I’m four songs deep into h&s vocals.
The rig may not look very inspiring, but it’s comfortable and sounds good. EV RE320 and CAD M39; I set up the M39 on a lark to see what the omni pattern sounded like on my voice, and ended up really liking it. I had planned on buying a Little Blondie to pair with the RE320 – that’s what we’re using for Mars Lights, and it sounds great – but I think it’s more the omni pattern, and less the Blondie specifically, that I think works with my voice.
(Here’s a great article on mic polar patterns I just ran across: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/using-microphone-polar-patterns-effectively)
Lyrics for only two more songs are ready to go, so it may be slower going after this as I need to finish writing. Scott’s school year is over but he’s been in Orlando with kids on a band/choir trip; once he’s back and has a few rounds of golf under his belt, we’ll figure out when and where we’ll track his backing vocals and any other of his instrumental bits.
Death’s “Human” – https://open.spotify.com/album/6AvvqTkgRqq3L4bD9qYfjD
Cory asked me to send him the most extreme metal album I liked, knowing that the toughest thing he’s into is Mastodon. This is what I came up with.
It took a long time because as I listened I realized that almost everything I like, relative to what he likes, pushes one musical element to the edge but lets other things be a little more conventional. For example, Sleep has clean vocals, but the riffs are slower and more repetitive than anything Cory’s probably listened to. Skeletonwitch has harsh vocals but the riffs are accessible, like Iron Maiden on speed. Condor is blackened and evil, but are kind of a basement punk band at heart, and it shows, and they know it.
Death stands apart. Human is a classic in the sub-sub-genre of technical death metal, two sub-genres I normally have little to do with. Death metal is fast, abrasive/harsh, evil, and often lower-fidelity; tech is like it sounds, using weird scales that can almost sound like 12-tone music (no tonic note), fast changes, and very precise playing. Tech is the intersection of metal people and math/music theory people’s interests.
But there is something about this record that bangs for me, something about the band’s ‘voice’ that works and is relate-able and awesome. I only checked it out because it was on some top metal albums list I’ve since lost track of, and for whatever reason, I hung with it. It’s not catchy, the vocals are pretty harsh, the riffs and underlying rhythms change completely every twenty seconds, it’s not even really heavy (though it’s aggressive in a different way), and it’s mostly nothing that I like about metal, but I keep listening to it.
Long-time readers may recall my opinion of song fade-outs (quite negative). Spiritualized’s 1992 album Pure Phase is good, maybe even great, but it has a ton of fade-outs.
I had some fun playing with them to see if I could make the record flow more smoothly to my ears. If you want to check out the results, here’s Pure (Unbroken) Phase (Mr. Furious edit): https://we.tl/yxepnXUh5d
The link expires in 7 days.
This project will not mean much to you if you don’t know Pure Phase pretty well (though you may enjoy the music!). Most of the changes are subtle cross-fades between songs and moving the points at which one track breaks into the next. “These Blues” got the only significant edit, and if you listen close there’s a tiny Easter egg in Feel Like Goin’ Home.
My brain can finally breathe, after a four-month push to track bass for the h&s record. Most of that time was spent developing the Wheeler Leveling Amplifier pedal (pictured below) after my initial pedal setup proved unsatisfactory. Actual recording has happened in the past three or four weeks.Now I intend to do miscellaneous, mostly non-musical stuff for a couple/few weeks before setting up mics for vocals.
The record sounds really cool. After a couple years of talk, prep work, and drum/sax tracking, the guitars and bass put down over the past six months have transitioned it from a place of hopes and plans into something concrete. While we have a ways to go, now you can tell pretty much what it’s going to sound like, and that’s exciting.
I’m confident we’ll be sharing and celebrating it next summer.
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