Sunday, January 30, 2011

Recording Week 4 (Born Again)

Good morning campers. We had too much fun on our west coast tour with Big Kids and forgot about the cold sterile world of the internet. Here's what you've been missing.

We left off with our tapes now dumped onto the computer. This is usually the fun part. Overdubbing this and that, extra percussions, noises, and experimenting. We barely got that far. To save time we were now working in both Studio A and Studio B (Joe's bedroom). I would be working on vocals in A while he was doing some editing in his room and when we got bored of the scenery we would switch. It wasn't long before the cat was out of the bag; Joe and I both had reservations about the recordings. He thought this was too slow and I thought that was too fast and we both agreed that this other one just didn't feel right at all. We sat and stared at one another stroking our mustaches for few tense minutes before dropping the guillotine. We would have to re-record.

Sadly, we are no strangers to the concept of re-recording. To date every single recording we've done as a band has been scraped at least once and then re-done. It's an ugly streak but at the end of the day we rather have our record come out 6 months later than have a finished product we are unsatisfied with. Sometimes these things happen for a reason.

Relieved of the exaustion that would have been packed into the week leading up to tour we let our worries melt and fully embraced the Christmas spirit. We had another potluck at the warehouse and exchaged gifts under the physcadelic pine tree. The greatest gift truely came from above. Joe weaseled us 5 days to record in a church a mile away from our place. Our friends Jess and Josh run a non-profit rock school out of one of the rooms and arranged for us to record in the chapel. It snowed the day after Christmas. The next morning we packed up half of the studio into our van and drove it over to the church. We shoveled out a parking space and loaded in. The studio was set up in an extra room on the second floor. Transporting the tape machine would have messed up it's calibration and broke our backs so we decided to go digital for this session. This was also the quicker and more convenient option. Day one was spent getting the most glorious drum sounds we have ever heard. Tank and his kit were set up in directly in the center of the room. Stained glass windows cast colored light across them. It was dead silent in the church except for the sound of Tank's drums echoing through every room. In another effort to save time and to ressurect a live feeling that could not be found on some of the first sessions's recordings we would track the bass right along with the drums and ditch the click track. For this we used my usual bass set-up; An Acoustic 450 head and a Peavey 2x15 cabinet. We stuck this in a side room to give it a little bit of isolation and also ran a direct line into the computer. It sounded like it always does and we were happy with that.

Every morning we would meet up with Josh or Jess at the church, listen to the drum sounds, tweak anything that had shifted overnight, and track songs until we thought they sounded right taking breaks along the way for the AA meetings and to eat soup and drink coffee. When we started this session we had about 5 songs that we really thought needed to be done again. By the time our 5 days were up we had done 9 songs and would've done the rest if we could because we loved the sound so much. But we had what we needed. It was a new year and still no new Algernon Cadwallader record but we shrugged that fact right off the airplane and it landed somewhere in the mid-west. We knew our clean slate would be waiting for us when we returned.

Check out the Big Kids Blog to hear about our tour adventures. Apologies for the lapse in journalism. We are back online.


  1. Thanks for holding off on finishing the Teenage Cool Kids record to make us feel better about taking so long. The Mix Andrew showed me last week sounded sick!