Album Challenge: Post 7

Vocals: I know I go on about finding the right key for the vocals. Let me go on further. It’s not just about making it singable. It’s about using the voice so it’s appropriate for the song. There were a couple of ways I could sing this. Start the vocals high on the verse and drop down an octave for the chorus. Do the opposite. Go into falsetto. Technically lots of options. But where in these options do the vocals match the emotional content of the song? I tried out a few things in the studio. Quickly transposing the music. Final decision was made in the shower. I was singing in a place where things just sounded right. The verse was dropped an octave and had a mellow sound to it. The chorus has more energy and climbes into falsetto which is way prettier then belting the thing out.

If you are a vocalist I’d recommend you sing your ideas to tape… er, drive and arrange the music around them. Plus or minus a few cents.

Inspiration: I’ve been thinking of doing a “domestically” inspired album for years now. That is, home life. A house, maybe some kids, yard work, taping HBO, a wife.  Ooops, wrong order dear.

Isn’t that where rock stars go to die? Don’t mind that. I’ve heard great rock music that took it’s inspiration from the Holocaust, or huffing organic compounds, or dead-end jobs. The common thread being inspiration. Passionate singing about entomology is better then ho-hum songs about love. Yeah love. The thing that conquers all. Lays kingdoms in ruin. In the end it’s not about the topic so much as the authors emotions toward the topic.

Is this one highfalutin justification for some boring-ass topic I’m taking up? Maybe. But put some damn tea on for your puppy! please.

This song is exactly what it sounds like. Me nagging my wife to make some tea before we watch taped HBO. Mmmm, that’s good domestication.

Drums: There ain’t noting wrong with a little bump and grind. The natural corollary? There ain’t nothing wrong with bone dry snare. Don’t fear the ambiance reaper.

A good sounding bone dry close mic-ed snare can sound glorious. If it doesn’t sounds like huggin’ angels it still sounds pretty good. That’s what’s going on here if you must know (and you don’t). Not an ambient mic for miles. I think it works. Take note inner producer.

The cymbals are also bone dry close mic-ed and damped. This puts them right at the front of the mix but they don’t take up too much sonic space with decay.

Back up. Did I talk about dampening in BFD? Well it’s a lot like real dampening. On the kick I wanted the boom so no dampening. Let it ring out. Later I may tune it. Try to match the decaying pitch to the song. Most of that is pretty low and won’t be heard by your average playback systems. Some it will. Unlike the snare I left all the ambient mics in place on the kick. There is a good deal of high and mids in those. Space. If it’s a retro Bonham feel I’m 110% ok with that.


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