11 AM start, it’s taken me a month to realise that trying to make music before 11 is, 90% of the time, a waste of time. And with singing, which is what is on today it is even tougher.
I thought there was only a song and a half left to sing but I’ve forgotten one. CA EQ, Opposite’s Day and Silver Lake remain.
We start with Silver Lake. I’m really happy with the guide vocal – the feel is perfect and there don’t seem to be too many bad notes, the problem is likely to be spill from the guitar I played when singing it…
I ask Mark the engineer to listen through and see what can be used. He agrees with me, he edits a little and swaps an out of tune syllable for an in tune one and the performance is fine. He then edits out as much string noise as is possible and runs the track through a de-noising program to try to soften some pre-amp distortion. All of this works and I don’t need to sing a note. One (OK that was the 1/2) down.
On to Opposite’s Day – It takes me a while to warm up and for a while I’m not sure if I can sing today. But we persevere and I get it, but it takes a while and even when I have something better than the guide in all ways, I’m still feeling like it is missing something. The melody is so straight, there is less room for expression than usual, maybe… I’m really not sure but my gut says it isn’t right.
WWDBD? This song isn’t exactly a David Bowie homage but it does want to be like something from side one of Low (in its dreams). I wonder if I might add a second vocal to make the first one function more effectively. I ask Mark to give me a new track and I semi speak the verses and sing the choruses very loud, backing off the mic (slight nod to Heroes) and an hour later the song sounds great. It’s funny – it took me a long time to sing the chorus well and in tune when I was thinking about it but when I was just blasting it out my performance was 95% perfect. Go figure, as they say over here.
Mark Schwaber is due to come in at 6.30 to finish what we started on Period Piece yesterday. It’s 5.30 already – I call an hour break and see my family for 20 minutes.
When we resume we address the part from yesterday – we both like it but the sound form the Kemper is too similar to one of my guitars already recorded. I suggest we try the Moog Guitar (which I bought last year). It has a special function to add infinite, or negative sustain. Maybe we could make it sound like an ‘almost guitar’? It turns out to be fairly simple and I like the sound so much we use it to replace the mid section overdubs from yesterday, so now PP has 3 main instruments – L, R and centre.
Mark adds a subliminal vocal harmony to two lines in the mid section and sticks around while I sing California Earthquake. I’m a little embarrassed – MS has something close to perfect pitch – he almost never sings out of tune – but now he has to listen to me sound like a rank amateur. What a strange day of singing. I try and try and try some more and I’m about to give up when they suggest I listen and inform me that my pitching has been generally good (it felt awful). Mark the engineer thinks he has enough so I leave him to make the comp and drive M Schwaber home.
When I return it’s almost done and it’s really good. Again – go figure. I have Mark change two or three syllables and we’re done. He puts the files on the mini-drive and I go home via the bar for a celebratory beer. That’s the singing finished, and maybe the guitars too.
It’s starting to sound like a record.