MidSide Sessions: Jake Bristow

Introducing Jake fucking Bristow. After how smoothly the Charlotte Mclean session went Jake was more than keen to give recording with us a chance, so we booked him in.

“Jake is a versatile Brisbane based pianist, organist and vocalist. He holds a Bachelor in Jazz Performance (piano) from The Jazz Music Institute (JMI) and a Certificate in Music Studies (jazz voice) from the Brisbane Conservatorium of Music. Jake studied extensively with extraordinary jazz pianist Steve Russell whilst attending JMI.”

“Although still a young emerging jazz musician, Jake has shared the stage with many jazz legends: Craig Scott (SYD), Brendan Clarke (SYD), David Theak (SYD), Bruce Woodward, Jamie Clark, Helen Russell, Dave Sanders and Paul Hudson to name a few.”

“He performs in a variety of styles and has performed at venues such as: The Tivoli (supporting aria award winner Larry Carlton), The Brisbane Jazz Club, JMI live, Jazz Up Stairs, The Brisbane convention centre, Brisbane State Library, Brisbane Fringe Festival, Cloudland, Star City Casino (SYD), Twin Towns Resort and various Brisbane venues that have music on a regular basis.”

You can learn more and contact Jake via his website:  http://www.jakebristowjazz.com/




Recording Session, Tuesday 10th of November

4:00 pm – Enter Neve, begin setting up Pro Tools session according to specifications. Hire all necessary studio equipment

4:30 pm – Jake to arrive and set up. Set up mics and stage plot

4:40 pm – Setup cameras/lighting.

5:00 pm – Have session, microphones and cameras ready for recording. Sort headphone mix.

5:20 pm to 6:20pm – Audio and video recording

6:30 pm – Any other recordings needed to be recorded by this time, begin tearing down session.

6:40 pm – Jake to pack down

7:00 pm – Pack down all gear. Back up Pro Tools session to external hard drive. Transfer all camera footage from SD cards to external hard drives

8:00 pm Exit Neve studio, returning everything to its original state.


Studio unavailable, postpone or if necessary use alternative studio.

Microphone choice not the best, switch to alternative.

Microphone not available for use, switch to alternative.

Ensure musicians have backup instruments

Desired sound is not achieved, change microphone placement or try different material/approach.

Faulty equipment, inform supervisors and find replacement.




Perhaps a little obvious but this session was much simpler than the Charlotte Mclean session. Having only to record keys and vocals was a lot less strenuous than an entire ensemble in that tiny live room.

We decided to play a little with using small diaphragm condensers as room microphones, we had plenty of extra inputs we figured why not. The DPA 4011a’s are fantastic microphones. We set them up in XY above and pointing towards Jake. It really added an openness to his vocals that was severely lacking. This brings into question the feel of the tracks as well. All of them are slow soft ballads and to emphasize this and really make the songs drip with emotion, we used very long and wet reverbs and applied ‘dark’ EQ. The fact that there are only 2 sounds sources in these tracks there is quite lot of room left over in the mix. By using this production technique of applying a heavy reverb we have affected the performance and changed its perception emotionally. By using EQ that emphasized the lower mid’s of Jake’s vocal range we have again changed the performance to better reflect the emotion he wishes to be portrayed in the songs.


Everything went fairly well on the night with only a couple re-takes of the songs and most issues being with cameras or the headphone mix. We recorded a total of 5 songs but in the end released only 4. This was a mutual conclusion between us and Jake as the song that was not included did not fit the feel of the set and he himself felt it could have been performed better. Maybe next time? The filming was a little bit of a letdown to me. We only used 2 cameras with one pointing towards him in general and the other at his hands on the keyboard. Due to the songs being slow and ballad-y, lacking any obvious solos, it detracted from the experience when we swapped to the keys camera. So the whole session is shot on one static camera which is not most interesting. The more I use the video editing software the more confident I get with using techniques like zooming but due to time constraints we kept it simple. Also to note that the keyboard camera did not record any audio. My assumption would be that audio recording was disabled in the camera settings. So that was another defining reason we did not use the other camera.
Aside from that everything went well. Without further ado here is the entire Jake Bristow MidSide Session.


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