From the Studio - Take 6

After last week's definite lack of productivity, I knew we'd have to kick it this week. So we did. Sorta.

This week was scheduled to just be melody instruments. We had four guitar tracks and two piano tracks we had to get done. I'd been working myself all week on the guitar parts for "From the Inside Out," so I knew I was ready to roll with that. We also had to get "Mighty to Save" done as well.

I got to studio right a couple of minutes early, and we jumped right into it. Gabi queued up "From the Inside Out" and off we went. I got the acoustic part done in one take. We played it back... nice! On the money, no questions asked. We were on a roll!

Justin arrived just as I was setting up the electric rig and tuning the Dean. I had made a new patch for the Digitech to do this song - some chorus and a nice, fat Marshall amp model, with no delay. I was using the EchoPark to handle the delay chores. It's got a much better decay, and I can tap the repeat time to match the tempo of the song, which is just what I had done. I set it for analog tape delay, so that was a nice sound combined with the patch in the modeler.

We let roll with that setup and got recording. I wasn't completely happy with my first take, so we recorded two. The second one was right where I wanted it. Except for one stupid note I heard on a later playback. (Curse you, D note! How could you go flat on me? I thought we were bros!) I'll have to go back and redo that passage, but it's short and isolated - just the intro.

Two down, and it was time for Justin to do his thang. We used an M-Audio Axiom 61 midi controller with a good piano sequencer to record his parts. Justin played through once, and then it was time to "roll tape." (I know, there's no tape, but "spin disc" sounds whack.) Justin was on and nailed it down fast. As we listened to the playback, it sounded great, but a little busy. So we dropped the piano out of the intro, the bridge and the first chorus. Now the dynamics are just perfect. We also worked a nice little fade on the end. Viola! Another one in the can!

That done, it was time to move onto "Mighty to Save." We had laid drums, bass and a scratch acoustic track last week. We wanted to do a good acoustic, piano and electric. We tried to just do the new acoustic over the drums, but there are several places in the arrangement where the drums drop out, and it was hard to get the timing right to come back in perfectly. The solution was to actually play over the first acoustic track. We did a couple of takes of that, as well as a piano track. It actually sounded nice with both acoustic tracks on it. (The first was played in A with open chords, and the second in G with a capo)

Here was the problem. We played it back together and the timing was way off in a lot of places. Since we had neither of out drummers in, we tried recording just the acoustic/piano tracks new. I played the basic rhythm on the drums for few bars, and we replicated it, but there are so many dynamics in the song, that really didn't work. We tried the same thing making a rhythm track with the Timbaland worskstation, but cutting it into a consistant beat would take longer than we had. We're going to need to do it again, unfortunatly. Same thing with "One Way." For some reason, a good, consistant rhythm track is eluding us. It's frustrating, but I'm still pretty happy with what we got done.

I've set up a Facebook page for the project, that has some clips on it. Why not head over, become a fan, and check it out!


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