Tuesday, August 25, 2009

4th Song Released - Travel Recording Instruments Part 2

Our 4th song is up tonight at 7pm! This is actually one of my favorite songs on the album called "So Close So Far". Instrumentally, it was probably the most developmental song on the album.

There's a few things that really took the album to a whole different level. To mention a few:

Stomping - We pretty much scouted each recording location and jumped on everything jumpable to see what kind of sound we could get. We recorded stomps in about 4 different places ranging from the cabin, to the hume studio, to my home studio. Not only did we find the stomping to get better with different kinds of shoes, but the number of stompers really made a difference. The most surprising part was seeing how out of shape we were, gasping for air after each take. I'm serious.

Clapping - Same thing, finding just the right place. A lot of it was in the cabin, and we had some people on the top balcony with others on the bottom. The signature clap on this album is something we stole from the whole Spanish Flamenco style where someone claps on the down beats and the other claps on the upbeats. When you get it going at fast 16th notes, it starts to feel pretty intense. of course, TJ is the best at doing the upbeats when it gets fast.

Sitar - Its not really a sitar, but its the only name we could come up with since its only one string. I don't have a picture of it, but you can see it in the video. TJ made it from scratch. If you listen to it carefully at the beginning of the song, you can hear me using my fingers to mute some notes and bring out the 5th and 3rd harmonics on other notes

Junk - The drawer opening and closing was probably one of the funnest. I think we ended up turning it pretty low in the mix, but none-the-less it was a blast.

Theremin - Its the instrument you don't touch when you play it. One antennae senses your left hand which is the volume, the other antennae sense your right hand which is the pitch. You can hear the solo at the beginning and during the drum breakdown. Its one of the most difficult instruments in the world to play, and most people who play it just make alien noises rather than actually playing notes. In this case, TJ is playing the notes and there is no autotuning with a computer or anything. for some reason, autotune doesn't like Theremin.

Taiko - You've heard me bragging about how cool a Taiko drum sounds for a long time. You can really hear it in this song.

Bass - Ben played all the bass tracks on the album. The process of developing the lines was a ton of fun. I felt like the lines were a lot more developed than in past albums.

Guitars - We tried to do a minimum of guitars. There actually only a few tracks of them. And when they are there, they are super clean. That was a new step. My music is usually buried in effects and distortions. This clean guitar approach opened whole new doors.
Drums - Although we did use traditional drum stuff, we did a lot of strange things with them. Check out this pic of our hi-hat rig. we got a cool trashy sound by literally taping trash to it so it sounded dead. this is the one we used in the verses. it almost sounds like a drum machine.

Thanks for joining us. Tell all your friends that our album comes out September 8th!

1 comment:

Andy K said...

I've really enjoyed the tech talk. Got some great tips.
I've been a fan of the travel and christmas eps for a while but heard twilight for the first time yesterday and was struck by the difference in your voice tracks. The Travel eps have some of my favourite vocals by anyone but the Twilight recording didn't have the same presence for me. Could you shed any light on how they were recorded or what factors contributed to the brilliant sound achieved on the travel eps?