I felt right at home from the word ‘go’ and we got stuck in straight away with laying down a scratch track followed by a couple of full band takes for our first song “Facing the Giants”. We were happiest with the third and fourth takes and when it came to the choice between which one we wanted to work with we chose three.
My drum part was done using a nice Mapex kit but I was having problems with the kick. It took me quite a while to actually set up the kit the way I liked it but it was so different to the kit I was used to playing back at the cabin. So, despite the one or two inconsistencies I noticed in with some of the rimshots and kicks, once the other tracks had been laid on top and everything was blended together, most of the mistakes were unnoticeable – phew!
The thing that made the day so enjoyable was not just the music – it was the attitudes of everyone in my band. Everyone was having a good time and there was a pleasant atmosphere as a result. Yesterday I got to sit in the ‘Producer’s chair’ (which felt similar to Dad’s chair at home, funnily enough!) I was amazed at how much I picked up just being in a studio environment and because I was given the opportunity to experiment with some of the sound equipment.
I think some of the most fun I had the whole week was playing the bassline for one of Band B’s songs “Amos 9:11” two days later. I was 90% happy with the way the track sounded (not that it made a difference this time as it wasn’t my band so I wasn’t producer – although I was asked for a 2nd opinion now and then).
I was relieved when I came home after the final day in the studio not only because of the concentration and demands from the band and Tony (the Engineer – who was actually really helpful wherever he could be) but also the fact that I’d had to get up at 7 three mornings in a row and had 12 hour days. It was great to have a couple of ‘days off” in-between the Lost Glory recordings, mastering and then Carolina’s song (at the same studio) on the Saturday. Naomi succinctly told me in the minibus on the way home that I’d been in four (soon to be five) recordings this week, so that’s all of the songs, and produced three of the five! That made me feel kinda good!
It was difficult to have any real idea of how the tracks would sound to an outsider who just walked in and heard the overall sound, as I’d often be sat there re-listening to the same track several times in the mix down. All I know is that Dave Markee gave a thumbs up to “Facing the Giants” – that was the only track he had time to listen to. So, I’m pretty adamant that our track passed quality control! The leaders mentioned to us that our songs we’d recorded were the best yet, i.e. the school had never produced such a good result where all of the songs on the album were to the standard that we achieved.
Yesterday (22/05) we had a great day at Tony’s home in rural Statesville. He invited all the musicians over for a celebratory / farewell barbeque. It was also Justin’s 25th birthday so that was a good cause for celebration too. Justin & I had a load of fun ripping it up on Tony’s big quad. We put it through its paces through the woods and down the road. Tony warned us a little later that his neighbour just opposite was a bit of a crazy and gets easily upset when people drive too fast on his small section of driveway. Jason was telling us that before he put his foot down to get away from this guy after he’d upset him and kicked up a load of dust behind him as a precautionary measure.
I spent quite a bit of time acquainting myself with two additional members of the family – a pair of cockatiels! They were so similar to Napoleon and Peach in their character and general behaviour.
We were taken by surprise when Tony showed up with a blank CD-R and we all knew we’d be able to hear the end product of our hard work – all four songs. Me, Caro & Naomi were the only exceptions, we’d be listening to an additional track (“Beautiful Friend”) which we’d sat down to work on for the most part of the evening. After the mix down we finally got finished up at around 11 and were back at base around midnight, so we’d managed to miss dinner altogether and we were all pretty shattered. We listened to the rough mix down track on the way back home and we were very pleased with it.