The Koalaz - Paradise Falls EP
The Koalaz, psychedelic reggae / rock.
released on 16 June 2018
by Marlon Wolterink
The Koalaz had recorded 2 singles at the White Noise Studio before returning to record their first EP. The recording was all about experimenting and finding their sound.
This blog goes in depth on some of the elements and how we approached the recording and mix.
We recorded four songs: Smelling The Night, Paradise Falls, Steady High Rolling and Midnight Blue. All songs are heavily reggae influenced with rock and dub vibes.
All tracks were performed by Daan on Vocals and rhythm guitar, Daan² on bass, Koen on (solo) guitar and Isha on drums. Isha left shortly after the recordings due to scheduling conflicts to be replaced by Daan³. That's 3 Daan's in 1 band. Additional musicians were Dirk Overbeek on Hammond organ and myself on additional keyboards
The band organized a Voor De Kunst funding campaign to fund the recording and physical production of the Ep.
The Koalaz EP Recording Sessions:
After checking out the demos the band recorded themselves in their rehearsal space and we took notes on production ideas before we went off to start recording the EP.
All tracks started out by the band play together with clicktrack over headphones.
The aim was to keep the drums and bass of these recordings and overdub the guitars and adjust the bass where we felt it could be different.
We checked every song for parts which coudl be enhanced or improved. A lot was already pretty much great sounding.
Notable parts we did add:
On ''Smelling The Night'', at the end of every chorus, we added an overdub by drums by recording a second stup which sounded to sound totally different from the main kit to have a little drumhook.
Also on Smelling the Night, the tremolo'd guitar sound was created by layering a guitar which we recorded through the leslie of the hammond organ.
On ''Paradise Falls'' the first lines of the verse are doubled by a chorussy vocal. We recorded this by swinging around a microphone around it's microphone chord ( creating a doppler effect)
We added so called ''stuck'' guitar lines in every track which are guitar lines which follow the bass line. The bassline has some slight variations to keep the listening experience excited which we followed and overdubbed exactly with guitar.
During the mixing process we also decided on replacing some parts and adding in some new stuff. Most notably were the doubling of the ''skank'' guitar. They we're recorded at first to be 1 guitar. We thought it would sounded better when doubled in the mix. We also added an e-piano part which doubles almost all skank guitars to enhance that offbeat reggae feel.
In Paradise Falls, a clavinet part was added during the verses which follows the bass part in a sort of question / answer way.
The bass was recorded dry without any effects through DI and re-amped later on to make sure we could have a great blend between the dry and wet sound ( as in Paradise Falls with the envelope filter part)
The Koalaz EP Mix Sessions:
The mix was all about adding texture, excitement and adding little elements which guaranteed new things to discover after multiple listenings for the listener.
For vocals we went used various degrees of filtering and distortion, while adding delays and reverbs.
One nice trick we did on the snare reverb was automating various degrees of reverb on every track so it opens up for examples on every 4th beat or so and completely on the 8th. This gives a very nice reggae / dub vibe on very track.
All in all, we did add a lot of small detail in the mixprocess and also used the improv part of Koen to add those little variation that keep a song fun to listen to after many, many times.
The EP turned out really great!
A lot of work has been put in by us and the koalaz and that definitely paid off.
Check them out on at one of their upcoming concerts!