Final week of classes and exams for Michigan. As of writing this post I’m officially done. Unfortunately (luckily) for me, I’ve still got a month of Dale Carnegie to go, so I’m tied to Ann Arbor for the next 40 days with nothing occupying my time other than Monday evenings.
In other words, I’ll have nothing but time to finish this blasted album once and for all. If I don’t get it done by the end of May, it’ll never get done. I’ll head back to school and get my computer science degree like a good little boy.
But anyway, I digress. And I’ll digress for a bit further for a bit, because I haven’t updated the blog for a few days and there is Stuff to talk about, such as…
The Audio Studio
I’ve only recently gotten certified in the Audio Studio at Michigan. Never bothered to do it before because the EMS A served literally every one of my needs. Sure, the EMS B and Audio Studio have console boards twice the size of A’s. But I do all my mixing in the box, in Pro Tools. Boom, $900,000 of irrelevance.
That being said, I decided before I left Ann Arbor that I should at least check it out (and as a techie I felt I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least have access to all studios). So I did, and I got in there early Monday.
It’s a beautiful space, it really is. I’ll take some pictures next time so you get a sense of the scope of the thing. The electronic music studios are just one room but the Audio Studio is three, with various accompanying closets. Recording myself in it was weird: I’d sit in the control room, hit the record button, sprint to the adjoining room, and start playing.
Oh, right. The recording. So the one advantage the Audio Studio does have over the EMS A is that it has a real live piano, which, like… thank god, because the one in the EMS A was starting to murder me.
I plugged myself in and starting jigging around for about 30 minutes or so, and then in the final few minutes recorded a version of Never Say Goodbye. I’ll upload both. Funny fact – the first 30-minute playaround turned out to be exactly 1667 seconds long. Read into that what you will.
I’ve uploaded the 1667 jig, mistakes and all, and the NSG demo as well, also with mistakes. You can hear me coming into the record room from the control room at the beginning, as well as swearing intermittently. Sonorus got off easy this time, luckily.
Because I cannot contain myself whenever I’m around a piano, I threw in a surprise at the end of the Never Say Goodbye piano recording. Rather forgot about it until I realized the thing was twice as long as it should’ve been.
Never Say Goodbye:
Anyway, that was Monday. Today it was back to business, in the “lesser” but rather more accessible
Electronic Music Studio A
So yeah, I worked on Britannic Angel today. I finished more of the skeleton and then headed over to do vocals. This one’s always been strangely weird to sing – not that any of the notes are particularly hard, it’s just getting the attitude and inflection right. Many times while recording vocals for this one I’ve found myself slurring the words badly, and not giving it that devil’s-grin quality that it begs. Working on it, though…
Another fun fact about the vocals – nothing was scripted ahead of time. I literally didn’t have any words written for it the first time I stepped in front of the mic, and just started spewing out whatever came into my head. This is also why in the second verse the background vocals don’t quite match with the lead vocals in some parts – it’s because instead of me singing anything intelligible, it’s me going “merf schmerf hum ho,” as a result of me not being able to think of anything.
The levels in this one are annoying me a lot. It’d help if I were a better singer, but I’m not, so I really need all the help I can get.
Which reminds me – at some point I was getting really irritated that the vocals weren’t coming through cleanly and I started swearing at the mic until I realized that the reason everything sounded so soft was because I was singing into the wrong goddamned side of the microphone. Ladies and gentlemen… Jack Sligh.
Here’s what I ended up with. I took the annoying fake-guitar sound out, so there’s that. Lots of work to go on this one.