Recording Update 3

June 1, 2012 by  

Hey all,

Just another quick recording update from the studio, and as I mentioned in the last two updates, there will be proper video diaries coming soon. We figure it makes more sense to do the actual album first before we get to the “making of” videos. ;)

So… rhythm guitars, hey?

Anyone who has been keeping up with my Twitter feed can tell that it’s been a frustrating affair for me. I’m not sure what happened along the way but somehow I’ve managed to write an album that’s an absolute nightmare for me to play. It’s not the fastest parts I’ve ever written (well for the most part; one song is doing quadruple time blast beats at 260 bpm so… yeah, some of it is pretty damn fast), there’s been more complex rhythm lines on previous albums (again for the most part, but there’s definitely some finger twisters on this one), and the layering of parts on this is no more complex than anything we’ve done before… and yet this stuff is unbelievably difficult for me to play this time.

There’s been a bit of a fresh take on some of the arrangements on this album – new chord shapes, new syncopated patterns we haven’t done before, some crazy odd-time measure stuff that have annoying string-skipping sections that require certain parts to start with an upstroke so the riff is playable later. It’s little things like that which are generally making the entire process really annoying. Plus, since we have a lot more stuff going on with synths and sequences in the background, everything has to be absolutely spot-on tight to lock in with the arrangement, there’s absolutely no room for sloppy playing at all.

In short: ARGH!! :(

But I’m nearly there with my rhythm tracks. I’ve done all but Walk Away and The Last Encore now. And let me say now that I can’t be held responsible if I suddenly break down in tears and curl up rocking in a foetal position if anyone mentions The Chalkboard Prophet any time soon.

From what I gather, Mark is doing well with his two songs at his studio and I expect his tracks to be sent over really soon to drop into the master project here.

Unlike a lot of bands, we choose to have the key songwriter do all of their own rhythm tracks rather than having each guitarist do their own live part. Everyone plays slightly differently and, while that can add a nice vibe on stage as each player bounces off of each other, for albums we’ve found that we end up with a tighter performance if the one guy does all of the tracks, especially so on this album because of the backing stuff I mentioned earlier.

With any luck I’ll have all my tracks done by tomorrow and then I can start on melody guitars, which are basically simple harmony lines, reinforcing melodies that play under vocals or add colour to the rhythm guitars. That’s going to be a nice break from the precision of the rhythms and the calm before the storm that is the lead guitars.

OK, better get back to it! More updates and video clips soon! :)

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