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A DIY recording journal. 
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Winston Wolf
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
I DLed these then lost them on my desktop for a week. :red:

Really dig yours of course. Really like the width of it, if that makes sense. It takes up a lot of space in a nice way. I actually kind of like a not-quite-centered mix sometimes. Like a shinier version of the early stereo/converted mono mixes, i occasionally like having an expectation of balance subverted. Sometimes i will do that on purpose, don't know if anyone else ever notices, but like: a super loud reverb on one side and a super quiet drier thing on the other, let them battle out for space, the wetter seems quieter, the drier seems louder, the waveforms look goofy, sometimes it even sounds right. It is like boredom tricks.

This one kind of has a bit of a green mind snare sound to it also, which might also just be the fact i have been hitting the dinosaur kinda hard lately.

What is the angle on guitars these days? What are people playing?

The canadian band one sounds real solid. Of course major agreement on what the kids want to hear/play for riffs. I have a pretty negative take on that one in general, so i won't get into it too much. I know some folks who can still get super excited about new bands, and i will go and check stuff out, but i really just don't get it much anymore where i wind up hearing something interesting. And it is usually just the singer that makes that happen anyhow, as you said. Maybe the main thrust of punkish music has always had a flavor of that, with just a few folks standing out over the years as special, but i feel like it is now just basically like metal is. Everyone knows what the formula is. And very few are interested in going for anything else.

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Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:29 am
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
Not super bothered with the balance being the way it is either tbh, especially with the way those parts interact in that particular song and the tones between guitars. Things are different at this point however, we got all the doubles done. And honestly, wish we had not doubled practically everything. :red: Which would be fine but I kind of designed the tones to work as a two-part system the way you might by using a dark microphone and a bright microphone on just one guitar take. So it is not quite as easy as just saying "well just use two instead of four". Or maybe it is? :red:

Alex and Dan are great players but it can get a little blurred and invites a lot of weird chorusing/intonation issues. I'm kinda managing how to go about dealing with the way we're sort of setup and its looking like I'll lean mostly on the original tracks (Alex on left, Dan on right) and use the second ones to bring in brightness and favor a lot of the room mics to get some of that Fridmann vibe that's on the Number Girl records.

Guitars are like:
Alex 1 Left - SG with Tele pickups, just the neck pickup. MXR 10 band doing a lot of stuff to make this more lean and bridge humbucker-like in EQ but still sounds like a Tele neck. JCM 800 cleanish with a ton of pedals for the various gain. Earthquaker Westwood, Tonebender, Op Amp Muff, etc.
Alex 2 Right - Thinline Tele with aftermarket WR bridge bucker. Pretty much just Brutalist Jr. or clean, JCM 800. Creamback 2x12 for both.
Dan 1 Right - Gibson Invader with vintage Duncan Distortion. Barber Gain Changer/RAT depending -> AC15 cranked to be shitting the bed nonstop, treble and bass knobs all the way down.
Dan 2 Left - Invader into a Peavey Bandit 1x12 with Eminence Tonker swapped in, same pedals.



I too have a bit of a Negative Approach as far as the state of that whole thing, the riff recycling and other shenanigans. Probably indulge in thinking about that a whole lot more than is good for my mental health. :red: Especially since I am dealing with this shit on a regular basis. It is an interesting thing in a lot of ways to me, given that the music stylings are older than classic rock at this point in relativity to when they were invented. With that considered it's also one of the more up it's own ass pretentious music cultures I've encountered. There's a reason the people who invented that music moved on and invented other new genres of music. :red: Lotta weird social dynamics in this more NYHC/youthcrew worship section of it, weird high school clique-y shit going on. Wild shit talking between scenesters who's scene is built upon this sort of staunch imagery of Unity and shit. To be completely honestly shit completely sucks to me in the worst cases. But I majorly digress. :red:

I do really like the nasty fast bands though. Fucked up guitar sounds, chromatic riff abuse, a little odd time stuff, occasional blastbeat. More in the pv and Mysterious Guy Hardcore (did they use to call it this?) world. The youthcrew pentatonic box power chord stuff particularly is boring to me. Basically buttrock riffs and certainly buttrock leads. :red:


Would be curious to hear your experience of these kinds of things back when you were blasting about in these kinds of scenes. It seems to me like things have fractured so far in terms of scene segregation, like a posthardcore/indie rock (the old kind) would never play with a straight up hardcore band these days, atleast around here on a local level. You could throw noise rock or any other inherently affiliated genre in there too, those things seem to be well divided now.

But maybe they always were?

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Tue Feb 09, 2021 5:15 pm
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Winston Wolf
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
Tell me about this SG with tele pickups. Is it a gibson? or some sort of weirdbeard?

Also, which creamback did she go for, the 65 or the 75?

RE: Hardcore back in the day. IMO, there have always been good and bad parts of it. There has always been a cliquey douche part, and there has always been a glorious weirdo misfit part, and there have often been folks that can run in between the two.

Youthcrew/NYHC/straightedge crews kind of wrote the book on clique douchery though. It is no accident how many of them embrace that highschool football/sports aesthetic. Just different jocks is all.

While it was common to see shows with various musical style represented back a ways around here, a lot of times, that was kind of the result of some full- or semi-weirdos being involved. Or dudes like Ballou who had a pretty wide variety of side projects that spanned the gamut, which could result in some pretty wideranging lineups for shows here and there.

In general though, i kind of feel like the main thing that the "scene" had more of back then was just: amateurs. That is what i miss. That is where the weirdos thrive, and that is where IMO a diversity of bands comes from. Once everyone goes "pro" with how they start to see themselves and their peers, that is where you start to get this regimental sort of organization of similars. Where i got out, i didn't know it then, but it really wound up being right there at the intersection of the "pros" taking over. On the one hand it was obviously good, as dudes we liked and played with figured out how to make livings from being musicians, but on the other hand, i feel like it also made it like a faux pas to be an oddball out to have fun with a band just for giggles and shits. Even crusty shows that i have been to recently had a weird flavor of professional "serious" type attitudes, that kind of dictate what is an acceptable type of person or band that can participate.

At least some of that, of course is probably more about me being a curmudgeon :red: , but i do think that also some of it is real/valid.

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Tue Feb 09, 2021 7:22 pm
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
Alex's SG was a three bucker "faded" model Gibson she traded an old Squier Supersonic for straight across. She prefers that neck shape to my Teles so she wanted to get something else over time we kinda realized there wasn't really any way to get any of those pickups to sound right, always really muddy low mids. So she got a pickguard setup for Tele pickups, bridge position is a little weirdly angled to fit the bridge hum routing and the pickups are kinda too close together for the in between position to not sound overly phasey but it looks really cool. IIRC, the Creambacks are 65s. Really, really fond of those speakers.

That sort of "pro" attitude thing you're talking about is definitely something I have seen a lot of. It is sort of enabled by the community, I think. Creatively and even technically incompetent bands around here will always be championed by the scene merely for participating (and of course having one or more members that are of the "social elite" within the scene). It is an impressively self sufficient genre in that way, sort of creating it's own economy based around hype and merch sales. Even though most scenes are based around "lifestyle genres" or whatever i've not encountered other music scenes that work like that to that degree.

There is a definite lack of I think fucked up weirdo stuff going on like you're saying. There's still this sort of performative spirit encouraging it, but it is largely only well-received when done within boundaries of accepted tropes. It is fairly popular with the young folks to play a sort of watered down take on Siege the past six years or so. So you cut the blast beats and truly demented shit and just do the mid tempo DOOP DAP DOOP DAP DOOP DAP DOOP DAP and have cartoonish "macabre" imagery on your merch. You gotta do that cause you refused to staff your band with people who can actually play because those people are nerds. :red:

This of course, also coming from a place of curmudgeonry. But I too like to think there's some validity to it.

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Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:09 pm
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
Alsoalso, here is one of these with all four guitars: https://www.dropbox.com/s/v7dcm93biq2vp ... 1.mp3?dl=0

Mix is a little wonked, guitars are eating the drums too much. This is from before I figured out I gotta bring down the secondary guit tracks and all that. Bass remains scratch, new P should be ready soonish.

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Wed Feb 10, 2021 6:13 pm
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
Got some vocals on a couple of these here now:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/twkwc6b7u46jb ... 3.mp3?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ns2r1ytw53led ... S.mp3?dl=0

Suspect I'm gonna end up re-recording these. Always kinda fighting the nature of my voice, it is a weird one. Usually what I've done in the past is sing with a sort of goofy Morrissey-esque open mouth shape to negate some of that nasal resonance in my voice but I've been avoiding that in this band. Might have to try a compromise though. Most rock music is also in a weird spot for me range because it's kind of low, would probably help if our band tuned down a whole step or something but that is a bit too much of a bother. That first song we capo'd up to the second to work the opposite way and helped a bit, but it's kind of always a problem. :idk:

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Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:11 pm
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Winston Wolf
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
As a person who has the same issue of choosing an appropriate range, and then being able to hit it correctly, i hear you.

I usually just go the wrong way up, kind of a bad habit and muscle memory plus my own not needing to be heard over a drummer... :red:

Maybe that is why, i like the Country Punk one, where the voice goes a bit up to match. Sounds "right" to me.

Similarly, i like the first one where the edge comes out later as you shift towards a shout and IMO the effect is similar. The voice cuts through and across, and the mix sounds better. Lower range and you are currently fighting the other instruments, IMO. They are winning.

If you are going to go low, you might have to get used to the voice being much higher up in the mix than you are used to. IMO, you lose too much detail when the vocal range is down in the mix, and also down in the range. I know you have said before you are looking not to produce a "bass players mix", but you might kind of have to get a little closer to a "singers mix", i think.

Really all rock music with vocals is essentially exactly that.

Listen to a band like Doves(just off the top of my head another mid-to-lower register singer) and catch how high the vocal is in the mix:





Or when the vocal is at a lower volume, like in the second song, hear how much mix trickery is being done to accent what the vocal is doing, and bring it forward in essence, if not in volume. Listen to all the reverby high register pitchyness accent effect. Practically half the mix is just vocal support tricks.

Just some thoughts. I know this is a different band and music than what you cats are doing, but just the first similar range vocalist in a more-or-less standard-tuned band that i could think of. Look for others who have solved your struggle in other mixes, IMO.

Basically, IMO, crank the vocal. IMO, it also allows you to feel that you are cutting through without needing to dip into a volume boosting vocal affectation, unless you WANT to. You have to ride the fader more between the sings and the shouts, but i think that is at least something you should try to play with, just to see if there is something there you can use/work with.

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Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:24 am
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
I definitely hear what you mean about higher being the better option, real problem is singing higher for me is just like a total pain, the shouty kind of bits are really only that way cause thats how I can get up to those notes. What is extremely annoying to me is how this shit is just a problem in my chest voice, I can fairly comfortably sing a whole step above the high note in Take On Me. I would happily give up that stupid shit just to have something of a tenor vocal range.

In the future I'm gonna get smarter about what keys I write in, there's just a kind of narrow band in which I can project at a timbre that can compete with a wall of guitars. That is maybe a good bit of the issue too, everything is so goddamn loud and the mix is kind of intensely dense. The fifth on the bass power chords that are happening in the tarpit song constantly along with some other things are really not helping the case I don't think.


Seems to me like you've got the right idea with all of this though, I think just making things loud in a way that I am not yet completely comfortable with is going to be what I have to do where going higher just is not an option. This Doves stuff is very good and I definitely see what you mean about the trickery to get that voice on top of the mix. I'm sure a shitload of compression and then a ton of automation after the fact. Even though its not necessarily the same kinda music the concepts in vocal production techniques are definitely interchangeable. Vocal production is definitely my weakest point and the thing I've thought about less than anything else, which is like most things with me fucking backwards. :red: There's still a lot of harmonies to be done by the other two singers in this band though, and I'm hoping that might have a similar effect to what you're talking about tricking the listener to perceive something to be louder than it is.


I really really think I'm gonna have to start mixing this shit in mono now when it comes to the vocal automation. It is very hard for to really hear where the vocal is actually sitting with the mix being all wide like this so I'm hoping that will help with perspective.

Thank you for listening as always, the feedback really does help get my brain kinda turning in a more productive way and looking at things differently.

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Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:18 pm
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/vsjjtwbiyubka ... 2.mp3?dl=0

Re-tracked the softer vocals and I think this is probably better. It is better atleast in the way that I am more okay with cranking it cause the performance is less nasally and honky. Still got a ways to go though, I imagine this will be a persistent issue through recording.

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Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:03 pm
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
Bit over half of the songs for this LP now almost done: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nmkq2kkirb10 ... ULeVa?dl=0

I have kinda made the mistake of going a little over the top with the distortion on everything and it is a little pancaked. :red: But most of it I have rendered and baked into shit so I'm just gonna live with the consequences.

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Tue Jul 13, 2021 2:49 pm
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Winston Wolf
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
Fuckin DUDE.

You have done really well with all of these. Hearing a lot of different things as it plays through, where you are doing really nice things with vocal arrangement and general treatment.

Personally, i wouldn't hate it if some of the vocals were a bit louder in the mix here and there, but how you have them, is also aesthetically valid, i think.

All of the band/instrument bits sound awesome. Pretty much everything is there, nothing grates or sticks out, everything sounds massive.

My continuing love of overbass has me wanting more bass, but again, what you have done is probably the correct aesthetic choice.

Cam, you guys should be super proud of this shit, it is fucking great. :huzzah:

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Tue Jul 13, 2021 7:03 pm
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Post Re: A DIY recording journal.
Thank you, brother. :huzzah: :huzzah: :huzzah:

It is actually a really big relief to know things are sounding good/on to you. Been sitting with these way too long, gotta not do it like this the next time around. :red: Easy to lose sight of the thing/objectivity. Not a particularly good or natural way to make records I think.

Kinda stupid, we've written almost another full length of songs since we started tracking the drums. After we get some shows under our belt I'm sure we'll start cracking at that sooner than later.

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Wed Jul 14, 2021 4:30 pm
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