Recording Diary #38

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Apr 292009

There seems to be a brief respite in Ed’s furious comic “stripping” so I thought this might be a prime opportunity to update y’all on the progress of our Organical Recording Diary.   You probably didn’t realize when you started reading what you were in for but hopefully you are finding the process interesting, educational, informative or at least you like how it fills the space between Ed’s comics.

Since we last spoke the band took a bit of a breather after our frantic month of guitar takes and had John finishing off drum parts.   That’s done more or less.   There is one song that he has left to do, JvsM which needs some treatment before John can tackle it, I’m sure there will be some other percussion elements and maybe some backing vocals and other miscellany.

Once we got back we brought the Baldwin amp that Ed and myself found last year up to the kitchen.  The Baldwin was bought by us primarily because it looked cool and was being neglected at our favourite music store Encore Music.   We felt sorry for it and plugged it in and were shocked to hear gorgeous tones emanating from it’s equally gorgeous husk(NOTE to ED – insert Baldwin picture HERE.).    We struck a deal and brought it home.   I had been planning on recording all my clean guitar pars through it, or at least the majority of them.   We got carried away with how good everything was sounding through the Mesa Boogie so we did a bunch of the clean guitar tracks with that setup, but

I saved a couple to do with the Baldwin and in fact, re-did a couple of parts with it.  We setup the AKG C1000 as the close mic and used our Audio-Technica large diaphragm(I forget the model) to capture the sound of the kitchen.   It sounds especially great when someone walks through it on the wooden floor, but that might be just my personal taste talking.   I really made sure to take my time and try different ways of playing on the tracks.   As with everything we are doing on this record, we are basking in the luxury of being on our own time clock, and making sure we are pleased with the results.   John mentioned the other night that the raw drum tracks we have captured are the best of his career, and I feel the same about the guitars.

Ed was a little under the weather on Sunday so rather then continue with bass we stuck with the Baldwin, and with Darren’s help twiddling knobs on my effects board, we got a great solo for “Pixel Dust” a song a struggled with a couple of weeks ago.

The rest of the week we hope to finish up most of the remaining bass tracks.

Now that we have most of the bed tracks down I have been taking copies of all the files home and started to work through the sequencing.   Some of the timing may have to change to match the live drums, and some of the keyboard/synth and sample stuff may change either to eliminate elements that don’t make sense now with the real instruments or to add stuff that compliments what we have recorded.   This is an iterative process that will probably continue throughout the recording and well into mixing.

I’m also starting to feel the pressure to get all the lyrics completed.  We expect to start tracking vocals in the next few weeks and I honestly don’t believe I have one completed lyric to do.   I tend to agonize over the lyrics way more then the music.  For instance on “The Elementals”, the song “Burden of Gravity” went through about 30 drafts of lyrics, while the music came together in about 3 revisions.  Last night I spent a couple of hours getting a couple of songs closer to readiness.   “Black Hole”, which is now called “Atari, USA” is probably gone from about 40% complete to 60% while “Bugs in the Mainframe".” has gone from about 60% to about 75%.

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