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I Believe In Father Christmas


All Instruments and vocals: Luke Richardson

Recording, Mixing and Mastering: Gregory Slobodian, Luke Richardson

After missing 2022's annual Christmas cover thanks to me being in hospital with a liver infection, for 2023 we decided to tackle the Greg Lake song: I Believe In Father Christmas. Surprisingly this was the first ambitious cover that wasn't suggested by yours truly!

Recording was surprisingly pleasant this time around - It was fun to experiment with microphones on the orchestral instruments such as the timpani, trumpet, clarinet and french horn. We mainly settled on a similar setup for all the instruments having a dedicated room mic, a clip on gooseneck mic and a couple of condenser microphones placed a few feet back from the action.

The strings were a bit of a pain as they are the only instruments in the track that aren’t real. Just like in our Mr Blue Sky cover Luke recorded each string part on a keyboard and we used a few different string samples (Kontakt, BBC Spitfire Strings and Sonivox) to create a convincing ensemble sound.

Mixing was a pain but we circumvented most of the tedium by making sure to mix as much as we could as we went along with the recording. The biggest hurdle we faced was the sheer amount of instrumentation in the track that was all fighting for similar frequency ranges. A fair amount of EQ and volume automation was used to get everything to sit in place nicely in the mix. We also got to make use of my valve compressor that I've been clamouring to use since I got it last Christmas - I think it sounded great and added a nice bit of warmth to the tone.


Mastering wasn’t too tough - I just ended up fighting with the limiter towards the end of the track trying not to crush the orchestra given how much there is going on at that point. Some automation was used to keep the limiter in check.


Overall I'm happy with how it all came together - especially the orchestral part at the end.

I Believe In Father Christmas - Luke Richardson
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