Sunday, January 24, 2010

A somewhat unproductive weekend

So despite having some good oppo's for music making this weekend, events conspired against me. Although I did give it the good old college try and recorded some bass parts at home yesterday evening, bloody bass is hard though! I just found out that the chap whose bass i was using had a baby last week which is some jolly good news! The main irritation was a model village recording session which petered out somewhat due to my inability to sing a note when i have such a bad cough/ cold. DISAPPOINTING, still ever onward.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

to go electric or acoustic

On the one hand, I do enjoy my rattly acoustic guitar, with it's sharp edge frets and beautiful sticky marks from all the all access upstairs at the garage stickers I used to put on it. However, sometimes I want my fingers not to hurt quite so much, so I dug out my firebird, and also Piers' tele custom, and tried a few tunes on each. I realised that I'd not really played electric guitar for ages, probably not since the gig we did with casiotone for the painfully alone before christmas. Shocking, anyway, I dig it, but now the question is, how to record it? Previously I've mic'd my marshall mini amp with a wierd fake sm 57 that I got off the previously mentioned Mr Phill Rodgers, but I think I may hit ebay and see if I can score one of the sennhaiser e609 type mic's. We used that on Gareth's Vox AC15, when we recorded the Felix album. Nice sounds, to my ears! However I was quite surprised to find that I prefer playing my firebird, which seems to have lived a pretty seriously hard life, and had to have a lot of loving care from Jon Free. Here's a small pic' of it fret damage not pictured! Anyway the pickups are as microphonic as douglas baders metal legs, but it's easy to play, the tele' has a massive neck to my hands.. Now i just need to get dig my hagstrom out from behind the coat stand, the shoe rack, the laundry and a deconstructed ikea sofa bed!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The whole sick crew is nothing if not pragmatic, and it came to me in a flash that a smart thing to do would be to record drums to a few songs at a time so as to minimise fuss, mess, complications, etc, and also add a bit of cohesiveness. So with that in mind, I recorded some more basic guitar and vocal tracks for the three old parts of what I'm trying to do. This involved me going on and checking the arrangement of one song, EmV, which in turn lead me to listen to some of my friends records from the same time particularly reynolds and their mighty tune Friday Bridge To get to March. I think Phill Rodgers should've kept his 24 track Akai hard disk recording thing and carried on knocking out good records in his basement. I occasionally think whistfully of what might have been had econoline not wasted £2,500 of someone elses money recording with other people and then thinking the tunes he did sounded better. Ho hum. Meeting Chris Summerlin from Reynolds on a train was very probably the only long term worthwhile thing I did whilst living in Welwyn a horrifying place in all respects!
Anyway so I recorded EmV, partly because it was the first decent song I wrote on guitar (i think), back in 1999 when I had my beautiful Dearmond Jetstar, (as pictured, though that isn't mine). It was an amazing guitar, which I sold to a friend for not much when I was potless, and then, when I had money and was after buying it back, it turned they gave it to their boyfriends niece, such is life!
Back to the tunes, the other reason EmV is appropriate is because it's all about the character V, from the book V. I don't just throw this together you know! I am also going to my loving tribute to pettiness, jealousy and rage, "I want to work" largely because I think it's quite fun to play. Which is a good enough reason right? This way, when I do get some time to go to Half ton, (the dates offered clashed with cavalier practice and a night of Tom looking after), I will be able to set up, and record at least three tunes. If I decide which my three borrowed tunes will be, I may even be able to get some more done. More on those crucial decisions another time!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

done something!

So my weekend sojourn in the fortress of unsolitude that is a 15 person weekend in Elevden Centre Parcs inspired me to do some recording, and as it happens I have the house to myself tonight and tomorrow as Jane's mum's been a victim of the sheet ice that replaced the UK streets last week, nasty. So, anyway, Jane and Tom have gone to cheer her up. You'd never tell from the state of the front room though, as seen to the left. I decided that i probably wouldn't end up keeping the acoustic tracks I record now, for one thing I coudn't find my lovely closed back headphones so the click was bleeding into the mic when I was doing the over the shoulder positioning, so I went for a point the mic' at the 12th fret on the fingerboard and just get the sound approach. After a number of run throughs and a bit of squeaky chair noise that I was able to deal with by simply not moving while playing. I got something down that I was happy with, and did some very slapdash vocals too, to aid with the feel. So tomorrow I'm going to go completely mental and try and record some (very quiet) drums here! I will start early, and hopefully therefore not get murdered, once I have the drums, I'll redo the acoustic, lay some bass and slide on and then do a few vocal tracks, and bang the tune is done. To that end I'm off now to put a new strainer on my snare drum!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

recording acoustic guitar

So now i have to figure this out, how to record my lame encore steel guitar and not make it sound like a lame encore steel guitar. I'm thinking take the LDC I have over my shoulder like my ear? As I quite like the sound. I have a really nice pickup courtesy of Mr P Chandler, as well. Hmmm, it's probably awful, but I love that box, it was an 18th birthday present from my brother. My niece, who was 18 herself last year, came in from the car before my brother and asked me "do you like your guitar?", somewhat spoiling the surprise. Never mind though, one can hardly hold 2 year olds responsible for such things (although secretly i did!). Probably no posts this weekend as I'm going on the first family holiday I have had since I was about 11, strangely I am now the dad. Centreparcs, are you ready?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"studio" time

So i've decided I'm going to record the drums for this first tune in the Portland arms. It seems a good idea since the place is under threat, so I may even have one of their massive burgers between recording one tune and practice with cavalier, and FIGHT THE POWER. The big live room should give me ample opportunity to get some room sound going on. Maybe I'll do the recorder man thing

with my sdc naiant mic's and use my Rode LDC as a distant room mic. Hmmmmm decisions, decisions!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


So my Mapex Drum THRONE arrived, Jane and I laughed at the hubris of the Mapex dudes with their "throne" which was delivered in it's own special box, but hot damn! This thing is comfy. I envision much bum (and spine) related comfort to come!
LOOK AT IT! I might take it to work and use it as an office chair.