Wednesday, October 1, 2014

FP Update: 10.1.2014

"It is Finished..."

Well, at least the guitars to 'Rabbit Hole' are officially done being tracked/re-tracked. And that means that Robert and I are done playing said guitar parts. I may need to 're-amp' a couple tracks 'here and there' if some of our amp tones don't jive well during mixdown, but that would be a quick and easy fix and won't impede progress or cause any real delays. So the rest of this week I am doing some final documenting and housekeeping duties (i.e. finish jotting any tracking notes, make sure computer files of guitar parts are properly named and indexed, write down anything else that needs notated, etc). It's kind of like doing your taxes at the end of the year...kind of boring but essential and necessary. And in the case of Rabbit Hole's guitar tracks, the track count is well over 120(+)...Four mics per guitar performance/take can add up quickly. Dang.





So the plan, as of right now (once I finish 'housekeeping chores' for the guitar tracks), is to start re-singing certain vocals as needed...starting next week. Not sure how long that will take but I'd say those vocals are the Last of the proverbial Mohicans on 'Rabbit Hole'...

Moving forward...

Stay tuned...

~ Todd

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

FP Update: 9.24.2014

Another Day At The Office...

I've finished tracking my guitars for Rabbit Hole's chorus sections and only have one section left to deal with (FYI...'tracking' is the official name for 'recording' in studio-speak). I'm also editing these guitar parts today which can ironically take longer to do than actually playing the guitar parts themselves. Go figure. But the editing is easy work...it's just boring and requires a lot of critical listening and decision making as to which takes sound the best, grafting sections seamlessly together as needed, and being on the prowl for any weird noises that need to be eliminated (although these days I've been prone to leave more noises well enough alone rather than fix them...lots of those weird noises are awesome...especially in headphones...you can thank me later). So in between editing the various chorus sections, my brain needed a quick break, so I'm blogging.  :-)


Here's a screenshot of what I'm doing today:





And here's a quick pic of my homemade 'scorecard' sheets that I use to keep track of which parts are 'keepers' and which ones are 'questionable':





Good times. For someone with slight OCD tendencies...

So that's all for now. Time to get back at it and wrap these sections up...  :-)

Until next time...

~ Todd

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

FP Quickie Update: 9.17.2014

Howdy Race Fans...

Just a quick update on things in FP Land. Robert and I have finished up retracking 75%-ish of the guitars for 'Rabbit Hole' using my studio's new re-amping rig (see Pic 1).

Pic 1: Re-Amping Schematic



I've got a ton of speakers on hand plus a growing collection of 'bread-and-butter' microphones and we're getting some seriously improved guitar tones across the board (See Pics 2).

Pic 2: Re-Amping Speaker Closet



Can't wait to get 'Rabbit Hole' finished (after two years of it sitting on the proverbial shelf). Also, I'm planning on revisiting the main vocals and re-doing many of them as well. We're just at a better place as far as our recording capability and know-how goes and the last couple of years of me doing freelance work on the side has helped me grow exponentially in the areas of engineering and production. That being said, I have no plans or intentions of pulling a geaorge Lucas by way of overhauling past projects ('Marigolds', 'Some Other Year', etc) as I simply want to move forward and put out new material. 'Rabbit Hole' in particular was simply caught in the middle of some major workflow changes and has suffered delays accordingly. Once 'Rabbit Hole' is finished then we can all thank it for taking one for the team...

Also, I've been doing a bunch of reorganization over the last couple of months in my workflow, especially where documenting gear being used, equipment settings used, and session set-up notes are  concerned (See Pic 3).

Pic 3: Gear Inventory App



There's nothing worse than coming up with an amazing sound via amps, mics, guitars, pedals, etc, only to forget the details of what was used for said amazing sounds, especially later on when you want to find those tones again for another project...and even more especially when doing freelance work-for-hire. So I've been a busy little beaver in trying to standardize how I work (and document my work...See Pics 4 and 5) in my studio.

Pic 4: Guitar Signal Path Template



This 'reorganization' has caused more temporary delays in one sense but will speed things up dramatically in the long run. Sometimes to build something up even further you have to take the time to fix the foundation. Will be worth it in the long run...

Pic 5: Tracking Notes in Logic Pro X



So that's what is going on at the moment. We've all been busy with various life distractions (like helping kids find cars, work, helping kids move away to college, work, having more kids get born, work, vacations, work, etc). But life is good if you know where to look...

Until next time...

~ Todd