Today we had an early start and began with drums for a song called Never Look Back. The drums needed some retuning, and once they were up to snuff Nick took a slightly different approach to the drums sounds in this song. In the past he played the song entirely with drum sticks, but for the recording he decided to play the first three-quarters of the song with mallets instead. This helped resolve some of the tuning issues we were having, as well as making the triumphant last section of the song really pop with the changeover to drumsticks. Once Nick finished up the drums it was time to lay down some guitar.
My Ibanez Jet King has served us well over the previous two EP's and our full-length, but for this EP Stephen wanted to get some different sounds. Palace has a great selection of guitars, so we decided to track with three of theirs. The bulk of the recording was done with a 60's Telecaster Deluxe with humbuckers which closely resembled the tone and playability of my Ibanez, but possessed more character to be sure. We also had a Gibson SG and a traditional Telecaster on hand for layering and leads.
For amps, of which Palace has many, we decided to track with a hand-wired Vox AC15 for the bulk of the record. For a few special parts and leads we used a Fender Champ. We decided on a Beyerdynamic M130 to mic the amps. This ribbon mic's figure-eight pickup pattern makes an ideal cab mic when you have a decent sounding room to record in. The figure-eight pattern allows for some more room tone to mix with the direct signal, which I find makes for a more natural electric guitar sound. The M130 was patched through the Stam Audio 1073. We didn't have a chance to record any guitar on the previous day, so I got to do triple duty and lay down guitar for two songs in a row as well as the final song toward the end of the day.
Once the initial guitar tracking was finished we moved onto vocals. Never Look Back has a little more dynamic range than the song we were tracking yesterday, so Stephen opted to move the vocal recording out of the booth and onto the live floor to give a greater sense of space to the vocal.
With the vocals wrapped up it was time to tackle the bass. With the exception of Mike using headphones to follow the click a little more clearly and the use of a pick, the bass setup was identical to yesterday's setup. At the very end of the day we managed to sneak in the bass for the final song as well.
Another wicked day at Palace Sound! Between the selection of gear and the overall vibe of the space we're finding ourselves very at home here, making for some really productive sessions. Bittersweet to be wrapping everything up tomorrow - it's been a blast so far!