tic toc tic toc…

September 26, 2010

Friday
0900 Hours

The alarm rings, Oh damn…
I’m hurting. My shoulders, my whole body… Phew… 3 more minutes… Must get up.. I forge on. I’m not sure why, but my whole body is just in disagreement with everything right now. I’m not used to sitting in a chair for hours on end. I wake up fuzzy, but determined. Breakfast, cooooohfee.

1000 Hours

I walk in the studio in my jammies (I will stay in them all day) and start “compiling” vocal tracks from the previous day. That means sitting at the computer and and editing the ugly stuff out of the vocal tracks, listen, once, twice, layers 1 to 7 or 8. Pick a segment, listen trough layers again… I spend three hours on two vocal tracks. It’s sounding really good on Fear & Desire. Criminal Mind well, I might re-record, it’s not bad, it’s just not great. One thing I notice: my hands have not been that clean since sometime in April when I was just a musician. No grease, no oil or road dirt… Got clean nails… but the calluses have certainly reappeared in force.

1300 Hours

Yeah I’m still hurting but I tell myself : “I can take it”. The luck of me being here and doing this… it is my job, mission, purpose in life, reason to exist in this world to dig in to take it in order to make it happen. Like when the wind, cold or heat would beat me up on the road. I guess that was pre-production for what happens now. Deep breath when I feel like zonking out.
Perry walks in, we start on editing a whole intro on the one song. Clip, snip, pull, fade, listen, do it again…

mixer, levels, strips, EQ, busses....

1500 Hours

I’m hurtling. Break time. Food time.
We sit outside, the sky is overcast. It’s around seventy something I think, really nice. Not too hot for a change. Randall the studio owner walks by stops and chats. He’s a really sweet guy with a heart of gold. I walk back in and make a ground beef casserole. I start giggling because I have not cooked that sort of thing in months. It smells damn good. It tastes damn good. Then I have fruit. FRUIT!!! wow… luxuries. Coffee. Back to work.

1700 Hours

In the demi-jour lighting of the studio I bring up the song Gotta Lose My Fear. Listen. Listen more. Listen again… Grab the PRS (my electric guitar) and play some riffs unplugged. The ideas start to flow… get a pen, paper, write little notes so I don’t forget.

1600 Hours

Perry walks in. Lets get a guitar sound, Lets record this! We do. Between good takes and some needed patience suddenly we got rocking guitar parts. The song just went up a whole notch in the realm of rockingness. Yeah. We record guitars for then next while.

2100 Hours
Oh how the hours fly… Randall walks in, we play him the song, he’s all smiles. Mission accomplished.

2200 Hours

Time for a snack and a break. Oatmeal baby with apples and cinnamon. So good. I know you don’t understand… Oatmeal. Just works for me, it helps me find my center.

2300 Hours

Back in the studio. I cue in “Dont Wanna Drown”. Listen, Listen. Listen. I crank it up because it’s very different from playing it with an acoustic guitar and the vocal line that’s on the demo now sounds wimpy with the gigantic guitars on the tracks. Louder. Listen, Listen… OK. Lets edit the last chorus, double it up, then I’ll sing the vocals.

0000 Hours

The edit took much longer… a thing about getting off the click (metronome) and then finding a weird guitar part that was edited before the edit and now had lost the changes because we changed everything… follow me? That’s OK, no worries. Now I gotta decide if I sing or not. If I do I’ll have to get up later in the morning. If I get up later I’ll lose some Danielle the mad scientist alone at the computer work hours… It’s a fine balance, keeping the mind, the spirit and the body functional while you work full tilt. Kind of like bicycle racing where you have to keep at threshold, on the edge between lactic acid overload, moral and fuel availability. You need to economize enough fuel to finish as strong as you can but you also need to use as much of it so to be at your best. But unlike bicycle racing there is no drafting behind a team mate here. This is a time trial, a “contre la montre”.

0100 Hours
We decide to do the vocal. Worse case scenario we got levels and the multi-track ready for tomorrow.

0200 Hours
We quit. Got a scratch vocal maybe better but none of us can tell anymore. It feels good though, Music feels good. I got a new melody that carries the song to where it has to go. We’ll revise, review, regroup and restart tomorrow.

Nighty night…

files, layers, wave forms

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4 Responses to “tic toc tic toc…”

  1. David Walker Says:

    Going, going and going and going until finally you are there, joy and fatigue. Alberto is watching and pleased I am sure.

  2. Aaron Gonzales Says:

    After witnessing, listening, feeling and experiencing your music/talent, I am grateful for the gift of music that I have received from you. I am confident that the time spent in the studio will in fact produce a piece of magic that will caress and massage a musical nerve for those who are lucky to experience it.

    Be strong. Stay confident in your journey. We (in California) hope to experience your music again and feel the shine from your smile.

    Carp diem Danielle.
    Aaron

  3. Asbjorn Melo Says:

    Really cool to get an insight into the production process. When the average Joe, like me, pick up some tunes, we never think about that.

    Looking forward to your next performance in CA!

    Cheers
    Asbjorn

  4. steveslaughter Says:

    It is not possible to ignore this creative process taking place before our eyes (and minds)

    Aaron, Ozzie and I will be seeing you (our friend, our adopted “daughter”) VERY SOON – wow a live performance after this!.

    Thank you for including so many of us in this ENTIRE process – and all that has led up to it!


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