Craziest, most ridiculous recording session ever!!!!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Chrisguitarguy, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. Chrisguitarguy

    Chrisguitarguy TDPRI Member

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    First of all, what I am about to share is 100% true. It was such an amazing piece of studio bizarro world, I had to share this!

    About 1 and a half years ago, I was finishing up a year of building my recording studio (that's another story). When I received an email from a fellow TGPer who had been following along on YouTube watching the progress of the studio. He mentioned he was going to be recording his newest cd, and was interested in working with me. He had heard some of my previous work and fealt that I would do a good job. He came over to the studio for a meeting, we talked and checked out his last cd (eclectic fusion jazz instrumentals). We hit it off and decided that we were going to move forward with his project.


    So, this was to be the maiden voyage of the long awaited studio. And the very first session, that marked the setting of sail went like this.

    The client came over lugging in with him an array of gadgets along with a couple of guitars and amp. I knew that we were going to start this project with scratch guitars, so, thus far status quo. He then explains to me (as he starts hooking up gadgets), that he wants to start by recording his vintage drum machine (par for the course). But, he pulls out a weird looking contraption that looks more than rough, rudimentary doesn't start to describe this box with stuff, knobs, rods,..on it. He then explains to me (with joy), that he got this on eBay and it was made in some guys garage. Not like boutique made in garage, but junk made in a garage. He goes on to tell me (as his smile grows larger and larger), that this box will really futz the sound up! He is now grinning from ear to ear. So, He is going to run the drum machine through the box and then into the pre amp He says, "this is going to be cool"! It reminded me of a kid that found some fire crackers, and was heading into the back yard with a book of matches, and some model cars.

    As we proceed to get everything hooked up, he then explains that he hasn't completely prepared anything. He is planning on creating on the spot with a riff he came up with. Now, for those of you who haven't recorded in a studio environment, typically structures, formats, songs,.. are worked out in advance, specially if you are doing scratch tracks. But, he wanted to just wing it with a drum machine and this pedal that would really futz things up! (Again, kid with fire crackers). We finish setting up, and we start getting some level checks. He was right, this weird box is really futzing things up. It is pumping 60hz cycle buzzing, phasing though frequencies, and to top it off, loads of uninterrupted RFs (radio interfearance). I don't mean, "hey, can you kind of hear a radio program or something" I mean "Dude!! WTF!?!" So, I at this point am obligated to explain to my client that unfortunately, I can not fix any of that in the mix, and regrettably, we need to take this Dr Sues looking contraption out of the drum machine chain. At this point, he looks at me and says "I like it" A few seconds go by as I am still looking at his smiling and now chuckling face. I said "what" (I couldn't get anything else out, I honestly thought he was joking) He said "yeah, I like how it futzes it up"(the first model car is now in pieces) I said, well the sweeping frequencies I can add, but the buzzing and RFs,... We need to get out or it will ruin the piece. He said (very politely) "nah, I like it". (I have more model cars to blow up) My maiden voyage is now all up in the rocks at this point. I was honestly confused, I had heard his previous cd, and though he said he wanted something completely different, it was more than just a competent performance. So, I decided, hey my client wants to record futzed up junk music, it was his call. And as much as I didn't want to have my name on this, I was in it.

    So, I truged through the futzed up drum machine to get what he wanted, he was happy with this nightmare recording session! But, as we moved to the guitars, and then the drums it got better. (but he had already blown up many model cars).

    More sessions were to follow, and this first session led to more than a 1 and a half years of recording, and 26 tracks of music. They say hind sight is 20/20, I am so glad that I stuck through our first session! As it happens, the last track to be finalized, was our first session track. As we finished up (1 and a half years later), all I could think of was "wow, no one will ever believe that this came from a kid with fire crackers".

    What a ride!!! Thank you Carl!!!

    Here is the piece,

    http://talesfromtheclarkside.bandcamp.com/track/a-tribute-to-mike-mignola-ghostprints
     
  2. soul-o

    soul-o Friend of Leo's

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    I like the resulting piece of music. If anything, I could stand to hear more of the circuit-bent weirdness. Good job.
     
  3. songtalk

    songtalk Friend of Leo's

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    I love weird noisy experimental stuff that artfully enhances improvisation.

    It's great that you opened your mind and did your part of the job to make it happen.

    Lots of "more refined" snobs would have given up and not evolved.
     
  4. J-man

    J-man Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The end result is a little uninteresting given the story, but it's a cool story nonetheless. :cool:
     
  5. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wow thats really KOOL. Just out of curiosidty how many hours of studio time did it take ?
     
  6. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    What, no tribute to Jack Kirby? That's a significant omission.
     
  7. rocksteady Max

    rocksteady Max Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm loving it !
    hope there's more work like this for you in your new studio
    good job man :cool:
     
  8. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Very nice work, all around. I'm very impressed by how he stuck by his guns and you came to embrace what he wanted. Good sounding studio (with all that means).
     
  9. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    wow, it sounds great, i really like this track to jam over. so is there a whole cd available?

    edit: i went and listened to some more on your studio web site - very impressive!
     
  10. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great story! The track came out great.
     
  11. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

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    I like it. Reminds me of jazz fusion in the 80s. Great tone.

    Oh, and never doubt the artist vision...as long as they are paying on time.
     
  12. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    Yep, you two pulled it off. I like the track.
     
  13. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That IS really cool. Sometimes it really is about the journey.

    I don't want to get too OT but one of my more memorable studio moments involved a semi-famous Hollywood actor (all of you have probably seen his work, almost nobody will know his name), his girlfriend at the time, substances, and Bette Midler. Nuff said!

    Cheers,
    Geoff
     
  14. CrisHendrix

    CrisHendrix Tele-Afflicted

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    Were all the drums on this from a drum machine? Has a pretty warm and crunchy sound, kinda reminds me of my old ASR-X (I miss that thing).
     
  15. tele salivas

    tele salivas Poster Extraordinaire

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    Really great sounding room you have there! Looks cool, too. You do a nice job recording...sounds like the fidelity of yesteryear.
     
  16. knopflerfan

    knopflerfan Tele-Afflicted

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    Although I'm not a fan of RF interference or "experimental" music, I actually liked the song. Thanks for the interesting story.
     
  17. Carltone

    Carltone NEW MEMBER!

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    Thanks everyone for listening.... I just joined the site and I used four tele types on this cd project in various songs....


    If you are curious: the guitar that plays the melody in this tune was a Melancon Cajun Gent with a bigsby and tv jones pick ups...
    The rthm guitar was a Malinoski Rodeo...kind of an artsy tele... Both guitars used a Swart AST Pro amp for the recording.

    Chris did a fantastic job on the sonics! Each tune has a great vibe and sound character...
     
  18. Carltone

    Carltone NEW MEMBER!

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    You are right... I left him out on purpose. But, not out of slight or because I don't like him... or because I feel he's not great. He's the acknowledged master of the medium. The virtual creator of the way it is done.

    I just wanted these songs to be made for artists who are still alive today and may get a chance to hear the music themselves. So, I chose the artists that I personally love and made a song for each of them. Some are well known and some are not. All of them have moved me, though... so that was my only criteria.

    If you were to buy the cd, however... you would read in the liner notes and see that the entire project is also dedicated to the great artists who passed away like Kirby, Frazetta, Wally Wood, Gene Colon, etc...
     
  19. lewis

    lewis Poster Extraordinaire

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    Cool.
     
  20. Chrisguitarguy

    Chrisguitarguy TDPRI Member

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    You comic book guys! Lol
     
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