Here With Me

If you’re into sound recording or you would just like to find out all about how 'Here With Me' was recorded, read on:

'Here With Me' was the first single to be released in the UK from the 'No Angel' album. It was released in February 2001, over four years after it had originally been recorded. It was mixed five times by three different production teams.
Pascal Gabriel and Paul Statham were the co-writers and they did most of the programming and recording in their Stongroom Suite in London.
The recording of 'Here With Me' began in 1996, the original demo version started with chords and a sampled drum loop. The original drum loop was too noisy but really vibey. A boom base drum was then used for the second verse and for the rest of the track, apart from the choruses. The choruses were made lighter than the verses, a kick bass (it's called that because was a kick drum originally) was used in the verses for the bass line. The kick bass wasn't able to reach the correct pitch that was needed in the choruses, so the kick bass sound was simulated using the Studio Electronics SE1. The verses contained a big pad sound from a Korg Wavestation AV and a soft sweep, the intro on the second verse was from a Roland MKS80 which rose up behind the pads for movement. Half way through the verses there was a more aggressive string sound used from the Sequential Prophet VS rackmont, which is a very hard analogue string sound from the mid '80s. The basic backbeat stuff against the loop, the snare and bass drum was done by a Novation DrumStation. Then samples of big strings were used in the chorus and in the bridge, and a Rhodes sound from Emu Vintage Keys. A Korg Mono/Poly was used all the way through, which added movement throughout the track. A little bit of guitar was added for a bit of colour at the end. The demo version had a string melody and ended with a double chorus which wasn't used in the final version.
Most of the major elements were present (the vocal, drum pattern, bass sound and line, the electric piano riff that appears in the breakdown, and many other synth sounds) when the recording was handed over to Dido and Rick Nowels. Rollo (Dido's brother) had also had left his mark on the track he had chosen to replace some programmed string parts with a live string section which was recorded with engineer Goetz at the Swanyard Studios in London. The string parts were composed by Will Malone, Gavin Wright led the session. Dido and Rick Nowels along with engineer Ash Howels recorded a prominent looped acoustic guitar and extra keyboard parts for the final version. Ash also supervised the final mix of the track. Programmer James Sanger set up Rick's keyboard sounds and he was also responsible for alterations to the track's palette of sounds. He spent ten days working on 'Here With Me' redoing the drums using a Ensoniq ASR10 and a SampleCell, he also used a ASR brush kit for the main brushed snare in the chorus. Rick played all the pads in a Chamberline string part. It was a big mix using more than 48 tracks.
At lot of people had been involved with the production, programming and recording of the track at some stage by the time it had been chosen for the 'No Angel' album.
The most important part of the track were the vocals (both lead and backing), they were recorded with Pascal and Paul in their Stongroom Suite in London. All the vocals were done using an old Neumann mic, going straight into a little Neve two-input preamp which went straight into the back of a Esoteric Audio Research Compressor, and then straight into Pro Tools. Some of the vocals were reversed
'Here With Me' had massive airplay prior to the its UK release and found its way onto both the Radio 1 and Radio 2 playlists which is very unusual, along with the airplay it was also covered on MTV. It was released on 12th February 2001 and entered the UK top 40 at a very respectable number 4, not bad for her debut solo single.

'Here With Me' credits:

Written by Dido Armstrong, Pascal Gabriel and Paul Statham
Produced by Rick Nowels and Dido Armstrong
Initial Pre-Production and Programming by Pascal Gabriel and Paul Statham
All vocals by Dido Armstrong
Keyboards by Rick Nowels, Peter Vittese and Paul Statham
Acoustic Guitar by Rick Nowels
Electric Guitar by John Themis
Percussin by John Themis
Strings arranged by Will Malone
Strings led by Gavin Wright
Recorded and Mixed by Ash Howels and Goetz
Programming by James Sanger
Additional Programming by Peter Vittese