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Years & Years - Sanctify (Live Vevo Session)

Category : Artists

British Synthpop band Years & Years made an unapologetic return from their hiatus with the hit song Sanctify in March this year, leaping to  #1 Trending on YouTube within the first 24 hours of its launch and quickly rising to critical acclaim.

Recently, the band took to the Rivolli Ballroom in London for a live acoustic performance of the track, which was recorded on location for Vevo.
Producer, engineer and Aston 33 member Alex Archer was at the helm of the session and got in touch with us to tell us about his experience using the Starlight to gain a clean sound in a "less than perfect" acoustic environment;

"On the Years & Years live record it was a real stripped down performance, just bass guitar via DI [Direct Input], vocals and the one acoustic guitar, so I needed to capture it well. Luckily we had a little time so I tested out options starting with an A/B of a classic ribbon mic and the Aston Origin. In that test, I liked the Origin over the ribbon for its bright yet full sound, however, I was hearing a lot of room sound that given it was a live record could lead to lots of spill that would cause difficulty in mixdown.

So I then A/B’ed with the Starlight and found it again delivered a great sound that also was unbelievably clean. When I solo'ed the recorded track there was not a single bit of bleed allowing me to really shape the acoustic guitar as I wanted in the mix and have it support the vocals brilliantly. The voicing options were a great addition to match the tonality of the acoustic guitar used (a vintage guild I believe) which was lovely and warm but lacked a little high end. The half and half setting captures the high end I wanted and faithfully replicated the warm mids. The laser pointer was great for checking that I was always focusing on a sweet spot at the 12th fret, even as the performers moved around between takes. As I often do I had a safety DI from the guitars built in pickup and for the first time that I can remember I was able to mute that entirely in the mix and solely rely on the Aston Starlight, that’s a game changer!"


Alex continued to summarise; "The guitar is just the Starlight with a bit of UAD sparkle, the DI wasn’t needed at all, it gave an amazingly clean sound in a less than perfect acoustic space that faithfully captured the sound of the vintage acoustic used. The laser was helpful for checking that the positioning was constant between takes and the voicing switches have really nice options, I believe I settled on the halfway voicing for this one."

We want to say a big thank you to Alex Archer, and we are excited to see what he records next!

You can pre-order Years & Years' new album Palo Santo from their website now.

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