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Recording Journal: Day 15

We started recording mid-afternoon today. We still had Trey's strat available, so I'd been trying to think of how we could make the most of our time with it. I ran some ideas by Stephen, and we agreed to try and record guitars for the album's final song, which also happens to be the song with the most guitars. There's a lot of double tracked guitars and a lot of different parts.

Stephen mentioned that he may not have the Epiphone amp we'd used previously for much longer, so we should take advantage while we can. For that reason, we started working on a guitar part in the choruses that uses the Epiphone amp and Trey's strat. It was maybe a little backwards starting there, since the part is kind of in between a rhythm and a lead track, but it worked pretty well. There's also a part in the pre-choruses that required a similar sound, so we tracked those as well.

After that, we moved onto tracking the rhythm guitars in the chorus. We tried doing it with the strat too, but it just wasn't getting the tone we were after, so we switched to my Schecter. That brought us closer, and, after a bit of rearranging the mics/amp setting, we were in business. We double tracked the rhythm guitars for all the choruses, which had it sounding nice and thick. It pairs well with the track we recorded previously.

As we were listening back to the rhythm tracks, I played the lead part just to get an idea of how it would sound. We were both pretty pleased with how it sounded though, so we decided to grab some takes of it (after more amp/mic fiddling though, of course). We may have to redo it though because I haven't written a lead guitar part for the post-chorus yet, and I'm thinking the chorus lead will need to flow into the post-chorus. That remains to be seen though. At the very least, we got a good idea of the sound we want, and that's a big help.

We stopped using the amp after that. For most of the lead parts we like to use virtual amps. We went back to the strat for these. The first lead part we tracked this was was for the pre-choruses. We'd already done a little guitar in the pre-chorus, but this was the main lead part. It was the toughest part to record on this song, for sure. It's kind of fast, but it also need to be played with a delicate touch. That took a while to track, but at least it sounds rad.

Next up was a part that only appears once, and it's in the intro. It's there to tease the vocal melody later in the song, which I think is fun. That went really smooth.

There's still 3 acoustic guitar parts remaining in the last song, but we decided to put those off for another day and try to track something else while we had the strat. We decided to record the lead part for track 5.

The track 5 lead part was one of my favorite things from the demos I recorded, so it was really important to me that it had the right feel. We did a lot of takes trying to get one that sounded the way I was hoping. It turns out that I like a lot of the notes ahead of the beat and a lot of them behind. Usually if I like the feel of something it's one or the other. It's no wonder it took so long to get it sounding right. Stephen is a very patient guy.

After getting the lead part sounding right, we needed to get some quality ring outs for transitions in the song. We had trouble getting the last notes of the lead to ring out the appropriate length. I'm not sure if it was the amp settings or what, so we decided to go about it in a way we knew would work. To do that, Stephen brought an amp into the listening booth, and made me do a bunch of ring outs right in front of it. You can have ring outs last forever like that. It was fun, but it hurt my ears a little, so I started wearing headphones after that, which helped a fair amount. We we able to get some amazing ring outs doing that.

We decided to stop after that. I mentioned that I thought the amp I just used for the ring outs was pretty cool, and Stephen told me he built it out of pieces from old organs. That's pretty rad. We talked about the process a little bit before I left. The plan is to record later in the week.