Sunday, April 25, 2010


Digital audio workstations come with lots of toys. It's easy to get suckered in by the myriad options. Here's a simple example.

Don't Lose Your Head - Alternate (as it should sound)

Don't Lose Your Head - Alternate (the grunge arena version)

The fuzz version is fun, but it makes me feel like a dirty liar. Maybe it shouldn't. I'm perfectly comfortable using digital effects to enhance a certain sound I want to hear. So where's the line?

Monday, April 12, 2010

The unexpected favorite

Matthew decided a while back that the song "Don't Lose Your Head" would also sound good with a little less pop and a little more jangle. We were planning to record this for the longer set of songs.

However, he was playing it while warming up to record some other songs. He mentioned how nice it will be to eventually record it. Since he was obviously in the mood for the song, I created a new file and told him to just record it now.

It's a little irritating (as the drummer) that this is my favorite thing we've recorded. Simple and beautiful. Probably because the pressure was off and we weren't TRYING to get a great sound.

Orgy. You know, like, and organ. Part 2

Here are the songs for which we recorded organ.

It's All Coming Together

The organ comes in after the first section. It's a short song, but I can't get it out of my head. We wanted the organ be up front, with the guitar mostly serving as rhythm.

Better Version of Me

The organ has strong presence all the way through the song. It starts by itself, with drums and guitar jumping in after a few seconds. The song has imperfections in the syncing of guitar and drums, but that gives it a fairly good live feel, like we're playing in the church. It's one of my favorite songs to play.

Don't Lose Your head

Here the organ serves as a support function. Something to give the background an extra layer. Comes in after about 50 seconds. I'm getting a little lost in reverb and amp simulations on this one, but it's fun.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Orgy. You know, like, an Organ. Part 1

Today Matthew and I recorded some organ for a few songs. It's something we've been looking forward to for a while. This post is all pictures. The next one will have the music.

The setup at Stone Chapel is a Hammond Organ(which predates the B3), hooked up to twin Leslie 122 cabinets. It's an absolutely gorgeous sound when you're in the room.

We put the mic about 2/3 to the back of the church and 10 feet up. This was to mic the room, not just the cabinets. Once get this far back, the tone from both cabinets and the reverb of the room all come together.

Matthew wrote and performed all the parts. I played the role of audio engineer (and photographer).

I'm working on incorporating the organ part into the songs. Look for the music samples soon.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Six songs in various states

It's definitely been a while since my last post. We have been working on the first batch of songs before we swing around and apply our learning to the rest. There's still plenty of mixing to do, especially in bringing out a warmer, fuller guitar sound. Opinions are appreciated.

Here are the first six as the are now...

Better Version of Me

Just drums and guitar so far, but I think it's sounding great. We're adding organ and vocals soon.

Don't Lose Your Head

One of the more complete songs. We need to add Aimee's vocals in the background.

It's All Coming Together

This is my (Zach) attempt. It's me on guitar and djembe. We'll also add organ and vocals to this.

Maybe Kisses

The dancing song. It's fun, but I think the guitar may need to be re-recorded in better tune.

Move On

Might just be complete.

New York in Winter

I sped up this song without Matthew's permission. We'll see how he feels. The current vocals are scratch.