Thursday, March 12, 2009

such a production to get here...

the theme at the moment is digital=shit and analog=awesome.
to wit- my 1/4" 2-track works quite well. i did a mixdown last night and spent a long time double-checking every tiny little thing that i did on it. i did the mixdown of the entire record and i am going to do a backup mixdown later on. i am very happy with the tracks on the record- the wimpy track is 'willows.' every other track is quite sublime. 'willows' has all sorts of problems- when the guitars were recorded i was having problems with the mixer and some of the inputs were going dead and then coming back to life while i was recording. i evidently got so fed up with it doing this and was so thrilled with the take that i got that i just left it as it was since it didn't seem to really affect the sound levels which was okay with me. the drums sound like elephants. it's a very heavy track. stefanie seems to be really happy with it. i keep wanting to take it off of the record and put something else in its place, but really i think that every record has to have its weak track and if that's the one that i have to live with being the weak link then so be it. i have thought about subbing something else in in its place ('christmas song revisited' for exampled) but when i tried to sub anything in it seems like it's not going to fit in with the rest of the album. it's going to be one of three hidden tracks anyway- so it's kind of optional. the other seven songs have all turned out so beautifully it seems to kind of be a moot point this late in the game. every time i think of taking it off of the record i try to think of something to sub-in in its place and i just figure i should leave it the fuck alone. the analog mixdown is really working for these songs as well might i add- everything sounded very nice through that machine. i even did some editing before mixdown and it decreased the crackling problems i often have with my 8-track. the wiring inside it is loose so occasionally if i don't touch the faders just so a horrible crackling noise makes itself known. i often have to mix the strings in at the beginning of the songs so i tried to just cut the dead air/tape hiss/audible counting by recording silence over them and punching back out with the counter and it works. i thought it would sound real abrupt, but it doesn't so i have just solved a major problem- especially on the newer tracks.
other than that i'm here at the coffee shop and i've been kicked off of the internet about four times- sat here for a good 20 minutes trying to get the damned thing to work to no avail. i've restarted about six times as well. that's just the state of things i guess.
i was thinking of going to see 'watchmen' today after i'm all finished here. my feelings are very mixed- the reviews are a total mixed bag. i've only talked to one person who's seen it too and they didn't really say it was good or bad- just that it's basically three hours of brutal violence. i'd guess that that's a bad thing.
more analog points- had a really nice haul the last time i went to reckless. i was in search of that dion record- 'born to be with you' (which is real scarce on vinyl it turns out and thus very expensive) to absolutely no avail. when i was at reckless i did find some good stuff- 'tepid peppermint wonderland vol. 1' on red vinyl (which i believe is out of print now and it was only $14), 'turn turn turn' by the byrds (i have no byrds records at all) and 'the head on the door' on vinyl (i've been looking for this for years). i have a lot of stuff to convert now, of course. busy busy busy.
the latest in the case of soundboard bootleg recordings not necessarily being better than audience recordings- a spiritualized recording taken from a streaming video of their entire show in sydney from a site called the sound is full on soundboard (no room mic at all) and sounds quite nice, but for some idiotic reason the performance levels were not maintained- example- 'oh baby' starts out during the quiet section (it gets super-loud in the middle- a very nice effect) and once the loud section comes the volume is lowered significantly so they match- why?! obnoxious. i have the whole thing on my ipod and i've listened to it and there are also gaps between songs that i was thinking about fixing but i am wondering if this would be a worthwhile endeavor or just a total waste of time. digital=shit. analog=awesome. i don't know why this is but people always cream themselves hearing about a soundboard recording and half the time they are incredibly disappointing or ruined by a meddling or ignorant soundman. fair enough because their biggest concern is how the sound in the house is- not their fault. it's like that my bloody valentine soundboard recording- yeah, everything sounds clear but so much of the performance that's so important is totally lacking in the recording. a bunch of the songs just flat out are killed by this. it also seemed to be a bit of an off-night for them- a few songs are marred by some really embarrassing mistakes. then you have something like a really fantastic quality audience recording where the person who's taped it has used really good microphones and finds a good place to stand and really knows what they're doing (this is only me to a certain extent). there's a fantastic spiritualized roundhouse recording that is very near to perfect- you really couldn't ask for a better bootleg. a bit more fidelity and it could be released as a live album. i have a handful of my bloody valentine bootlegs that are audience recordings that i really love the way they sound too- the axis show, 'surround', a few others. i love bootlegs. can you tell?
so i'm not real sure what's going on with the upcoming kansas city trip- it might turn out to be a total bust. i haven't heard a word from billy so far- so i'm not sure if he's up for some recording or not. i am not real sure what the best way to get ahold of him is either- i am guessing he is just mondo busy with school and his job.
i am now just rambling aimlessly so now is about the time i will cut this off.

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