During October, our mobile recording facility ‘The Roadee‘ ventured its furthest distance to date – all the way over to Paris and beyond!
The purpose behind this three-day excursion was to record a Christmas radio advert – for none other than the retail behemoth that is Amazon!
The CMP crew set off at the crack of dawn on Tuesday 29th October. With passports to hand – and green cards too (in case they ended up stranded in France after a certain deadline you might have heard of!) – the crew headed to Folkestone and hopped onto Le Shuttle.
Alighting at Calais, they then made the 200+ mile toll-strewn trek to the location du jour – one of Amazon‘s many fulfilment centres!
Located in a commune not a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of central Paris, the fulfilment centre’s very own staff were to be the stars of this extra-Christmassy show!
Upon arriving, the CMP crew quickly got to work setting up all of their equipment for the big job ahead – as the first of four recording sessions would be kicking off from 10:00 AM sharp the very next day.
Once everything had been set up to their exacting standards, the team retired to their hotel for some much-needed replenishment and a spot of R&R.
The next morning, our sound engineers were suitably refreshed and raring to go! Which is just as well, as the first session would see them recording an impromptu group of 18 male choristers!
It’s worth noting at this point that the Amazon staff taking part were divided into four single-sex singing groups, each with their own recording session lasting two to three hours. These groups were effectively amateur choirs (comprising novice singers), as Amazon wanted their Christmas radio ad to feature their own staff rather than professional choristers.
All four groups recorded multiple layers of the same song, incorporating various harmonies and chants. The track was then mixed at a later date by the producer Rich Aitken (who’s recorded an impressive array of soundtracks).
The song in question is the highly renowned Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (which you’ve probably heard emanating from your TV screens quite a few times recently!).
Fortunately for the singing staff, a brilliant choral leader, composer and professional concert pianist (Adam Saunders) was on hand to whip them into shape! He guided them patiently through each part of the song, and certainly got the very best out of them.
The second session kicked off at 2:00 PM, and this time involved recording a 24-strong group of female choristers. Once their track was safely in the can, the CMP crew headed out to a nearby swanky restaurant with the guys from DLMDD (plus some representatives from Amazon UK), and great slabs of steak were ordered all round!
After a good night’s sleep, the team were on site at 8:00 AM sharp for the final day of recording, setting up for the third singing group (who were scheduled to record from 10:00 AM). This group comprised 17 women.
The fourth (and final) group was made up of just five men, whose recording session took place in the afternoon.
And at the end of that successful final session, the representatives from Amazon UK gave everyone involved a steel water bottle as a little thank you gift – which would certainly come in handy for the team’s long journey home!
Without further ado, the CMP crew made their way back to Calais – and managed to hop aboard Le Shuttle to Folkestone before midnight on 31st October (not that it mattered in the end!). And, best of all, the team were thrilled to have had a night off from the trick-or-treaters for another year!