This Week in the Studio: 11.01.22
Written by Jimmy
A Score: count ‘em. 11 folks visited the studio today and that is AFTER losing Rob due to flu and Charlotte due to Birthday (Happy Birthday Charlotte!).
The Numbers were staggering. The Saturday Morning Canasta Club with almost full attendance: Ed, Andy, Mike, Martyn, Sophie, Andreas, and Jimmy were in studio most of the day. David, Michael and Gus attending as artists. Hannah managing the lot of us. And Greg visting to finish off Whisper video with Gus and Sophie. Plus dogs and 7 family members/friends roaming the house and we had a ‘score.’
We have days the band loves… long jams, record button seldom on, time to work on one or two songs for the day, randomly go into a jam. Then there are the days that Jimmy and Andy need (we don’t really love them), when we just need to get on and add the bits required to ‘close some songs’ and move on. We have a gig this week at Flat Planet and need to finish the Gus Discover Series and finish a couple Mike songs as well. And we had a rare 2011 appearance from Ed, who now lives in Oslo. So it was about the bits.
- We started at 9 with Jimmy and Andy sorting out the Millbank (Michael’s song). Jimmy was in shuffle mode, which apparently thru Mike’s shaker and Rob’s bass out of whack – this only means something to Pro Tools users, but Jimmy was chastised suitably by Andy. Millbank is largely done now – we just need Michael to agree final mix.
- We then shifted to Sarah Why, where David joined us with Ed to put in some three way backing vocals with Andy, Ed and David. Very fun.
- We had Andreas and Ed on brass, so we added a sax section on to To Be Frank, another Michael number we created last week. It has a clear distinction in breaking the 2.00 minute barrier for one of our songs. Again, this is now largely done other than Michael needing to sort out his vocals on the third verse. Well done Andreas.
- We then pulled an ‘Abubilla’ on One Way Home (see below). Ed was in and added the following to a song that we wanted to keep minimalist: a) a new backing vocals sections going into the chorus with Ed and Hannah belting out some oohs and aahs, b) some double tracking on Gus’s chorus, c) 3 new guitar parts (all trying to sound like some Supergrass song, and d) some more football chanting oo’s and oo’s for Gus, over the girls’ u, e, u’s. Actually, it was originally going to be an o-e-o, but Gus couldn’t quite get it so we switched to an o-o-o. We’ll see what survives!
- We then started a new Michael song called Hotel in the Sky – two good verses and a great song structure in need of a chorus. But we’ll get there.
- Finally, we added some cello bits on Saved. More to do, but getting there. Gave Sophie a chance to talk to Jimmy about the differences between Wax and Rosin. But Lord knows what she was talking about. Sounded like ‘blah, blah, Rosin, blah, blah, wax, blah, blah, Square pants.’
- Poor Michael: Michael doesn’t like e mail. Jimmy leaves all studio notices on e mail. Last week, Jimmy emailed Michael to come at 9AM to record with band. he came at 1000. Jimmy pointed this out. This week, Jimmy asked Michael to come at Lunchtime. he came at 9AM. Poor sleepy Michael.
- Pulling an Abubilla: We know less is more. We really do. But we always pull an Abubilla, i.e., the endless act of adding tracks to another wise perfectly good songs in the quest of yet another marginally good idea. We have to edit ourselves. So here are the anti-pulling an Abubilla rules: a) no Hammond organs, b) no backing vocals to backing vocals – not every song needs to sound like Brian Wilson produced it, c) use the surdo only once in 5 songs, d) no ‘filling up missing bits of EQ, e) only one electric guitar bit! unless you really, really have something special.
- New house rule. No horns at 9AM. We did this this week. Tory was sleeping . Tory was woken up. Not a pretty picture! She yelled at Jimmy that evening. It could have been worse, but she was very tired.
- 20 people in the house on Saturday. All ground floor and loft (filming Whisper). Jimmy wants a basement. Kathy is beginning to come around.