Wednesday, March 2, 2011

New music, if you can believe it...

There is new music to be heard on the Audio page. Jeremy wrote this tune, once untitled, now called "Because of Valerie, This is Why?"

This was a two session story. First we met and got this one and one from Todd on the table, hammering out some details, figuring out the feel and the tempo, discussing possible instrumentation (The song was originally sketched out on a mandolin, but in the end, we liked where the recording was going, and didn't keep it.) And then we gave ourselves some time to, um, live with it for a while (read: it took us a few weeks to get back together--Todd is taking the blame for that).

Finally we put it together last Friday with a few guitars and a couple of vocals from Jeremy, and some keyboard playing from Todd. Synth recording technology being what it is, it took a few days to settle on a keyboard sound, and still another to figure out how to route that sound back into the recording, but in the end it's all there.
Check it out and leave a comment, if you dare. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mixing and mastering and listening, 9/30/10 session and beyond...

I finished the mix for Jeremy's new song "Teach Them How To Think," for which we recorded guitar, vocals, organ, and "string" parts for on Thursday 9/30. We spent most of the that session arranging and recording this song, and discussing what else we'd have put on there if we had the time.

My goal in this mixing process, and all of our mixes to date, has been to have, in the end, a clear representation of the song as it is conceived by the songwriter, and a recording that sounds good through less-than-audiophile-approved computer speakers or headphones. To that end, this is the equipment on which I'm doing the bulk of the mixing. I'm posting the resultant music on the Audio page of this blog, where it's available for streaming, so the bulk of listening will be through those means as well.

So instead of the anachronistic "Crank it up!" I'll go with "Unmute it dude!"  Enjoy.

Since we finished last session with recording, our next meeting should open up with the introduction of some new material. Details in the next post...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Last week's session...

Ok, the session was actually a couple of weeks ago, on September 16. In the studio, we're definitely getting into the swing of things (or groove of things, depending on your taste). After working out some studio kinks, and a floorplan redesign since the previous session, we hit the ground running for the most part.

In general, I'm hoping to follow a three step pattern within and across sessions. Something like this, simply:
1) Play through any new songs attendees have been working on
2) Record a demo of a song discussed from a previous session
3) Get input on those new songs played earlier

The beginnings and endings of each session will not fall perfectly in line with these three steps, so we'll pick up where we left off the next time. For example, first order of business Jeremy played through a new song he was putting together, laying down some simple scratch tracks, so we'll be able to mull it over until next time.

Then we got to one of mine that we had discussed, which has since been named "Don't Tread On." It took a couple of takes, but I eventually settled on the groove. Jeremy then played rhythm guitar behind it, and then lead on top. It was pretty much done, and my intent was to simply mix and master and post the thing over the weekend, but I got a little nitpicky about it, rerecording the vocals, cleaning up the organ part, and adding a string part that started running through my head.

Unlike JDG, whose first Village Herald and Record song (Getting Out) he recorded essentially in one take in our previous session, I was unable to accomplish that myself. Such is the advantage (or curse) of having the studio in my own garage.

Anyway, Don't Tread On is posted on our Audio page. Check it out. Please leave any comments. If you're a Soundcloud member, you can stick your comment right on the audio wave, but I'm happy to have them at the bottom of the page, too.

This week I'll be working on a quicker turnaround on posting session notes, if not for the song itself. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Listen 1...

As it turns out, I'm much better at meeting than blogging. In fact, the Village Herald and Record had already met a few times before I got the blogging thing completely squared away. It turns out that's a good thing, because, there's already music available!

Here's a song that Jeremy brought in a few weeks ago. He had the basic concept and content of the song already done and the form pretty much mapped out. We worked on the basic groove of the thing and bandied about some ideas for the bridge. Then last time, on 9/2/2010, we recorded it.

It's up right now on the newly minted audio page. Check it out.

Welcome to the garage...

Welcome. Thanks for reading and thanks for listening. More opportunities for both will be forthcoming.

The goal of these pages is to document the goings-on with the Fredonia Village Herald and Record songwriter circle, which meets every couple of weeks in my garage studio.  It's an attempt to make the process a bit more transparent, direct and, ideally, interactive, which in turn I hope gets listeners, fans, and followers more interested and invested in the music that we create here. 

I intend to log some notes on each of our (usually bi-weekly) sessions. I welcome any feedback on any part of this endeavor that is exposed here: our writing process, our recording techniques, the music itself.