Pickup Queen - Info

Back in the 1970s I was playing in a band called Sugarcane.  In 1975 Ian Boycott, who sang and played congas in the band, wrote some lyrics for a song he called ‘Pickup Queen’.  I put some chords to it and in October 1975 we recorded it in a small amateur studio in Snitterfield, Warwickshire. It was our first time doing any recording and it was great fun.  We re-recorded it for an EP in July 1978.  On each occasion the results weren’t too bad, but we didn’t have enough time to work on it thoroughly and, more importantly, we didn’t have a producer or the knowledge ourselves to get the sounds we really wanted.

Fast forward almost forty years and Ian has been in touch with me out of the blue! This prompted me to re-work the song into the driving punchy rock style I originally imagined for it.  The enormous advances in technology over the last decades mean that I have all the necessary tools in my home studio to be able to do that.

Technical notes:

I used XLN Audio’s superb Addictive Drums to get the ‘big kit’ drum sounds.  I input the bass patterns, note by note, in MIDI within Sonar Producer X3d using my Roland Fantom X6 synth workstation for the sounds.  I had to listen carefully to the old recordings as I wanted to copy the superb bass lines devised at the time by our bass player back then, John Rushton.  I manually input the chords for the organ part, again in MIDI , with a patch on my Fantom making the sounds.

I played all the guitar parts on my Epiphone Flying V, recording them directly into Sonar via Native Instruments’ GuitarRig 5 Pro software.  There are two rhythm guitar parts panned hard left and a number of lead tracks. I did the vocal using my usual trusty RØDE NT2 mic and sweetened things with EQ and reverb in Sonar’s ProChannel tools.  The Corvette sounds and the girl’s voice sample were free sound clips found on the internet.

Everything was mixed in Sonar and mastered there using IK’s T-RackS Grand software with some extra ‘loudness’ provided by Sonnox’s Inflator.