Friday, April 30, 2004

I have neglected to write anything for about a month. Here's a rundown of what has happened:

Black Forest/ Black Sea stayed over as part of their tour of Europe. We put on a superb show for them at Bar Unlimited in Bristol. While they were here we recorded two hours of improvised noise, and Jeffrey and Miriam added cello and acid-guitar to a track i've been recording. I also recorded two tracks with Dave on drums.

My new approach to engineering has been this: put a microphone in front of the instrument you want to record, and press the button marked 'record'. Then play something on your instrument. This has thusfar proven to have pretty much the same results as all the crap I was wasting time on last month. Essentially, the room sounds bad, so I don't want to hear it. My Alesis Microverb III medium hall setting sounds far superior. Thus I am close micing everything like a Steely dan record, but then adding outrageous, Walker Brothers levels of budget reverb.

How to make your record sound like a Gravenhurst record:
1) Record everything closely in a bad sounding room.
2) Overlay lots of parts so you can't hear the cars, people and central heating in the background.
3) Use an Alesis Microverb III reverb unit on everytyhing except for the bass guitar. Maybe use some on the bass guitar anyway.
4) You didn't use enough. Go back and use some more.
5) Have a conversation about how you want the next album to sound like it was recorded live by Steve Albini.

I wrote a new song and quickly jotted it down using a stereo mic and minidisk. Hey presto, that guitar sound I was looking for, accidentally discovered, never to be replicated. A perfect recording marred only by the sound of the next door neighbour's dog emptying her bowels in the garden.

I am now about half way through the recording of the basic tracks. I hope to finish the album by the end of June, when Flashlight will be released. I also have to record some tracks for an interim EP.

We are trying to secure a rehearsal space, so we can be loud. This is proving rather difficult. None of us have transport and I can't drive.