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Day 39 - Files and synthesizers
posted: 20/01/2013  by Lloyd
category: Studio Journal

It's a holiday weekend but I'm back in the small room for a 3/4 day of file management (primarily).
I have 11 songs with something like a total of 400 audio files, all of which need to be in the correct folders and their audio content needs to be either obvious from the file name, or explained. Otherwise the mixing engineer will need me to be there all of the time and that is not a good idea. I need fresh ears in mixing sessions... So I have a database with 11 sheets - and I need to get them filled out and checked.

Here's what the Kids Today sheet looks like -

FILE NAME Mono/Stereo Notes
Bass DI.wav M
BassSansamp.wav M
BC_EP_Trashed#02.wav S Blair Cowan Electric Piano, distorted
BC_EP_REndered#01 S Blair Cowan Electric Piano
CH FILL GTR_Render1.wav M LC Guitar chorus only
Click.wav S
DD BVoc_02.wav M Dave Derby Vocal, Rage Against, CH 2 Only
EGTR LC kemper comp_Render1.wav M LC Guitar
Floor.wav M
GuideVoc.wav M
hats.wav M
JW BVoc Lo_01.wav M Joan Wasser Harmony vocal, Low
JW BVoc_01.wav M Joan Wasser Harmony vocal
Kick.wav M
ohL.wav M
ohR.wav M
Omni_Flute_L_R.wav S After Chorus only
Omni_Strings_L_R.wav S Chorus and Intro after chorus only
roomL.wav M
roomR.wav M
SnrBot.wav M
SnrTop.wav M
Tom.wav M
Violin 2_04.wav M Joan Wasser Violin, parts adds rosin sound to Omni strings
Violin_02.wav M Joan Violin Double Track
WC BVoc_01.wav M Will Cole Vocal, Rage Against, CH 2 Only.

I get 4 more songs done and then listening to No Truck I wonder if a transparent synth, like the one on Myrtle and Rose might work - I try that Omnisphere patch and it will work but this song wont take the dissonance that M&R would. The notes need to be kept short otherwise the metalic atonal element dominates. I record a few passes and then fine tune in the midi editor.

It is dull. Pretty but dull. It needs something. I process it with a slow Rhodes vibrato and add gentle distortion. It is amazing how distortion can make a sound sit it a track (guitars included). I wish I'd known this 25 years ago.

I get the track sounding about right when Logic crashes and I hadn't saved in a while. This costs me 45 minutes but at least reinforces that the idea is a good one.

I make a rough mix, noting that the bass guitar part is better in the second tag than the first. I thought I had played the same thing - clearly not. I ask Mark on the way out if he can copy tag 2 to tag 1 and make any necessary timing adjustments.

3 songs left tomorrow. One other point to note - reviewing the files like this I am also assessing them. Everything, thus far is exactly as I want it. Dave and Joan's vocals from last weekend are stellar and going back to Matthew's block harmonies (to understand and explain them), I'm very excited to have them on MY record, for the first time.

Reviewing the album (all songs) spreadsheet I see that I have two things left to do - comp the various mad tambourine parts recorded in NYC for Diminished Ex, and see if a super simple keyboard (most likely Oh Superman style) will work on Opposite's day. Without being overly optimistic, I think I should have Wednesday free to pack and prepare for my trip South the following day. I will be playing golf on Saturday (and Sunday and Monday).

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