So it looks like I’ve finished the bass recordings for the CD (barring the possibility of getting three more songs on the list), and I’m pretty pleased. My poor bass felt like it was going to fall apart though (the tuning peg screws are being pulled out of the neck), and because of that, it was very difficult to keep the bass in tune. The strings are really old too (I’ve never changed them), but because I was afraid that changing the strings would be the end of the line for the bass, it made the tuning issue worse I’m sure. (Old strings are hard to keep in tune. In general, the older, the harder.) For the most part I managed to record the bass in tune…it just took a few tries and some futzing with the tuning for the individual songs.
So as of now, that leaves some acoustic guitar (not a lot), and most of the electric guitars, and then the other stuff (keys, strings, spoons, whatever). That still seems like a lot, but I assume the guitar stuff will go somewhat more quickly, especially the acoustic stuff. The electric parts might take awhile since I haven’t mapped everything out yet, but it still shouldn’t be that far down the road.
More progress…bass lines have been recorded and edited for both “Spotlight” and “Who Am I”. I still need to listen to “Who Am I” one more time to make sure, but it seemed good last night. That only leaves a couple of tracks that need bass (from the tracks that have drums). There are still 3 songs that need drums…not sure on the timing of that. However, there is so much to work on, that those sessions could be months away. The next step after I’m satisfied with the basslines will be going back and checking to see if acoustic guitars are good on the songs, and then on to electric guitars. I should start trying to make my sessions more efficient if possible…rather than just focusing on one project a day, try to work and finish two tasks a day, and if there is time for more, all the better. But one thing a day could take forever….
HAHAHA, inventively naming my blog postings after the songs I’m working on, HILARIOUS!!!
Anyway, worked for a few hours last night on “Spotlight”, a song that I wasn’t even sure about appearing on the record, but after having recorded drums, seems very likely to appear. It’s a pretty straightforward rock song (not many will pick up on the 5/4 stuff in the verses), and has a nice bridge which brings the whole song together. After a few fits and starts, and adjusting the room to eliminate as much rattling as possible, the recording went fairly quickly. It is a short song, so I expected it to go more quickly than it did, but I think the results are good. I’ll listen tonight and hopefully there won’t be any recording issues, and I can just put everything together and have another rhythm section in the can.
Worked last night on the bassline for “Find A Ride”. It looks like the recording is good…it did take all three steps (see earlier blog). Tonight, edit that track and work a little bit on “Spotlight”, a song I wrote when I was attending many, many open mikes. I’ll have to admit, making myself keep up with the blog is helping me. This is one of those projects that is so big that it has to be broken down into manageable parts. Having this blog to write into (even if no one is reading it) is helping me reach that goal.
Part of last evening was spent working on the bassline for the song “Find a Ride”. In most cases, I have been using a 3-step process to record bass: The first step is just to play through the song a few times, working out different basslines and recording the takes; that’s what I did last night. The next step is to listen to those takes part by part and pick the best ideas, and lay those ideas down in a ‘scratch’ track (a track that won’t likely be used). The performances and sound quality don’t have to be perfect for the first two steps, because in all likelihood, they won’t be used. Then, after I have all the ideas and am feeling pretty confident with the parts, I start the actual recording process where I finalize what I want to play. There are usually some changes at this point, but by that time, I pretty much know what I want.
editation: n. 1) similar to meditation, this describes the feeling of satisfaction that comes from successfully editing a part
I just made that word up, but I feel very good about last night’s editing of the bassline from Monday. I’m very happy, and the track already sounds fantastic. It really, really grooves.
Well, last night I had a blast. I recorded the bassline for “Deliverance”, a pretty funky song that I really enjoyed playing. I hope it’s the take anyway, I didn’t go back and listen and see if there was anything I wanted to be different. Normally, I’ll record some runthroughs with different styles and see which parts I like the best, then record later after picking which sounds best. With this song, I had already done most of the runthroughs and spent most of my time coming up with parts for the choruses and bridge. I was certainly jumping around the room playing the song during the really funky parts though–what a blast. Sometimes recording is a grind; but not last night.
So I edited the bass track for ‘Acrobat’ last night, it sounds really good. I would’ve put down some scratch bass tracks for another song, but I sliced two of my fingers yesterday morning. I suppose that tonight I will need to do editing as well since I don’t think I can play bass with a band-aid on.
I know some people may know this, but there is a difference between mixing and editing. Editing usually involves finding the best takes amongst a few different takes and fitting the best ones together into one seamless take. For example, I record A and B takes, aiming for excellent quality on both, and then listen to both of them, picking what I think is the best for each section. Mixing however, involves making sure that the EQ is right, that the levels remain constant throughout the performance, that the track blends well with the other tracks, that kind of thing. Mixing is usually much more involved as it involves many more factors.