Before Our Time – a timeless new album

Alex Thoman tunes up for Before Our Time tracking session

Alex Thoman tunes up for Before Our Time tracking session

Before Our Time is a group of awesome guys that found each other through the local music scene and formed a pop/alternative rock band.  Alex Thoman is the songwriter and producer for this album, “Sutton Place”.  He’s done a great job and the album shows his skill in lyrics and arrangements well.  First on the list to record:  “So I’m Asking”.  For this and the next 5 album songs, we set up Alex Thoman on guitar and vocals, Alex Depolo on guitar, Dave Thompson rocking on the drums and Henry Mansfield on bass.  Later in the album, Henry also plays keys.  Henry has come to my studio before and worked on some projects with me.  He’s exceptionally good, and is uber-talented beyond his years, he really adds a great touch to this project.

All of the guys played at once so that we could capture the live quality to the music. The guys were all really rehearsed and each song only took a few takes.

Alex Depolo from Before Our Time on Guitar

Alex Depolo from Before Our Time on Guitar

Day 2 in the studio, we had 4 more songs to record.  The process was pretty similar to the first day.  We did have some tweaking needed for the kickdrum’s sound:  it came across too metal and was missing something at the low end of the thump.   To fix it, I set up the standard D112 mic inside the kick, as well as a second mic (a large diaphragm condenser) in front of drums.  To reduce bleeding sounds, I put a heavy blanket over the whole thing. We were then able to take the recordings from both mics and add them together for a full-bodied, balanced sound.

Henry Mansfield on bass guitar for Before Our Time basic tracking

Henry Mansfield on bass guitar for Before Our Time basic tracking

We also added some acoustic guitar parts to the new songs.  Dave brought out a guitar handmade from Dennis Brink, and we used it to overdub some of the tracks.  This was recorded with Groove tube and Ribbon mics, with EQ signal chains that went directly to my computer.  We also touched up the album with a few keyboard tracks and then it was time for vocals.

Dave Thompson on drums for Before Our Time during basic tracking session

Dave Thompson on drums for Before Our Time during basic tracking session

We set up Alex in the live room to overdub the main vocals in one session.  Henry joined in for the harmony parts, which turned out great, and on a few of those songs we cut the main and backing vocals at the same time in the live room.  One of the things I really like about the vocals to this album is that the harmonies are thought out well.  Knowing when to add a harmony and when to leave the single main vocal can be tough and it was done really well here.

  we finished recording, it was time to mix and master.  I really enjoyed working with these guys – they’re very positive and creative with their music.  Check out Before Our Time’s great new album “Sutton Place” below!

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