Mastering the tracks from our first session at Goose, otherwise known as Mission SC3-EP1-TLF! Read on for more! (EDIT 12/3/09 - Youtube deleted this vid for unknown reasons so I am re-adding it here...)
Last wednesday saw us back at Goose with not one, but TWO ancient reel-to-reel pieces of Spacejunk, care of DDJ.
DDJ and Pete put the first tape through the desk, effects and god knows what else:
What do the buttons do????
Boy oh boy did it make a difference in sound quality. I will have to get DDJ to post his stuff up here so we can all learn from his explorations into Obscure Sound Equipment.
By way of example, here are a couple of clips from the mastering process:
Now here's a curious thing - this is from our version of Dirty Work, which may never make it to release, as it appears unlikely we'll get clearance to use Steely Dan's lyrics, and the music is radically different (which makes it a derivative work, thus requiring the publishers approval to release).
As a result of the complex minefield of legal issues that this presents, we may need some new lyrics - which is a shame, as the interesting thing for me was how we turned one type of song into another (more bluesy). Still, as independent artists with limited resources, we'll make do as best we can. Maybe this recording will go into the vault and be heard in 180 years from now (or whenever copyright eventually expires...say, the end of time).
Shame though -this rocks along:
The mastering added a terrific gloss to the whole process - the only problem I had (because I am a difficult person) is that our performances were...OK. I mean, Ok is OK, but not really that...um....er...OK.
Whilst I acknowledge that the perfect is the enemy of the good, we got such a strong performance on Sweet Misery during Mission SC3-EP1 at Mangrove Mountain (despite the recording quality issues) that it makes me think we can do better. Not hugely better, but just a little.
The SC3-EP1-TLF mission was performed straight after a full afternoon in the sun at the Parramatta Mall, so we may have been a little low energy. So I want to do it again. This, of course, drives everyone nuts. Except for Pete and DDJ cos they like pushing buttons!
To be practical, I think we will only have 1 more shot at this and then pick the best recordings for the final release.
Here's the spacejunk SC3-EP1-TLF version of Swamp Monster
The recordings from this mission were suitable to go AAA, analogue all the way. I am just after a slightly better performance. I rate it about a 7.5 (except for my harp playing, cos I wussed out at the end of Dirty Work so I rate that about a 6.5). I am aiming for an 8 for the recording. Not perfect, not super duper brilliant, just a tad, a smidgen, a wafer-thin...you know what I mean. It has to have the right vibe.
Nonetheless, DDJ appeared happy with the process and is also willing to repeat another session as he believes this band is capable of recording a good single take to 2 track. I agree, we just need to keep trying.
This is what makes the Spacejunk EP so reminiscent of an early rocket launch - sometimes it goes up, sometimes it explodes on the launchpad.
There's also a rumour that DDJ has gone completely around the twist and is considering some Vinyl Equipment (god help us, i'll be right there with him going ooh-ah and I dont even own a record player. I just like obscure technical equipment - hey dont laugh, its my damn blog! LOL)
We'll be setting up the next mission launch and I'll post more as we continue our adventures in stereo recording!