From the Studio - Take 3

Last week, I didn't go to the studio, as it was my wife Jill's birthday. In that session, Elyano and Danny tracked drums and bass for three songs, "He Reigns," "Say So," and "From the Inside Out."

The plan this week was to finish tracking drums/bass on Elyano's last song, "You Said." He's playing on six of the ten songs, and the other four are going to be split between our other two drummers. So we got right into recording "You Said." We originally recorded it with the three of us, Elyano, Danny and myself. I'm only playing acoustic on this song, no electric.

I don't know if it was latency in the recording tools, but we were having a hard time keeping the guitar and drums in time. We did two takes with the three of us. After the second take, it looked that the guitar track was closer to the grid than the drums, even after quantatizing.

So what we wound up doing was trading off. We re-recorded the drums over the guitar track, then retracked the guitar over the new drum track. Finally, Elyano and Danny retracked drums and bass one final time. Their result was perfect. The sequence got tighter each time.

The song also wound up running too long in the first take. We're trying to keep each track under five minutes. This is basically because it simplifies the licensing and royalty payment process. To be brief, we have to pay the publishers of these songs for each copy we press of the finished album. If a song runs under five minutes, there is a flat rate computation. If the song goes over five minutes, it has to be calculated on the song length. So this just keeps the math simpler. (I'll do a post sometime on the licensing process.)

We we're running 5:20 in the first take, so we did a quick re-arrangement, shorted the intro and the lead-in to the bridge.

That song done, we went back to the songs that had been recorded last week. I tell you, "He Reigns" with just bass and drums sounded hot. We had half a mind just to leave it. (OK, not really, but it sounded good!) First step: I tracked electric - clean with a little overdrive, fatten up the bottom a tad, no distortion, no delay. Just me and the Bad Monkey. That done, Justin recorded his piano part, just choruses. Finally, I recorded acoustic. Same thing, just choruses. The result is (we hope) a lot of dynamics between the verses and the choruses.

Next week, the plan is to record guitar and keys over "Say So" and "From the Inside Out." We shouldn't need to do any bass/drums, unless we need to redo something. Hopefully, we can just work with what's there (I haven't heard it) and knock those two out.

We're hoping also to get some rough mixes of the five songs we have done next week, so the vocalists can start their rehearsals.


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