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Rough recordings with just a couple of mics




Here are a couple of rough recordings of my ex-lodger Andy and his brother, playing in my front room. It is the ultimate in minimalism - done with just a couple of Sure SM58 microphones plugged into the desk and straight to PC (Cubase) with no pre or post FX (in techie terms we call these are completely dry ).

Song 1 - Rapture
Song 2 - Keep Running



4 blog comments below

Not too bad, for the setup. The bass in Rapture seems to be (unintentionally) clipping, but otherwise, things sound pretty clean. Obviously a bit of time with mixing would do wonders, but, that's the nature of a live-off-the-floor recording.
There's just enough room reverb in the drums that extra processing isn't really needed, neither. I mean, a little touch of reverb or occasional doubling on the vocal or guitar might be ok, if done right, but they don't sound like they'd need anything to stand on their own merit once properly mixed.


EDIT - Just hit the 4min mark in Keep Running, the guitar tone there really stands out for an acoustic. It's got an almost out-of-phase Strat sort of sound to it; sounds like brand new strings and maybe picked near the bridge?
Ankhanu on Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:06 am
The bass is deliberate. It isn't clipping on level, it is played through a whopping distortion plugin. It is the only post-processing I did and it was done because there was no bass on the original recording (Andy plays lead and sings, Gaz on drums). I played the bass in later and used a massive distortion to cover the fact that I don't play guitar Smile I then found I liked the distorted sound and left it.

The guitarist has quite a story. He was a wunderkind - a 14yr old prodigy, playing Hendrix for fun - and I mean REALLY playing it.
He was in a band with my mate Jez (Jez went on to drum with Swervedriver) when we were at college. He then had a very bad car smash and suffered brain damage. He forgot how to walk, talk, play and much else.
He relearned the guitar over the next couple of years but not to the same technical level as before.
It is sometimes quite surreal watching him play - he suddenly has a sort of flash-back and goes into some off-the-scale riff using his old techniques and skills, and then he comes back to 'reality' and can't do it or even say how he did it previously.

These songs were recorded when his parents were desperate to get him to move out - he would be 30 or so - and I said he could become our lodger as a half-way house to complete independent living. We would frequently just jam for hours - sometimes even days Smile
Bikerman on Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:37 am
Ah hah, I was wondering about the three instruments from two blokes bit Smile

That's quite the story. Have you mentioned him before in discussions concerning the brain? It sounds kind of familiar.
Ankhanu on Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:53 am
Yes I probably have. He's a sweet guy but he did drive me nuts. He literally had to re-learn what 'Andy' was and could do - almost entirely. His new personality was different in many subtle ways - many because he had to learn methods and coping strategies to deal with complexity that he could no longer process. This is also audible in his playing. He learned 'riff positions' rather than specific riffs - so he can put his hand into certain positions and know that he can use some standard variations of position to play a riff rather than learning the riff which he can't do anymore.

One of his coping strategies was the phrase - 'its all good'. Now, of course I know why, and how much he had to deal with, and I admire the way he coped....BUT....that phrase is like fingernails down a blackboard to me. It bloody well IS NOT all good. It is frequently shitty, and far from good, and repeating that phrase just devalues the humanity of such experiences, as well as making the speaker sound like a dick.
Andy moved out when he got a regular girlfriend - a big step in his redevelopment. (He is small and very cute, so before the accident he had to beat them off with a stick). Some of his recent gigs are on soundcloud I think..<looking....>
Yep - Voodoo Child
Gimme Shelter

He's still playing small pubs and I guess that is all it will be now - before the accident he played session gtr on Top of the Pops and the future looked BIG. Life's a funny old sod - but it most definitely isn't all good Smile
Bikerman on Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:18 am



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