How It Started
It’s been a long time since the last post. A combination of distractibility, lack of discipline, isolation and Zeitgeist anxiety meant I had neither the focus or the material to maintain a regularly published blog.
On the positive side, that time off led to new opportunities and a safe, flexible way to get things done on the studio side.
Late in 2021, I received a message from Chris Bender, our brilliant FatC drummer, about an opportunity to sit in as a second guitarist in another band he was playing with, Wayling James. That’s where I met Tim Wayling, the lead singer and and co-composer in the group.
I began to think about how his voice might fit well (read better) over my songs. He kindly agreed to try out a few songs that inspired him.
All tracks were recorded remotely, guitars, keys, some bass and back up vocals here*, better bass at NeMo’s, drums at Chris’s, main vocals and harmonica at Tim’s. All tracks were Dropboxed back and forth, then mixed here at Mancave Studio.
Probably the most interesting song in terms of process. It was originally tracked on an iPad mini while on holiday in Ireland. I originally wrote about it here, including the original demo. To update it, Chris recorded “real” drums to replace the Garageband programmed version, and of course Tim replaced all my vocals—thank you! All the guitars were as originally tracked with a Dano Pro through an iRig interface directly into the iPad. The clarinet bit and the bass were tapped onto the iPad using Garageband’s built-in interface. To remix, everything was imported into Logic Pro X.
Old Man Blues
The oldest tune on the mini EP, it’s been a standard in our live shows for years. This one was re-tracked in Logic as the original multitrack GB file was lost, although the demo is still around. Probably for the best anyway. Tim brought to it his harmonica (which I had always wanted for that tune), and an inspired performance on vocals.
I Know (Back In the Doghouse)
As this was the third song worked on together, we were now pretty comfortable with the process. This is another one where the original multitrack was lost although a mixed emo was around. Once I removed the vocals using an online algorithmic website that was used as a bed track for everyone’s parts. I also used a reverse process to isolate my original vocals. Although the latter produced some odd digital artifacts, I ended up adding that in a little bit on some verses as background, just cause.
So in the end, besides the bit of BU vox mentioned above, everything was redone, and far better than the original IMHO.
Well, I hope you will go to our Bandcamp site to listen to the songs in full! There is a download link (PWYW). If you haven’t already, you can also check out some earlier songs.
As for us, honestly, at the time of writing, I don’t know. I am still cautious about a return to live performing, and herding these Cats is always intrinsically challenging due to our various musical and life commitments. All I can say is stay tuned.
Until then, be well!