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August 29, 2015

Recording Alive and Alone - Day 6

Right! Got "Angels" down ... eventually. Still not happy with the ending, but at least it's in the can at close to what I want it to sound and feel like.

Gonna take a break for a few days and catch up on other things. Still need to get "She Don't Want Your Love" down. No idea how to approach that ... job for another day.

Posted by Hughie at 6:17 PM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2015

Recording Alive and Alone - Day 5

More completed today. Lots more?

Well, actually, it felt like a lot but today was compromised by other activities with kids and work and so on. Not as many hours put in, so not as much accomplished. Managed to get Devil's Highway, AKA "I Need Your Soul" down, and some of "Angels".

Angels is proving tricky - partly because I'm not exactly sure how to approach it and partly because I love it so much that I'm trying too hard. Now, my arrangement and groove for this song is heavily influnced by Sonia Dada's songs "Paradise", "Deliver me", and "The Edge of the Night". Ridiculously great voice - I wish I could sing like this - and such a soulfull groove. Here they are in concert in Australia (Brisbane, I think) in 1993, which is where they blew me away:

So, the long and the short is that if I get over myself and get that guitar groove down, I'm almost done with guitars ... then on to vocals!

Posted by Hughie at 7:53 PM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2015

Recording Alive and Alone - day 4

Better progress today. Took yesterday off to think about it (and do some work that pays for my house) and then ripped in today. Got the following in the can:

  1. The rest of Simplicity
  2. Home Free
  3. Raindrops (that took a while to figure out)
  4. Somebody Else's Skin
  5. Spider
  6. Most of Red Hot

That only leaves Devil's Highway, When the Angels Came, and She Don't want Your Love left to record. I have no idea how I'm going to play She Don't Want Your Love.

I think I'm getting the hang of the guitar-only approach. I listen to what's on the original version and try to idetify places where the guitar and vocals don't match. I then have to make a decision as to whether to change the guitar part or the vocal phrasing - that's not an easy call to make. There's usually a little experimentation with the new guitar against the old track and then I try to sing a different vocal over the new guitar part. Not sure that's efficient, but it seems to have improved things.

Anyhoo, more tomorrow and we'll see how all of this pulls up ...

Posted by Hughie at 7:39 PM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2015

Recording Alive and Alone - day 3

Today I started again, recording just the guitar parts. Took longer then expected because I was able to pay more attention to the nuances of what I was doing and didn't like some of what was happening. I used exactly the same microphone setup, standing up with the NT5s at guitar level and the NT1-A at mouth level. I bumped up the gain on the NT1-A a little so that it makes a meaningful contribution. Kept the stomp box mic (SM-57) as was. Guitar tracks recorded today:

  1. Cry to Heaven
  2. Forever Mine
  3. Whiskey and History
  4. Simplicty (sort of - not happy with that one)

It's interesting when you listen to the guitar part behind the first takes of each song and compare that to the subtleties that emerge from the guitar played on its own. I think the luxury of being able to separate the guitar and vocal parts in teh studio has allowed me to really focus on making the two parts work together. Adding guitar accents that emphasise the vocal accents, and getting guitar noise out of the way of the more subtle vocals. Neat trick, that ... hope it's making things better.

I've got a few days in a row off this week, so I'm gonna binge on the whole thing and really try to nail this development. Will post the results when I can.

Posted by Hughie at 6:26 PM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2015

Recording Alive and Alone - day 2

Got the remaining songs in the can as single-take roughs today. Total of 12 down now. Still not happy with this approach, tho. Cry to Heaven, Simplicity, and When the Angels Came are in the can along with the 9 from the other day. I used exactly the same mic setup and so on ...

Don't like the results. I feel dsitracted by trying to concentrate on singing with feeling whilst playingthe guitar with groove. This is not something I noticed while playing live at shows and so on, but I feel that the recorded versions could be so much better. Of course, inadequate rehearsal time is more than half the problem ...

Might try recording just the guitars tomorrow and see if that's any better ...

Posted by Hughie at 6:32 PM | Comments (0)

August 21, 2015

Recording Alive and Alone - day 1

OK, so I got most of the songs down as guide tracks to pick them apart. Don't think this was a very useful thing to do - I'm not happy with the results and it took me all day due to lack of preparation ... still have Cry to Heaven, Simplicty, and When the Angels Came left to record.

Still, 9 songs are in the can and that's something to be proud of. Will assess in the morning and revise the plan. Here's a selfie of my setup ... sort of. I'll detail the technicalities in a separate post ...


Posted by Hughie at 5:08 PM | Comments (0)
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