Last autumn I started to teach myself how to draw and paint. I wanted to know how to draw because I often have ideas for illustrations or comics, and I wanted to be able to realise them in some way. Alongside my sketchbook, I started to keep an ideas notebook or ‘commonplace book’. It’s a simple passport sized notebook with dotted pages (from Muji) where I jot down illustration and comic strip ideas, my favourite quotes from books I read, and thoughts and observations from my everyday life.
Last night Ed and I took our instruments down to the Lickey Hills to record a few of our covers. I’ve wanted to try filming outdoors for a while now, but this was the first time we have tried it. We were both a bit more nervous than usual as it felt public, even though there was noone around. A couple out on an evening walk passed by as did a mountain biker, but otherwise we had the woods to ourselves. We recorded two Kevin Devine songs we already have recordings of (‘Brother’s Blood’ and ‘No History’) as well as Frank Turner’s ‘The Ballad of Me and My Friends’.
Using the microphones and equipment I use for filming weddings and documentaries we set up with external sound for both of us, as well as a shotgun microphone (RØDE VideoMic Pro) on top of the camera to pick up the ambient sound. Ed’s got a RØDE VideoMicro plugged in to a Tascam DR-05 on a light stand pointing at his sound hold to isolate his guitar, while I have a RØDE Smartlav+ plugged in to an old Sony Z1 Compact I use as a lav pack running AudioRec Pro (Android). The microphone is mounted on a RØDE violin clip and the wire goes over my shoulder and down my back so it’s out of frame. I need to find a better place to stash the phone as at the moment I just get Ed to tuck it into my clothes, but it’s not very secure.
I left the ambient audio in the final recording, as there were lots of birds singing in the woods around us as the sun was setting and I quite liked that. Up until now we’ve just recorded our covers using the RØDE VideoMic Pro on top of the camera. The extra microphones take a little longer to set up and to sync in post, but it’s worth it to be able to balance the sound properly between Ed’s guitar and my violin.