Uh, oh. I wake up feeling not good at all. My throat is dry and I guess I shouldn’t have had the beers on the way home… I text MAM and delay our start time to midday with instructions to start Double Happiness without me should I be late. I then try to sleep a few more hours.
I arrive at the studio around 12.30 and Mark and Matty have already recorded a bunch of stuff – but all is not well. The recordings are great but the sound is so bright that it makes MS’s part sound too dull. Juxtaposition. Not to be underestimated in its influence… There is also an issue with a few instances of excessive vibrato which need replacing. Still the song is sounding better with two distinct identities playing off each other, as opposed to MS carrying the whole load.
We brighten up MS’s part somewhat and process Matty’s though some Antares voodoo mic simulator unit and it actually works – the twain will in fact meet, or at least rub shoulders.
Should Matty play through the solo or leave MS on his only? I don’t know. We try it with both of them. It’s too busy, but nothing is too little. I suggest finding a single note or a chord which can play straight through the solo and Matty finds the note, but he prefers a 4 beat. We record it. It sounds good but MAM and I simultaneously suggest adding an echo to make it an 8’s feel. Matty says why not play it? So he does. Music is fun at times like these – the result is just perfect and we have to be careful not to overuse it. It sounds like we have a dance remix happening in the middle of the song without the DJ. And we all seem to see it in the same way – it needs the robot dance. Much hilarity ensues and I do my best Peter Crouch impersonation… repeatedly.
Music doesn’t have to be hard work.
On to the coda – DH is really just a 1.5 minute song with a 1.5 minute playout – what will we do with this playout? All we know is that Krautrock is the reference we all like. Especially NEU!. I played some Neu to Matty last week and he’s come up with a great part, and a slidy thing to go against it. We record both. I love it, it seems completely out of context to have Teutonic freak out on an album where the solos are 8 bars at the most, but we enjoy it, so we proceed. What’s the worst that could happen? We leave it off the record. No big deal.
Next song – The New Yorkers (That’s Alright).
Matty has ideas, but the trad rock parts don’t work. However I love his Keithy chorus part, but I think it needs to be more direct, more brutal. So we work on this for a while, eventually finding that the weak link was just a G inversion which is an easy fix moving up the 3rd fret shape… We get a sound through the SG>Matchless>THD combo turned up pretty loud.
The verse pattern proves tougher. Matty has an idea which involves a tremolo roughly in time with the track and when it works it is great and when it doesn’t it isn’t.. We spend several hours trying to get this to work before we give up. I can make this idea work in Logic with a tremolo synchronized to the tempo. We must revisit this in my attic.
Next – Matty has an arpeggio idea for Blair’s Tune. It is a strange one, because M thinks he is playing some strange timing against Schwaber’s part, but actually they play exactly the same beats, but different notes… Anyhow, it is cool part so we record it and extend the idea to the chorus, too. Clean sound. Matchless>THD, minimal compression and echo.
Finally Matty has some ebow on acoustic ideas for Man Overboard and Broken Record. The sound of the ebow on an acoustic is a strange one and the result of two tracks of it is reminiscent of a small brass section. I ‘m thinking flugelhorns.
Anyhow, it works a treat on Man Overboard, and really adds to the whole Godfather vibe. But on BR it seems a little too maudlin. Still, The part is good and I think it might me a good idea for Pedal Steel and violin. We keep the tracks as a reference.
That’s Matty done except for some work in my attic.
With Broken Record up I decide to have another go at singing it. It isn’t easy with the new beat, drum based, rather than based upon my acoustic. But after a few takes I start to feel like I don’t suck completely. MAM confirms that it isn’t awful and I persevere. My voice doesn’t feel 100%, to be honest, but sometimes that isn’t a bad thing. And this song isn’t one which demands a singer on top form. So we record a few more takes, and few more , and eventually MAM says he’s pretty sure he has it.
I let him comp the takes and once I hear his work, I’m encouraged – a few lines I don’t care for, but most is fine. We find alternatives acceptable to me for these lines, and then we go home. It’s after 10,