I Have Been Immortalized

Saturday Feb 2nd 2007. In the Mastering suite of Tonic Room Studios, burning a CD with 3 songs on it. I felt immortal. These recordings give life to what I have been hearing in my head for years. It’s been a long, wonderful day filled with creativity and music.

9:00 I wake up feeling a little worse for wear, It was a late night playin with the band, and maybe a couple to many beers. Is my voice going to be up to task today? I worked it pretty good last night. I burn a CD with all the song possibilities for today. Print out Lyric sheets for every song on the list.. I have it narrowed down to 10 songs. (narrowed.. yea right) I have to get coffee in me before I get to the studio… my voice still gruff, I get a triple grande Vanilla Late it soothes the pipes feeling better now.

11:00 I meet Jason Rinelstetter Engineer/Owner of Tonic Room Studios. I bring my stuff in from the car into the studio. It’s chilly I worry that it might be too cold but Jason adjusts the thermostat, and we talk about my Idea of what we are doing today. I give him my CD and we play an early recording of Darkness Within I point out the use of echo and he mentions how he hears a big production around this song .. Drums, bass, keyboards. I explain that is exactly what I have in mind but for when I record it with my friends.. today it is an acoustic version.

12:00 We have finished setting up a couple mics for the virgin guitar tracks I wish I could remember the mic model numbers and stuff.. there was an AKG pencil style mic and some big grey tube mic for catching the low end. With any multi track recording you have to start somewhere… I never expected how hard it would be to play a song start to finish on guitar singing along silently in my head with out tapping my foot. First we recorded baseline guitar part for “Darkness Within” then “Disconnected” and last “Wicked Karma”.

Time has stopped.. must be around 1:00 we start recording Lead Vocal parts. I am a bit nervous, afraid that my voice might crack up I decide to record Disconnected first.. it has the most delicate vocal part of the three If I am not on then the day is over and I’ll have to record vocals on another day. another glass of water and a cough drop.. I sing into a $5000 replica of a Neumann U47..hand made in Nashville this is a gold plated faithful replication and sounds awesome. playback sounds incredible. I guess I am singing today. Jason has a suggestion for using a technique called “Vocal doubling” on the chorus parts. This entails singing two more takes of each chorus exactly matching timing, inflection, on each syllable. then one take is panned right and the other panned left in the mix. The natural fluctuations in the human voice give a cool chorus effect that can not be duplicated with software or hardware effects. the problem lies with the singers ability to reproduce exact replicas of a performance.. evidently I am a natural at this.

3:00 ish.. I’m hungry and we take a break. I run out to the car only to find my keys in the ignition and the battery is dead. I walk across the street and get a chicken breast and a double tall vanilla late. Hopefully by the time to go my battery will have recovered enough to start my car.

After a short lunch we record Vocals for Wicked karma and Darkness Within the same process of doubling is done with these songs too. it’s been a couple hours since I recorded the Virgin guitar tracks and screw up and sing the last phrase of Wicked Karma one to many times.. It sounds cool A Capella like that so we re record the mistake and leave it in. On Darkness within I played guitar one to many measures at the end I had to hold the big end note another full measure which was already a stretch for me. I nailed it the first run through. the second take for the doubling effect I barely made it before running out of breath. and after 5 tries falling just short for the 3rd track We decided to do some creative editing šŸ™‚

4ish Lead guitar parts.. out od the vocal booth and back to the main tracking room. It’s a lot warmer in the studio now which is nice for lead guitar. one song at a time we set up loop recording around the empty parts of the songs and lay in little acoustic riffs. I had not practiced any of this. it was all off the cuff after a few stabs there was something we could use. The solo in Disconnected really soared.

around 6:00 my clock ran out I had booked the studio for 6 hours and we still had 2 more songs to mix. Jason was totally into the music by now and offered to finish off the clock. He wanted to hear the finished product as much as I did.

8:30 Saturday Feb 2nd 2007. In the Mastering suite of Tonic Room Studios, burning a CD with 3 songs on it. I felt immortal.

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2 Responses to “I Have Been Immortalized”

  1. Congrats. I am so happy for you and proud of you. The cuts are wonderful. American Idol next? love ya.

  2. Whew! I’m glad everything went great! šŸ™‚ Thanks for posting such a detailed account! Congrats! šŸ™‚

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