13 June 2006

session log, volume five

song: "stories"
artist: darcie miner

instrument(s) played: gretsch rally electric guitar, drums

studio: mad dragon studio, drexel university campus

engineer: toby seay

i did something kinda messed up on this session.

first, let me say - darcie is underrated as a guitarist, and some of that is self-inflicted. she doesn't fancy herself a guitar player, and she's certianly not gonna be the next Yngwie Satriani (thank God), but her style perfectly fits what she does - she's solid, good rhythm, and clean.

so for this song, i already knew that i was going to put a john hiattish, arrpegiated vibrato part over the top of the whole thing. but darcie had said that she didn't even want acoustic guitar on this track, so that meant that there would need to be a rhythm part as well.

so i kept my mouth shut until i got to the studio...we set up my princeton reverb in the booth, got everything plugged in and tuned up, and i handed the guitar to darcie.

she resisted mightily at first, but by the third pass, she had whipped out a kickass rhythm part, and it doubled her acoustic part exactly the way it should have. i could have done it, but it wouldn't have been the same.

and this was, essentially, my plan from the outset....but i didn't say anything to her until i handed her the guitar, because i kinda had a sneaking suspicion that she'd fight me on it, and i didn't want to give her a lot of time to formulate an argument. :)

so, after her track was finished, i went in and cranked up the tremolo on the amp and put down my part...the two parts fit together nicely, with her rhythm part sitting on top of the acoustic guitar. i made a brief mention that she might want to reconsider eliminating the acoustic part, and she acknowledged my suggestion, but i think it evaporated pretty quickly. anyway...

once the two guitar parts were finished, we mic'ed up the drums and did a few passes to see what fit. first, i did the jazzy, brushes-on-the-snare-only pass, which was vetoed...then we went to a more aggressive approach, and i had toby run the track while i moved around to different parts of the kit...they settled on a pattern with the ride cymbal and snare with the brushes, and we picked a spot for the drums to come in, and we did the drumkit in one pass.

most of the mics used on the kit were obvious choices - AKG D112 on the kick, sennheiser 421's on the toms, SM57 on the snare...and it sounded great. the snare, particularly, had a nice presence with the brushes. kudos, guys.

the track was for the same compilation release that the other songs i worked on was for, due out on Mad Dragon records upon completion.


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