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Day 35 - Files, singing and guitars
posted: 15/01/2013  by Lloyd
category: Studio Journal
1 comment

Other than driving home from NYC, yesterday was actually a proper day off, and I wake up early today. I'm booked with Mark at SoneLab from 11 but I'm there at 10 importing the vocal and keyboard files from the Magic Shop sessions. Good news - everything sounds fine, or good, or great. And it's starting to feel like I'm now finishing things...

Mark sets up the Sally (the Beesneez mic I've used for the whole project) and we address the vocal on Kids Today. I really like the guide vocal, the attitude is perfect, but the execution isn't always good enough. My plan is to record some more, match the sound and feeling and replace only that which needs to be replaced. I sing a few passes and thankfully I'm not singing badly and this song is well withing my comfort range (thanks to the capo on the second fret of the guitar). When I'm finished I have Mark make a comp and I go back to the small room and import more files. I also start a database for EVERY audio file on every song, so that when in Germany I'll know exactly what should be where and what their supposed function is...

Once Mark has made the comp I listen, and it's great but there are too many moments when the sound of my guitar playing can be heard on the vocal track... maybe next time I try this I should place an audio shield below the vocal mic to block sounds from the guitar...

I tell Mark I need to sing more and we need to address all the points in the song where this can be heard... luckily I seem to be singing well, maybe better than earlier. I record two more tracks and Mark is confident we have it. He is right. The new vocal is has all the good points of the guide plus it's tuning is better and there is no spill.

Ironically we have grown to like the sound of the spill from the Telecaster so we record a track of 'off mic' guitar (as we have done on several tracks).

Next, Mark Schwaber is coming in, we need to prepare tracks for him. Dull stuff. When he arrives I've decided to address California Earthquake (CA EQ) first. Blair's Math Rock piano part (the right hand anyway) is too complicated, I think. I have already added a simpler RH part on the Magic Shop piano. But I like the idea. I play it to MS and suggest we do something on guitar to capture the idea.

90 minutes later MS is playing his Tele into my Matchless and I'm smiling, and then laughing when, as he begins what will turn out to be the take we choose, I realise that the AC/DC song the part has been reminding us of (OK it's not that similar but...) is "It's a Long Way To The Top". Imagine a Math Rock AC/DC part, if you can. The song is really working as I'd hoped now and it's got that Neu! insistence...

MS was supposed to be cycling around the part like he didn't know where he was in the song but clearly we was faking it as when the solo section start he plays a slightly different part. Perfect. And I hear a melody to go over it. I play it, show it to MS and suggest it could be played in octaves. 10 minutes later we're done with CA EQ.

On to Women's Studies. I've been close to giving up on this song, but I've been encouraged by the musicians not to... still, it isn't right yet. I explain my quandary to MS and we discuss... we find a small, bright, brittle sound and he plays a strumming part that would probably have been on an acoustic on any other record, but I don't want that here. Especially not on this song. It is immediately apparent that we are on to something. A little finessing here, a little production here and 30 minutes later it's done.

There is still a weak spot in the chorus though. MS has an idea which he plays on a clean Tele sound (my maple one, he just broke a string on his) with Blue Sky reverb, and it works. But I'm not sure I want one guitar sound coming in for two bars here, and 4 there, so I suggest he replace my octave chorus part with this sound so it clan play the whole chorus. At 9.10 we're done.

That was a long but very productive day. We are back on schedule.

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Language: Eno
Title: sounds wonderful

Nice to hear sounds like it is rolling along nicelyI will be great to hear the finished song

Posted by: timw85 @ 15/01/2013