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12-23-2012 08:37 AM - edited 01-23-2013 10:32 PM
Everything about yesterday's studio session should have been horrible. My nephew informed me Friday that he couldn't attend the session Saturday because someone quit on him and he didn't have enough coverage at his work. I couldn't cancel because I don't like taking money out of someone's pocket so I decided I would play bass on as many tunes as I could. I figured I could go home and rehearse bass parts after my Friday night gig that went until 10PM. I knew it was going to be a long night because I didn't get home until 11 and had to be up to coach my kid's 6am game before the session at 11:00
I plugged in and the bass was DOA. I tried everything and it just kept humming- I was at a loss. I learned the parts on the acoustic for one song and decided I would just lay bass down lines for that tune and move forward with acoustic guitar tracks and revisit the bass later. I'd have to get up and find a bass after hockey. I got home from hockey and found a bass from a friend on Facebook and was getting ready to leave when my nephew called to tell me he saw my post on Facebook and that I simply needed to replace the batteries for the active pickups. Done! It's a nice 5 string Fender too!
I got to the studio and things went awesome! I got there by 11:00, set up, and actually had a really cool bass line done by 11:30. We moved right to acoustics. I was a little nervous because I wasn't really prepared to jump right in this early in the sessions. I'd have to say I nailed mostly everything in a couple of takes without punches on any of it. It was great. I would imagine, that just like any other players, it's hard to impress yourself. I'd be a liar if I said I wasn't psyched at nailing 3 tunes with multiple acoustic parts in under an hour. I demo'd these songs at home but it was over a year ago. Apparently it all sunk in because it went so well.
The fourth tune took about an hour though and I didn't finish. I actually had to "call" it. I'm not whining but it was a long December gig wise. I did somewhere around 18 by the 22nd and my fingers were toast. I had 13's on the acoustic and I could almost not fret anymore. I was trying to play so quietly and perfectly for the other tracks that it was just too much. It was OK though because after about 30 minutes on the last song I knew I was ready to be done for the day. It felt good to know that there was no reason to keep spending money and getting diminishing returns. I ended up getting about 4 hours in.
I'm happy that I played bass on at least one tune. It's a good solid bass line. I'll gladly leave the bass parts,and any other things I'm not completely proficient with, to the people that actually play those instruments though. I go back in a couple of weeks to finish up the bass parts.
(2) 451's in XY, Sterling ST77 over the top, (2) CAD M-179's room Left and Right. Mic pres are the A&H mixer in the next pic
This is the first time recording with the Taylor 410. I have Elixer 13's on it and it sounded great!
01-23-2013 10:38 PM
So I have another session on Saturday. I've now enlisted the help of one of the better bass players in Western NY. We're Facebook friends but I barely know him so I wasn't sure about asking him to play--especially for free. I simply went out of my way and asked him if he'd consider doing it and asked me to send him the tunes. I did and he's on board. This guy is very talented and I'm hoping that this time will be the time I get these bass tracks done. I'm going to show some gratitude by getting him a $25 gift card for guitar center.It's the thought right? unfortunatly that's all I can afford right now.
I've also been working like crazy on the guitar parts. It's fun though. I haven't had to rehearse parts in years. I'm thinking I should be able to get the bass tracks done within a about 90 minutes and then work on guitars and solos for the remainder of the day. Hopefully the next session will be vocals
03-24-2013 11:21 AM - edited 03-24-2013 11:26 AM
I've missed a few updates but whatever...
Yesterday sucked. I'm starting to remember that no matter how prepared one can be for the studio, there's always things that don't go according to plan. I took Friday night off because I planned on doing vocals Saturday and wanted to have some chops left over. The latest I could get was 11am. I figured it wasn't a big deal- I'd get up early, rehearse for an hour and get warmed up and then nail the vocals.
I sang for about an hour and my voice never "clicked". Normally something happens, and for a lack of a better word, it just "pops" right into place after a few tunes. I know when it's coming and I know that I can get 3-4 hours of nice, clean, velvety vocals. Again... it never happened. To make matters worse, I recorded an entire tune a 1/2 step higher than what I wanted it to be at. I never realized it because most of the parts that were put down the last couple of months were by other people. I know it sounds stupid but it's the truth. The song was in the key of "E" on my demo and I wanted to bump it up to F#. I liked the way the bridge put me right at the top of my vocal range. The extra half step proved very difficult.
So I played around for a few hours, spent a couple hundred bucks and got nothing for it other than some work on the mixes as we were moving along. The kicker? I had a gig about four hours after the session and my voice was fine. I even did the originals that I was working on in the studio. I'm going to just chalk it up as being too early in the day. The good news is that I have a session next Saturday at 4pm.
Check out these bed tracks....They're completely dry without EQ, compression, effects or any type of reasonable mix. Listen closely to the bass line- I'm in love with it. I'm also in love the droning guitar that's sitting up front right now.
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