Thursday, October 29, 2009

Recording Vocals

Kelly and I met with Daniel Reekay at the studio for the seventh day of recording, only to put in about 3 hours.

I began by discussing mixing with Daniel and mention some specific places in certain songs where I had questions about what I was hearing in the rough and about specific parts. We went through the editing a bit before Kelly arrived.

We began by working on "Election: 1800." Kelly did several takes on them and finally got what he was happy with. We talked some about the guitar we've wanted added to it, but ultimately we declared the song finished with the stipulation that if Tha D gets in the studio and records something before it's time to mix it, he can add something else.

We then did several takes of "Gold Rush," which just seems to have fallen on the back burner since it hasn't been touched since its initial tracking date. Kelly got the verses the way he wanted, and we then focused on the chorus. We want it to sound like its inspiration, an un-named Poison song, but I quickly felt like we fell short. What we have sounds pretty dense with so much falsetto over Kelly's lead, but it was still shy of what we wanted. Kelly had to split as three hours had gone by so fast, and Daniel and I played around with the song after he left to see about creating the sound we want. Daniel showed me how his vocal tuning software worked, which I found very interesting.

Our deadline of November 1st is three days away, and it's safe to say we won't make it. The vocals are going more slowly than we'd hoped, which is good since we're happy with them but bad in terms of cost, the factor that is now working its way to the forefront as our biggest challenge. I think Daniel's guitar sessions will also take some more time than we originally planned, and so we could have worked up quite a bill even before we add in the mixing.

The bad thing about all this is that now the Jan 1st deadline to have the CDs in hand won't happen. This makes it harder to think about release shows and other ideas until all those details are more worked out and closer in sight.

The best we can do for now is get in there and do what we can while we pay for what we can and work to complete the album as quickly as possible. Nine tracks are completed. Four more to go.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


The 25th has come and gone, and the busy schedules we're all living leave us little time to think about blogging. We did indeed go to the studio on Sunday. We tracked "Groomed to Lead" and "Central Incompetence Agency," both of which took much more time than we had hoped. There's always a difficulty adapting to the new locale of the studio with headphones and buffers and more distance between us, and that combined with the lack of practice really made it tough. The end results still sound great, but it was a rocky road getting there. Spirits were low by midday when we had only done one song and were questioning whether we were happy with it. Things picked up in the evening, and we finished the second song and began working on other tunes. We put finishing touches on four songs quickly enough, leaving the engineers a total of eight completed songs to begin mixing.

The remaining five songs need both vocals and some further instruments. No word from the D yet on when he'll go out there. I was hoping I could join him for a session, but I won't be there if he decides to go this weekend. Kelly and I return tomorrow to do some vocals and hopefully round things out with some other instruments.

There was much discussion earlier about running time, but the concern faded once we hit thirteen songs. The current running time is 44:13, but with about 6-20 seconds to shave off of most songs for the roughs I have, it will probably be right at 43 minutes in the end. Bullseye.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The 25th Needs to Get Here Quick!

The 25th is going to get here soon enough!!

Aside from my nightmares, I have good feelings about this upcoming session. I also hope its the most productive with the mad dash to finish all the necessary tracks. With the way things are, the record won't be out until after Xmas but that doesn't mena we can spend more time. There things to to that take time and unfortunately too much time. So there are no problems in the art department and we have narrowed which company to get it pressed at to just two or three. I have a phone meeting with another company later today but so far its looking like we may go with the company that sponsors us on Itunes. Thats if we can get the this done in time to cash in on the super-mega-money-saving deal they have right now.

Practice is going good. We are playing at a less-loud volume which is making the 2-3 hours alot easier and less headachy. With the show coming up, the last two practices have been intense in terms of playing. We seem to be doing these at "show intensity" which is good because I like the excitement of being back on the stage and taking the music to the masses.

No tracklisting yet but you can expect these to be on the album: Eli Whitney, Bring Out Yr Dead, Whiskey Rebellion, The Great Stink, Bob Dole, Dear Abbey, Election:1800, Commodity, Groom To Lead, CIA, Gold Rush, Know It All, and Let's Go To War.

Thats 13 songs! There may be a 14th that acts like an intro. Josh had some more idears on that one on the drive home, so we may put a few of those into practice.

Tha D will be out for a week but when he returns, it's on!!!

Oh...and I got a new guitar! Come to the show on November 7th to see it!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Lawsuit Dream

I had a dream last night we got sued over "Eli Whitney." The details are vague but we were freaking out. Glad it was a dream. But a faux lawsuit might get us some press.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Of Course The End Would Be The Hardest

How did I know that when we got closer to the end of this project it would prove to be more difficult to finish it?

The band itself isn't having issues. Its scheduling that is getting in the way. I hope its good karma and not bad karma.

My job has been occupying alot of my time. We are in "crisis" mode. Which really doesn't make much sense. I could sit here and explain it but the short story is that I'm on a mandatory 50 hour week. The "night shift" debacle only lasted two weeks which was great but the 50 hours is keeping me from not just band stuff but from school, home, and sleep. I have so much to fit into one single week and having the thunder of finishing stuff on time makes it hard. Atleast we got to practice last night.

I feel like we're just beating off and jerkin ourselves right now. I just want to get back in there and knock the rest of it out. I think we are strong enough to focus even if we are a bit under rehearsed. I also feel like after one more practice we should be good. Now in terms of playing these last two live, thats a different story....but for recording purposes, as long as everyone knows what is going on, we can kick out the jams.

I put down the hammer and decided that "Gone To Texas" will not be on the record. I have my reasons. I'll polish up the demo and put it on the bonus EP along with "Salem Witch." I hope we can get a couple of good sounding live tracks together to add to the bonus ep also. There may even be another lingering song to finish and put on the EP. Only time can tell, and thats if I have time.

Making this record has made me think alot about doing more and more stuff. I'm busting with ideas! Its insane! But for now I want to build a small recording set up at home. I've been watching and taking mental notes. It makes we wish I hadn't given up on this years back. But who needs school when you have direct experience. I'm looking forward to taking what I have learned from this and moving forward by doing it myself and producing the records at home. It's challenge I want to take.

We are playing at The French Quarter Cafe on November 7th. Come see us.

Tha D is going to Canada....canwe come too????

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