Shuyler Session Day 5 – Sunday, February 11, 2007

Today we sent the band packing first thing… I decided we were done with bass and drums. All 12 songs are pretty slamming. John showed up and grabbed his kit. See ya johnny! I started by working some guitar overdubs for “Play Fair” – it’s the most straightup rockin tune on the album. It’s very cool. I took all my live parts and doubled them on the les paul. Then did some slide bits and a mandotar overdub. Sounds pretty juicy now.

Chris showed up and we did some final keys overdubs. We pulled out the grand piano for a couple of tunes, “today’s remains” and “cowgirl”. I wanted chris to play very stright ahead and in the low register, so we nailed that pretty easily. Then we went to a couple of solo bits. Some moog on “Bottle of Wine” to counter-attack my obnoxious fuzz guitar from yesterday, and then hooked up the organizer to a wahwah pedal for a couple of parts. Chris was done and on his way.

On to Shuyler for his guitar parts. Shuyler is a very solid rhythm player and obviously knows the songs really well, so these went really quickly. We miked up a gibson that he rented with a few mics to see what would sound best. We opted for an old Neumann U47 (worth more than my car), and a cheap ribbon mic that i recently had modified, and also sent the acoustic sound into my fender deluxe and cranked it in the next room. That sound adds some nice crispiness, and is completely optional because we put it on a second track. It has a way of making the guitar sound a little more lo-fi, but you don’t really hear the amp, it’s a suliminal kind of effect. I do that alot to acoustic instruments. It’s fun and can be nasty.

more in a bit…

We got through all 12 songs with shuyler playing his guitar parts and they all sound great. We mostly used a rented Gibson acoustic, and one that shuyler owns for a few. By the time we get to the end of all his parts, we have time to lay down some vocals and call it a day. It’s been an intense 4 days. 12 songs more or less tracked with lots of zesty overdubs. At this point, I’d say the album is about 80% complete. Aside from the vocals, there is a lot of tracks to go through, some editing, and more parts to record. From here on in, everything moves back to my place, so the clock isn’t ticking as much as at the studio.

We’ve managed to pull of some really great stuff – now I just have to sift through it all and make it sound like a record. It’s alot of pressure trying to get so much work done in 4 days – basically tracking an entire album. It;s one thing to do a jazz album that way, or improv music, where the point is to have a loose framework and then play, and make it sound good. But with this kind of music where you’re trying to make a cohesive, strong-sounding, arranged record, it’s pretty intense. I’m exhausted and will now take a couple of days off, knock back a few guinesses and chill out.
I’ll try to post some more stuff of where we;re at in the next couple of days. I’m actually starting another project next week, so shuyler’s record will now sit for about 7-10 days, before I actually get around to pulling up these tracks again and resuming work. Hopefully if you’ve read this far, you’ll stay tuned in and check back. I’ll keep posting as more overdubs happen and mixing begins.

see ya.

More photos added today.

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~ by stevedawson on October 6, 2008.

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