Home > In Studio, Music, Recording > Long Live the Ashes Studio Blog – Day 5

Long Live the Ashes Studio Blog – Day 5

Today was a complete change of pace. All of us were exhausted after a late night of unwinding, talking, and listening to tunes for far too long. After getting about three and a half hours of sleep I woke up with Dave and dove right back into drum edits. Which took a good amount of time. I was so exhausted, I ended up going back to sleep for an hour while Jason tackled some more bass tracks.

Waking back up, I ended up tracking the very last drumset parts to the song, “Say She Is.” This was probably the closest thing to a ballad that I would play on for the record in terms of the drum feel. We got some really nice warm sounds, and I ended up using a pair of 17” crashes for my hi-hats, which really helped develop a nice cushion of sound under the brushwork. Overall, the feel on this tune is probably the most organic from my standpoint, and while editing it later, we ended up leaving a lot of that pushing and pulling in to convey the conflict of emotions that comes out in the song. I feel like this song was the most important to me, in terms of pouring my heart into my playing. Even before the session began on Sunday, I’d felt a real connection to this song and how it made me feel when I would listen to it. Hopefully, I did that feeling and the song justice.

After that, we shifted gears for the final two tracks I had to work on. We revisited “Into the Wild” to finish the rest of the song with cajon. Having only tracked drumset at the very end, the cajon became the foundation and pulse of the rest of the rhythm tracks on this song. Really digging into the complexity of this song’s progression, we established a very simplistic groove with the organic tones from the cajon, with the snares disengaged… this gave it a very natural woody tone with an incredible bass sound. After building the remainder of that track, I tracked the cajon on one more song, “Oh My Lover,” in a different fashion but with a similar approach and tone… giving it a more driving feel while leaving a lot of space for things to come, in terms of guitar and possible string arrangements.

Some of my favorite moments in the remainder of the last day were getting to hear Jason play his acoustic upright bass over the last two tracks I mentioned. While dialing in his tone, Tom and I were party to hearing his joyful exclamations in response to how good his bass sounded. We couldn’t resist echoing his joy in the control room. Jason’s performance on the upright was really inspiring and I think will help to really shape the feel of these songs.

After listening back to the last few tracks, and closing the last session in the control room, I felt genuinely elated. We’ve really accomplished a lot in these last 5 days. I’m 100% exhausted, but I feel great, and am more excited than I can say about hearing how this album turns out. It’s almost torturous, knowing that tracking will continue for another 2 weeks, and then it will be a while before the album is mixed, mastered, and pressed. Luckily, I’ll be heading back to overdub all the percussion parts sometime in that next two weeks for a day or two to add all the finishing touches, so I’ll at least get to hear how things have progressed since leaving.

Tomorrow morning, I’ll pack up all the ridiculous amounts of gear that I brought in here and head back home. I’m glad to return to my house, bed, dog, and girlfriend (who’s been infinitely patient with me), but at the same time, I’ll miss this time with the guys. It’s really been an inspiring experience, and the time spent with Kevin (“Dutch The Predator”), Tom (“Tusk”), & Jason (“The Jason the Marauder”) has been amazing, and will definitely stick with me for a long time. Thanks to all those guys for making the experience what it was, and thanks Dave (“Mad Dog”), Nathan (“Chainz”), Brandon (“Renegade”), Adam (“Viper”), & Steve (“Sooper Soak”) at  Earthwork for keeping us laughing and sane.

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