Roberto Suarez Soto wrote:
Thanks for listening and commenting, especially if prog isn't your sort
of thing. Sorry, this is probably going to turn into a mammoth post!
Crimson can be weird, Van der Graaf Generator definitely on occasions,
the American band Maxwell's Demon certainly. Then there's really weird
and challenging stuff in some of the extreme/math/post-rock/prog metal
circles or even things like Zeuhl, none of which I'm into, but me?!
Weird is not a description I ever expected to hear, so thanks for a
genuinely surprising experience :-)
Yes, basically I sketch things out, recording very quickly (and hence
roughly) bits and pieces of ideas, which will often get cut up and moved
around whilst trying things out. I tend to use a drum loop once I know
what time signature I'm in until the drums are done, which is often very
late on so that they can be composed around what all the other
instruments are doing. I'll then go and record everything properly once
I'm done writing.
Sometimes bits of solos are done by improvising over the backing tracks,
but mostly everything is carefully considered and written in a very slow
and deliberate fashion. Even the improvs will sometimes be cut up and
re-ordered to keep the best bits. I've heard of spontaneity, but I don't
think it's for me ;-)
The piece is spread over three separate Ardour session I assembled the
mixdowns in another session.
I'll break up the recording into smaller sections within those original
sessions to make it easier, but generally, most instruments come and go
anyway rather than being ever-present throughout. Even then, Part 1 has
a few changes of tempo and a change of meter near the beginning. Part 3
has many changes of meter, flicking between 15/8, 16/8 and a couple of
measures of 11/8, but I don't find this particularly challenging because
I always have the tune in mind and what comes next for that part. For
instance, I think the bass in Part 3 was recorded in five, maybe six,
passes, but that was partly because it changes pickups at different points.
There's a lot of work involved and it takes a long time, partly because
I just seem to work very slowly. But the third section I've been working
on the "proper" recording and mixing of it since the middle of February
(when time allowed between gardening, starting a new job in April etc
etc -- although I was unemployed before so had time on my hands).
Yes, I try to keep my mixes clean, where I want them to be (the drums in
Part 3 are treated fairly heavily with the Invada Tube Distortion, for
example). After recording everything, I'll spend time editing, trimming
the ends of files and chopping them up to remove noise. This is mainly
for anything mic'd, so guitars, bass, flute.
Sadly, it isn't practical to share my mixes: the folder for Part 1 is
5.3 GB, Part 2 is 2.4 GB and Part 3 is 10 GB! I counted and there were
103 tracks before bouncing to save CPU and 43 busses. 8-O
Regarding the guitars. All are a Marshall JCM200 TSL601 mic'd with
condensor mics. Part 1 is all a Yamaha SA503TVL, which is basically an
ES335 copy. It maybe was going through a compressor pedal, but there's a
ton of parallel comp in Ardour. The Yammy was also used in Part 3,
around 5.21, with a Behringer Slow Motion pedal (automated volume swell)
and from 5.49 with the TAP Tremolo. From 5.26 is a Les Paul with an
EBow, picking up from the Yamaha.
All the rest of the electric guitar in Part 3 was a Les Paul Studio: the
solo I detailed in a post to Cedric Roux yesterday. For the power chords
from 4.33, four separate takes, two panned hard left, two hard right.
The quaver rhythm that follows uses an echo pedal.
The bass is recorded direct and then the DI'd sound processed in
parallel with the sound through an amp sim.
Sorry for all the text, I hope this helps though. If you want to know
anything else, just let me know -- I love talking about this sort of
stuff, as you've probably gathered :-)
A musical collaborator: "Lethargy, hm really? Then it will be time for
me to get over there and just accidental idea the $h!t out of you"
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