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Friday, January 22, 2010

Weekly Update 1-22-10

And here's the latest FP info....

1) 'Sycamore' is in the final mixing/mastering stage. We have officially begun listening to the mix on various systems and we're taking notes of any show-stopping quirks that might randomly pop-up. We even have a handful of mono pre-release CDR's floating around because I thought I had the mix in the bag so to speak but then we noticed some trouble with the kick drum levels in the low-low-end (50-60Hz). Also, I need to divvy up the 'master buss reverb' a little bit better to prevent muddiness in the low frequencies. Maybe a smidge less sibilance on the main vocals, a slight volume tweak on the rhythm guitars on one of the section segues, etc.. But overall, if I'm lucky and if my producer/engineering ninja skills are 'on', then all of that could be wrapped up in perhaps a matter of 2-3 hours? (Or if my ninja skills are not 'on', it might take a couple of days?) We'll see what tomorrow brings. But now would be the time to make more frequent stops by our blog as 'Sycamore' will be showing up very very soon....

2) 'Some Other Year' (SOY) will soon become my main focus studio-wise. Jake starts bass recording on it Monday. We previously tried to start on the bass tracks but when we ran into technical issues we decided to postpone tracking his parts. But now we are ready to attack it again and once his bass parts are underway then I will be hot on his trail with my guitar parts. Then more vocals, then ear-candy, then the mixdown. Fun fun fun!

3) 'Marigolds' Pre-Production sessions officially began tonight. Yippee!!! Now for those who are wondering what 'Pre-Production Sessions' are, those sessions are when we actually start fleshing out the instrumentation to a song. Usually a song starts out as a riff or a vocal melody. Then someone comes up with lyrics. Or not. Just depends. But then more riffs and/or lyrics are written to accompany the original riffs/lyrics. And then we start messing with all of those ideas collectively as a band. At that point we all contribute ideas and we feed off of each others ideas and see what just naturally happens. Then those ideas start getting arranged in whatever order seems best and then we usually try to capture as many of those ideas and sections as possible by recording ourselves playing as a band (this is usually done by recording via my iPhone or maybe by sticking a single mic up in the middle of the room). And so we record those 'diamond-in-the-rough' ideas before they evaporate (and before we all go our separate ways until the next band practice) and then those ideas get listened too and tweaked and modified as needed, and then those rough recordings become our sketchbook of the song's arrangement. A blueprint of the song if you will. So all of that effort goes into every song before we ever attempt to 'officially' record anything. But that insures that everyone has a clear direction on what needs to take place in the recording sessions once we actually start producing the song. Pre-Production ends up being more about putting more effort at the beginning of a song's life in order to make the recording phase of things much more efficient and productive. And that is where 'Marigolds' is currently at: the Pre-Production phase. And this is the stage of things where most of the cool moments and magic happens. We all screw up or miss our cues on something, or maybe someone drops a beat or plays the wrong note and the right time, etc.. But when those 'oops' moments occur, sometimes they can become the heart and soul of a song. I can't count how many times I have messed up on something guitar-wise only to discover changes and ideas that were completely brilliant. All because I made a mistake. And that happens to us as a band. And it's good when those new ideas manifest themselves. And so in a nutshell, that is Pre-Production. Probably the most enjoyable part of a song's creation....

4) Random tidbits from my brain: Long Island Iced Tea is pretty good with some orange juice added. So is white wine. Weird. But good. Also, sugar-free Pina Colada flavored popsicles should be against the law. Period. Pina Colada is such a unique flavor anyway, and it revolves around sweetness, so why make 'sugar-free' versions of it in a popsicle form? If the good Lord wanted pineapples and coconuts to taste sour then He wouldn't have put natural sugars in them. Right?! Needless to say I made myself finish the popsicle in question, but it won't happen again. Just plain nasty. I think the inventor of sugar-free Pina Colada popsicles must not have any tastebuds on his or her tongue. Or maybe it was a terrorist attack....against good flavor. Blah....

5) I go in for new glasses and contacts tomorrow (along with Tyler and Anderson). Debating on whether or not to tell the optometrist that I am starting to have problems seeing certain things up close. Not bad. Just starting to notice it gradually. Hmmm....

So that's all for now. Will post again soon. Thanks for stopping by!

~ Todd

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