Update - Greetings to all the Government Mule and Steve Earle fans who've been on the email to us today. Thanks for stopping by.
We'll be playing two shows this week,
Playing a spot from 4 pm at Ironfest on Saturday 25th, in the room with the chai! The Shed, Lithgow Showground, Lithgow
Jousting, cosplay, AWESOMENESS!
Then on Saturday night we're back at the Royal Hotel Bondi
Mr L. rang this morning with a few questions on files.
Simple stuff really. His breezy cheerful attitude gave nothing away.
Now it's not appropriate to say to your Mastering Engineer "hey, are you digging the album' because that puts them in the position of potentially having to lie. (yeah baby, I 'm loving it)
They're professional engineers used to dealing with precious and precocious musicians,. In other words, they lie with complete facility.
Mr Lynch has to conform recordings from 10...no...11...err..maybe twelve different studios. Here's the matrix, you can work it out.
My favourite moment was when Mr Wizard cracked and had to ask 'so how's it going'.
A slight pause.
'It might...'Mr Lynch said slowly, carefully. '....take me a little longer than I thought'
ADDITIONAL EXPLANATORY NOTE:
Just been messaged by someone saying 'wtf, does that mean he doesn't like it'. My bad. I have to be more precise.
1. We wont ask. He'll tell us if he does.
2. In your usual case of recording, there will be some consistency in the sonic qualities of a studio, across the album. More or less. Sort of.
The 'room' sounds, if you will.
The approach each engineer takes.
The choice of speakers.
Mr Lynch has the task of 'normalising" (consistent volume so you don't have to twiddle the knob every song) as well as enhancing frequencies (see that video below) to try and get the oomph out of each song, but the total variables are MULTIPLIED by the number of different studios.
We wish him well.
Mr Lynch has the files, he's adding gossamer wings and fairy dust, or whatever the heck it is that mastering engineers do.
Come to think of it, whilst I was googling recently I came across this Promo/Ad sort of video for a software plugin tool for mastering engineers that demonstrated some of the real sonic differences that mastering makes to your sound.
It's geeky, it's a little technical and a bit 'dry' and will at some point greatly praise whatever software it is he's using (i tuned out soz) but if you want to know what the Mastering process does, it's a good insight.
Whilst mixing 'Sliping through these blues' with Mr McGlynn last week, we were proudly showing off our new video for Downward Bound (see below a few articles or clik link).
He directed me to an art project he's involved with, Quantum Force; where the song recording is limited to 2 hours from inception to cut, no backtracking, no fixing, then the other guys add a video to it.
I was feeling pretty chuffed about our own efforts but now I see I have to lift my game. this is awesome.
What a beat.
Game on folks, I am gonna get some animation skills happening.
Hello my Boys, it's your old mate Roger again. I've gone ahead and organised some promotion for you again.
You can thank me after you've finsiehd handing'em out. Go on, get about it.
WOOT. Big ups to Michael at Vienna People for work on 'Slipping Through These Blues'. Looks like we're done.
Except for mastering.
Ok, still a bit to go.
As the title suggests, this is one wacky collection - ranging from Colonial Folk to Reggae via Japanese pop, all with Blues Harp. Yes, as a harp player, I have been able to go places where Harmonicas Fear To Tread.
We're so mutant we should have appeared in a Dr Who episode.
Enough of that, back to the grindstone. We gotta work harder if we want to earn a nice bottle of wine, or a coal license.
Good On ya Barry! We are the Rum Corps and there ain't no doubt about it. Stand up NSW and be proud! We're the meanest, most venal, grubbiest, on-the-take, forked tongued, side-mouth talkingest, sons-of-guns in New Holland. Look upon our works Ye Mighty and Tremble. Also, a couple bucks extra will get you a good seat up the front. Anyone for more wine?
And to think it's the day after we released our video. Any connection?
Nope. We're just filled with the JOY of being a proud Sydneysider, in the Premier...er...Ex-premier state!
Chronology has gone out the window. We had a surprise gig plus a videoclip shoot so this blog had to wait.
Right. So where was I? Oh I'd better recap:
When we last left the boys they had blocked out a week or so to finish the last 4 tracks for The Curious Assembly.
Friday - Give me something I want (covered here)
Saturday Sun Shines On (read on Macduff)
Sunday - Low Low and Downward Bound.(patience, I'll get to it.)
In the week and a half or so since then, we've finished mixing everything bar 'Slipping Through These Blues'. Yep that's right, we're just about done.
And now for this episode!
Recording the Sun Shines On.
Disclaimer: I fricking love this song.
Yeah I know ya gotta be supportive of all the arts..arti...musicla endeavours of your fellows, but this song does it for me.
Mr Wizard reacted so strongly to 'Cry For You' that he tried to dismantle it by adding chords to it. I valiantly resisted, insisting that it was in fact a new song, deserving of it's own lyrics.
I'm ever so crafty.
But, in the amusing manner in which this universe works, this newly hatched mutant thing was glorious. The Sun Shines On.
It's bleakly miserable yet freakishly powerful.
One small catch though; when we tested it out in rehearsal, I opted to move the vocal up an octave.
Right into my break range.
For those who aren't up on the whole singy-thingy, bio-mechanics are very important. Classical thought divides singing up into: Chest (resonance from the body), Head (resonance from...err..the head) and Falsetto where there's a lot of Nasal stuff.
Without going into excruciating detail, lets just say that this song is harder than usual for me as one of the notes lies right on the boundary between two singing zones. I can singer Higher or Lower with ease, but to hit that note cleanly? It's terrifying!
I love it.
Even Mr Wizard kindly offered to try a key change, but somehow the fact that it was hard seemed utterly appropriate for the song and frankly, I just need to work a bit harder.
So there was some trepidation about going into the studio for this one.
With oddly pitched note rehearsal copy in hand I sought the guidance of my Yoda, Ms Vicki. She listened to the guide track and looked apprehensive. 'it's like being naked' She explained. 'Vocally', she quickly added.
She gave me an exercise to perform and a reminder to Use The Force (well, more or less the easiest way to explain it) and so I girded my loins for Battle With Doom! DOOM!
Doom it turns out, has a very nice tree just outside the studio.
To put things in perspective, this session was the Saturday morning after Give Me Something I Want session at St Rok had gone until midnight...
Nonetheless, we had to scrub up bright and shiny for our session with Richie at Free Energy Device Studios..
They have custom pillows.
And word sof wisdom from some dude with a funny hat.
Theo was kind enough to pose for The Ladies. I still get FB requests from several females asking for More Pics Of Theo.
Now once again I have used my new process and gathered together all the video from the session into one thing which I'll post at the end. In the interim, oh, shiny buttons.
And for the second time on this album, 2 inch tape.
Here's Richie, going over the wall. or cleaning the heads. One or the other.
Whilst the boys were tracking, I once again was sent on the Lunch Run. Dontcha love the love?
Still, it gave me a chance to see some old faded Sydney Art Deco glory...
As I arrived back I took a moment to enjoy the view, then went inside.
I might have been gone some time...
For further explanation, members of the jury are directed to the following video presentation of the recording session.
Big thanks to John Barr for his help.
Oh, in case you're wondering how the singing went? Turns out it's all in my head. yes it's hard, yes I have to remember to:
Relax the jaw (sounds sexy)
Correct stance (yes Sensei)
Maintain the air (visualise the column)
Not Fear to fail (holy crap am I attacking a Death Star??)
and so on.
Nett result? It took a bit of work but once I had done it successfully, I Levelled Up. It's still terrifying (what if I get it wrong, what if it's not there, what if..) but the bio mechanics are with me. When the Mind joins in, hey presto.
Right. Enough moonbeam theory. I have artwork to do and more videos to make. I'll post the next recording blog shortly.