(click thumbnail)“Hope Avenue & Despair” Julie DaySingle: “Hope Avenue & Despair”
Album: Julie Day (KelKev Music)
Dates Recorded: Winter 2004 through Spring 2005 at Sound Sanctuary Recording Studio in Riverside, California
Single Producer: Tommy Cosentino
Single Engineer: Phil O’Keefe
Single Mixer: Phil O’Keefe
Mastering: Bill Dooley at Paramount Mastering in Los Angeles
Other Projects: O’Keefe has produced, engineered, and mixed recordings for artists such as John McGill, Ralph Torres, L.S.U., and Michael Knott.
Single Songwriter: Dan Fitzgerald
Console: Yamaha 01V96 digital mixer
Recorders: Digidesign Pro Tools LE
Monitors: A.D.A.M. S3A
Microphones: Soundelux Elux 251, Electro-Voice RE20, Audix D2, i5, beyerdynamic M160
Microphone preamplifiers: Vintech Audio Dual 72, PreSonus MP20 (modified)
Processing: Aphex 106 compressor, Waves compressor plug-ins, Yamaha 01V96 onboard reverb Late last year, engineer and Sound Sanctuary Recording owner Phil O’Keefe received a phone call from songwriter Dan Fitzgerald, who wanted to re-record one lead vocal track for a album project he was coordinating. Fitzgerald had recruited Tommy Cosentino to produce the album — featuring 19-year old jazz vocalist Julie Day — for which he wrote all the songs. O’Keefe immediately recognized Day’s immense talent as well as the project’s potential, and was soon re-recording all 10 songs for the vocalist’s self-titled debut. “We had the musicians, the songs, and as soon as Julie started singing — I knew it was going to be something really, really special,” insists O’Keefe.
Day’s first track — “Hope Avenue & Despair” — features the lovely, seductive, and age-defying maturity of Day’s alto voice alongside superb instrumental performances, most notable in Cosentino’s piano accompaniment and a great solo by saxophonist Sarah Underwood.
Central to the project’s sound was a distinctive vocal microphone: a Soundelux Elux 251 recorded to Digidesign Pro Tools LE via a Vintech Audio Dual 72 preamplifier with a slight bit of compression from an Aphex 106 compressor. “There was maybe just a couple of dB,” explains O’Keefe regarding compression level. “Some Waves compression was used on the mix, but I went really light on compression during tracking. Everything came down to the sound of the vocals. Julie’s voice and the Elux 251 just worked so deliciously well together.”
(click thumbnail)(L-R) Engineer Phil O’Keefe, Julie Day, producer Tom Cosentino
Other noteworthy equipment choices include an Electro-Voice RE20/Yamaha Subkick “microphone” combination for kick drum, PreSonus MP20 preamps (modified with Jensen transformers and 637 op amps) for drum overhead microphones, an Audix i5 on the snare drum, and for piano, an eerily realistic Kurzweil SP88 recorded direct. “I worked very hard on the piano sound,” confesses O’Keefe. The saxophone solo was recorded using a beyerdynamic M160 and the Vintech preamp.