It's the most wonderful time of the year, and what better way to celebrate the holidays than with a Christmas album? Tone Tree Audio, LLC just completed the engineering on Dianne Schneider and Friends' 'Sweet Little Jesus Boy', and the album was released in early December 2017 in CD and digital formats on Bandcamp.
Dianne Schneider, who performs in the music ministry at Saint Mary's Cathedral in Grand Island, Nebraska, was an incredible guiding force on the entire album, performing main vocals, guitar and bass on the album along with directing the group. The songs range from Christmas classics, including 'Silent Night', 'White Christmas' and 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' to unique arrangements such as the gorgeous title track 'Sweet Little Jesus Boy.'
Performers on the album include Dianne on vocals, guitar and bass; Claudette Sekutera on piano; Jeanne Allen with harmony vocals; Amy Schneider with harmony vocals and piano; and Andy Schneider on drums.
Dianne contacted Tone Tree Audio to record her twelve Christmas songs in fall 2017, and upon meeting with her at Saint Mary's Cathedral in Grand Island, some immediate challenges arose. The venue to record in was a beautiful church, where the principal tracking of vocalists and piano would occur. The cathedral was, of course, very lively and produced incredible reverb -- which also can create more difficulties in post-production.
However, knowing that the cathedral was as much a part of the sound that Dianne wanted, we setup to record live in the church for the vocalists and piano, with each member recorded separately and using ambient mics to capture the church reverb. The challenges of the space melted away after hearing the result: the reverb of the church so naturally blended with the vocalists and helped them to perform at their best, as they were used to this setting and used the sound to their advantage in performance.
Further tracking of bass and drums occurred at A NOTE-Worthy Studio in Kearney, Nebraska with Dianne and her son, Andy. A handful of the tracks on 'Sweet Little Jesus Boy' feature incredible rhythm sections performed by mother and son Schneider, adding a layer of dynamics and unity to those tracks.
Dianne had this to say about the experience: "We all really enjoyed working with Kent [at Tone Tree Audio] and getting to know him...such a talent in the recording business, a great ear for detail, very professional but fun, the patience of a saint, and just an all around nice guy! He always took the time to give his opinions on how we could make it better and was so helpful when it came to ordering the CDs. His knowledge and expertise throughout the whole recording and production process of 'Sweet Little Jesus Boy' was absolutely topnotch and we hope we have the opportunity to work with him again!"
For information on 'Sweet Little Jesus Boy', song samples and how to purchase, visit their official Bandcamp page.