I’ve been working steadily on guitars for Fight Songs, switching over from electric to acoustic a few weeks ago. I think I have six left, something like that.
Most (all?) songs are getting two guitar tracks to start with. Then I’ll add some shakers and tambourines and other percussion and get the mixes roughed together before doing vocals. At that point the question will be “What details will help this song?” and the answers will be different for everything, “None!” being a viable option.
Mic is an Audio Technica PRO-37, which I am absolutely loving. It happens to be a very affordable mic, but it sounds like a million bucks to me. To my ear is has a full-frequency, flat-ish response for a small diaphragm condenser, and most importantly the off-axis phase cancellation that’s an inherent aspect of condenser mic design is minimized. Really great.
I finished the Monotribe-based Minirig – quite a while ago – and have had some fantastic jams on it, though I haven’t recorded anything with it yet.
Long story short, there’s drums, two synth voices, two drones (Thereatari, DS-1), and effects. It sits in a sweet spot of possibility and limitation; there’s certainly enough to keep busy and make a full, if minimalist, track, but whatever I make with it retains a kind of smallness befitting the rig itself.
One of the design goals was to build something that could be used for solo performance, and I hope to give that a live test soon.
All the geek stuff below.
Before I go into the different signal paths here, there are two important secrets to know about this collection of boxes:
The Thereatari (left side, multi-colored knobs) contains 3 circuits: the Thereatari noise synth itself, a sub mixer for the Monotribe’s external input (jacks on the Thereatari’s right side with attenuation knob), and a main mixer (jacks on the left side)
I challenged myself to come up with a way to visually communicate the sequence of Night Mode recordings and releases, and the result is below.
OTHER was first recorded, and first released. Dirac Spike was second. So far, so good.
Then Damon and I made a collaborative album that’s finished, but hasn’t been released. In this chart that means it has an entry in the left side “Recorded sequence” column, but no line (because it doesn’t have a “Release sequence”).
The line for Gentleman Scientist was tough to place, but I went with its approximate recording sequence based on when Drew started working on it. This chart displays sequence only, not absolute time; there’s six months between Load Exceedance and Gentleman Scientist, then only one month from GM to Capsule even though the visual gap is larger. This choice prioritizes the story of artistic development from project to project over an accurate depiction of the passage of time.
You can see from the angled line how Your Pain Matters was recorded early but not released until much later. In contrast, we put out Thinking About The Meaninglessness… very shortly after I made it (shown by a nearly-straight line).
Our recent appearances on compilations with “No One,” “No Two,” and “Sonar Love” were sourced from the unreleased albums “Merritt” and “Murder Mountain.” They’re b-sides, not album tracks.
I did this in Excel, with a lot of customization of the data labels.
There’s no record I’ve listened to more in the past five years than Bonzo Madrid’s Worry. (Vhol’s self-titled may be tied, though!) We had CJ on the show to talk about it, unearthing a ton about its origins and meaning, plus – breaking news – a follow-up is coming!
As I work on guitars for Fight Songs, every electric-based tune gets its own sound. (About a third of the songs are electric, the rest are primarily acoustic split between the regular acoustic and the classical.)
Today I did the bridge overdub part on the titular “Fight Song.”
Snark SN-1 tuner
DOD 280 compressor
Mr. Furious Audio Falcon Heavy drive
Mr. Black Shepard’s End flanger
Dawner Prince Boonar delay
The 280 and Falcon Heavy will probably be on everything, or almost everything. Other dirt, modulation, and space pedals get switched out depending on what sounds good for each song.
Next up is “Lost,” a solo acoustic version of which appeared yearrrrrrrrs ago on the Furious Instance comp. I’m planning to try some phaser on the verses. Not sure what else it might need.
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Then, Cory returned to The Long Play Listening Party today to get into the weeds about re-mastering “Pardon My Pretension, But Isn’t It Blackbeard’s Birthday” for modern listening, including on streaming platforms.