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October 5, 2007

Another Day, Another Noise Complaint

Last evening I brought all my recording junk over to Seth's place. His roommate was gone for the week, so we both took that as a sign to go make some loud noises. We set up his drums in the living room and crammed all my recording gear in there with 'em. And I donned my earplugs...

This time we got five songs done. Not bad since we didn't actually hit record until about 7:00 or 7:30... Oh man but was I tired by the end of the night... It was somewhere around 1 am I think when we quit. Which is late for me these days. When I have to get up for work the next day (and bring bagels, at that).

Here's what we worked on:

Every Time I Close My Eyes
Pretty standard cool drumming on this one. Seth did a cool part on the instrumental part before the last verse.

Pretty Darrrrrrn Great. Think the drums on 'Wolf at the Door' mixed with Ringo Starr, but played by a jazz drummer. something like that.

Not Yourself
Brushes - sounds AWESOME.

Maybe Not
I think there's some cross stick in this one, kinda perky happy sounding, which realllly works nicely with the stupid-depressing lyrics.

Human Nature and Love
Probably my favorite drumming of the night... REALLY awesome stuff. I was initially thinking that the stuff on this song would have to be REALLY light - and it sort of is - but the drumming is a little bit like Glenn Kotche's (Wilco), in that its not about the beat, but more about an ensemble of percussion instruments. I won't give it all away, but we did some reallly cool stuff on this song.

Recording Notes:

Last time we did this, I draped a comforter over the kick drum and put the soundeluxe outside the kick, but I didn't end up liking that sound very much after I took it home. I remembered how I had liked the sound of the old "NS10 speaker as a microphone" trick for kick drums. So I asked if he had any kind of speaker laying around... He pulled out this radioshack guitar amp (!!). It would work, if we would affix the bare wires from my cut-up mic cable (especially for this purpose) and get em to stay. A lot of speakers have clamps, so it isn't a problem, but not this one. We ended up using some little paper clippy things to mash the contacts together. Gotta love ghetto recording. Can't tell at all from the sound though. Big, deep, "round" bass drum sound.

Speaking of the bass drum, Seth got all new heads for his kit - and the kick head was this special thingy. It had deadening rings on the front head, with the intended purpose, that you wouldn't need to put a pillow or anything inside the drum. Well, that didn't really work out quite like they said, because the back head rang a lot. We ended up putting some padding in there anyway. After we did this, the system really worked great though, because it gave us a lot of flexibility. For songs like 'Chris' and 'Human Nature and Love,' we could just remove one of those foam rings real quick and suddenly, the drum resonated a lot more. Real nice for controlling that stuff.

Input List:

  1. Kick Inside - AKG D112
  2. Kick Outside - RadioShack Guitar Amplifier
  3. Snare Top - Modified (transformerless) SM57
  4. Snare Bottom - RODE NT5
  5. Hi-hat - SM57 (I tried an nt5, but it was clipping out my preamps, no matter what I did. So I had to sacrifice some quality)
  6. All 3 Toms - Seth's cool Shure mini-condenser guys - cant remember the numers now.
  7. Overheads - Seth's SM81's, equidistant from the snare (for phase, nice little trick)
  8. Room - Soundeluxe u195. Moved it into the adjacent room for a few tunes.

Sound clips posted sooner or later. That brings the list of songs with drums up to:

The Way off the Ground
Worlds Unknown
Not Yourself
Is This What You Really Want
Any Happier
Hold On
Every Time I Close My Eyes
Maybe Not
Human Nature and Love

Please continue the discussion of which of the remaining songs need drums, and which of all the songs i've demo'd (or others you know i have but haven't demo'd yet) you would like to see on an album. Thanks!

Posted by pedalboy at October 5, 2007 2:13 PM | TrackBack

"Overheads - Seth's SM81's, equidistant from the snare (for phase, nice little trick)"

Last time I was talking to an engineer guy he mentioned grabbing some rope, and having the drummer hold one end to the snare, and him positioning the OHs equidistant with the rope. I thought it was a fabulous idea, and wondered, since it's so simple, why I hadn't thought of it before. Geez.

Not to be the bearer of bad news, but I hope "Is This What You Really Want" doesn't make the album cut... I think the music is pretty cheesy, honestly.

On another note, I pre-ordered the discbox for In Rainbows today. I'm utterly stoked.

Posted by: Chase at October 5, 2007 4:56 PM

Yeah - read about that one on gearslutz. i just use a mic cable, since they are usually real handy right about the time you are positioning the overheads.

Is This what You Really Want almost certainly won't make the album. I don't think its ALL bad, but it definitely don't fit in with the other songs.

Yeah - discbox is headed my way too. SHOOT DANG!

Posted by: matt at October 5, 2007 7:55 PM

although i loves me the radiohead i'm only getting the download version. i can't justify spending most of my paycheck on something from them that is not a concert. anyway...i am equally stoked about this album. if you look up in rainbows in youtube almost all of the songs that are on the album are marked off that way. so it's a nice little preview.

is this what you really want should not make the cut. it sounds like a jingle more than a song. but it's funny cause you wouldn't sell anything if you're asking "is this what you really want?"

i really want to see firestorm produced a bit more. i think it's got some great melodies in it though i'd go a bit more "andrew bird" with the song.

all this talk of recording makes me want to record with you guys really bad. perhaps sometime around new years if we get the chance. i'm putting it out there.

Posted by: John at October 6, 2007 12:53 AM

by that time ill have my rig. maybe we can do some stuffs.

Posted by: Chase at October 6, 2007 2:36 AM
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