Monday, May 11, 2009

Studio wrap up

It's been a busy few weeks. Ed was free the week of Monday April 20th to Friday, so it was an intensive week. By the end of Friday we just didn't want to listen to any more music at all. Not by no one no how.

Monday 4/20 - Flo putting down back up vocals for "Accelerate" & "Sylvie".

Greg: (peeking through the glass window) Are you out there?
Flo: Yeah!
Greg: Find your center
Flo: My placenta?

Greg: You just have to pick a note that actually IS a note!
Greg: That was an interesting note. - kind of a 'Thomas Dolby ate my Buick' note

Ed: That was a good idea. I liked that
Greg: Flo had a good idea? Mark your calendars.

Greg: Are you ready? I have faith in you, You're a woman. (sings)
"I am woman. Hear me roar. In numbers too great to ignore" -
They should have taken away women's rights after that song.

Greg: We watched "A Shot in the Dark", the Pink Panther movie last night with Elke Sommer. You know it's going to be stupid, but you laugh hysterically. It's exercised stupidity
Ed: That's what we should call TagYerit - exercised stupidity

Flo: That's kind of weird
Greg: Even for you
Flo: I'm throwing that in there, in case Ed wants to use it.
Ed: Don't worry, there's toilet paper in the bathroom

Ed: Maybe we'll have them (the backgrounds) come from outer space.
Flo: Maybe we should get rid of this crap.
Ed: No, we have an idea for this

Flo: (referring to the lyric she just sang) Do you think "birth" was okay?
Greg: Yes
Ed: It's the afterbirth we're worried about

Overheard during the lunch break ...
Ed: (to Greg) Have you got a napkin?
Flo: He's got paper towel.
Greg: I have to fold it for you nice
Ed: It's a napkin, not an effen flag

Ed & Rich reunite as The Vulgar Boatmen (last heard on the background of"Joy 1995). This time they're singing "licka the lollipop / tell us our teeth will rot". Well maybe singing isn't the right word.

Ed: I'm getting nervous about our having to sing our parts
Rich: Really?
Ed: That means Flo will have to supervise us
Rich: Oh? Now I'm nervous

The banter is low key on Tuesday & Wednesday
- 4/21 Flo sings her background vocals on "Neat Junk" & adds guitar tracks for "Neat Junk" & "Sylvie". Then Greg & Ed Mix "Accelerate".

- 4/22 Ed & Greg spend the day mixing Pirate Bride. There are many tracks to go through and it takes the whole day to mix.

Ed: Here's how I picture it. At first that guitar is like a boat coming in from way out in the horizon. From quieter to louder and wetter to drier on the bass and the fuckin' guitar. I could be wrong. This could suck. You know me. (Greg tries something). See that's way too tasteful.
Greg: (laughs) I'll have to work on this.
Ed: There's 4 figures, each one should be less wet. You know what I mean - so it's moving from far away and moving closer.
(note: "wet" refers to reverb effect. More reverb is wetter, less is dryer. )
Ed: So the last one will be normal
Greg: (silence working on the board)
Ed: Are you listening to me?
Greg: I hear you - just choosing to ignore you
Ed: That's okay so long as you'll know later why you find yourself on the floor.

Ed: (mumbles something)
Flo: Don't hate today
Ed: Why'd you say that?
Flo: That's what YOU said
Ed: I said, what'd you eat today?

Ed's getting pissed that Greg is fussing over the intro so long
Flo: If he (Ed) gets a little food in him - he won't be quite so cantankerous.
Greg: "Cantankerous" is his hobby - he's like a playful little gerbil that bites you sometimes.

Greg: I've got to figure out what these guys are doing (referring to Flo's background vocals)
Ed: Sounds like heroin

When Greg played back one of Flo's vocal tracks, we can hear her say quietly, "Oh my god that's awful"

Thursday 4/23 At the end of each day we take home a copy of the mix and listen to it to check for any possible problems. It's different listening to the mixes on a car stereo, small computer speakers and other inexpensive equipment. Keep in mind that the mixes are created in the studio on beautiful sounding speakers. Under those circumstances, we decided that Pirate Bride still needed work and it took almost 2 more hours till it was the way we wanted it.
Now back to the banter ...

Ed: Greg I'm talking to you
Greg: (stops what he was doing) Did it ever occur to you that maybe what I'm doing is more important than some petty thing you're interested in.

Rich: I registered
Greg: Did you hear that Marilyn Chambers died?
Flo: Who's that?
Ed: made movies
Rich: Porn
Flo: Did you say that is a porn site
Rich: No, I said Marilyn Chambers was in porn movies
Rich: Maybe she was in a pirate bride movie
Ed: Well she did have booty and a great chest

Fortunately mixing "Sylvie" (aka The Trick Or Treat Trials) went pretty quickly especially after Pirate Bride had taken so long.

Flo: There's still a ghost voice
Greg: Well there's supposed to be a ghost, it's a halloween song.

We were also able to mix "Neat Junk."

Friday April 24, 2009
- Flo recording background vocals for "Mount Katahdin"

Flo: Can I tap my foot?
Greg: Sure if you want it on the track .... You could take your shoe off
Flo: OK
Ed: Take your pants off too. that will help.

Greg: Are you ready?
Flo: Yeah
Greg: Just remember what Eddie said. You don't want to make him mad.

Greg: Just in time - click your toes together
Greg: What you should do is join a marching band over the summer
Ed: You can carry the drums
Greg: A uniform - Rich will like that you like feathers?

- Rich played the chime (bell - singing bowl) on "Mount Katahdin" ... well, Rich hit the chime and then Ed & Greg moved them on the track to where they sounded good.

Thurs. April 30,2009
- Flo recorded background vocals for "Dryada"

Greg: Are you ready?
Flo: Yeah
Greg: Do you want me to tell you a joke
Flo: No, I heard enough on the ride over.

Flo: That part repeats do you want me to redo it
Greg: Yes, If I have to suffer, then I want you to suffer along with me. I've given up on my christian philosophy. So you WILL do it again.
Flo: Okay
Greg: You're awful accepting of my change in philosophy.

Greg: If you died tonight we have one good enough, but seeing as how you're here, let's get a better one.

Thursday May 7, 2009

Some math whiz decided that 5/7/09 is Odd Day, one of 6 events in a century. It's where the month/day/year are consecutive odd numbers. (unless you use the European notation). I suspect fans of set theory can find other numerical anomalies to fill up the other 36 thousand plus days of the century.

Not that I can't relate to a fascination with insignificant numerical displays. I have a thing for digital clock numbers - Any that read the same right side up and upside down ... like 9:06 & 11:11

Flo explains what background vocals she'll be adding to "Neva Prepared"

Greg: Where does this start?

Flo: in the beginning

Ed roars

Greg records one through: Sounds pretty good, but I need to record the beginning again.

Ed:I'm not happy

Flo: Ed you can get rid of any of this you don't want.

Ed: Okay. You're done. Come on in. No, no - I'm just kidding.

Flo (sings): "A startled snake"

Greg: I've been taking new medication for reptile dysfunction

Ed to Greg: don't you love me?

Greg: That's one word for it

Rich & Flo add the shout outs on the tag at the end. Greg processes some of them to sound like they're coming through a telephone. He's been wanting to use this effect on other songs. Finally got his chance. Then he spent some time getting the bass on the D part to be more dominant. He tried a number of approaches. The Max Bass program did the trick.

Neva Prepared is the last of 8 songs. We'll take a short break from the songs before mastering, so we can hear them with fresh ears. In the meantime we'll be working on the graphics.