Gear Talks: Didirri

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Gear Talks: Didirri

Didirri feature
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

Didirri has been slowly but surely building a following as a singer-songwriter.

With a growing collection of heartfelt songs “for lovers and overthinkers”, Didirri is set to release his debut album Caught In The Act today.

Didirri photo

The new album is an evolution of his writing and lyricism, born from an old-school way of songwriting, the songs being built on pen and paper, phone demos and then refined and shaped in the studio with Melbourne producer Rob Muiños.

Read up on all the latest features and columns here.

We spoke to Didirri about the release, how it was born and came to be what it is.

Caught In The Act is out August 4, how did the album come about?

I’ve always been a pen and paper man; this record was written on a Lisner piano and a Harmony Rocket H64 guitar. Mostly I use my phone for demoing purposes but occasionally I just keep it in my brain.

How did making this album compare to Sold For Sale?

They are pretty much polar opposite; Sold for Sale was very much recorded in the box with a high degree of separation between instruments and musicians. Caught In The Act however, was recorded with as much bleed as we could get away with between musicians. Everybody live in the room, no separation whatsoever. This record was a very destructive process in the signal chain, committing to tones and deleting the previous audio where there was a lot of safety takes on Sold for Sale.

We understand you worked with Rob Muiños for this album – why Robert?

Robert is the first producer that has really pushed me artistically. To me there are two different approaches to producing, there are those that take what you say as gospel, and then there’s producers like Robert. He really pushed me to try my hardest on this record, constantly asking me if I thought things were good enough. If we could make sounds, lyrics or delivery just one percent better, we would. Nothing was “good enough”. Things either made us feel good or didn’t and were scrapped.

What did he bring to the table? Was he a producer and helping coax the songs along or was he purely engineering?

Rob was involved very early on in the songwriting process. This is pretty new for me as I, until this record, generally wrote alone. It was very much an exercise in trust allowing Rob into the songwriting process. He is definitely a producer and not just an engineer, he has very strong and valid opinions on sound, space and delivery. That’s exactly what I needed in my artistry right now.

What was recording Caught In The Act like? Did you do the whole album in a blocked out session or was it song by song in separate sessions?

The record was recorded in chunks, first we demo’d together in a one month chunk. Then once the musicians had the material we, between lockdowns, got together and recorded in a few weeks. The pianos and violins were recorded a few weeks later and “Often Broken” was recorded separately a few months later as we felt it belonged on the record.

Will these songs be performed live as they are on the record or will you have to shift and shape them a bit?

There is always a little bit of shaping to do, but this record in its nature was very live so I’m imagining that it will be a fairly straightforward conversion to the stage.

Was there any equipment that was used on the record that inspired a purchase?

We used an 808 app on my phone plugged into a guitar amp at the beginning of the record. For the tour however, I have purchased a Roland TR-O8 to use as I really don’t like relying on phones or laptops for sounds on stage. It’s a very flexible little drum machine.

Any funny stories you’d like to share from the making of Caught In The Act?

If you listen to “Winning Moves”, we used the space echo for the reverb on the vocals. We went for a different vocal take than the reverb take that we used. As a result, because one of the lyrics changed between takes there is a ghost reverb singing the wrong lyric in the second verse. We decided we liked the reverb doing its own thing and not following the vocal properly. 

Keep up with Didirri here.