In the Studio - Take 17

Makin' sweet, sweet, music, that's what last night's session was about.

We decided to switch things up a bit and give our rhythm section a break. We had plenty of other things to do, and we wanted to get Justin going as well. So this week's session was all about piano and guitar.

"Say So" is fast becoming the best song on the record. But we needed to get some keys on there, so that was the first task. We wanted to be sure that we duplicated the keyboard sound of the first recording, but with all the settings lost in our lightning mishap, we had to listen to the keyboard patched to find the right one. However, the keyboard plugin, Xpand2, has literally hundreds of different voices. So it took awhile to teak the tone properly. (There will still be more tweaking, of course. We recorded keys as MIDI, so we can always change it around.)

Our recording engineer calls Justin the "One Take Kid," and for good reason. After a couple of test runs, he was ready to go. Maybe it wasn't one take, exactly, but the song was done in short order. The results are awesome, to say the least. The song is developing a great dynamic, from an uplifting gospel feel in the verses to some serious rock in the choruses. I can wait to get some vocals on it!

Next I wanted to record some new guitar parts for "Tell the World and "One Way." And Justin needed to add keys to those. We wanted just a straight piano sound on those, so the plugin of choice was Mini-Grand. "Tell the World" getting an additional electric guitar track and piano, and "One Way" was getting a replacement guitar track and piano.

When that was all done, we moved onto "Mighty to Save," which is the most complicated song on the record. It needed piano, a synth pad, and two different guitar tracks. Using both Mini-Grand and Xpand2, Justin quickly added his parts.

We heard some timing issues between the acoustic and the drums on the playback. We thought about a couple of approaches: retracking the acoustic or the drums was one. We did run a new acoustic track, but the original one sounded better. There was only one or two spots, but they jumped out when listening to just drums and acoustic. However, they're not anywhere where the acoustic is really "feeatured" in the song. We're going to hold onto the tracks for now, and see if we can fix it in mixdown. (I did a scratch mix when I got home; I think it's going to be fine)

Next was electric, two different parts: a light, Strat-style rhythm track with some chorus and wah in it, and then a crunchier, overdriven track for the later choruses.

All in all, it was a lot of work to get done in one session, but we made it, and got everything we wanted to accomplished. We even finished five minutes early, instead of the ten minutes late we've been!

Stay tuned for more info, and check here as well.


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