaire Road Studios (Clapham)

A couple of weeks ago, I was hired to record some live strings on 5 tracks by a band from Louisiana who are having their album recorded and produced here in the UK. The files for the string arrangements were all sent to me in advance so that they could be checked and any adjustments made before the recording date itself – this is always a good idea as it can save a considerable amount of studio time on the day.

The string parts (for violins and violas) had been written to add impact to the tracks so a powerful and committed sound was required. As such, the particular violin that I chose to use on the day is one with a really strong, focused sound. This is something worth considering, as stringed instruments can vary so much from one another. For example, one of my other violins which I regularly use to record with has a mellower, warmer sound with possibly more tonal variety, but for this particular job didn’t seem appropriate – I would be more likely to use that one for music which required a slightly gentler, more lilting feel.  Interestingly, both of these two violins are made by the same luthier – Martin McClean of Northern Ireland, both are fantastic instruments, yet each has its own distinct personality.