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Talk to me a bit about the production Travis. :) Who's playing what? How was it tracked? What gear was used?

 

Sure thing!

First off, I'm playing/singing everything.

 

I used Garageband exclusively, though some of the tracks were originally tracked on my iPhone with the FourTrack app (which I highly recommend) and then I imported the .WAVs into Garageband.

 

This is more or less a compilation album in the sense that not all of these songs were recorded around the same time. It's basically some of the better stuff I've done in the past year and a half, I was sitting on all these demos and anytime I tried to record a 'real' version there was so much stuff I liked from the demos that the 'real' versions left me dissatisfied, so I guess I got too attached to the demos.

 

As far as gear goes I used a couple of different Mics, a lot of the vocals/acoustic tracks were done on the built in MacBook mic or my iPhones microphone but I also used a Pyle SM58 clone that I got off amazon for ridiculously cheap and a Nady RSM 5 ribbon mic. I'm using an older Audiobox USB interface which I may look into upgrading soon.

 

Guitar wise all the acoustic tracks were done with my EJ160e, I even plugged it in and used it for rhythm tracks on "Florida Summers" and "Sail Home". I've replaced the p90 on my EJ160e with a GFS lipstick tube. All the electric guitar was done with my Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster into Garagebands built in amps, usually a Vox style or a small Fender tweed combo style amp. Slide guitar was done with my Danelectro U1 that I raised the bridge on quite high and it's got really old strings on it which I think affects the tone a little, all the slide work is done in standard tuning. Bass guitar was done with my Squier Jaguar Short Scale bass into the Garageband bass amps which I'm actually not a fan of, I don't know if it's my bass or the Garageband amps but I really want to look into doing something different bass wise, maybe one of those character pedals.

 

All of the strings and synths are done with Garagebands stuff which I am a fan of, I used a Korg Nanokey to trigger it all which is kind of a pain in the ass but I ordered a new, bigger USB keyboard that should alleviate the problems I face with the Nanokey. I really like to run Garagebands flutes, strings and choirs into an amp simulator to give it a mellotron feel.

 

Drums were all done with Garagebands smart drummer, which I still need to learn how to tweak a little more, but I'm mostly happy with the drum sounds.

 

I didn't use a lot of plugins really, but some standouts are Softubes Saturation Knob, Vacuumsounds ADT (Automatic double tracking) and TAL Reverb II.

 

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I chose the right day to come back. Maybe I'm bias because I still listen to the Junon stuff you put up like 5 years ago but I just listened to it then and dug it. I really like your songwriting style, I look forward to hearing more of it.

 

thanks man! I appreciate that. What was your old username?

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justhearforther, I mostly just lurked, I was learning a lot about effects when I first just started guitar and now I almost constantly just run straight into my amp's clean channel which is an interesting twist in my life. I only made like 200 posts in the 6 years that I've been occasionally coming here. To put it into perspective, I think I got here at the same time you were giving that mix CD to that girl (Megan?).

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It's quite good, Travis. Thank you for sharing.

 

I'm hearing Amen Dunes / Damon McMahon and Deerhunter / Bradley Cox. This collection is really a tremendous bounty of songcraft; very well done. If I were still doing such things, I would try and release this music.

 

Not sure about the 'real' version vs. demo remarks. it is in fact possible to fall in love with demos; that's one reason you want to work on your recording chops, as it's nice to be able to keep great performances and not feel compromised in releasing them. I really like the production on a great many of the songs; I have no broad complaints.

 

Perhaps something to consider as a next purchase would be fancier reverb, as that's clearly a significant part of your sound.

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It's quite good, Travis. Thank you for sharing.

 

I'm hearing Amen Dunes / Damon McMahon and Deerhunter / Bradley Cox. This collection is really a tremendous bounty of songcraft; very well done. If I were still doing such things, I would try and release this music.

 

Not sure about the 'real' version vs. demo remarks. it is in fact possible to fall in love with demos; that's one reason you want to work on your recording chops, as it's nice to be able to keep great performances and not feel compromised in releasing them. I really like the production on a great many of the songs; I have no broad complaints.

 

Perhaps something to consider as a next purchase would be fancier reverb, as that's clearly a significant part of your sound.

 

Thanks man!

I'm actually not really a Deerhunter fan, and I haven't heard Amen Dunes but I'll definitely check it out.

I appreciate all the kind words! As far as reverbs, what do you like?

I was given an MXL 770 yesterday so I'm excited to try that out.

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Travis I'm shocked man. I've been listening to the stuff you've put out on HC for a few years now and I've generally liked all of it. This stuff is a step up though. I think I might grab a few of these to listen to on the way to/from work. Long drive, but a great view and your music would compliment it.

 

With the good comes bad, otherwise you'll never progress. The suggestions made by others should be considered. I have no experience in the biz, but would like to hear something a bit more raw. Maybe a bit of fuzz solo here and there and less doubling/reverb on the vocals.

 

I know it's what works for you, and it does, but the effects on your vocals puts a cap on your potential. I think someone else alluded to it above. If you decide to go live it will be less of a gap to bridge. No one ever wants to hear "I love his music but he sucks live".

 

With the bad comes good. I'm a lifelong fan. Great job man. Life is a rollercoaster. Enjoy the highs. Okay I think I'm drunk. Good nighmn

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I'm going to post a step further, and at the risk of getting some slings/arrows, try to make a point. On many boards, I have seen people belittle and / or deride the role of A&R people at music labels. They also seem very confused about managers, and etc.

 

This is a perfect opportunity to step in and say "THIS is an example of where a good A&R person - and manager - can help." In reality, this is indie music and Travis has no mass audience, so we'd be at best talking about an indie label 'releasing' the music (more on this in a bit), but let's assume that someone like Jagjaguwar or etc. wanted to release this.

 

What good are A&R people? They offer helpful, specific feedback. Some would be like WWW's and address specific components of sound. Others might be along the lines of "let's make sure we avoid (or use) this type of reverb, because War on Drugs and Real Estate both used it on their last albums." They would help source good engineers or other collaborators as needed, and help recruit them to the work. A word on this - many talented musicians seem to think that this 'leveraging of the Rolodex' is overrated, and that if they just email a URL or hand off a CD, the obviousness of their talent will be plenty to generate enthusiasm on the part of (talented collaborator) and get them involved.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth - there is more talent out there than time to develop it, and people must prioritize. Good A&R people (or indie label managers, or just good artist managers) have more credibility than new artists, and can do the all important recruiting of others.

 

A good A&R person / indie label manager is like a good tennis partner - they bounce stuff back, eventually helping you up your game and develop. Maybe even teach you a thing or two (like how to mess with Q values while EQing a mix to clean things up a bit).

 

Now the difficult part: most of these people who can help are, unsurprisingly, in it for the money. And these days, money is about touring. In plain language, if you're not gigging, it's going to be a much longer road to any kind of wider audience. So, Travis, get a live show together. Seriously - you can't put this much effort into songs and not be able to show up somewhere and give people an engaging 45 minutes. It has to be job #1.

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I'm going to post a step further, and at the risk of getting some slings/arrows, try to make a point. On many boards, I have seen people belittle and / or deride the role of A&R people at music labels. They also seem very confused about managers, and etc.

 

This is a perfect opportunity to step in and say "THIS is an example of where a good A&R person - and manager - can help." In reality, this is indie music and Travis has no mass audience, so we'd be at best talking about an indie label 'releasing' the music (more on this in a bit), but let's assume that someone like Jagjaguwar or etc. wanted to release this.

 

What good are A&R people? They offer helpful, specific feedback. Some would be like WWW's and address specific components of sound. Others might be along the lines of "let's make sure we avoid (or use) this type of reverb, because War on Drugs and Real Estate both used it on their last albums." They would help source good engineers or other collaborators as needed, and help recruit them to the work. A word on this - many talented musicians seem to think that this 'leveraging of the Rolodex' is overrated, and that if they just email a URL or hand off a CD, the obviousness of their talent will be plenty to generate enthusiasm on the part of (talented collaborator) and get them involved.

 

Nothing could be further from the truth - there is more talent out there than time to develop it, and people must prioritize. Good A&R people (or indie label managers, or just good artist managers) have more credibility than new artists, and can do the all important recruiting of others.

 

A good A&R person / indie label manager is like a good tennis partner - they bounce stuff back, eventually helping you up your game and develop. Maybe even teach you a thing or two (like how to mess with Q values while EQing a mix to clean things up a bit).

 

Now the difficult part: most of these people who can help are, unsurprisingly, in it for the money. And these days, money is about touring. In plain language, if you're not gigging, it's going to be a much longer road to any kind of wider audience. So, Travis, get a live show together. Seriously - you can't put this much effort into songs and not be able to show up somewhere and give people an engaging 45 minutes. It has to be job #1.

 

Thanks so much for this write up, man. I really appreciate you taking the time to pass on some info. The live show is definitely next on my list, I haven't played live in like 2 years. First I have to get some equipment and find some more members, unless I just did it solo acoustic.

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