Hayley Westenra

Written by Bickerton Bob on . Posted in News

Hayley is New Zealand’s biggest selling recording artist and I’ve been fortunate to work with London based engineer and producer Ian Tilley who has produced several of her albums. Hayley released an album of Japanese songs in 2008 and whilst most of the tracks were recorded in London, she wanted two tracks recorded in New Zealand.

Ian asked me to assist in the process, so I took my studio equipment down to the Jazz School in Christchurch where we set up to record the band. Ian was his usual professional self having prepared arrangements in advance and we set the band up in a fairly standard configuration. Drums were miked up using Electrovoice N/D468 on snare top, Audix D2 and D4 mics on toms, Sennheiser e602 on kick, an e614 on High Hat and AKG C451’s as overheads. I used a VR88 ribbon mic on the bass cabinet, Microtech Gefell M300 mics on acoustic guitar and a Neumann TLM193 on Violin.

All went well and we recorded both tracks in one day. But then we struck a problem. The London tracks featured a Steinway piano recorded with top mics in a studio there and there was no similar piano available at the jazz school. We solved the problem by using a very special plug-in I bought for this very purpose, a sampled Steinway piano by Garritan. In fact this is the only sampled Steinway plug-in that is authorized and endorsed by Steinway. The resulting sound, as part of the mix, was up there with the London recording, which really shows how well the piano was sampled. The album went on to be released to critical acclaim.

All material © Bob Bickerton 2012