Shuyler Session – the final bits – Tuesday, April 17, 2007

After the string quartet got polished off, I moved into final overdubs and edits. Pulling out a few buried tracks from the original live sessions, plus manipulating sounds and recording some fresh overdubs. Background vocals were first up, and I enlisted the trusty Karly Warkentin and Alice Dawson for the task. We worked out some rough arrangements and then started tracking. We put vocals on 6 or 7 tunes, and got that whole process done in a day. They sound amazing and are a nice contrast to shuyler. There’s some groovy 3-part stuff, as well as a few unison lines that worked out really well.

Moving on to final overdubs, I get into a zone in here and start recording like a madman. I usually just pick one mic, one pre-amp and just move around the room grabbing stuff the wall and recording. I spent about 4 days solid on this stuff – just experimenting, re-amping (sending recorded tracks back through guitar amps), creating some weird sounds and whatever else came to mind. Overdubs included some guitar parts on the national tricone, pedal steel, dobro, fun machine, pump organ, banjo, and mandotar. Probably a few other things too. Oh yeah and some percussion. I find that working on my own leads me to not worry too much about the technical side of things. I don’t have the time or energy to get too hung up on what the best sounding mics and pre-amps are for a certain sound. I just grab one and use it for everything. There’s way less dicking around with dials that way. In this case I ran a Neumann TLM 103 through an API 512C Pre-amp and pretty much used it for everything. I pretty much record everything in mono. I don’t really like the sound of stereo miking too much unless it’s on something like strings or maybe a piano or leslie. If I had an engineer, that might be different, but doing it this way, you can’t beat one mic. I can be recording something, get an idea for another instrument and be set up to rock about a minute later. It’s pretty fun. I also got this nifty little thing called a Tranzport that is essentially a remote control for protools, so I can run it from anywhere in the recording room without running over to the frickin space bar to make things go.

So that pretty much wraps up the bulk of the session. I’m just completing some final edits and then I ship the hard drive off to Toronto where David Travers-Smith will set up the mix. We’ll then mix it over a week or so, spread out a bit to accomodate some wily schedules. I’ll include a couple of tracks here to check out. This will be with all the final overdubs on it. These tracks are still unmixed and have no processing on anything, except reverb on the vocals (too much at this point, but oh well). Should be fun to compare it to earlier tracks. I’ll post some mixes when they happen.

Thanks for reading y’all!

Cowgirl

Windswept

Don’t Ask Me Why

Currently listening:
Song Cycle
By Van Dyke Parks
Release date: 18 May, 1990
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~ by stevedawson on October 6, 2008.

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