After we successfully recorded the electric piano, organ and Moog parts of "Unique" with the German jazz pianist Andreas Theobald, we let rest the production for a few weeks. Playing it back after the break that was used to concentrate on other tasks related to the producer concept EP, we had the feeling that a particular element was missing to complete the song as we envisioned it originally. After a moment's consideration, we decided that the song needs a real horn section to take the song to the next level and to finalise it. We are more than happy to tell you that we were able to work with a professional horn section called Triple H Horns from the United Kingdom that did a stunning job! In the following, learn more about the guys behind Triple H Horns and how we recorded saxophone, trumpet and trombone for "Unique".
The Triple H Horns
The Triple H Horns are a London-based horn section, consisting of Jacob Shaw, Patrick Hayes and Nick Mead, available for live work, studio and remote recording sessions. Their live & studio credits include Chaka Khan, Christina Aguilera, Sir Tom Jones, James Arthur, John Newman, JP Cooper, Joe Hertz, Netflix, ITV Studios, BBC TV, BBC Radio Live Lounge, Channel 4, plus many studio recordings for library music and jingles. They are happy to perform your already notated music and ideas, but also love to write horn lines that sound good over your track. Usually, all three group members collaborate in the writing process if you asked them to complete your instrumental with some horns as we did for "Unique".
"Unless there is a tight deadline, we’ll split the different tracks between us, write ideas, get together in the studio and play through, share ideas with each other and adapt things to get the best results; Factors such as dynamics, articulations, harmonies are the foundation of getting the best sound we possibly can. If we are all on the same page before we record the first note, the whole process is much more efficient and garners the best results. "
Triple H Horns (Source)
The Triple H Horns are also featured in the blog article "5 Tips To Record Horns Professionally In A Home Studio" of audio manufacturer Audient - definitively worth a read if you plan to track horns at your home studio soon. But let us take a closer look at each group member now!
Jacob Shaw (Saxophone) studied woodwind at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama. He graduated and moved to London in 2010. Since then, he has provided music for bands and artists, films, radio and TV studios.
Credits include: Chaka Khan, Christina Aguilera, The Temptations, Switch, JP Cooper, John Newman, BBC Radio & TV, ITV, Channel 4, E4, Sky, & Netflix.
He frequently travels internationally, performing in countries all over the world.
Patrick Hayes (Trombone), is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger and producer. He studied jazz trombone at the Royal Academy of Music (London) and studio music and jazz at the University of Miami.. Patrick has played, recorded or written for artists and groups such as Chaka Khan, Christina Aguilera, Sir Tom Jones, James Arthur, Hamish Stuart and Snarky Puppy.
Nick Mead (Trumpet) studied classical trumpet as an undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating in 2011 with a B. Mus. (Hons). Despite his classical background, he always had an interest in the Jazz/Pop genre and has pursued this since graduating. Nick has played, written and recorded for artists such as Chaka Khan, Christina Aguilera, The Temptations, Bombay Bicycle Club, Ray Lewis and Chairmen of the Board.
Due to economic and time reasons, we decided upon a remote recording. Triple H Horns did the entire recording on their own in their professional home studio in London. All we can tell you is that the delivered quality was top-notch, performing and technical-wise! The ideas of the group and the resulting Triple H Horns style that consequently was added to our existing instrumental was the desired missing piece of the puzzle. We cannot wait to let you hear the fully finished production!
As the central connection between the used analogue microphone preamps and the audio workstation/DAW, a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 was used as A/D converter. The saxophone and trombone were recorded with vintage versions of the legendary studio microphone Neumann U87 that went into the beautifully sounding AMS Neve 1073 DPD stereo preamp. To mike the third element of the horn section, the trumpet, the guys chose the Neumann Gefell MV 692 with M94 capsule that was preamplified by a Vintech Audio X81 unit. You can find the full list of equipment used for the horn section recording below.
|Interface/Converter||Focusrite Scarlett 18i20|
|Preamp 1||AMS Neve 1073 DPD|
|Preamp 2||Vintech Audio X81|
|Microphone 1 (Saxophone)||Neumann U87|
|Microphone 2 (Trombone)||Neumann U87|
|Microphone 3 (Trumpet)||Neumann Gefell MV 692 with M94 Capsule|
|Saxophone||Yamaha YTS-82 Z Atelier|
|Trombone||1952 Conn 24H|
|Trumpet||Yamaha YTR-6335RC Commercial|
|Headphone 1||Sony MDR-7506|
|Headphone 2||Audio-Technica ATH-M30 X|
|Headphone 3||Beyerdynamic DT 250|
What Is Next?
First of all, we thank Triple H Horns for working with us on "Unique" and delivering such great recording! All who are interested in including a very professional horn section in your next production, feel free to contact those kind guys.
We will continue our work on the song by focusing on the vocals and the related lyrics now. After we added the horn section to the song, the instrumental is finally completed. The songwriting, in terms of vocal melody and lyrics, will start very soon. Until now, we cannot reveal who will perform the vocals on the track. It is time to be curious about that ;) See you next time!