Veteran producer and mix engineer Chris Kimsey recently completed three days in London’s boutique Kore Studios, recording the winners of Shure Europe’s 2013 Call For Legends unsigned bands competition, Fingertrap. The Welsh four-piece were selected as the competition winners from a total of 240 bands from 31 different countries, and used their winning session time wisely, managing to track and mix three new songs. During the sessions, Chris Kimsey also experimented with some new Shure microphones, particularly enjoying the KSM313 bi-directional ribbon mic.
“As with all my recordings, I tried a few mics to find the perfect sound, and ended up using the KSM313 mic on guitars and on vocals. It sounded outstanding on guitar, giving a ‘full-fat’ sound but with a top end not normally heard from a ribbon. It was also the preferred choice on most of the vocal recordings, sounding more fitting to the track than my U67. I was hugely impressed with this mic, using it in combination with an SM7B on another lead vocal. The SM7B delivered the punch and the KSM313 the body.”
Kimsey also had time to try out many of Shure’s Beta-series microphones, using them on the band’s drum, organ, and vocal tracks. “I had previously never used the Beta 181 but we used it on snare, placed looking at the shell of the drum. I could hear all the grace notes and the warm depth of the drum. I will also be working with the Beta 27 a lot more in future; at Kore we used it on the organ, backing vocals, and for ambience on the drums, and it gave a smooth and detailed sound. The Beta 98AMPs were clear and deep on the toms, and I loved their tone and directionality – they didn't pick up any spill from the cymbals. We also did one vocal in the control room with the monitors turned up, using the trusty Beta 58. Sion Carver, Fingertrap’s singer, gave a hell of performance, and the Beta 58 captured it clearly with minimum leakage from the studio monitors.”
Fingertrap’s three new tracks are soon to be mastered by in-demand mastering engineer Matt Colton (Coldplay, Oasis, Björk, James Blake). The band is currently rehearsing towards the final part of their Call For Legends prize, their live appearance on the ‘Music In The Park’ stage at the 2014 Montreux Jazz Festival in July.
“Fingertrap are a very talented band, and great songwriters,” concluded Kimsey after the Kore sessions. “With the right support, I’m certain they will go on to achieve great things.”
Video highlights from Fingertrap’s sessions at Kore with Chris Kimsey can be seen here.