About this recording:
I just wanted to share some thoughts with you about this project and how it was recorded.
First I would like to say that never in my life did I ever think that I would be doing a solo bass CD. This was another vision of Susumu Morikawa from King Records in Japan.
Just the thought of doing a solo bass recording where I am the only instrument playing for the whole length of the CD was quite an undertaking. Every note you play is under a microscope and totally exposed. You can't hide in any way because all of the focus is on you for the entire length of the recording.
At first I was quite intimidated by the scope of this project, very scary indeed! But, once I started playing and getting into the freedom playing solo with no arrangements or other musicians to be mindful of I found the process to be very rewarding and quite liberating, as well as extremely challenging.
Since this CD was so unique in nature I wanted to do it in a different environment and have a whole new recording experience.
A friend of mine owns a fantastic recording studio on a ranch about an hour from Los Angeles. It is in the mountains and quite beautiful. He raises horses so there is a lot of grass and open space. He even has California Redwood trees towering above as well!
I found this environment to be very inspiring and creative. It is very rare to be looking out the window of a recording studio and see horses running and playing right outside, breathtaking!
Because I was the only musician playing on the CD I wanted to do the engineering myself. That way I could record at any time of day or night when I felt inspired to play. Tom McCauley the engineer that I have been working with for many years came out to the studio to get the microphone's placed and positioned properly as well as getting my remote set up working for me to be able to record myself.
On this recording we only needed to record one instrument, my acoustic bass. That gave us a unique opportunity to try some new technology and to try and capture the sound of my bass like never before.
I worked with my good friend Robby Scharf from Sennheiser Electronics. They also own Neumann microphones. Neumann has developed state of the art digital microphones that do not use any analog signal path from the mic to the recording medium. No mic pre-amps and no EQ, just straight into Pro Tools into the computer. I used two Neumann KMD 184's for the stereo mics and one TLM 103D for the center mono mic to fill out the middle. I did not use any bass pick up or direct signal. I did the recording at 24 bit-96kHz bandwidth.
Since there was no analog signal path at all this recording is completely silent. There is no noise from any outside equipment or analog gear. In fact the recording is so accurate that you can even hear when I move around when I am playing. If you listen closely you can actually hear the bass sound move around between the speakers as my body moves. It is pretty amazing how detailed this recording is.
Eddy Schreyer from Oasis Mastering mastered this CD digitally so it truly is a 100% digital recording from beginning to end.
There are two things that I wanted to do on this CD where the music was concerned. One was to pick songs from many different genre's of music that were fun to play and worked well on the bass as the lead instrument, the other thing that I wanted to do which is what I do on all of my recordings is to not work parts out in advance of the recording. I love the spontaneity of just going for it when you hit the record button. I love to improvise and just go wherever the music takes me.
When I recorded this CD I recorded nineteen songs over the length of the project. Of the Nineteen songs there were only two songs that I knew wanted to do in advance of this recording. The remaining seventeen songs that I recorded I picked while I was recording this CD and in the studio. I really wanted the spirit and vibe of this project to be as live and unrehearsed as possible. There are also no overdubs on this recording, just live bass playing in the studio. I would hit the record button and would just play.
I played until I either made a mistake or wanted to just go in a different direction then what I was playing. At that point I would just punch myself in record and fix my mistakes and just kept on playing.
Sometimes I would completely loose track of where I was in the song because it was just me playing with no other musical support from any other instrument. Since I totally improvised and just went for it I would often end up someplace musically that I never would imagine that I would go. It is total freedom musically.
I had an amazing time recording this CD and I must admit it was a truly rewarding experience and one I will never forget.
Thank you again and I hope you enjoy listening to “Hands” as much as I enjoyed recording it!................Brian Bromberg