So, last night, at the instigation of the drummer, we again did “improv” recording. (I gotta getta better name for that, because they’re really a little more structured.)
In a exchange of emails during the week, he indicated how cool last week’s session was, and let’s do it again.
This time, while I brought my head and bottom, (and my amp and cabinet), I left the bass stuff in the truck, except my Hohner B2B j-style. Tom had his 30 w. Peavey Classic (what a sweet amp), also, but we never plugged it in. I DI’d and I gotta say, the hi-z input on the Zoom R16 is really, really good, with this bass – I get a very convincing and inspirational grind out of it what rules for monitoring in cans, altho’ I typically re-amp or at least heavily EQ ifd I keep the trax.
I have a cheap Zoom 505 multi-FX and so I had Tom dick wiffit whilst I set up the drum mic’s, what were typical but slightly altered in that there were only 5:
The eighth track on the R16 was a SM58 for yo’s vocal styleeings.
Aiight, and since we agreed to do this as of Thursday, I got up at 8:30 AM Friday (I took the day off already) and by 10:15 I had the lyrics to 5 choons.
1 6-pack Lagunitas IPA – like, yum.
So then, wif me seated behind the recorder and Tom to me right as we faced the kit, we started on each song. First, we either chose some chords (“Hey, Tom, what’s yer fave 3 chords?”) or used a word (one song as FAGG for the verse) or started witha bass riff inna single chord. Then I would take a cupopla minnitz to fit the bass to the lyrics, and then we’d write the chorus and whatever bridge. Going thru the parts we’d work out the derrangement, and also candy-shite like where to put stops and breakdowns and one choon even opens wif just bass and vocal.
Then we’d do a practice partial-run of the parts.
Then – and half the time the other guys didn’t know – we’d be recording the take. Most were first takes, of 5 we did do two fecund takes.
The results? Mebbe I’ll post a ruff inna while as I have 58 minnitz of 8 tracks I’ve just started on, but, I think, as far as the drums go, stellar. And that was the idear, to get drum tracks to the songs to what we will in the coming weeks overdub the guitars and the bass and the alleged singing and do all the sweetening and mixing and masturding, etc.
We have so much stuff with Tom, now, I am gonna publish some tracks of just me and Mark (and a couple with Herr Grankenspoine) as MVx2 separately, and come up with a new project name for this aggregation.
Did I mention we’re having a blast?
Azza aside, we recorded between 6:00 and 10:30, and then sat around until 1:00 AM tellin’ war stories.
That’s Mark’s basement.
312 is a awesome beer originally made by Goose Island Breweries, recently bought by Budweiser or similar – there is now nat’l distribution so it’s available – look for a bright yeller package. “312”, BTW, is Chicago’s area code.
SPC1’s are pencil mic’s made byStudio Projects which I have fallen in love with for overheads. Short story long, UI was using vLDC (large diaphragm condensor) Audioi Tecnica AR404’s and loving ’em, and sometimes CAD M179’s (kinda MDC). Thing is, when ya do that it seems to kinda work best when the OH’s are the drum-kit sound, and the other mic’s become spot mic’s that help highlight the individual tubs.
That works great inna good room and/or with careful trial and error of placement, but if you get it wrong you tend to have issues with cymbal brightness and level, and then you have to futz with EQ, and room sound, and it can limit your choices of effect-processing (ex., reverbs).
I’ve gone the other way now, where the drumkit highlights the beat instead of the wash, such that the kick and the snare (typically a plate on the snare) are the majority of the sound, along with the tom spots, and the OH’s give the cymbals and room sound to taste on top, instead of starting with ’em.
It gives me more control, and allows for faster placement.
And how do I place ’em? In the ORTF pattern, I said, what was a lie; also, they are SP C4’s.
Actually, I had ’em in X-Y; see here.
I have also used ORTF, and like it just fine, but it’s a little tweakier, and XY is very easy.
Also cool is that you use one mic stand and put the mic’s on a mic bar, like this
except they are turned so the fronts meet at a 90 degree angle like this:
I take an imaginary line from the center of the snare thru the center of the kick and place ’em onnit, as stated above.
Last night I recorded my drummer OD’ing on a Granx collab (coming atcha later today, G – it’s great!) and also on a MVx2 choon I originally playt to a loop of him.
That tookt about 2 hours because of lotsa BSin’, etc., and I mebbe had me a cuppla 312’s.
We did the OD’s by me having rendered the reference track to mono, and recording the drums on 6 trax (E602 to kick, SM57 on snare, RE320 on floor toms, Perception kick mic on racks, OH’s was SP C1’s in ORTF about 5′ up and 6′ out on the kick/snare axis).
So I left the drums pluggt in and DI’d the guitarist, Tom’s Les Paul thru a blues-driver into a channel and my headless bass into a channel and we jammed straight thru for 28+ minutes with me laying down a riff, the drums catching and then the guitar, going 3-5 minutes, stopping and then me starting a new one.
It was noteworthy because we had nothing written – I just thought up a bass line, figured the tonic for emphasis, and started playing – including changes that I made very obvious by nodding at the band, and showing my hands to Tom. I could not do what he did – he follered me with very little hesitation, and even less mistakes, he’s that good.
Mark and I have been locking well for at least a year now – it was damn-near seamless.
So we ended up with 6 tracks of drums, plus a bass and guitar track each, in a half hour of improv.
I told the guys the bass and guitar were irrelevant (if fun), that the key thing was to get the drums inna groove for looping and writing to. That said, some of the playing is worthy just because of the interaction.
Anywhat, if ya get the chance to try doing this, do try doing this.
1. The Pro’lem 03:46
2. Boom Boom Pop 03:25
3. Live Like This (I Can’t) 03:25
4. Red Light 03:52
5. Are You Real 03:16
6. Burn You Down 04:12
7. DBtR 09:06
Vlayman sweated a lot and played everything except one summer day J-Mat played 420 drums that Vlayman recorded at Lola’s place.
released October 4, 2016