Outside: a sky covered with 50 shades of grey, and temperatures just above 0°C. Inside: a nice, warm stove, a comfortable couch and warm drinks. It would be the perfect conditions for the Christmas holidays… Add some snow and the magic begins!
This kind of scenery calls for an appropriate meal, so thank you Wim and your chicory rolls…
Of course we need to do some recording today as well, but as we tracked the last of the drums last night, we first have to clean things up a bit. All drums, cymbals, cowbells, tambourines and what not gets cleared away to make room for… room.
This is the ideal setting for some bluesy ad snappy soloing. A most magical moment happened when Daniël and Jan performed an accoustic piece of brilliance and simplicity. No pictures there, that moment belongs to the THI 2018 team.
Sunday Wim and I took a break from the studio environment, because family is important too…
Recapping yesterday’s takes turned out to be a nice surprise for us, good job Daniël! Today was all about building on top of that, and started out with some vocal layering. We needed a deep, sexy, Barry White. He wasn’t available, so we went for the THI version, Wim.
He does an amazing impression…
Next on the bucket list was a new song, so we started tracking the basics. When that was done, we all agreed to drop 2 of the 13 songs, so this was the last song the drums were required. The result of 8 bashing cymbal days?
The cymbals won’t sound the same on any song, I can tell you that much. They even start to vary in sound during one single take… To the kind people lending me some cymbals: no worries, those are mine and were already a little roughed up before coming to the studio. Your cymbals are fine!
Meanwhile, in the kitchen…
“Bellies be filled with stew!” he said. Thanks grandma Jan!
Last up for the night, choir vocals, funeral style.
This is definitely going to be an interesting album! Be sure to get it 😉
Recording a cowbell heavy song, with just one thin sounding cowbell? No problemo, Bert and Jan have got a solution for everything! Just contact mic the damn thing and pitch shift, harmonize and put on some ferry dust… They made a whole group of cowbell tracks, and called ’em Betsy. <3
Apart from the cowbell, today was a very Daniël flavoured day. He put on a lot of guitar dubs, the first solo of the album and 2 lead vocals. Well done bondo!
When he was resting his mind, it was time for a little experimental sauce. Earlier on the day I opened up a broken pair of headphones to see if it was still salvagable. That turned out not to be the case… Only one speaker functioned. But for a dynamic microphone to work, you only need one diaphragm to move, right? Time to reverse the laws of physics and do some vocals through a Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro microphone, uh headphones, wait, what?
Bane truly did an awesome job here…
At the end of the day our progress sheets started to look a lot like a game of 4 in a row, which is kind of the point!
By the way, we finished our song for De Nieuwe Lichting today. It didn’t turn out to be the one we previous to the studio thought it would be, so surprise, surprise…
Tomorrow break day for Wim and me, Daniël is again going to be put to work.
Time to execute the 2nd part of yesterday’s initial plan. It’s a moody barstool blues song, so setting the atmosphere is crucial. Especially when the song should sound like 2 a.m. and a lot of whisky, and it’s 11 a.m. and no whisky.
Something is still missing… 2 a.m. mood – check, whisky – check, guitar – check, bass – check, drums – check, piano –
Who knew that a piano with pushpins on the hammers sounds like a harpsichord?
The songs tracked really well, and we were in the right mood to dive deeper into it, so we started layering and finally also… vocals!
This one is nearly finished now, just needs a big ass solo and we’re good to go… That’s something for tomorrow, tonight we party!
Today was strange. Really… Twisted and wound up like those guitar cables you quickly had to move aside and then suddenly needed them anyway. You know, twisted.
It actually started real nice, searching for sounds on guitar, bas, drums and playing (a lot) with spacey FX.
With fresh minds and our sinusses still clear from yesterday’s hot sauce (thanks Daniël) we did some live tracking for a new song. And we tracked it again. And again. And again. Half a tracking day passed, just to realize that this was not the day for that song. Shit when it happens, but when it does you know it’s time for a short break!
Clearing the head again did work… We were able to live track another 3 songs! 3 out of 4, it’s usually not a bad result?!
Anyway, time for a good night sleep. It’s already 2 a.m. (I blame backups and crashed computers), and tomorrow will be another happy labour day.
Day 2 started at around 8:30 a.m. with yesterday’s leftovers. Is anything better than Wim’s Lasagne (yes, capital L!) on a Tuesday morning at GAM Studio? Not even possible…
Tuesday was an experimental journey of sounds. Contact mics on a cymbal as a room mic, rotating mics with record players, swinging them from the trees (well ok, no, but still… from a high beam) or putting them inside cupboards and unused piano’s, we had a lot of fun! Bert will confirm…
By the way, the secret to gigantic sounding bass? Microscopic amps (inside garbage cans to be 100% accurate), it’s that simple…
Apart from the technical stuff, day 2 was a very productive one. We tracked the basics of 3 songs and got into some serious dubbing, from nice and warm until wicked and crooked.
Bert in post day 2 pose?
Needless to say, we’re already looking back with a bit of melancholia on the 23rd of October 2018 but with a great deal of satisfaction on our minds.
Oh, why episode 2 is called ‘Sweat’? Apparently Jan’s nose starts to sweat when spicy food is in the room.
22 October 2018, 9:00 a.m., in the dim morning light we arrive at GAM Studio. It’ll turn out to be a productive day, but first things first: group selfie time. Introducing: The THI 2018 winning team (left to right, Kris, Wim, Bert, Daniël, Jan).
After unloading a lot of sh*t from 4 stuffed cars and an overloaded trailer, we soon realise that 3 drumkits might be just a little over the top for just one day.
Hand picked and hand tuned by Jan and Kris, we soon gather a nice setup for the drums. Micing is a b*tch!
Meanwhile Daniël is playing Jenga with amps…
Wim seems to be the more modest type of the bunch.
To sum up a hard day’s work: the basics and some guitar dubs of the first song are tracked, and a nice setup is left for the days to come…
Quotes of the day:
“Dju, die broek is comfortabel!” (“Damn, those pants are comfortable!”)
“Bubblegum makes papa hungry!”
It’s nearly time to head out to the studio in Waimes, and honestly: we can’t wait! We’ve been looking forward to this for more than a year now, and it’s finally here… Needless to say we’re going all out for our third record. It’s going to be great to be back in isolation in that mystical place that a lot of bands we know seem to like that much. It’s going to be great to be working 2 full weeks on our next album alongside Jan Viggria and Bert Vliegen. It’s going to be great to finally put down those songs and give them a more permanent place. It’s going to be even way better when we release them!
GAM Studios, you will be our home for the upcoming 2 weeks.