Photo: Mike Masaro
British alt-rock group Peggy Sue wrote and demoed the songs for their latest album, Choir of Echoes, in their North London practice space before going into the famed Rockfield Studios in Wales to record with engineer/producer Jimmy Robertson.
“We used the room called the Quadrangle,” Robertson says. “It’s a long stone farm building that houses the studio, and it’s partitioned in four parts: At the back is a drum room, about 6-by-6 square meters. Next to that is a large, carpeted live room about twice that length; in here we had both guitars, and various guitar amps. The bass amp was in a separate booth to the side, but Ben [Rubinstein] played in the main room alongside [multi-instrumentalists/singers] Katy [Young] and Rosa [Slade].”
The Quadrangle’s control room is equipped with an MCI 500 console, as well as racks of outboard Neve 1061s and Rosser pre’s. “I don’t think you’ll come across the Rossers outside of Rockfield,” Robertson says. “I think they were a private commission built by a Welsh engineer based in Swansea. It was for something like the Ministry of Defense, but either way they weren’t intended for Freddie Mercury to be singing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ down, but that’s where they ended up. They’re great pre’s with a very sweet sounding EQ on each channel.
“There’s a good selection of mics at Rockfield, so we were spoiled for choice with the vocal chain. We AB’d three or four microphones and selected two. The most commonly used was a Neumann U 67, Neve pre and Urei 1176 compression. We had a second chain with a C12, Rosser mic pre and a second Urei. The vocals were recorded in the large live room at the far end facing into the room.”