Endless Blue

Trip-Hop from West Bend, WI, USA


Posted on Mar 8, 2007

Well, since all the political blogs are a little worn out and droll today after the all the excitement the last two days, I figured I should do some blogging of my own. On the topic of politics: Seriously. What meathead thought it was a good idea for FOX news to host a Democratic presidential debate? *ka-smack*

Well, I was just reading the March Sound on Sound (aka “Best Magazine in the World”) over lunch. So now I got fever and the only cure is to drone on for pages at a time about musical obscura. Now is the time to look away from the screen before you start saying “Blog… boring… losing… consciousness…”

…Mkay, those of you still with me, uh, yay. I spend a good chunk of last night in the studio piddling. Just piddling. I’m at this point of being so close to done on two tracks for the new CD, yet I’m really frustrated that I can’t go that last yard. I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but I’ve decided to delude myself into believing that I didn’t go that extra yard on Smoke Through It… I feel like I reached this point and said “Sounds great, moving on”. And it’s that final yard that gives music its flavor and makes it good.

Case in point, Portishead’s Dummy. To my ears, if it had been recorded in a traditional, sit in the studio, mix it just right method, it would have been bland and boring. But no, the guitarist used the crappiest amps and guitars he could find. They recorded drums, put those to vinyl, threw the vinyl in the dirt, then scratched the drum parts in the mixes. The lengths they went to to go the final yard were amazing, and resulted in an amazing album, probably one of my favorite recordings of all time.

So where do I stand? It’s funny, but I’ve spent well over 10 years trying to perfect the craft of recording, getting that lovely sound of a well mixed track. Now I find myself saying, “Naw, that sounds too good, let’s fuck it up a little.” For example, I’m running Laura’s vocals through a microphone simulator to make them sound like she sang into some crappy ’50s mic. I’m running a completely digital electric piano through an amp simulator to give it that funky, played on stage sound.

While the better part of all of this is experimentation, I’m hoping that some night I’ll lift my hand off the studio mouse, push back in my rolly chair, and say “Yup, that’s the sound”.

Yeah. Fat chance. Don’t I know it.]]>

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