Sunday, June 7, 2009

In The Studio - Part 2

It's 1pm on Sunday afternoon at the moment in LA. I just woke up. We have a day off from recording today so we went out for dinner last night at a British pub called "The Fox and Hounds". It was like stepping out of America the moment we walked in there. There's something about British pubs that's just awesome. They definitely got something right there. The bizarre thing was that a couple of hours after we got there a band started playing that was straight out of the fifties. Don't get me wrong they were awesome, but we were sitting there listening to Elvis and Johnny Cash and heaps of Rockabilly Americano stuff in a British pub. I felt like I was sitting in a movie set. I've been feeling like that a bit actually since being in Hollywood. I think it's because I've seen so much Hollywood stuff in film and TV, that by just being here it feels a bit like a movie.

Anyway, I guess we've reached the end of week 1 in the studio. It has been awesome by the way. It's so great to just be able to spend every day in the studio making a record. On Tuesday it was all drum and bass. The tape machine was rolling - yeah we're recording to tape. There's something so cool about having to rewind the tape before a take. It sounds like a spaceship taking off through the monitors. The sound though is just incredible. I've never heard cymbals sound like this before. John was using cymbals from the 1920s as well which made for some awesome full bodied sounds. Recording digitally does something to the sound of cymbals so hearing them recorded to tape was something else.

We finished drum and bass on Tuesday so John's job was over in one day. I'm pretty sure he had a few beers that night.

The piano Andrew chose to use was a Grand Steinway more than 100 years old. It had to be tuned so we had Wednesday off. What I forgot to mention was that on Monday we went to take our rental car back only to discover that someone had keyed it. Unfortunately when we rented the car we got all confused about which level of insurance to take out and so we weren't covered. So we have to pay to fix it. Awesome hey! We're still waiting to get the bill for that so we can't really afford to get another car. In LA it's pretty much impossible to get around without one. The point being on Wednesday we did pretty much nothing.

On Thursday we got stuck into keyboards and guitars. And that's when I discovered the original Roland Space Echo. I nearly died. This piece of gear is really old and just awesome. It's a tape echo/reverb. I've heard about it before but never actually seen one in real life. I had a great time getting sounds out of that thing and it sounds amazing. The only bad thing was my guitar got knocked around a bit by the airline so I had to get the intonation looked at. Andrew tracked some good keyboard tracks though. Friday was much of the same except that before we started in the studio we took a trip to this discount warehouse supermarket sort of thing called Costco to pick up a harddrive. This place is kind of gross really. You have to buy in bulk and it has everything from flat screen TVs to deli foods. We did get some beer for really cheap though as well as the harddrive of course. We seem to be finding any sort of excuse to go for a ride in Kevin's car actually. And we have a rotation system for riding in the front seat. You see, the front seat has a built in massage feature and it also hugs you as you go around corners. No kidding, the seat moves so that you remain perfectly upright. It's cool. What was I saying. Oh yeah, on Friday we did more guitars and keyboards. Then we went home and watched the Lakers smash the Magic in the first game of the NBA finals. No actually that game was on Thursday. We must have just gone home and gone to bed on Friday. Boring. Talking about the Lakers game Kevin found us five floor seats for Sunday's game so we could all go. The only blocker to that idea was that the tickets were $32,433 each!! I'm not kidding. So we got out the credit card... kidding.

Saturday was a big day, the first day of vocals. Greg and I were pumped. I've mentioned it before but the microphone we're singing into is the one Michael Jackson recorded "Thriller" with. That's incredible!! If you glanced over that last sentence (well the one two sentences ago) I implore you to read it again such is the gravity of the subject. So we felt a sense of awesomeness standing in front of that thing. When vocals get added to a track the song really starts to come to life. We got the lead vocal for three tracks done on Saturday. And that was it for the first week of recording.

We're back in on Monday. We're doing four tracks all up for the record and so far we've only tackled three. Tomorrow we'll be starting on the fourth track. It's different to anything we've ever done before and we're not exactly sure what the end product is going to be like which is a few parts exciting and the rest a little scary. But I think it's a great song so whatever happens doesn't matter really.

It's actually 10pm on Sunday night now. I got a bit distracted from when I started writing this post.

And here's a couple of random things to finish. We've been in Hollywood for 10 days now and we haven't yet seen the Hollywood sign. I swear it's incredibly elusive, like it doesn't want to be seen. We spent the first three days driving around trying to see it without success. And then apparently we were in the right spot one time but it was at night and it's never lit up so that was no good. Kevin decided that to fix this problem he's going to take us hiking up the hill to the actual sign itself. Andrew reckons there's like motion detectors and stuff up there to prevent people doing that so we'll see how we go. I'll report back next time.

The other cool thing is that the new album by Phoenix is really really good. I was going to say it is 'awesome' but I just realised I may have overused that word in this post. You should definitely listen to it.


TiteMaud said...

I'm so happy for you guys, all this sounds soooo great!

Nice writing too. Laughed a lot. ^^

piano course review said...

That was a good one!

You have a good ability in wrtitng, keep it up!