To prepare for my imminent visit to the States I’ve been doing a fair bit of overtime during the last 3-4 weeks. That along with doing my usual comics business it’s really taken it’s toll. Working from seven to eleven every night. It really makes life a drag, I don’t think that’s right. Ahem.
Anyroad, I finally found myself relatively free this weekend so I decided to do some music at home around my nephew Kai’s 10th birthday which involved a sleepover of three hyper 10 year olds (I got dragged into lots of lightsaber fighting, football, Wii-ing etc).
Alex and I are gearing up to a days recording midweek sometime in February because I have one days holiday to take before I zip off Stateside. So to prepare I thought I’d have a bit of practice on the Tascam.
Dan Murr (sometime session bassist and founding member of rock group Mary’s Dog) is a work colleague and mate of mine who recommended I use the drum software Beatcraft by Accoustica.
It’s very simple to use and has tons of samples of all kinds of kits which you can eventually make a backing tracking from by adding beats and measures a bar at a time. That doesn’t take as long as you’d think as you just edit several patterns and then throw them into a built in sequencer. You can also layer effects on each sample i.e. put distortion on the snare, reverb on the hi hat etc. I’d really recommend it for all you budding John Bonhams out there.
I put the drums down onto the desk on Saturday along with a guide acoustic track thanks to the Ovation electro-acoustic’s input which I plugged straight into the desk. I initially put the main guitar riff down with the Danelectro (again Direct Input or DI) but the guitar effects built into the Tascam are not the best; Alex likened my first take as similar sounding to Gary Moore (which isn’t good folks, too much reveeerrrbbbbbb). The good thing that came from the first take was an overdubbed pick guitar track that I put on the final verse.
The kids eventually cleared off Sunday morning and I had an empty house at my disposal. Ha ha neighbours, suck my plums! I cranked up the fender twin amp, plugged in the Danelectro along with my Marshall Bluesbreaker pedal to get a nice fat tone for the main heavy riff. After that I again used the Fender twin with Marshall pedal and Danelectro to get the pick guitar sound on the final verse.
I did put down a bass guitar track but it was too busy and made the mix even muddier so I decided to leave it out for now.
Just mixed this down after a day in the office doing some overtime. Dug out another track from the same recent session that the snippet of Blick is from (Alex on Drums and I’m just playing the Danelectro electric). I just popped a makeshift bassline on it to fatten it out a bit (thankfully without any blisters this time).
This track originates from a jam and was my attempt to get away from always playing blues/rock guitar chords and riffs. Originally it was a slow moody jazz piece with some amazingly simple but effective shuffle drums, but I wanted to put this snippet on the site because I really love the offbeat drums Alex puts down towards the end of this sample. Definately the funky end of jazz.
Antikrish are proud to present a very basic working demo of ‘Blick’ which was recorded using the Tascam a couple of months ago by Al and I; It represents the first of our new material and marks the first time we have recorded together since the new millenium kicked in.
Blick was always one of our favourite tracks to jam with because it’s one of those tracks that sounded reasonably good no matter how we were playing at the time given our familiarity of the song. From my personal perspective I (Kev) could stick to the basics if playing a bit rough, or improvise my nuts off if I’m feeling confident on a good day (rough translation = put in a few bendy twangs). This particular take is played with a much quicker tempo than normal (in an attempt to brighten things up and change the sound a little).
From memory, the song was originally written by Alex to try and write a track purely starting with the bass guitar first; which when you think about it, is pretty unorthadox and something I always really liked about the song. Over the years we fiddled with the track, put in some extra bits and it changed from a slow latin rock track to a progressive blues rock number.
I decided to add a bassline to the live recording in order to give a rough idea of how it would sound with a little more depth and I have to say I’m really happy with it after mixing down (I put the mixed master through Sony Soundforge Editing Suite to brighten things up a bit).
I would like to also point out that today saw me (Kev) play the bass properly for the first time in years; I now have a blister about the size of an M&M sweet located on both tips of my index fingers. If I were to describe the tight sensation on my fingers, I’d have to liken it to the feeling you get when you try and glue an airfix model airplane as a kid using superglue, get your thumb and index stuck together and then after you prize them free THAT is how my finger feels at the moment*.
More work in progress to follow shortly.
*Please do not try this at home. Antikrish.com does not accept any liability for people who ruin a promising career as a pianist by bonding their digits together with glue.
First major thing I recorded with the new setup. Drums programmed using beatcraft software (a nice little drum machine) and then 4 guitars played in a non-standard open tuning. Two tracks using the ovation accoustic directly into the desk, and two tracks using the Danelectro with a phase effect, and a distortion, both using the internal affects of the Tascam.
This track is a variation of a much older tune which Alex did with our mutual friend Glen (which I like very much and would like to redo), I felt like this was something of a ‘reprise’. I took the original main riff and put an awful lot of poncy string bends in mine. Just seeing what the desk can do really, and also myself after such a long time of not playing!
This one is a reworking of pretty old song written quite literally just as I started hanging out with Al. The original is quite a rock driven effort (and one of my fave tracks to play) , however we decided to try and pull it to pieces and re-record it in a ragtime /bluegrass style which at the time I thought was pretty funny, and now in reflection even more so because it was all recorded in the space of 3 hours and by far and most the easiest recording we ever put down. Guitars and drums first, then lead guitar, mandolin, harmonica, vocals and bass. One after another, it was such a hoot, a hootananannny even.
One of the later recordings, the retro percussion effect was just one of many obscure bits and bobs we found up at Crystal Palace in Roger’s t.v. repair shop which had a really obscure guitar shop in his flat upstairs. Add to this, although a really cool chap, he had the best 1970’s porn moustache and fringe haircut you’ve ever seen. Alas without Roger we would never have found all the great gadgets and I feel it is only right that we dedicate this to him.
A track written By Alex, I think during a very, very hot summer but I might be mistaken? Any road, just a snippet! I also think the woman tragically died in a freak steamroller accident outside Sinatras nightclub in Croydon, Surrey*.
This is a track that has never really materialised in the way it deserves in that there were two versions done, one recorded the night before Alex left for India to try and wage a one man war against red tape, the other where I decided to put in an Aminor chord in the verse instead of Dminor which really fluffed up the key. That said, the bit I’ve sampled here is the intro right up until the verse, definately a flavour of things to come here. I always did dig the baseline.
This track originally started out with a few lines of verse I’d penciled whilst at Boots when thinking about my godfather who passed away a couple of years beforehand (think we’re talking about 1994-1995 here), until then I think I’d only really written joke songs or cover versions of famous songs with a twist of profanity so I was somewhat lifted that I could at least put some feelings down on paper. I distinctly remember getting to Alex’s totally absorbed by the song with him eventually adding a few lines of lyric along with my favourite part in the first verse. This snippet of the track is really just the play out on the 2nd version (much heavier than the original accoustic blues stomp), the harmonica played through a Electro Harmonix Polyphase is definately my favourite thing about this version.