August 02, 2003

Back in the saddle

Because of circumstances beyond our control, we had to take yesterday off. Everyone needed a rest. I sure did. I believe I've started to crash a bit, and my main worry now is that I may be unable to rev up again fully. I've had a mini- to medium nervous breakdown near the end of every album, followed by a spectacular crash at the end and a lengthy aftermath of lethargy, remorse, and near-catatonia-- that's cool and everything, but in this case I really need to time my meltdown so it occurs after the overdubs are finished.

We're trying to pack everything into two days, but we can theoretically afford three and still be on schedule. Translation: we won't quite finish in three days, but we'll be close enough that we can deal with it.

The original plan called for a week of solitary (and free) recording in my apartment before mixing; we were going to do basic rough mixes to ADAT tapes, and I would fill in the remaining six tracks with all the incidental parts were weren't able to do in the studio. Plus, I wanted a chance to experiment with some of the texture stuff I've been doing at home. If this recording had followed the pattern of previous ones, which we had had to assume, I'd have been doing all the back-up vocals and maybe even some of the lead vox as well at home. (Miracle of Shame was recorded like that-- we borrowed the Neuman mic from Sharkbite and set it up in the kitchen, while Kevin sat in the bedroom punching me in and out. It was an interesting novelty, but it annoyed the nice upstairs neighbors-- one of whom came down at one point to say "I'm real sorry Frank, but I just can't handle hearing that song again"-- and it's not something I'd care to repeat. Believe it or not, my kitchen is not acoustically perfect. Plus, it smelled kind of weird in there. That was the first time I'd been in there in months...)

Because the hard parts (drums and vocals) went comparatively smoothly this time, we're reconsidering this plan. Transferring the mixes back to ADAT itself would take a day, and it's probably wiser to use that time overdubbing. I'm going to miss the solitary sound exploration angle. (We've got four shows smack dab in the middle of this period, anyway, and I don't know how much time I'd get to spend in any case.) My current line of thinking is to adopt a compromise: identify a small number of tunes that might benefit from my being alone with them for awhile, submix those, and see what happens.

We're supposed to go in today for a full day, and with luck, we'll be in a better position to decide after that.

Posted by Dr. Frank at August 2, 2003 03:54 PM | TrackBack