Wow! I'd love hear more about the recording/mixing process if you're willing to share - I can honestly say what you achieved here in both sound and mix quality rivals many pro recordings from the major labels.oh boy, I think I went a little out of control when I recorded that one. 24 guitar tracks! Just a bass guitar in the middle and bass synth in the rears to battle with them, so I hear what you mean. CHUNKA CHUNKA
Incredible, Ian! Did you record all 52 songs with the Kemper?The honorable @neil wilkes has taught me so much it would be foolish to start with anything else. I was raised on Fugazi so DIY is everything for me, but I guess DIY after learning from everyone you can. Mostly Bob Ferbrache and Neil for me. I've never had a budget for anything so it's always been about the best for cheapest.
The main answer is hitting a good pre-amp before hitting the D/A converter. In my case I have two Universal Audio 710 solid state/tube hybrid pre-amps, but there are plenty of good options. I have two Blue Baby Bottle mics. Fine but not great.
A few years ago I started using a Kemper - a computer/amp that stores amp clones. A bunch of bands have been using them for live DIs for the past few years and they are good for quick solid tones.
A big part of my sound is taking organic sounds and manipulating them. In the past couple years I've used a lot of backwards steel drum mixed with ebow. So I'll play each note in chord changes separately, backwards order, and then reverse them all. It takes forever but I love how it sounds. I tend to mix/mimic synth and organic sounds - so something that sounds like X is 10 tracks of various things with varying tones. I think the Graceland album was a good lesson in that.
For a DAW I use Nuendo. I think Logic is amazing but I've barely used it. Nuendo is fantastic for surround and film scoring.
Gear is fun - mostly old guitars - but I think time is the most important aspect.
Out of time but I should discuss arranging for surround, more important - -
Also, thanks! I appreciate that.
The convenience of the Kemper makes complete sense. It’s an invaluable recording and performance tool. I noticed that Bruce Soord had one in his studio during his recent Life In Surround interview.Generally, yes. I mentioned best for cheapest but also in the case of these 52 songs it was best/fastest too. Some songs were written and recorded in a day, some were written, recorded, and edited over months and months. In the middle I suppose is most of the songs taking about a week. I just didn't have time to mess with guitar tones for hours. I used (within the Kemper) a '62 Fender, Dumble, Vox, '72 Marshall, Bogner, '74 Champ, and almost always used an Ampeg (with a Ric) for bass. I really like Godin guitars, and used them a lot with SGs for doubled and quadrupled rhythms, and then I have a really lovely '52 Gibson and a Brian May that I tend to use for solos, often doubled or harmonized. I love being in the moment/down the rabbit hole/fully focused so it's really nice to just grab a different guitar, flip a switch for a new amp, and record a guitar harmony rather than having to go warm an amp up and move a mic for long enough that I forget what I'm doing. Silly, and sort of cheating, but eh!
The 10 songs on From the Light were the first 10 of the year, so all were done in their running order each Thursday from Jan 3rd to mid-March, 2019 (Three-minute Thursday was the initial idea - all "traditional" pop songs). Somewhere in that time I was also sending the next 10 to my buddy Chris Fogal so that he could get them in his system for recording drums. Then I finished those 10 for the 10 weeks between mid-March and the end of May, and so on.
While I was going fast, I was also writing and arranging with surround parts in mind, so things took way longer than they should have with certain things. I mentioned the steel drum layering, I was also doing that with steel rhythms so rather than playing 4 notes in a row, I would record them separately so that each would have clean decay and could be coming from a different spot. Same with percussion and drums. The song-a-week thing makes people assume they are all simple demos, but they turned out to be much more layered than stuff I normally write or work on. It would be fair to say that my quarantine/isolation started in late 2018.