Vein & Rensing
Engineering, Mixing & Mastering catered to by George ‘G1’ Lever
The Vein and Rensing session came to be shortly after the ‘This is as one’ split EP.
The gentlemen in Parting Gift had a very strong idea of what they wanted to achieve. A track with two sides that flow effortlessly between one another.
After the intense sessions that made up ‘This is as one’, it was nice to work on something where the focus was directly on the songs flow.
Tracking was nailed more or less within 4-5 days with the mix ending up being more of an extension of the tracking process.
Lets get into the guts of the session. More below!
Gibson SG with Stock Pickups
Amps & Pedals;
Kemper – Kris Crummett Profile – SourSound Amp
Strymon Big Sky
& Some odd weird Muff pedal
Slate VMS – U47 Model > Neve 1073 > Distressor
Kit – Mapex Saturn 4 with Mapex Wraith Snare
Kick – Audio Technica Dual Element
Snare – 57s top and bottom
Toms – Beyerdynamic M201s
Overheads – Oktava mk012 modded (ORTF)
HH – Aston Starlight
Ride – Aston Starlight
Room – Fathead Ribbons in Blumlein
Fender Jazz Custom Shop ’64
The majority of the mixing / tonal choices were made during tracking. This really was the beginning of me shifting my mixing approach being more of an extension of the choices made during tracking rather than a track / edit / mix segmented state of mind. Tracking with the final outcome in mind from the word go.
As a result, listening back to the mixes and looking through the session, everything is working together without any large jarring ‘arguments’ happening between the instruments and vocals.
One thing i did try differently was mixing each song to its own strengths, using the same ‘family sound’, however the results initially were a little far apart. One had more low end excitement and the other had a lot more complexity going on with the layers. Each one had its merits but it wasn’t something that was going to work out for the release – so in the end we took little bits that we liked from each mix and balanced it out between the two. The result being what made it to release!y
Additional cool stuff;
– The Interlude that connects the two songs together is lifted directly from Peters demo. The only difference is how I balanced it so everything could flow. Aside from that. Its just Pete. None of my influence there!
– The synth ‘chirp’ before each chorus originally showed up once or twice in the song. During the session it was used as a ‘here comes the hook’
Words by Peter from Parting Gift
I asked Peter if he would like to share some insight behind his approach to sample building as well as ambience layering seeing as its quite a big part of the Parting Gift identity. He was kind enough to put some words together below – George
The ambient parts / drones / long notes play a huge role in Parting Gift’s sound. I would say about 25-30% of the final product is recorded pre-session in my room.
My process is always changing but for Vein & Rensing, I used a combination of the Strymon Big Sky, the TC Electronic Flashback and the Valhalla plugins as well as some of Ableton Live’s modulation plugins.
The basis of the sounds was either my Gibson Les Paul, a flute sample (when low enough in pitch, almost sounded like a cello) or a section of a sample of a Prague based choir that I isolated however this was often quite low in the mix because of its musical interval that didn’t always support the vibe.
Usually, it’s only really there for the vowel. Sometimes I layered all these “sources” at once. I recorded the guitars through the Strymon in stereo and processed it further afterwards. I love the Chorale algorithm on this pedal.
Ableton’s sampler / sequencer helped me achieve the tape glitch sound that can be heard during some of the transitions. I’m a big fan of sampling so this is something I do a lot. In the interlude you can also hear a horn sample processed heavily.
I was generally aiming for a sound as analogue as possible, with no digital silence. There’s always at least a tiny little bit of white noise or reverb tail to help place the sound in the context of the real world. – Peter
Parting Gift – Peter Vybrial
Working with G1 on Vein & Rensing was a significant step-up from our previous experiences.
Be it thanks to George’s attitude towards the artist and care for what we intended to achieve or the engineering demonstrated during the sessions (drum tracking especially), we knew we were in good hands.
We quickly developed an atmosphere of mutual respect and we managed to successfully overcome schedulling issues as well as other problems that arose along the way, some of which other engineers would not be willing to compromise on.
Parting Gift have a bunch of other singles out on youtube. They’re each awesome in their own way.
However… We are about to enter the studio again together.
To make more bangers.
Bangers = killer tracks.
Until next time.