007. All part of the process
I am almost finished with the recording part of my debut Album entitled "Of Little The Instant” If there is anyone reading this who feels they should make an album themselves; What follows is an abject lesson in how not to make life easy for yourself.
Back in December 2011, three of us arrived in Bay studio, Wicklow to begin recording some bass and drums for a couple of tracks called Abjure and Incertitude. I had a rough idea of what was happening in these songs but had a, “let's see what happens” kind of attitude. This is fine when you are on your own time but when you're paying money for studio time and a producer, then this attitude is nieve and green. Tip no. 1 have your shit together.
So after a blunt conversation with Pete (Producer and all-round genius), I knew this method was not going to work. It was time to get deep into the concept of pre-production. I have to say, this turned out to be my favourite part of the whole process. I began by making rough demos for all the songs I felt were the strongest and we began to pick them apart and focus in on every aspect; the arrangements, instrumentation, what microphones to use, the whole sonic palette. I put together a playlist of reference tracks on Spotify, check it out below, so I could borrow instrument sounds and production techniques from music that I loved. It started to make so much sense as a whole project, sounds from one track we could use as motifs on others to tie them together. It was like a giant puzzle that we were adding to, piece by piece. It may sound like a methodical method but for me it meant that you could shine a light on even the smallest part of a track and make sure it was right.
When It was time to go into the studio again, it was a very different experience. There was a direction, it was an easy enjoyable time and recording takes were less stressful because you knew exactly what was to be done and how you were going to do it. Furthermore, you could hear all the temporary tracks melt away to real performances.
One of the drawbacks of this way of working, was that it is very easy to disappear into the ether of creation (or up my own arse). It was so satisfying to put all this together, that I forgot there was a finish line. At some point it was going to have to be done, ready to release, Shared. Tip no.2 Know when it’s done. In the time it will have taken to do this one record I could have made and released three!
The Record is called “Of Little The Instant” (Yes an ironic title I know! but thats for another blog) It will be released in 2018. I hope you will enjoy it. Whatever comes from it, I will not work on music in the same way after it and whatever I release after will not be as long in the making.