Looking back at 2015 - Blake and the Vultures

On January 6, 2015 a group of us got together with Blake Berglund and his band ‘The Vultures’ to record a few tracks at the Canterbury Music Company. The studio was fantastic and Blake and his crew were really great to work with. The whole production was coordinated by ‘At Risk Media Productions’ and funded by several private sponsors. We used four cameras including an oldish Sony HDR-FX1, a Sony Handycam (AVCHD), a DSLR and a GoPro for the wide shots. The HDR-FX1 was the only camera that natively shoots on tape (HDV) but we used an FS-H200 to record directly to compact flash. We used camera audio to sync the camera shots (using PluralEyes). The final music mix was done in ProTools. Editing was done in Avid Media Composer. Color grading was done using Baselight for Avid.

We actually had several takes of each of the three songs: ‘High Water or Hell’, ‘Shotgun Gypsy Queen’ and ‘Pretty Good Guy’. We had both floor takes and booth takes. While the vocals from the booth were a bit better, we went with the floor takes because of the energy as seen in the final video.

This was a really great experience and Jeremy Darby over at Canterbury Music Company was a real treat to work with – very professional and really knows his stuff. I highly recommend this studio if you are in the Toronto area and looking for something with a lot of character and really great sound.

Thanks also to Brad Sharp over at ‘At Risk Media Productions’ for putting this all together.I've linked to the video below. The whole production runs for about 22 minutes and we interspersed interview footage with Blake between each of the three songs. We didn’t have a lavalier mic on hand and had to make due with a shotgun – not great and we needed to do a bit of post-processing on the interview audio to get rid of background noise but it holds up reasonably well.