This will need to be brief. I wish there was more time but I must sleep soon.
Today (yesterday now, I guess) was an awesome, immense day, and about the limit of how much music I can do in one day. I think I can speak for Mark, too and say he was about at his limit.
Song #8 – Blair’s Tune. This was never going to be easy as I didn’t write it, and haven’t figured out how I want to play it on my own, but still, I thought it would speak for itself. It did not. Blair’s demo was something like 15 BPM slower than the tempo we arrived at and I was worried that his guitar motif was sounding rushed. Dave was not worried. This took 30 mins to resolve and Dave was closer to right than I was, but only just… Once the tempo was agreed upon there was the issue of the song starting and breaking down to a slightly shower tempo. So we recorded the intro as a separate file, to merge with the second later. All good. We then played, with me defining the tempo change mid song via the vocal line, at which point Fred turned off the drum machine and we played the second half without a conductor…
This actually worked very well and we had a basic bass and drums after maybe four run throughs.
Then it came time to get my guitar done and after an hour or so I realised that I didn’t like the basic idea. Just strumming all 6 strings seemed dull to me and it took up too much space in the mix so I tried various capo positions and ended up hating all of them. Eventually I concluded that I wanted something more like a ukulele so I took off the top and bottom strings to leave me four and the sound was halved in size. This actually achieved the desired effect and although Fred and Rainy were getting shifty, wanting to move to the next song, it was a big step – one less thing to figure out.
Mark then overdubbed his guitar, which was, predictably, much quicker. I then suggested that he double track (much to Fred and Rainy’s dismay) with an acoustic so that we would have the front of sound transients to give attack to the part. T.Rex did this all the time. It worked very nicely on Blair’s Tune. Rough mix and move on. No guide vocal because there is no vocal, yet.
This had taken a while but still, it had gone well, so I decided we should tackle the last unfinished song ‘Double Happiness’.
Song #9 – The meat of Double Happiness is quite simple – Riff, Verse, Chorus, Riff/Tag, repeat 3 times. That gets you to about 1.45. In rehearsal we had jammed out a playout but not really ironed out the details. This we needed to do now and it took a couple of hours… But we arrived on a krautrock vibe for the coda and 20 mins of recording gave us a basic track.
Amazingly, my live acoustic seems to be great (read – good enough) so we just worked on Mark’s part – as usual this took 15 minutes max and then we addressed the solo. MS’s basic plan was fantastic and he took 2 takes to nail it, but it ended at the chorus. I wanted it to play thorough the chorus. I heard something he was doing and asked if could keep doing it through the chorus… 15 mins later we have an awesome solo half jazz/math, half Johnny Thunders – pretty fucked up in the best possible way.
On to song #10 – Inverse Midas Touch – It was late so our plan was to run thorough the song so that we might record it in the AM. All of us knew this production trick – no pressure, just rehearsing, and they hot record when you’re not looking. Well, no need, really. It was immediately apparent that we might nail one soon so we started recording and , I THINK (we check in the AM) we have it…
Must sleep now. G’night.