From the Studio - Take 8

This was more like it.

It's crunch time, and we know it. In our original plan, last night was supposed to be the final session for music. We were supposed to let the vocalists take over next week. We decided last week to change the schedule, but we really needed a good push to get everything done next week. Even that was looking dicey - but look like we're back on schedule.

We spent last night finishing up a lot of little details. We had several songs partially done, in need of a piece here and a piece there. So the plan was to finish up all the little pieces. Which we largely accomplished.

Our engineer Gabi had to laugh. I've developed a pattern of recording something, thinking it was great, listening to it for a week, and then wanting to completely scrap it by the next session. Last night was no different. I had been listening to our rough mix of "From the Inside Out," and decided that the lead part had to go. There was one missed note, and as I listened I just grew unhappy with the tone. So that was on the list.

First, though, was "One Way." We had tossed the whole thing and re-tracked the drums last week, Gabi had patched together the various takes, so we now had a clean, even drum part to play to. I wasn't really thrilled about my own tone on the first recording, so I played around with my effects chain a bit, and got a little thicker sound then before.

That done, it was onto 'From the Inside Out." The first take had sounded a little wimpy in the breaks before the verses, and there wasn't enough dynamics in the choruses for my taste. So I laid a second lead line, a little fatter with more overdrive and chorus. When we go to mix it, we'll probably both, at least in the choruses. (Did I tell you I love multi-track recording?)

Those two parts were done before Justin arrived, so when he got there it was right into his stuff for "One Way." He played a lot simpler this time, and I think it sounds better. Two takes and out, and he was done there.

Danny came in next. There were a couple of bass parts to catch up on, but he did those pretty quickly. "One Way." Boom, done. "Mighty to Save." Boom, done. (That one came out really good - clearly it will be one of the better songs on the record. ) All we have left on that is to re-track the drums again. Gabi and I quickly went through everything we had. Six songs completely finished, one part left on one song. Three to go.

We had a half hour left in the session, so it was time to do more work. Time to start another song. I decided to do "Your Love is Deep." We didn't have a drummer, so Gabi set up a good click track for the song. The song is in 4/4, but it's slow, and has a nice up and down rhythm to it. I kept frustrating myself, because for some reason, whenever I went into a verse, I would play one wrong chord in the middle. I don't know why. I did it twice.

Fortunately, there are a couple of pauses in our arrangement, so I could punch back in there. We did the song basically in three sections. Danny played along with me, and we had it done in about twenty minutes. On playback, it seems - wow. The consensus in the room was that it was perfect the way it sits, and doesn't need any more instrumentation except for maybe some light percussion. I'll have to get everyone's opinion on it, but it seems like just leaving it as an acoustic ballad may be the way to go.

So... next week. Two more ballads, and we're out. I think it should be no problem, really. I hope not, anyway.

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