We’ve done home- recording before. A bunch of us were camped inside our lead guitarist Mark’s bedroom while John, the saxophonist, was literally playing to Mark’s intimates- he was locked inside the guy’s closet to muffle ambient sound from all around the room (laughter, rude jokes, childish conversations). Three years since then, I have not the slightest idea of what ever became of those sessions’ recordings. Probably not much! Haha!
Now just the other day, the cool guys of Live Amp Studios called us to say that they’d just gotten brand spankin’ new equipment, and that they wanted to try them out on us. Clearly that wasn’t going to involve hiding inside closets and putting socks on microphone heads!
I am probably the least technical musician (I mean one who plays an instrument) you will find. Admittedly, I know that I should really start re- learning my notes and the thingeemajigs that I play with. But I’ve been playing for over ten years, just by ear, you know? By impulse, by feeling, by luck. Now they don’t always produce the best sounds… but I’ve just been doing it for the boom- boom- pows, you know?
For fun, guys! Lighten up!
I used their Ringo Starr Set-up, obviously named after the Beatle’s preferred kit arrangement (quite minimal, with only one high Tom to go with his snare and floor drums). This suits us just fine though, because reggae/ska/punk drum rolls don’t demand for as much variations as, say, metal or progressive rock.
For two hours, we repeatedly played and recorded two of our original songs. Until we were just spent enough to admit that we had already gotten at least a couple of decent cuts. So what happened, was that we recorded these songs live- we were all in one room, all plugged and playing simultaneously.
Our bassist Glenn tells me that the drums have to be laid down perfectly for this round, because everyone else in the band should be able to re- record and re-lay their stuff individually in succeeding rounds. So everybody else can polish their sounds to perfection, using supposedly well- established beats as basis.
Thanks for the pressure guys! But I’m just here for the gang bang (Old School, 2003)!
*If you would like to receive and read more letters, please feel free to subscribe. Thank you.
More letters, more love!
Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.