Friday, February 1, 2008

With Wet Noodles For Legs And A Smile On My Face I Do Declare The Album Fini!

It’s been a very busy and crazy few weeks…..allow me to catch up…

So we wrapped up the final tracking a few weeks ago. The last night of tracking was smooth sailing. I played a single D chord with some tremolo on it and my job was finished. Then Pete went on to do some percussion while I kicked a puppets ass (see vid below) and did my best to empty the large amount of beer we had left in the studio refrigerator downstairs. We did have a visitor that night. Our good friend Brian McTear stopped by to check out the studio and hear a few tracks as we were set to start mixing at his Miner Street studio a few days later. We ended the tracking with some “gang” handclaps. Pretty funny to end the session with four of us (Pete, Jeff, Brian and I) drunk trying to clap in time (we had to fix a few not-so-in-time claps in the mixing process) with Dave G. running the gear. It was really cool to have the whole band together for the final night of tracking as it’s been kind of a scattered meeting of a few band members from day to day throughout the whole recording process. I ended the night at our home away from home with Pete for one and a half beers when I realized that I was two or more sheets to the wind and stumbled my drunk ass home. A fun and well deserved night of excess my friends! It’s been a long road but I snapped the through the finish line tape with wet noodles for legs, a beer soaked head and a big smile on my face.

So we started the mixing process on Jan. 11th. We had seven straight days booked with one “final“ day for last minute fixes set for the following Tuesday. 11am to 9pm every day. I couldn’t be there for every hour of mixing, but ended up being present for 90% of it. As I’ve talked about before in this here blog, this whole mixing at a “proper/real/not our own” studio with a engineer that had no participation in the recording of the album was very new to me, but I knew off the bat it was a good idea and the fact that the mixing engineer was a old musician friend of ours and has worked on some of the best recordings that have come out of Philly in the past couple of years kept my “control freak” mind at ease.

I’d be a fucking liar to say that the first two day of mixing didn’t freak me out man. We’d spent the last five months recording in our studio and/or me sitting alone in my home studio working away, day after day tweaking every fucking part and the shit sounded awesome in those two rooms. You get used to the way the raw recordings sound in the only two rooms you can hear them in while tracking. So much so, that when you finally hear them in a different room or a different set of monitors you tend to freak out a bit and I did for sure. So by day four of mixing with plenty of time spent in the Miner Street studio I started to relax as the mixes really started to take shape and I finally got a grasp on the sound of the new control room. We kind of threw McTear into the fire as most of our tunes have a ton of tracks/little/weird stuff going on that if you weren’t part of the recording process you’d have no idea what to do with it in a final mix, but after a few days of us being in the studio with him he caught on pretty quick and things were smooth sailing from there on. He tweaked away at every track and really did an amazing job while we sat in the room and helped him steer the ship. Dave G. and Pete helped in getting giving very good input on the overall sonic sound and it worked out very well. My job was to sit there and tell McTear to turn up everything. Not to pat myself on the back, but I did a great job. I must have said “can you turn that keyboard noise/guitar solo up?” about a million times in seven days. As my mother always said “love what you do and do it well!”. Thanks Ma! To say McTear stepped up to the challenge would be an understatement for sure. He kicked ass and as I sit here listening to the final mixes on my trusty headphones while typing this all I can say is that this album sounds great.


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