Saturday, September 15, 2012

Limited Recording in Tiny Area with Tiny Guitar

I've been down recently about my music. I can't believe Smellicopter isn't ready yet. Thinking about it at all has become a big burden, a drag on my soul. It is at least a year and a half overdue now. Soon, I'll need to inform the Kickstarter backers that it won't be ready in October, the most outlandish future date I could think of most of a year ago. And here we are. Nearly October and still nothing. Once again there are way too many years between releases. I am 49 years old now. I don't know how many more albums--despite the scores of great unreleased songs--will ever see the light of day at this pace. I'd have to live to be 150 to see them all out, or so it seems. Something needs to happen to quicken all this.

Early rejected cover art
This continuing bummer has seeped into my new song topic ideas, which all center around dead friends and the hard lessons of life and how little some of us accomplish. 

Anyway, it's been very hard to motivate myself to record much in the past few months. I did force myself this week to accomplish one small goal. Read on....

Music Session 13 Sept 2012

Finally made myself get back to music today.  After reading the booklet to recent Now Sounds reissue of Brewer and Shipley’s Down in LA, (I subsequently sold the cd because it has too many minor key songs…not my kind of listening) about how they’d practice in a large closet getting a great blend and big sound, I cleaned out about half my studio closet this summer. There's a quaint cleared out corner now just big enough to be a partial phoney vocal booth. It took longer to position the mic stand than you’d think. Since, I’ve been experimenting with recording in it. I did vocals for a new version of “An Unexpected Perfect Day” in there and a first pass at a guitar solo as well.

Not for the claustrophic
I continued using that new space today, recording Section D of the Self-Starter Suite using Juliette’s tiny kid guitar, a piece of junk that is lots of fun to play. I’d like to say I used it to get the near ukulele sound (if ukes had metal strings!) I want for that section of the suite, but it’s really because it’s the only guitar I can play that part on without serious pain after a few minutes! First I needed to haul a suitable stool out of the basement and dust it off. I can just about fit myself and the guitar in the closet.

Cluelss in the closet and clutter?
I did three takes of the main track, did some editing and copying for a master take. Did some relatively serious compression for the odd instrument, which ended up working well after a few adjustments. The double-track of it I did in one take. It sounds pretty unusual. Can hear a bass line in my head for this brief passage. Saved for another day.

Giving credit where its due
Listened through some other songs and practiced “If You Buy My Album.”

Also rehearsed an unrecorded vocal part for the chorus of “AUPD” with just as much difficulty as I have had before. I think I’ll just get it as good as I can for illustration purposes and then offer that part to Yani to sing. The guitar solo still sounds okay to me.

The olde Power Mac really didn’t want to play all zillion tracks of “Your Idiot Son” today. Some of the electric fru-fru picking sounds out of the pocket to me now and the same bass issues that always plague me haven’t gone away since the last time I heard these tracks. Other tracks still sound good, however. 

Who knows when I’ll get back to recording. Maybe next Thursday.

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