The Second Album, Part 3: Progress

    We took the whole weekend and used our time to lay down tracks for 8 songs that will be appearing on our upcoming release, but for the songs we were working with, we decided to use our in-home studio for convenience.

    Unfortunately, Gabe and I worked for most of the day recording bass tracks. This is not something that would have normally taken most of the day, but we ended up recording all of the tracks twice, because the first time, they somehow mysteriously disappeared from our hard drive. When we couldn’t find the first takes, we panicked and called Apple Logic Pro Technical Support (for the software we use for recording) and spent another hour talking to them about it trying to see if they might be stored somewhere we weren’t aware of, before coming to the conclusion that we truly did lose everything and would have to do it all over again.

    So after doing the bass tracks for a second time, we scheduled out the rest of the evening for vocals. Living in a flat in downtown Antioch (a suburb of Nashville), we knew we only had until 9:00 p.m. to finish all of our recording for the day, because of the “quiet time” rules in our community. We’d already had a complaint filed against us for Gabe playing drums, and we didn’t want to get strike 2.

    So we rushed through everything, spending most of our time, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., on Micah’s lead vocals. As soon as they were done, I took over and Gabe and I went through each song doing 2 to 3 takes on the high tenor harmony parts. The problem when recording vocals and doing so many takes on so many songs, is that by the time you’re done, you’ve basically sung the equivalent of a 2 – 3 hour concert, and toward the end you start to lose your voice. On one song, it had such a high part that I had to tell Gabe to skip the 2nd and 3rd takes, and we would have to come back to them on another day, because my voice just wasn’t getting the higher notes as well as I needed it to.

    We finished up right at 9:00 p.m., and then Gabe started working on instruments and parts that didn’t produce as high of sound levels.

    On this album, we’re trying to get back to more of a “real” sound, trying to avoid any additional “recording studio fluff” that gets in the way of the real music. Being in a 3 part band, it’s a rough proposition trying to get a full sound out of 3 instruments and voices. One thing that makes that easier is that our music is so grounded in vocal harmony, and that helps fill out the sound to a large degree.

    In the end, we will probably opt to add some strings, harmonica, and lead/electric parts on a choice selection of songs, but only on the ones that we feel it would add something to the artistic value of the song.

    This month we also did more planning for the big CD release party & tour kickoff concert we’ll be doing at the Charleston Civic Center on March 9, 2007. We’ve secured ticket distribution through Ticketmaster, and worked out presale dates & ticket prices for The Collective (our fan club) and The Radical Contingent (our street team). The one thing we haven’t decided is who our opening act will be. So this month, we’re asking all our readers to email us your ideas and let us know what your favorite local or regional band or artist is. Email us here. We’ll let you know who we decided on in next month’s issue!