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Enter The Recording Studio

When I was in the D. C. area last week, I got to spend some time with my brother, Chris. He's quite a talented musician, and lately has been setting up a mini studio at his house. While I was up there, we were just kicking some songs around and decided to record a few. Neither of us are singers, but Chris was brave enough to take the vocal parts. More power to him, I say. Here's what we did (all of the links are MP3 files):

Knockin' On Heaven's Door (5:27, 6.2 Meg)
That's Mrs. Mellow on keyboards. We tried to get a Hammond B3 sound, but couldn't quite get it right. Chris is covering vocals, lead guitar, and most of the rythm guitar. I take over the rythm guitar when Chris is playing lead and wail away on my harmonica otherwise. We recorded this on Monday, September 15.
Ring Of Fire (2:34, 2.9 Meg)
This is just Chris and me. We did this on Saturday, September 20. Chris is covering vocals and rythm guitar. I'm doing the lead. Essentially, if it was trumpets on Johnny Cash's version, I'm trying to duplicate that on the guitar. If you listen carefully in the chorus, you can hear me doing a bit of a bass line that Chris helped me work out. This song was a lot of fun to do. I really enjoy the peppy energetic rythm Chris used on it.
Ghost Riders In The Sky (2:58, 3.4 Meg)
Once again, this is just Chris and me on Saturday, September 20. That's Chris taking the vocals and rythm guitar. That's me on the harmonica.

Obviously, we're not professionals, but we had a great time. Chris was quite kind in letting me play with him, especially in indulging my love of Johnny Cash. I'm going to start practicing some more so that when we get together again, I'll be able to better hold my own. Chris even gave me a CD with some bluegrass music that he's working on, so I can practice my guitar against his banjo. I guess the next time we're likely to get together (unless he comes to visit me before then) is Christmas. Perhaps by then, we'll be able to play together on more than three songs.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 22nd, 2003 08:50 am (UTC)
One technical point...
I can barely hear the lead vocal on KOHD. Actually, on all three tracks, y'oughta mix the vocals up some more.
Sep. 22nd, 2003 09:04 am (UTC)
Re: One technical point...
Yeah. We know that, but were really more interested in working on the instruments. Also, except for KOHD where the keyboards is a separate input, all the sound is being picked up by a single microphone. So we don't have a separate vocal track.

Things will be much better overall when we do the bluegrass tunes we're working on -- none of them have vocals. ;-)
Sep. 22nd, 2003 09:03 am (UTC)
Very nice! I've been doing some recording myself recently. We're trying to put together a CD with all the FTD originals. If you're willing, I might want to get you to put down a little harp.
Sep. 22nd, 2003 09:09 am (UTC)
It would be my pleasure. If you get something I can practice against, I'll probably be able to come up with better harp parts than I did for the on the tracks my brother and I laid down.
Sep. 22nd, 2003 09:52 am (UTC)
I think it's so neat that you and your brother can have so much 'quality time' together. I wish Adam and I had something like that in common. :)
Sep. 22nd, 2003 01:45 pm (UTC)
Lets call the rythm guitar on Ring of Fire energetic instead of 'peppy'.

I'm glad you had fun playing. I had a lot of fun also. Doing the bluegrass stuff in the future will be good times.
Sep. 22nd, 2003 03:57 pm (UTC)
I like!!!
Sep. 23rd, 2003 07:49 am (UTC)
KOHD doesn't sound that bad, if I do say so myself! After all that hard work finding the right balance, the keyboards seem to disappear in the background, though. Since they are on a separate track, maybe your brother can "pump up the volume" a bit.
Sep. 23rd, 2003 08:02 am (UTC)
Re: Keyboards
Unfortunately they were all recorded on the same track, so I can't do any relative volume changes to any of the tracks. I probably gave you guys some miss-information about how it was recorded at the time. We all went through the big mixer into a single input on the computer.

Maybe next time you guys come up we can play with recording the stuff a track at a time. Then we could play with effects and making a good mix.
Sep. 23rd, 2003 08:07 am (UTC)
Re: Keyboards
Oops. I thought each input was a different track. Oh, well. Still, not bad for just kinda throwing something together.
Sep. 23rd, 2003 07:56 am (UTC)
That was very good. I heard the vocals, but then I think I had the volume turned all the way up so loud that Mrs. Mellow heard them too. Nice harmonica. With a little practice, BoDM (Brother of Dr. Mellow) might sound like Bob Dylan.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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