Thursday, 3 January 2013

Gannin' section finished!

Well you know, "Finished" is not the right word really, first pass of recording done.

First of all, I never explained the name of the section: "Gannin' Down The Scotswood Road". This is, of course a line from teh folk song "The Blaydon Races", the unofficial anthem of Geordies everywhere. Well this section is about my commute home, which takes me down the Scotswood Road, across the Blaydon Bridge,  through Blaydon and then up the Tyne Valley to home.

So back to the music: What has been added. Should I write this chronologically, in the order I added stuff, or in the order things appear in teh track? Well given this is supposed to be an insight into the recording process, I'll do it chronologically. There are at least 4 individual sessions since I last posted. The first was finishing up the trio of lead guitar work. There was a slower bit at the beginning of the "verse", followed by the fast stuff already done, and then everything else breaks while the guitars arpeggiate down in harmony.

Next I tackled the piano. I usd a nice sampled acoustic piano, and it appears in three verses. The first is a rocky verse with soloing. For the backing (left hand) I used my MIDI guitar (first time used in anger in recording) because it's identical to the guitar backing. For the right hand I used a keyboard and some direct-note-placement editing. I edited it all to get rid of small mistakes etc.

The second verse of piano is even more rocky and features the "tune" such as it is. Again left hand with MIDI guitar, right hand with keyboard.

The third piano verse is a jazz verse - a bit of a breakdown with quite a bit of ambiguity over the chords. Left hand was done with the keyboard, the right hand was mostly keyboard, but with some editing.

Then I decided that the background needed something fuller - a pad sound. I spent quite a while playing with synth sounds, including mellotron, until I found what I wanted. This was added to most of the section, except the jazz verse and the guitar arpeggios.

Finally: Trumpet. This was done with a solo trumpet sound (sample) and a trumpet section sound (also sample). I have spent quite a while tweaking the sounds to try and get to a stage where I am happy with them. The trouble is, it's almost, but not quite convincing as trumpets, and sounds really like a trumpet sound I used nearly 20 years ago when recording christmas carols with an early sampler. Anyway, there's a tune verse, and a breakdown soloing verse. They also join back in with the piano tune verse.

And finally finally, some sounds recorded of cars crossing the Ovingham Bridge have been added. The same sounds are used right at the beginning of track one of the album, and I am bookending with it - this will be the last section of the album. Technically, if I commute up the scotswood road I don't cross the Ovingham Bridge, but hey, who cares.

The whole thing sounds quite rough to me as a mix, especially quite bassy, but hey, I'm not meant to be mastering yet.

You can hear it through the widget at the top of this post.