I’m quite tired, and almost took a day off, but Frank has stuff he wants to do at the weekend, so I’ll work today (Friday) and take Saturday off.

It’s file management mostly and making rough mixes. I’m making a database with a sheet for every song with every file name and notes for the file if needed. This will save a lot of time at the mix sessions – if the engineer knows which is the low harmony without having to listen… so now I have to figure out which is which. I have not been the one recording and naming the files…

I start with Period Piece and find myself wishing all the songs could be this simple. 26 files (probably one more to come – percussion).
I tidy up the files on Logic and make a rough mix.

On to Silver Lake – the tremolo guitar M Schwaber played needs to be treated – filtered most probably – I make a sketch of a treatment using Sound Toys Filter Freak plug in but I think I’m ultimately going to use my modular synth. Then I can ‘play’ the filter in real time. I have been looking into the idea of taking it to Germany and thinking of this treatments, and other options has swayed me. I’ve ordered a small portable case and I’ve started planning what to take. It will help with the mixes and offer unique processing options, plus it will give me something to do in my spare time at the studio.

Working on Silver Lake I notice that my guitar has a rather nasty ground hum which I never noticed before (I never listened in solo before). Mark Miller thinks he can de-noise it in SoundForge – the program he used to clean up the vocal but he needs a piece of audio with just the hum. We can’t find one. Eventually I realise that there is no hum alone because the Kemper has a noise gate and the hum is suppressed until I play. Mark suggests we try to trick it and we record some similar noise from the Kemper and he gets to work. It takes a while but he gets it done. The guitar is now clean. Technology.

California Earthquake next. I listen to the harmonies and make notes. I edit M Schwaber’s Math Rock guitar so that it enters about half way through the song and when it’s ready for a rough mix I wonder if it isn’t missing something in the refrain tags. I want to add the Oberheim patch we used on Blue Like Mars because I know it works well with the Radio Chamber Strings patch (also used here). I also like continuity of sound. But I cant get it to work. Too busy or not busy enough… I try x, y and z for an hour or two and I’m about to give up when I solo the Radio Chamber strings and realise that they are indeed playing (albeit more softly in a lower register) in the parts I think need help. I take the original midi files and have them play the Oberheim sound to back up the string patch in these sections. Sold. Rough Mix. This song is finished.

It’s after 8, that’s enough for today. Probably two more solid days of this work is needed, but that’s fine. I have time.