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Recording Ye Ole Band Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 11th January 2008
  #31
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Well...


Joe called me the other day and said that everybody agreed on new mixes for the CD, so we set a date.

I did not mention money, neither did he.

"I'll bring the list of comments with me so that we can mix as the band wants it"



Oh... mix by numbers... again the band members did not care enough to be present.

Less people in the CR is good, but in this case I'd rather have an extra couple of band members in.


The day arrives and I get a CD-R of the old and unmastered mixes to listen in the car on the way to the studio; I arrive early and I play the CD on the monitors too while I set everything up for the session so that when we read on the list "less trombone on song X" I can put less than what we had instead of less than what I think it should be.


Joe is late so I use the time to listen to the whole CD-R again and set up a first mix.


Joe comes in and as we start he tells me that the T-Bone player will come in later.

- Great! we'll have someone else here helping us mix!

"No, he wants to re-do a couple of parts... besides, he can't be long because he's got a plane to catch"


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stay tuned
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Old 13th January 2008
  #32
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The T-bone was supposed to come in later, so we just started mixing, trying to follow the written instructions.

"So YZ, what are we doing in this song?"

- We're mixing with less T-Bone, more gtr, more clarinet in the solo.

"And how is it sounding to you?"

- Well, I mixed it to sound good to me and then reduced the T-Bone, put more gtr and I'm pushing up the clarinet in the solo, so I guess we're going in the direction of the directions, how is it sounding to you, Joe?

"Uh, sounds Ok"

- Ok, let's print it and go to the next one.


"And what are we doing in this one?"

- more tpt on the ensemble, more of the banjos; nobody said anything about the bass but I think it was a little loud in the original mix so I pulled it back a little; the banjos seemed Ok to me in the original mix, I think that they got masked a bit by the piano which was a tad loud, except in the solo; I also thinned a bit the jazz gtr because I believe that its fatness was fighting with the bass and that's why we put so much bass in the original mix.

"Ok"

- Let's listen again before printing.


we print and go to the next one.


- Joe, how's this sounding to you?

"perfect"

- We were asked to add more tpt and reduce the gtr, so if it sounds perfect to us now as it did before, then it is time to add tpt and pull back the gtr; listen now.

"Seem quite good, the tpt is louder but not overpowering, it works"

- printing...


And so on, until the T-bone arrived.


The T-Bone comes in and wants to play a new part in a song where the gtr solo was weak; we will replace the gtr solo with the new T-bone.

So we go.

A couple of takes and we're done.

"YZ, my sound is much better today, I'm playing better and more relaxed, let me re-do my solo on another song"

- Ok.


3 takes and we're fine; the T-bone is excited.

"Joe, YZ, you know about song X? it has lyrics and I remember that in the old times I used to sing a verse in our shows... play it for me and I'll se if we can squeeze it in..."

- You used to sing in the shows? (Joe looks at me with a confirming but sad look)

"Yes, I would just put down the 'bone and sing into the mic..."

- Ok, let me set up a proper mic.

And I put up a 58.

What? well, it is the classic club mic, probably what they were using in the shows; I'm not being lazy, I'm trying to make things work here.

"Yes, that's it", the T-Bone says.

We listen to the song and yes, the gtr is soloing in the spot he used to sing and frankly the solo is usable but not that hot.


So... we do one, two, three takes. no good. we nail it on the fourth. I did not have much trouble riding the vocal mic, his dynamics were very predictable.

"I'd like to retouch a little thing on another song..."

Joe interferes saying that we've just mixed that one today, and the T-Bone rests.

We get back to mixing, when suddenly Joe asks me:

"The 'Bone left already? He shouldn't!"

Joe leaves the CR to find that the guy was in the bathroom, tells him to come in when he's finished there.

We go back to the mix.

'Bone joins us and as we print that one Joe tells him to write the check for me.

"How much is that, YZ?"

- $

He writes the check, compliments me on the sound and speed, "I wish all my recordings were like that, just come in and play with no problems"... "pity that I can't stay, I have to run to the airport; thanks again YZ. Joe, you are taking good care of this whole thing, I'm loving everything and let's see if we can record some more soon!"



A few good words mean a lot. when we get back to the mixes I can feel that Joe is lighter-hearted and in better spirits; he even took control of the mixes instead of asking me what we were supposed to do; he finally wore the producer's hat.



- Is that OK?

"We should have more gtr, now that we pushed up the banjos too, it is being buried by them"


"leave the T-bone where it is, they asked for less of it but it is right, we are actually missing a bit of the sax"


"Back off the drums a bit on this one, I was a bit too enthusiastic when I played it"


"Now, when 'Bone comes singing, do not mute the gtr solo, just turn it down a bit, the gtr actually soloed as if it were the singer so it will provide a good shadow for the vocal which is a little weak... just a little less gtr... and yet a bit less... good."


The day ended quickly, we worked fast.

Now I'm mastering the CD.

We have new mixes of most of the songs, so in strict terms this is no longer a mastering revision but a whole new mastering job, but the thought of asking for more money for it never crossed my mind; I'm not exactly fully booked at this moment so I have the time.

Sure this thing had its tense moments and the production structure was less than ideal, but... this is music, and of the pleasing kind, and the guys are cool.


Just thinking about all the cr*p I've recorded in the 25+ years I'm in this business, all of the empty promises, all of the... well, those in the know, know what I'm talking about.



Well, I still have to wait for their comments on the next ref CD-R I'll send them...



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will probably continue
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Old 7th February 2008
  #33
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Just to let you know.

Got some news today...

It seems that the last batch of mixes were approved, finally, and the CD will be released.

The band is considering recording yet another project with me in the near future, the guys may be reuniting again in a couple of months, and the drummer's band is writing arrangements and will start to rehearse to get ready to record too.

There's a strong possibility that the two other bands (the trumpetist's and the pianist's) will book me over the next few months.

I already spoke to Joe Drummer and told him that while the recording and mix costs will remain the same, we'll have to talk about the mastering fee again because that was a one-time price to get that particular project finished.

He said he understood my position and it is all a matter of presenting the costs to the band at the right moment.

So it seems that it ended very well for everybody and that single project may turn into a total of five albums.

I'm happy.
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