Stephen and I made it to the studio shortly after 10. With Nick slated to arrive in a half hour we decided to make the most of our time and lay down some acoustic guitar over the ending of the song we had finished on the previous day. We ran an AKG414 into one of the 1073's and nabbed a great sound.
The night before I had restrung my acoustic guitar, and there's nothing sweeter than a freshly stringed acoustic. I'm especially fond of this guitar because it was my mother's for many years before she gave it to me. The wood has aged really well and the guitar sounds and plays wonderfully. My mom took great care of this guitar and I'm really blessed to have it.
We finished up the guitar as Nick arrived. We listened to what we had laid down the day before, and then started preparing to record drums for the next song. After a take (or two) we decided that a change in snare was due. We reached for a DW Signature Series that Nick borrowed for the session. It fattened up the drum sound perfectly for the second song, which has more of a post-rock feel towards the end. It also meshed with the toms of Nick's kit in a beautiful way.
Stephen also wanted to change up his drum room sound. So we reached for that trusty 414 and emulated something we did for acoustic guitar recording on the last record; we aimed the 414 at the ground and lined it up with the kit. It made for an awesome sound!
Nick proceeded to crush the song within a few takes and just as few punch in's to nail some tricky fills. It was my turn to lay down some guitar. The song has a catchy intro riff that sounds great on my guitar, an Ibanez Jet King I've had since high school. The choruses have a picking part I play through my classic delay/overdrive combo. We also layered whole notes of the chords for the chorus to beef it up. When we got to the ending of the song we needed one last tip over the post-rock edge, so I dialed in a lower octave on my Micro-Pog - yet another toy I had to have after Stephen introduced me to it last year while recording 'Chances'.
Mike was arriving later in the day, so we kept the session moving and started grabbing takes for the final song of the batch - 'Getting Away From Me'. A slower tempo song and one we've played at a number of shows at this point. Everyone was very comfortable and accustomed to this song, so it came together pretty quickly. We kept the same drum setup as the previous song and Nick hammered it out very quickly.
Guitar for this last song covered most of the tones I would use across a set; clean with delay, overdriven with delay, overdrive, delayx2 and Micropog (this delay thing is getting out of hand...). For the verse parts we opted to remove the delay for tracking and add it in during the mix stage to keep it clean and tight to the click track. The choruses came together really well and we had some fun at the end of my session experimenting with some manual swells and feedback to lead into the last chorus of the song.
At this point we were closing in on the end of the session, so with an hour left we moved our attention to bass for the song with the post-rock ending. While Stephen and Mike tracked the rest of us started taking down the drums and cleaning up the studio.
Mike, who had missed out on our post-rock adventure, was overjoyed when he heard the results of our shenanigans. He and I are huge Thrice fans, and something about the tone of the guitar for the last part of the song resonated with us especially.
Mike finished his bass and we had the studio all packed up. We wrapped all the cables, tore down the microphones, trashed burrito wrappers, and shared warm wishes and a job well done all round. Over the two days we tracked drums and guitar for all three songs, and bass for two out of three. It was a really fun experience, and I'm glad we're trying out this 3P model and trying to work together more in the studio. Last year for 'Chances' the tracking was more broken up, so to come together for such a short time and accomplish so much made me really happy to have friends at my side and a common goal. I can't wait to share it with everyone.
Big ups to Nick Obal for hosting us at Loud Mouse Studios. A massive thanks to Stephen as always for making it all work and sound amazing. Runner up thanks to Nick for coining the term '3P' ;)