With the aid of the intrepid Bill Hull today in the recording studio, i complete not one, not two, but half the vocal/guitar tracks for my newest demo cd. Towards the end of the session we recording “Angel,” “Lost,” and special guest-star “Bridge” all in a row with a single retake on the former two just to be safe. However, the highlight (as well as the major time-consuming task) of the day was “Under My Skin.”
Bill had heard “ums” enough to have an idea of what i wanted to do with it, and we agreed that we needed to get the basic guitar track down first because anything else in the song would be based around the nearly-random guitar solos i’d invent while playing. I think we made an attempt at getting the basic tracks for an entire hour, and nothing would work. Even when i could get through an entire take the song just didn’t ring true. Suddenly, into the studio popped Laurel, who came to hang out at Bill’s request. Bill and I idly chatted with Laurel for a few minutes while cuing up a tape, and then i launched into the song once again. There was a moment in the beginning where i almost aborted the take because i did a line very late (which came back to bite me in the ass when we overdubbed background vocals), but i hung in and finished; i don’t know if it was because i had an “audience,” or if it was because the audience happened to be the girl who the song was written about, but everything clicked. When we listened back to the track, Bill turned to me and said “we’ve got to keep these vocals; you’re really feeling these words.” And i, of course, agreed.
Then the fun began: it took thirty minutes (at least) to lay down a bass track after i fumbled twice during the solo. While i was playing bass, Bill kept gesturing to Laurel, who was quietly singing along from her seat. With much maneuvering (much to my delight as i continued to play), he got a mic in front of Laurel so we could hear what she was singing. As we finished the bass i turned to Laurel and said: “You’re next.” So, with much coaxing and with me singing along kareokee style in my own mic, Laurel and i made a few passes at the song in harmony (yielding some really scary bits where there’s two of me singing the wrong thing to each other), and then Bill and i left Laurel to her own devices to add a last vocal track onto the song. At this point the three of us had heard about as much of “Under My Skin” as we cared to in any given day, and so we put it aside and moved onto the other things mentioned above.
Tons of fun. “Never Say Goodbye” and “Crashing” will be valiantly attempted at some point tomorrow (as well as the equally intimidating “Relief“). Audio of “Under My Skin” by this weekend’s Trio. Awww yeah.
[…] As of two years ago today i had only completed three music courses on a collegiate level. None of them went towards improving my vocal skills. I was fully aware of that fact, and though i strove to improve both my volume and pitch on my own i had already begun to do the same through coursework. In 2001 i earned the ability to record in Drexel’s digital studio, and it was during the mixing of Relief that i became enamored with the idea of joining 8 To The Bar. […]