Go, Do, Be.

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01/17/2009  — 

Song-A-Day Shopping List

Just a few weeks left before we start the 2009 Song-A-Day festivities (a.k.a. 29 Songs). Looks like I really need to clean out the garage and the website before this gets going.

Maybe I can pick up a few things to help things along this year too. Here's a shopping list I jotted-down on the BART one night this week:

  • batteries! Mostly for the tuner, but I'll play around with different sounds a bit more this year.
  • strings for the acoustic guitar.
  • sm57: snare sounds have been lame. Maybe this'll help? Maybe properly tuning my snare will help more.
  • midi controller: I'd love to play with one of these.
  • Another samson mic to record in stereo (from the road).
  • a proper mic stand for the kick drum. I lost mine somewhere along the way.
  • A piano. I meant to get one at some point in '08, mostly for the girls. I used to play a little, would love to have one in the family.

What am I forgetting?

If you have any interest at all in joining the fray, please shoot me a note. As you can see this is a great excuse to go out and buy some gear. Your spouse will surely agree.

02/14/2008  — 

More Lack of Engineering

After the last post about my lack of audio engineeritude, I came home to find the mic in the same absurd position as I left it after recording ' 2 i5 b3tt3r than 0n3'. As you can see, I wasn't really aiming it at the kit AT ALL...

Better Drum Recording: So I literally dusted off my recording gear and tried to use my standard shortcuts and equipment (D112, Oktava C-12s, SM58) to record 'Doomed From The Start'.

Guitar stuffs: More from recording 'Doomed'. I played the Fender Lead II into the Zvex Nano Amp into the Mesa 4x12. I think that thing is packed with celestions. I'll have to doublecheck tho. I'm using the Zvex instead of the dual rectifier because it sounds nice and because of the late-night recording sessions.

I recorded 'Doomed' with a SM58 about 6 inches away from the speaker.

Vocals went through the Pacific Pro Audio - LD-2UBE and I think I heard what Derek was singing about in his song about the microphone. There's something almost too transparent about the sound. I'll muck around with this a little more.

02/13/2008  — 

Engineering... and lack of

Lots of new stuff to listen to on the 29 songs site, so get started! I won't link directly to songs, just go click on the player.

Bruce: what's your deal? You're getting incredible guitar tones. You're playing all over the place... hitting jan hammer, buckethead, and tbone burnett in the same week.

  • Black carpet fuzz - I loves me some fuzz. What are you using here?
  • Sunshine - really polished, nice build.
  • Smile - what am I listening to here? This sounds great.

Seth: You are cranking winners out at what, like 3 at at time? You'll have 2 years of material to refine by March at this pace.

  • you leaving - very catchy, I sang that one for a few days.
  • In fifths - fun!
  • Something on me - I love the Billy Joel vibe: "I got you right where..."
  • Simply meant... - I especially like the b section.
  • Valentine - nice, quiet, sweet lyrics... oh yeah, it's almost valentine's day isn't it.

Peter: You're in the week 2 doldrums but you can bust through!

  • This thing - you cranked that out on the fly? I love the woodwind arrangements.
  • Long Road - deep & dark.

Derek:

  • Bugs - I know 30 thousand people in india who will stand up in their cubicles and cheer when they hear that song
  • Bird - roolz of course. Props for playing to the ad-lib'd a-capella vocals. Exploit those kids!
  • Anne Hamburger - It's stuck in my mind now too.
  • Microphone - You can have it if you really want it.

Derek & I had a funny chat about engineering voodoo the other day:

Chriz Greacen: one final final factoid...

Derek: k

Chriz Greacen: I'm borrowing a drum kit from tornatore.

Chriz Greacen: it sounds AMAZING.

Chriz Greacen: it's just a really nice sounding kit. something custom

Derek: how do you record vocals?

Derek: where is the mic aimed?

Derek: distance?

Chriz Greacen: http://www.drumsolo.cc/index.html

Chriz Greacen: vocals: mic aimed at my mouth

Chriz Greacen: it's about 2 feet away

Chriz Greacen: I'm standing under a surfboard

Chriz Greacen: which is right at my head level

Chriz Greacen: and right near the mic

Derek: what color surfboard?

Chriz Greacen: I wonder if that has any effect.

Chriz Greacen: it's white

Chriz Greacen: but it's in a big silver bag

Derek: is that the secret?

Chriz Greacen: and it has wax on it.

Chriz Greacen: could be!

Derek: I've tried everything, from aiming the mic at my nostrils, mouth, forhead, pointing up, down and straight on, distant, not so distant, up close, etc

Derek: I can't get any midrange. Just irritating fizzy highs and muddy lows

Chriz Greacen: I'll give you the mic to try if you want.

Chriz Greacen: I just need to get my 'real' studio truly dusted off.

Derek: it's likely my voice, but everything records that way through the mic. Maybe I don't llike my mic.

I'm uniquely unsuited for handling engineering responsibilities of any complexity because of my short attention span, lack of familiarity with the physics of sound, and penchant for shortcuts. I'm not recording engineer, but I played one on the web:

Check out the Clubbo Website for more about the Lazarus project and learn how lazarus keeps rock legends alive.

02/01/2008  — 

29 Songs: Day 1: Took To The Air

Sheesh!

I just barely made it in before midnight. This is gonna be tough.

I came up with the verse on guitar & vocal melody idea over breakfast, but didn't get a chance to sit down and record until about 9pm. A little over 2 hours later, and 'Took To The Air' popped out. I was really itching to record drums for this one, I wish I had my kit in my garage.

Peter, there's still time! C'mon!

I recorded this on my laptop which is completely wrong for the job. Sure, I have the multitrack on there, but I was installing a mp3 codec at 11:15... Gotta get this in shape.

Also, Jim's Samson USB Mic is right for the job. Extremely handy to have this working with the laptop.