A very busy day – First track completed, then two more and the fourth very close.
Yesterday we were using the studio’s Pro Tools set up which is native and we were getting a few random pops and clicks. Today I decided we should move to Logic and see how we got on… plus if it worked out I could continue with the files as Logic is what I use… it was a good move. No problems today.
First thing we looked at was Matthew’s Bass on Period Piece and with rejuvenated minds and bodies it only took 1/2 hour to get where we needed to be. Song #1 basic track complete.
Song #2 – California Earthquake (written by John Hartford). I did not play F and M the Mama Cass I know and love version as my idea is quite different. We continue with the krautrock feel and it’s a driving relentless mid tempo. I ask Matthew to stay on the D as much as he can and in an hour we have a drum track. I re-play my guitar (again using Matthew’s excellent Kemper amp profiling thing – http://kemper-amps.com/page/render/lang/en/p/184/do/Kemper_Profiling_Amplifier___KPA___Guitar_Amplification_Redefined.html – this thing is amazing and I will need to get one for my studio. It won’t stop me recording using amps into microphones, but it will give me great alternatives) and the track is fine. Matthew’s fairly mad ad-lib bass playing is actually great for a song where the chord changes are actually quite arbitrary.
Lunch – across the street to Tacos Por Favor – what a great place! Very old school, cafeteria style. On Charles’s recommendation I have the chorizo and cheese tacos. 1 Tecate. Yummy.
Song #3 – For a minute I thought about taking a break from the driving (beat) songs but it has been going so smoothly today I choose Opposite Day as the next one – uptempo, Neu! meets Johnny and Mary by R Palmer (in my dreams). Matthew claims to not know quite what I’m on about asking for krautrock so i play 4 minutes of Halogalo and Alles Klar.
This one needs a drum machine as it must not vary in tempo. Later I may want to sync some synths. It comes in around 133 BPM. Fast for an older dude.
Fred is on fire and has this one done in only a few takes. I take two fills from an earlier take and fly them in and maybe one bass drum is nudged. Then I re-play my guitar. I know the drums are great when there is no problem at all doing this.
I have an idea for the bass and I have Matthew try it – for the chorus, a walking/driving/ascending thing. It works nicely. We re-record the bass with this part added and. That’s basic track #3 done.
Matthew played a cool ad-lib at the end of the song and I wondered if it might work in the song – maybe not, but it will work on guitar. I also have a chorus idea so i record a guitar ideas sketch track. I will revisit these when we’re done with basics.
Mid-late afternoon break.
Song # 4 – Diminished Ex. We take break from our version of the Motorik beat and go all the way to the slowest song. 67 BPM. I have to tune down to play this as i wrote it one my Collings which I keep a whole tone down. I’ve used my Tele for the first 3 songs. I tune down the 335 for this and edit the amp for a slightly cleaner sound (not much) and I use the Schaller tremolo pedal. The sound is somewhat dark and fuzzy, and it moves with the tremolo.
This one is as far from the first 3 songs as could be. It’s an electric folk song with a beat and structure which must follow the vocal. For a little while this is frustrating Fred but once I re-write one line where the vocal was turning the beat around it seems playable. It takes a while, my voice is weak and hoarse from singing all day – we’re all pretty tired – but we get it at about 6.30. I send M home, he can re-do the bass in the AM. I re-play the guitar and I know the drums are fine. This an excellent acid test.
Why do I always replay the guitar? Because I tend to rush my guitar playing when I sing.
I add the insistent overdub idea I’ve had in mind for the song and we’re done.
A very productive day.
Fred, Charles and I get a snack and beer at Upper West and I head over the street to write this.