This is how it's gonna work: i (steve) am going to keep an updated journal of the recording session that we are currently doing for the Internet only EP that we are working on. I will summerize the session and then below it i will put all the tech-nerd info. To see where we are recording goto the Gradwell House Recording website.
Click below to jump to different entries:
Dec 14, 2004
Today was our first session. Basically we have gotten together 3 times to write/arrange the new songs and tonight we started actually laying down some takes.
1stly...last night (the 13th) i laid out the click tracks, scratch guitar and some scratch bass for the drummer to play to.
The drummer (Dave Dunn) came in tonight about 8 pm and we got to setting up the drums and mics. I had already tuned them so we messed around with mic positions on the kick drum and started to work after about an hour. We pretty much tore through the first 2 songs and took a donut break. After some re-writing of parts Dunn finished the 3rd song at about 11pm.
I did some editing and a few other computer magic tricks and we were done. Dave Damm (i know right? damm, dunn, dumm, dann, who knows?) was gonna do some bass tonight but Target apparently pulled some Manchurian Candidate shit on him and he had to go home. Next monday we will start tracking the bass and guitars.
Drums: metal 14in TAMA snare with Remo ambassador coated head. 22in Premier kick with some aquarian head (thanks to Kevin O'burne). 16in JET floor tom (thanks to Brian Newell) with a remo coated ambassador. Hi-Hats are 14in Zildjian New Beats (which have been on every upup recording ever). ride/crash is a 19in Sabian something (i'll find out and let you know)
What Mics on What?
Kick: AKG D12 through Neve 1272 + Senheiser 421 through Sytek MPX4
Snare: SM57 through Neve 1272 (top mic only bithces)
Floor Tom: AKG D112 Through Sytek MPX4
Overheads: 2 Shure KSM44 through AMEK 9098
Room mics: 2 Oktava MK219 through Sytek MPX4 and Audio Technica 4033 by drummers right ear.
I will be posting pics so you can see the mic positioning too, stay tuned.
Dec 20, 2004
Tonight Dave managed to break away and come by to do his bass tracks. I am happy to say they went quick. Dave also managed to get 3 other things done....1. Did a crazy snapping dance (don't ask) 2. Browsed everything in the control room (twice) 3. Played air bass to the tracks he had just recorded.
After Dave, we moved on to Evan and his awesomeocity. 3 songs done in like 30 minutes. There are pics but i think i am gonna wait til the release to show you all. This is boring right?
Guitars, Amps and Pedals:
1981 Gibson Sonex and Gibson Les Paul thru-Proco Rat distortion pedal into:
Vox AC30 and Fender Twin Reverb.
What Mics on What?
SM57 on both guitar amps,
Vox thru Amek 9098 preamp
Fender Twin thru Neve 1272 clone.
Dec 26, 2004
Tonight Dave Downham and I worked on a new song. It was a demo that i had that we added some stuff to. Let's see....Downham added Fender Rhodes, Hammond organ and ideas and i added Hammond organ and drums. I think we decided that some ochestration would suit the song so we will probably be calling nora to come track some violin and maybe see what we can do about a cello and a flute. What else?....thats all.
Fender Rhodes thru Fender Deville 2x12 tube guitar amp. The amp was miced with a Oktava 219 thru the Neve 1272 clone.
Hammond was miced with an Oktava 219 thru the AMEK 9098. I think the Hammond may have been thru the Neve for some stuff too.
Drums were recorded with one Shure KSM44 about 1 foot in front of the kick drum. Dave drove the Neve really hard and we got a pretty awsome overdriven drum sound for the new song.
Jan 02, 2005
So over the last 2 days some major recording got done. On new years eve i finished all my electric guitar and extranious overdubs for texture and taste. Then on new years day JJ "way gay" Massino came over and tracked all his guitar stuff. I also recorded some acoustic guitar with Downhams awesome Gibson Dove.
I'm never really sure what to include in this, like.....should i put my mixing tricks here? Wouldn't that ruin it?
I think maybe I'll just talk about my ability to get "killer tones" or how i "tweaked stuff to my liking"....."NO" you say?
Overall the recording has gone smoothly, here is a list of whats left to do before this fridays release deadline:
1. record vocals (and write some lyrics too).
2. have Dunn do some drum overdubs for some of the 3rd song.
3. Brian meitz back-ups.
4. more acoustic guitar
5. maybe some Mike McNeilis back-ups
6. fix some of evans out of tune guitarmonies.
The we mix!!!
Acoustic guitar was a 1967 Gibson Dove recorded with an SM57 thru the Amek preamp.
My guitar stuff was done with a 1981 Gibson Sonex thru a Proco Rat pedal into a Peavey CLassic 100 tube guitar head out of a Marshall 1960 4x12 cab. SM57 thru Neve preamp.
John's guitar was the same except played thru a Vox AC30.
I'll think about whether mixing notes and stuff is appropriate here and let you know. Eat it.
Jan 04, 2005
I slacked hardcore yesterday but made up for it today. Downham and i tracked some drums for the 3rd song. Here is a nerd trick for you: we setup 2 room mics for the drums, then we recorded me playing a beat. Then we overdubbed another beat playing fills and improv stuff. Then we made out and then.....in the mix you get the left room mic form the 1st take and the right room mic from the 2nd take. Its sounds pretty crazy. Evan also stopped by for some slight re-recording and mooching of pepsi.
The EP will be 5 songs. i would think It'll be like 10-12 minutes. I thinks its gonna really be a great EP and have a touch of all the different stuff that we have done in the past.
Who's a what now?
Drum room mics were KSM44s thru Amek 9098 (maybe 10 feet away from the drums. The drums were a red Slingerland 14in snare with a Slingerland bass dum (22x18?). Just one Sabian ride/crash.
Evan's guitar was the Gibson Sonex thru the Vox. Miced with Senheiser E609 thru the neve.
Pepsi by me thru Evan.
Jan 05, 2005
All the music is finished being recorded. Brian Mietz did some ohh-ing or ahh-ing and Mike McNelis from The Progress did some crooning as well.
Mike came up with a nice little bridge section to a song and Brian basically made awesome happen as usual.
I recorded a good portion of the vocals and just need to finsish up one song and some other loose ends vocally and then mix.
Brian Mietz (who does all the gradwellhouse graphic design and all the upup album art) is just about finished the website for the EP. Basically there will be a link on the main upup site to this EP site and it'll have all the songs, the lyrics, pics, everything. So you will have a place to browse while you jam on our shit and shit.
I think we are gonna start a mailing list too, that way you can enter your stae/region and recieve emails for shows within a general area of where you are.
So this is almost the end. I just wanna remind you guys that have been checking this journal regularly that we will have a paypal thing set up for donations. Although the EP is free to you it wasn't entirely free for us to make. So...like i said before don't be greedy and "leave a buck or 2 in your paypal account and send it our way if you like the EP."
My vocals were recorded with an SM58 thru the Neve preamp. Brian's were the KSM44 thru the Amek pre. Mike's were with a Realistic PZM mic thru the Amek.
The acoustic on Track 2 was done with the Gibson Dove thru a KSM44 and the Neve preamp.
Jan 06, 2005
Not to much to say really. I started mixing today and will finish tommrow morning so that Downham can master the songs in time for the 12 midnight realease time. I am happy with how the mixed songs sound so far. I think it might be because we are awesome. I know you're thinking "who would say something like that?". Well for starters me and you know what...i can gaurantee the other nerd ass bands you think you like are thinking the same thing about themselves and just not typing it on their public website. So there!
I'm so glad i can stop doing this journal now...or soon.
Also i wanted to let you tech nerds know that i will be fact checking all the tiny details on stuff and updationg previous entries to make em a bit more details. I needed to get some drum sizes and model #s and cymbal sizes and stuff.
T minus 21 hours!
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