Saturday, March 08, 2008

SolidTube...Bringing it Home

Feb. 25. What an evening! As I had described in the previous post, we had a nice group of fans and believers come to Wild One Music last night to join SolidTube in singing the final chorus of one of their songs.

The most I had hoped for was to show appreciation to the folks who have made all of this possible and maybe to add some ambience to the track. As it turned out, the group of believers stood around the microphone and created a chorus of such great feeling and vibe that I'm forced to include them in the final recording.

Feb. 29. Last night was our last day or recording at Wild One Music studio. As always, for me at least, reaching this point in a project has a bittersweet taste. The whole gang was at the studio at some point yesterday in case we needed to pick up any loose ends. There were only some guitar, harp and backup vocals to record but I really wanted everyone to come by so that I could shake their hands, look them in the eyes and sincerely thank them for their hard work and great attitudes. And I wanted them to hear this from me in the studio where it all happened.

While finishing the recording phase of a project is reason to celebrate, it also marks the end of our time together, and this leaves all of us with a touch of sadness. We have attempted to record the tracks as a team and as this is the first professional recording experience for some, I have avoided shortcuts and have taken the long way around (as long as the budget allowed) so that everyone walks away from the studio with more than they came with. I think we accomplished what we set out to do and feel as though we've crammed ten years into the month of February.

Today I will review the tracks one last time, make work mixes of everything, and then organize the material for mixing purposes. I'll be in Salzburg recording with ConFused5 during March so I won't see the SolidTube tracks until April. When I open the sessions in Protools, I only want to see the material I will be mixing. The entire session material will also be available of course. But as we have a deadline of May 1st, I need to streamline the process of elimination as much as possible.

One person that has become indispensable to this project is Jakob Grabmayr. The staff at Wild One consists of Jakob and his assistant, Frank Pitters and I hope that both of these guys realize how much I appreciate their hard work and the extent to which they have become an important part of the SolidTube family. Many times I've gone to work in a studio, done what was needed and walked away without anyone really giving a good personal shit about each other. Business is business and as long as everyone gets paid and the project gets done there's no need to make new friends or even know the first thing about the staff and vice-versa. I can say in all candor that this project was NOT strictly business as usual.

Jakob has built Wild One over the course of fifteen years and his technical knowledge in combination with his personal pride and attention to every detail has provided us with the perfect environment to commit this music and the band's personality to every cut on the album. Having been a musician himself, Jakob clearly understands the importance of creating not only a great recording environment, but also addressing the needs of the typical musician when waiting around in the hours between takes. The studio lounge had everything the bandmembers needed to make the time pass pleasantly. I have only two suggestions and I think it will be perfect. One, I would get a set of rubber coffee cups and hide the silverware in a safe place. Some of the guys were new to these things and came close to hurting themselves. Two, A strong door made of bars would be great. Then I could talk to the band without risking one of them running away...there are cats in the area and we had a few complaints from neighbors claiming their pets had been traumatized. Nothing was ever proven, but a good strong set of bars on the door would force the area animal lovers to point their accusing fingers elsewhere. Oh, and I guess there's a third thing. Hanging a tire in the courtyard would be good. It turns out that my guys like to swing on things...sorry about the lamps in the hallway, I guess they weren't as strong as they looked.

So...this will mark the last entry of the SolidTube studio blog. There will be much more to write in the coming months as the project reaches completion. But until then stay tuned for the adventures of Confused5 scheduled to begin on March 7th in Salzburg. And to everyone from Mandana, Mike, the band, the management, the studio and especially each and everyone who believes in this recording...well, the words to express what I really feel haven't been invented, so I can only extend my most heartfelt THANK YOU.

No comments: