Friday November 30th – Our last day recording bass and drums.

We were very, very tired at the end of the Thursday session and I was worried that we might not have anything we could use. Wrong! The drum track for Kids Today is just great and so is much of the bass playing, and the singing is all right!
It only takes a few edits and overdubs to fix it and that’s 9 songs started now. This has turned out to be a quirky little song. I had imagined it was going to be straighter and bigger but I’m really happy with it. It also made me realise that this microphone I’ve been using – JJ’s BeesNeez “Sally” is going to be needed for the rest of the album. It just seems perfect for my voice – it’s warm and clear without any of the problems I’m used to encountering with sibilance. Maybe I’m not such a sibilant singer after all. So I’ll buy one (I’m writing this the next day having just ordered it). It will save money in the long run.

Note – several of the purchases for this project will make the album after this much less expensive to produce. Thanks again pre-orderers!

On to the last song for the week – Myrtle and Rose – it’s a ballad format with a slightly strange “Why I love country music” type chord progression – the chords are in groups of 3, but the vocal sings against them in groups of 2 or 4, meaning the vocal with start on different chords as the verse progresses. Also making the song a little difficult to teach, but Matthew has it fairly quickly. And the drum pattern Fred arrives at is simple, strong and almost without fills or cymbals. We have it worked out before lunch. And we record it first take after lunch.
My main guitar part is an arpeggio, but a tricky one so I opted to just laydown a simple 8s strum while were recording, expecting to replace it later, but I like it. It has a strange, piano-like sound. The arpeggio is overdubbed after this track is fixed, and it is tricky. I don’t waste time trying to get it perfect – I can do that in MA.
The bass part needs some fine tuning and this takes an hour or so.
Then it’s file management.

Charles makes copies of all the files for me, and rough mixes as MP3s and WAV files. We will import the WAVs into Matthew’s Pro Tools system next week and work with these. Importing and exporting entire projects would be slow and tiresome and we only have a couple if days.
I have Charles name the rough mixes with the BPM (if we had one calculated) in the name. Here’s what we have at the end of the week (he forgot to do this for CA Earthquake) –
CaliforniaEarthquake_1 3:58
BlueLikeMars_rough_107BPM 4:18
CantStay_rough_110BPM 2:50
DiminishedEx_rough_NoBPM 4:25
ItsLate_rough_126BPM 3:16
KidsToday_rough_95BPM 3:04
MyrtleAndRose_rough_128BPM 5:24
OppositeDay_rough_136BPM 4:17
PeriodPiece_rough_130BPM 3:31
WomensStudies_rough_128BPM 4:36

I expect to add No Truck in MA to give an 11 song, 40 minute (approx) album.

As Charles is doing this we break down the equipment. I pack up my box of guitar pedals. Yes, it was worth shipping them, I used the Schaller tremolo and the MXR EQ on almost everything and we used the SansAmp on the bass.

I go back to the hotel to shower and change and then it’s time for the end of session party/concert. JJ has invited friends, Bad Robot folk, and we have some family and friends come along. It’s all very warm and friendly and the guests seem to enjoy my performance (which I need need Red Bull for). A couple of bourbons and off to bed. I really can’t imagine how the week could have gone better, or a better place to record. Fred and Matthew still have it and JJ has done a great job at Bad Robot, it’s a fabulous place to work.

I slept about 12 hours and here I am typing again.