Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Studio

So, I still have not heard everything I played in the studio last week.  I had a feeling it would be different from anything anyone has heard from me.  The sound was so good for how I wanted to play, it was hard to go wrong.  I could go from the very faintest of whispers on up to a trumpet blast. But mostly the change has been the chord use.  Growly, flowy chords.

I think I may be on to a style.  Aboriginal, urban swamp harmonica, played cleanly and dynamically so that even the sound engineer was blown away with the way it grew out of whatever the viola was laying down at times.

I heard just a little of what was recorded, and I would be hard pressed to do as well without hearing it some more.  That was an inspired day. And now they've put in some harmonies. That and the instrumental background work give it a real multi dimensional feel.  There are some surprisingly unique and good sounds on this cd.  I can't wait until it is mixed and I can hear it.  Although I may be there for the mixing.  I usually keep my mouth shut and let them do their thing.  If asked, and if I have a strong opinion, I will express it.
Lifted this pic off their website.  The recoding room and isolation booth are on other side of glass.  Not a huge control board but pretty much state of art. They do a lot of TV work and such too.  Anyway, so far I like what they do and how they do it.  Thomas the sound engineer is probably the key to all of it. 
There are a couple of very good rolling chairs that are good for your back, not shown.  End product will tell the tale.
You can't tell from this angle but there is a double door between the recording area and the control room.

This has been the best all around recording experience so far.  I think it is the first time I recorded in the big room with mics and baffles all around, and did not hold a microphone.  And it would pick it up if I just thought about a whisper of a sound.

It is driving me crazy not hearing it all.  What I did hear is musically beyond anything I've done.  Maybe musically is right.  Playing off the viola lady who has a doctorate in music or music education. That must count for something in music.  Anyway, I think the blend on the recording is pretty good on some of what I heard.  I hope it is the same all through.

This project may end up better than expected.  Any time people record on a shoestring, it is very tough to get a result that doesn't sound wrong somehow.  Over produced.  Under produced.  Ill conceived.  A friend of ours did a cd there, on a similar budget.  They did a decent job, and he has won some awards.  I did not know there were organizations that held such ceremonies on lesser levels than grammys and such.

Whatever the deal, I really like Sande's lyrics, and the music in general.  I have been looking for the evolution this recording project has brought.  It influenced me and the viola for sure.  Probably bass and singer too.  But the trickiest part and the defining aspect of the background and accent is the viola harp blend and interaction.  That is probably what has encouraged some of the chords.  They seem to blend with the viola.

I think you will be surprised at the sound.  Had I not played on it, I would not be sure what instrument I was hearing, much of the time.  And that was the goal, I guess.  I had forgotten until I heard the bits I did yesterday.  They put in some harmonies, but they had the balance set so harp and viola were way down or off. And they did not do all songs or go through the entire song.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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