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003 | A Match made in Heaven

Matchbox Productions X The Matchbox

This weekend was the 6th single I have worked on with the lads from The Matchbox (band) and everytime they come in with a new song, it reminds me how much I enjoy working with these guys!

The funny thing is the first time I worked with The Matchbox (band) they booked in a Matchbox Session with us (Matchbox Productions) at Matchbox Studios. since then you could say it's been a Match made in Heaven 😉.


Day 1

This weekend was a weekend of experimenting and trying new things I'd read about whilst on holiday last week. Prior to the session, Matt, the drummer of the band sent me the reference track "Lazarus" by Porcupine Tree and said that was the track he wanted his drums sounding like. This for me was really good news as I absolutely love that band and the 90s drum sound they have. One thing I did take from the production of the drums on this reference was that the close mics are super tight and dry sounding however, there is still a lot of space with the room mics. To get this, I baffled off the kit and placed a mono room mic (C414) just outside the baffles in cardiod. Usually I'd have my rooms in Omni but I wanted to see if I could get a bit more of a focused sound from the rooms; after heavily compressing this channel, it worked a dream 😇

The lads always make it easy working with them as they're all super tight musicians and after just a few takes we already had the drums nailed! Same goes for bass, Frank absolutely bossed his takes and came up with a solid comp. We experimented going through a couple of different preamps but settled on the Golden Age Pre-73 going into an Ampeg V-4B Plugin which gave us a really well rounded Bass tone. For certain sections we even doubled the bass signal and fed it through a guitar amp plugin which gave a really mid focused driven tone. When layered with the original bass it gave us a bit more umpf.

Next up it was Wills turn to track some Guitar. Wills one of those old school guitarists and liked being in the same room as his amp so we got both the amp and Will set up in the isolation booth. 3 channels; Amp Miced with an sE V7, A DI aswell a new idea I wanted to try which was an isolation booth room mic (which would later be over compressed to achieve that real pushed sound). At first I wasn't vibing too much with the room mic but as the mic started to build up I started making it more forward. We had the idea to start the track focused around this room sound and so we tried it out and boom, worked a treat 💥

That took us the end of day one and the lads headed to their first gig in Liverpool


Day 2

I was expecting a few sore heads the morning of day 2 but the lads were surprisingly spritely which was good as we got right into it!

Today was all about Harrison. We started by tracking his guitars part using my J Mascis Jazzmaster into STL Tones' Fender Bassman Amp Sim for all the pushed cleans and then later introduced a Fulltone OCD for the grittier Sections. I honestly don't think I have a bad word to say about the J Mascis Jazzmaster. I have played American Jazzmasters and the J Mascis trumps it in every single way!

We were now in the realm of vocal tracking and got set up in the vocal booth with my trusty U87 which never seems to fail me. Harrison absolutely smashed his takes giving me plenty to work with as well as a triple tracked chorus for that extra beef and width. Frank bossed his BVs in three takes, two of which I used to make them nice and spacious.

Overall the weekend was a massive success and I really can't wait to get stuck into this mix. This band excite me and we really bounce of each other in the studio environment which I feel is such an important dynamic to have when making an absolute tune! Hopefully when this song is released, you will be able to feel the passion and work that has gone into this track.

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