Saturday, November 1, 2008

not much time, but...

... the trip to kansas city was a success. we got seven of the eight songs recorded and all of them turned out quite nicely. the sounds were really great- best cello tones i've recorded- and i figured out ways to solve the problem of bleed that has made itself known. unfortunately it was pounded home to me that i need to have chris redo a violin part because his part on 'glasslands' is a bit out of tune at the beginning to a noticeable degree and there is far too much bleed from the guide guitar track that i played along with him. you can hear it even with everything else blaring on the track and it really detracts from it. we basically got the ball rolling for the 'all hope is blind' album- billy added two cello parts for each of six songs that have been started because they don't require the live treatment- for this album we are going to play the songs that have drums live and do guitar and drums at the same time. i started the album trying to use click tracks, but very quickly we realised that the performances were a bit soulless and when the tracks are as stark as these tracks are there needs to be a strong organic base for them and the best way to do that would be to do the basic tracks live together. i've had to buy more microphones to meet this goal (i have about three or so still to go) as we also wanted to use nicer mics so that we don't have to do as much mixing to get the parts to sound their best. this experiment was kicked off by a version of 'narcoleptic' that i started with a click track and when i added the guitars i wasn't really that happy with them and stefanie had a lot of trouble playing along to the click track- she even told me she'd rather play along to just my guitar. even with that idea the track was missing so much that makes it so fantastic when we play it live, so that's how i arrived at my brilliant idea. so now i won't have to go back to kc to record with billy for quite a while because i have to work up more of the tracks that need strings- the album is kind of coming together in pieces and several of the songs haven't gotten much in the way of real serious attention- some of them are a bit fragmented and underdeveloped. if they aren't underdeveloped they don't have scores to go with them yet either.
of the seven that we did there's only one that i'm not 100% sure about. it definitely sounds a bit dissonant which i suspect stems from when i recorded the guitar part i probably didn't tune ahead of time because i got too caught up in the moment. it might be okay, but i'm just not sure. i should let it sit for a while i guess and try and finish it soon.
i'm getting a bit burned out. i still haven't really planned anything beyond 'all hope is blind' which is a bit strange because i usually at least have some groundwork laid for a few albums ahead and usually those are based around a few solid and complete songs and i still don't really have too many of those for anything beyond 'all hope is blind.' i have a few ideas of what kind of record i might try and make, but it's still so up in the air it seems a bit dangerous. i think it will be important for us to take our time with it and be a bit careful. i have that double album still in my head as a concept and i've been gathering up the demos for that- i think i have about 20 mixes or so of demos in various states of completion. that's the only future record that i have any kind of clear vision of in the future. i wanted about 50 songs for it as well and i think i've got about 35 at the moment.
there are other things too- i kind of thought i might do two eps in a row or a series of eps or something based around these really ornate, orchestral instrumentals i did back in 2000 and trying to work with stefanie to give them more structure and/or lyrics and stringing them together like 'low level owl.' i've been really into those two records. i can't seem to not listen to the set as a whole- i noticed that when i just had volume 1 i wasn't that impressed by it until i got the vinyl set and then listening to it that way has been incredibly enlightening. it's a record that i get on the brown line from work and ride all the way downtown and back through the loop just so i can have enough time to listen to the whole thing in one stretch because the flow of it is so beautifully constructed.

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