Monday, February 25, 2008

Girl # 134 Conclusion

Executive Summary: A very brief recording session saw Black and Blue finishing up the recording chores for this song. Fischer on Bass and a new third part to the harmony, Munson on “Dark Jazz” piano. Carl’s Jr. on luscious digestibles.

Detailed Description: After some timing challenges, the recording session was bumped from Saturday to Sunday. Fischer is working weekends, which forced the sessions into the evening slot. Munson arrived at Torrance Operations North (TON) at about six o’clock. Due to the newly organized and “tricked out” recording studio, BNB were able to begin work almost immediately.

The session started with bill queueing up the song on a loop, giving the duo an opportunity to practice both the bass line and the piano part. Munson had forgotten how to make an “A” chord on the piano, but Fischer was able to provide technical expertise on this. Fischer provided a post it note with the chords for the verse and refrain which were used by Munson as he sussed out the piano part. Fischer was playing the Fender “Jazz Bass”, and some difficulties were encountered with interference. Noise, I mean. Not child or family related. They ran thought the song a number of times, until both were comfortable with the newly written parts, and their ability to play them

For recording, the first up was the bass line. Fischer started out with a number of false starts, due possibly to a change in location, orientation, and lighting. After five or six takes that did not reach the end of the song, Fischer got a solid track down. A second was attempted, and was ultimately achieved. Though there was one minor flub in the first third of the song, it was barely noticeable, and the rest of the track was deemed solid. Munson threw down the hammer (as he is currently wielding the “producer hat”) and the duo moved on. There was a good side chapter where Fischer was scrambling to meet the count in, and as a result popped the cable out of his bass. He was able to re-insert and recover. In fact, it may indeed be this track that was ultimately used in the final version.

The piano was then hooked into the firepod, and Munson sat down to record his track. The vision for the piano part was that it would only appear minimally within the song, exact location unknown. Perhaps just a few chord hits here and there. To achieve this, it was decided to record piano over the entire song, allowing BNB to chose (at a later date) where to make the track visible within the song. Three false starts later, and a solid foundation track was complete. One or two sections needed to be hit with insert overdubs, which went smoothly. (Author note: insert overdubs are SOOOO much easier with Cubase, vs. doing it at TRU. It’s a simple mouse click to choose a good insertion point, and then it’s one click to record the overdub. If you don’t like it, you can just delete it, with no damage done to the original track. Truly brilliant!!!)

All during this time, Fischer had been kicking around a new harmony part, which he suggested should be included in the song. A rapid transformation of the studio was done to facilitate this action. Three takes later, and it was nailed.

The last recording duty for the evening was to correct a clipping problem with the lead vocal. Apparently, Munson was so emotionally caught up in the final lines of the song that he sang too loudly, and caused some techmology problems. With Fischer manning the board, Munson sang into the can a few times and after about five attempts, the proper volume levels were reached.

The crew did a very quick equalization session, and listened to the track a couple of times before heading off to Carl’s Jr for the requisite back-patting and commentary. Plans were laid for future sessions, and a discussion about re-writing and re-arranging “classic” songs came up. Both are open to the idea.

Upon their return, the mix was listened to again, and back-patting recommenced. Aside for final mix down, the song was deemed “done”. It has a very rich, full feel to it, which is something that Munson felt was always lacking from MNI recordings. The piano and new harmony part really help to “beef up” the song.

Though the final recording does have its flaws, it is complete. And that is a good thing. Overall, it’s a good listening experience, and it’s very satisfying to have a complete studio version of the song finished.

Next steps: The Stickmen Historical Re-creation Society (SHRS) will swing into high gear as they attempt to recreate the Third Floor Atwood recording of "Above You", using as many original instruments and band members as possible. However, it will be done using New Millenium (NM) techmology. (ie, Cubase. Not tascam)


Don's Drums said...

Where's the recording of the song? All I get when I click on this article is a "doooooooosh" sound.

MattMunson said...

A posted recording should be Fischers responsibility, as he is the sole accessor of CuBase and our recording. Hopefully, he will pony up the goods.

Don's Drums said...

Uh-oh. Someone made Fischer the Gatekeeper and Keymaster.

Anonymous said...

Just to make things crazy...whats up matt...."the man who does not exist"