More Music From The Past

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Here are a couple of tracks from my Sand Diego band Rare Form, circa 1993. This is the cover band that I still belong to even though I now live in Fresno, 348 miles away. The tape this came from has four songs on it, but two are still missing the vocals. We only had a four track recorder and a few hours, so each song was recorded in one or two takes. These songs were pulled from an old cassette, so the sound quality is not as good as I would like. But I have spent a lot of time trying to improve the sound of the tracks using an audio editing program called “Cool Edit Pro”. It amazes me what technology has brought to the average Joe’s fingertips.

When I listen to the bass line on “Inspire Me” I almost believe that I might just be able to play the contraption. I am very proud of that one. I actually goofed a couple of times in the recording. At the beginning of the solo, on the second note, I play a “B” but I meant to play a “D”. I used to be mad at myself for that, until one day (probably two years later I’m so dense) I realized “Hey, That actually works better than the thing I wanted to do!” Recording is like that. There are also some tasty slidey bass bits going on toward the end of the second verse. The funny thing is, I did not remember doing it when we recorded the song. Recording is like that. Sometimes you get in a groove while playing a good song and do little thing you’re not aware of, but it’s caught on tape. I had to sit down and learn the new part I created, but I didn’t know how I did it! I just knew it sounded really good. And Cliff’s guitar solo on this song is simple yet stunning. I never tire of hearing it!

Blogtopus Addition

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The Wreckroom.

New CPG Song.

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“Lucky” is one of the songs that will be on the new CPG album. Keep in mind this is only a rough track with almost no mixing or engineering. To those not familiar with music record techniques, this means that what you hear on this song is about the way it sounded when it was recorded. It hasn’t been altered much at all. For example, when you hear a song on the radio, or play one from a CD, many of the sounds and / or instruments you hear on the recording has been modified in some way or another to get the music to sound a particular way. When you turn up the treble or bass controls on you stereo to get the music to sound better, you’re mixing the song to get it to sound better (to your ears). Except in the studio we have a lot, and I mean A LOT more dials and knobs and things we can use to make a guitar or bass or vocals sound different. You may ask “Why bother. Doesn’t it sound good enough already”? All you have to do is think back to the first time you heard your own voice played back on a tape recorder. You probably said something like “God, Do I really sound like that”?! And musicians are really anal about the way things sound, so this is one of the reasons that it takes a year or more to record an album.

Another reason albums take a long time to record is because the master recordings get destroyed due to a PEBKAC error, or as the Mate says, divine intervention (God is trying to tell you “YOU’RE BAND SUCKS!!!”). The hard drive our master tracks were stored on died. We lost three songs. Another band lost a whole album. Nothing could be recovered. This version of “Lucky” was one of these songs that got erased. When we record a song, each instrument and voice is recorded on its own track, keeping each part separate from the other. This is called Multitrack Recording. You do this so that you can change or alter the sound of one instrument or vocal (by using the dials and knobs mentioned above), or if you don’t like the performance, you can re-record this track with out having to re-record everyone else’s parts. The more instrument and / or vocals you have on a song, the more tracks you will have. We mixed all those tracks into two channels, left and right, and burned them to a CD. When you do that, you lost the ability to manipulate the recording because the separate tracks are on longer there. Remember when you were kids and had “Play-Doh” sets with four colors. And when you played with it, and made things, and then mashed all the colors together because it was fun. But then you couldn’t make anything else ’cause you mixed all the colors and can’t unmix them and get them back again? This is what this version of “Lucky” is — mashed up “Play-Doh”. We were going to do more work on the individual track to make the song sound better, but since the tracks are lost, this is what we have for you. So enjoy.

P.S. For Linux users, here is a more direct approach to get Lucky!