< Back to Journal

Recording Journal: Day 46

Today was the first long session we've had in a while, and we worked on a lot of stuff, so I'm not super sure about the order in which things happened. I guess I didn't need to say that, since you wouldn't know either way, but, damnit, that's not the kind of guy I am today.

The track we worked on most today was Track 10. We made a ton of progress on the background vocals, and there's a good chance they're finished in the chorus. We used the Unidyne III and Electro-Voice 664, which is the same BG mic setup we used on Track 8. Makes me think we should use it on Track 9 when we do those background vocals. Anyway, the recording for Track 10 went pretty smooth. It's the most experimental song on the album, which is probably why it's been the most fun to record. As I was recording, Stephen started putting on some really weird, but fun, effects. We wound up using the pitch shifter to make me sound like a robot and using some effect that added an octave. The vocals are swimming in reverb too, so it sounds pretty weird if you ever hear them on their own (odds are you won't). They'll actually be pretty low in the mix though, I think, so mostly it'll be the texture of the vocals that comes through.

In addition to the BG vocals on Track 10, we did some editing on the pre-choruses. We made it all the way through the choruses yesterday, so we wanted to continue chipping away. Here's hoping we can finish the whole song within the next session or two.

We did even more work on Track 10 after that! We started really digging into the bass sounds. This is the only song on the album that isn't played with a real bass, so we have a lot of room with which to work. We'd been basing stuff around a sub bass I'd sent over a while ago. I think we're going to try to stick to that sort of idea for the most part, but we might want to open some stuff up every now and then. Stephen showed me a sweet moog modular plugin that might help. It seemed pretty fun based on what he showed me.

The song we worked on the second most was Track 11. To this point, we didn't have any background vocals. I had the idea to do something like a choir sound with ahhs in the background based around the chords that an organ is playing. We decided to try it with me. I was able to get two unique voices down and then another that's sort of a combination octave/double. It was kind of a pain in the ass since it's the last thing we worked on, and we were already pretty burnt out. We'll need help from Laura to fill it out more. It sounds pretty sweet, and I think the idea will work well, but it can be better. Since this is going to be a stereo thing with a lot of different voices, we decided to go with only the ribbon mic. I think it was a good decision.

Another song we did some work on was Track 8. We didn't record anything new, but we did a lot of work playing around with the bass. I'd sent over some reference tracks previously, and one specifically referenced the bass. We were able to use it to create a fairly similar sound, but I think it'll serve the song best to lean into what we recorded a little more, and we started doing that.

The only other song we worked on was Track 1. We did some background vocals in the breakdown. They went pretty smooth with the exception of the first part which gave me issue because I struggled coming in soft and smooth enough. Eventually I was able to get it though. As we listened back to it I came up with a part Stephen and I thought was worth laying down. It's some oh ohs that play off of the other ohs. They're pretty fun, but I'll have to really make sure they serve the song.

It was a productive session. I must admit I've gotten a little used to the short sessions though because I was gassed after this one. We're planning to record next on Wednesday.

EDIT: I remembered something else: we also did some editing work on the Track 9 choruses.