Hold up. Wait a minute…

Didja spot the omission? Probably not, you’re busy with your lives and everything. It’s my job to keep on top of this, not yours.

Turns out I forgot to post photos and a studio report for Flotsam & Jetsam, which has, at this point, been out for exactly 2 months, and was recorded in June. I’ve gone into the dangers of trying to recall details after the event before, but we’ll give this a go for posterity.

The first thing to note is that this song is nearly double the length of previous offerings. Practically, it did make things tricky. You can do half as many takes, and there’s twice as much work to be done in editing and mixing.

A few years ago strangeday did some work on this song. I’ve been keen to do something with it for a while now, as I’m quite pleased with the feel and lyrics. It transpired that Ally was available for this studio date, and I decided that we could go for Flotsam & Jetsam as he’d written the bassline. Aaron had written some splendid guitar parts for the strangeday version, so I asked him to come and reprise those as well as adding a fair bit to them.

The day progressed reasonably well. We tracked the drums in the live room, rather than in the studio room, to get a bigger feel. This did mean a slightly more involved set up process. We then got Ally’s bass parts down, followed by acoustic and electric from me. At this point, it was clear that the timeframes were slipping from what we’d hoped. By the time we moved on to vocals it was clear we weren’t going to fit Aaron’s guitar parts. He’d turned up, but was pretty sanguine about coming back another day.

We set aside another morning, which also turned out to be village day, and sporadically raining. I wasn’t able to be there the whole time, so I got to hear the final parts subsequently as Paul provided mixes. And I was well pleased!

I think that’s about all I have to say about that for now.

We’ll talk soon.

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The plans we make

Well well..

This month a day’s recording became a weekend’s recording. Not a solid weekend, mind. But a very enjoyable weekend.

In order to accommodate the people I’d asked to contribute to Somewhere in between, I had to shift things around, and we decided we needed to record the drums before Sunday. It also worked to throw the bass into this session as well. The original plan was to start early evening on Friday, get a scratch track done, then set up and record the drums, and then record the bass.

Traffic on the M25 threw this plan out of the window, so the new plan became to record the scratch track Friday evening, which we duly did, then do drums and bass on Saturday evening. By this point we’d also determined it would make sense to get the lead vocals done after the bass, which we could then comp and edit on Sunday morning ready for Han Goslett to come in and do her vocals.

And so it was that I trooped to Awesome Source studios with Paul and Si on Saturday evening. A good time was had by all. Pizza was consumed, sick beats and phat bass were laid down. It was, once again, a wonderful experience to see something I’d written come alive with other people’s creativity. The night was wearing on by the time we got to the vocals. But, minor disaster! My sinuses thought it better to flood with mucus. Singing “Subwhere id betweed” wasn’t really cutting the mustard for Paul and a fresh plan was settled upon.

An early start on Sunday was conceived, and, fresh from a very hot shower and hopped up on vocalzone, I recorded an 8am Sunday vocal rather than an 11pm Saturday vocal. Potentially less rock and roll, but definitely less congested. The wonderful Han came by mid morning to record her harmonies and a lead part for the end of the song. Then we had the multi-talented Tom from Beer Pressure coming to play both a keyboard AND lead guitar part.

The benefit to “front-loading” the recording process was that, following a late, relaxed lunch, we only had the acoustic guitar and a guitar/vocal intro to record before calling it a day nice and early.

There might be a slightly longer wait for this one as mixing won’t happen ’til next week, but it’s turned out well so far.

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Studio day – Pint of gold


Paul recording drums - Pint of GoldLuckily Paul had all of the drums set up, so we just needed to cable them, line check them and set all the gains and we were off. A combination of a slightly late arrival and a bit of chatting meant that recording started around 10am. But within half an hour the drums were finished and now we’ve moved on to packing down ready for the bass.

Si recording bass - Pint of goldWe had a bit of a special treat because Si from 3dBs Down had agreed to come and play bass on the track. He’d written some beautiful parts and they’ve taken the track to a whole new and splendid place. All done and dusted in around an hour. Marvellous.

Toby recording acoustic guitar - Pint of goldBit of editing and setting up and we’re off with the acoustic. Hoping to do the drums and bass some justice with my playing. We’ll see…

Acoustic all done. Feeling very pleased, and everything’s going pretty well so far. Off to pick up some lunch while Paul sets up for the electric guitar.

Toby recording electric guitar - Pint of goldManaged to borrow a beautiful telecaster for the electric guitar from an open mic regular, Dave. For some reason as a teenager I couldn’t stand telecasters, but I absolutely love them now. Tone is sounding huge and the part is adding loads of energy.

All done. That was better than I expected. Partly because the tele was such a joy to play. Vocals next. Paul made me warm up using this video. I know it’s good to do but warming up really bores me. But I went for it anyway. Not sure I did the last exercise very well, but hey ho.

Toby recording vocals - Pint of goldMy vocals are done. That’s all of my parts. Just backing vocals from Cec and Paul to do now and we’re all done. Time for a beer I think. To the south!

Cec recording vocals - Pint of goldAll done bar the shouting. And by shouting I mean Paul’s vocals. He’s doin’ em tomorrow. That was a fun day.