Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Going back into the studio one more time

Here's a little update on the Never Ending Album: it's coming to an end.

This Saturday (August 15), we're going back into the studio one more time. As I mentioned in a previous post, we had a session on July 25 where we captured all of the basic tracks for "Fade Away" and "Waiting for This". At most of our sessions, we've managed to go soup-to-nuts on two tunes, i.e., we get everything recorded on the same day. But at the last session, the songs themselves were pretty complex, and right toward the end we ran into some technical snags and ran out of energy at the same time.

So, what we're doing this Saturday is finishing what remains on those two tunes, namely guitars and vocals. For awhile, the session was shaping up to be a pretty lonely affair; Bunny had some family stuff to attend to, and Ken had previous commitments for the day. But as of yesterday, I found out a couple of great pieces of news. First, Bunny will be able to wrap up his stuff and return on Friday, allowing him to be at the session the following day. And while Ken sadly still can't make the session, our friend Ralph "Songrytr" Torres will likely drop by to perhaps add some keys or backing vocals. I've been trying to get Ralph at the sessions for the last year and a half, so it'll be great if he can make it.

Bunny's presence, though, is especially important. Bunny's main contribution to the album has been as the drummer on every track, but he's also added a great guitar solo to "The Sands of Redondo", and his mere presence has made the sessions all the more fun and productive. I've wanted to have Bunny sing on a particular track for a long time, and in his apparent absence was preparing to sing both of the co-lead vocal lines myself. It's going to be a LOT better with his contribution. I'm also tapping Bunzo to play some guitar again.

Anyway, this session will be especially cool, since we have all the basic tracks done. That means not having to bring in and set up drums, which is a big use of time in the studio. I can essentially arrive and start recording immediately, which will be nice for a change. Also, we'll be able to wrap up the tracking at a decent hour and drive back toward home so we don't have to book another night at the lovely Motel 6 in Riverside. All good stuff.

For those who aren't yet familiar with the process, just because I'll be done recording does not mean the album is done. There are three essential steps before anyone can buy the album.

1. The remaining songs will need to be mixed.

2. The album will be sent to my friend Bill Plummer for mastering.

3. The album will be replicated on CD, and the digital song files will be sent over to iTunes, Amazon, and other retailers. There's a lag of 4-6 weeks after it's submitted before it will appear for sale.

But it's all one step at a time, and after this Saturday a humungous step -- the recording of all the music -- will have been completed. As usual, I'll be posting videos, pics, and stories from our session after the fact.

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