So,I’ve been searching around for samples for Steven Slates Trigger application and came across this small company RW5 Samples. They specialize in drum samples that are critical,but largely ignored,these samples aren’t explosive,they don’t sound like gunshots in a large room like most drum samples. What these guys make are drum samples that add weight and heft to your drum kit. Don’t make the mistake of thinking these may be muddy,they are everything but,what they do is provide a body and thickness to your drum mixes that is very hard to capture while your recording a kit that will cut through the mix and sound exciting. The other great thing about these libraries is that they don’t try to gouge your wallet and charge you for samples your not going to use,you can buy each sample individually at a very reasonable price. They come in every popular format so no need to worry about compatibility issues. I can’t recommend these samples highly enough,I discovered them halfway through mixing a record and I went back to the first mix and started over just to get a snare sample in. Without the RW5 snare sample my drum mixes were big and exciting,but the snare sounded anemic by comparison. Go buy these samples,you’ll be glad you did. www.rw5samples.com
So, I’ve been spending time working on SRC2 lately and opened up an old song we were working on in 2002 at Henson studios and it was 96 tracks of complete craziness!! It has Neil Taylor playing drums,there were 13 microphones on his drum kit and 4 samples on each close mic doubling (actually quadrupling) the kick,snare and toms. There were 9 main electric guitar tracks,each with 3 mic’s on them. The bass had a direct track, a distorted direct and a mic’d amp. Two acoustic guitar tracks both with multiple mic’s, it just went on and on,theremin tracks,sitar,mellotron,Mini Moog,kettle drums……. There’s a gong for Christ’s sake. Then I got to the vocals. There were 3 lead vocal tracks and none of them were very good performances,which sucks cuz that’s what we’re stuck with and 3 tracks of screaming. This was recorded during the beginning of the end when Tobey was living at her boyfriends house in Malibu and it was almost impossible to get her to the studio to work ,so I think these takes were there as place holders we could build the track up around and replace later. This was the version of the band with Eric Hendrikx playing guitar and we were fortunate enough to still have Neil Taylor in the band,but he was reaching the end of his rope. He had done all the tours except the first club tour which was really short. He, like I, had been through a lot of bullshit in this “band” and I had always thought of him as a band member,but in reality was a hired gun and wasn’t making any money making this record as I was funding it myself and couldn’t afford to keep a band on salary. Neil,if you read this get in touch,after I recoup what I’ve spent on this record ( I should rephrase. IF I recoup what I’ve spent on this record…) I’d like to cut you in on it seeing as all the drum performances are yours. Back to the song : I was working on a big mixing console at Henson Studios and all these tracks were sent out to their own faders and I had a rough mix up at some point that I must have been happy with,it’s probably sitting on one of the 20 or so hard drives I have sitting around from that era,but going through all that old stuff is one of the reasons finishing this stuff has taken so long.
As I began to work in my current studio it became obvious that I wasn’t going to be able to split everything out to faders and was going to have to mix it in the computer. It’s interesting to me as time and taste has changed over the years,that as I started mixing the drums I realized that they sounded a lot better without all the extra doubling,maybe it’s because of all the new tools we have to work with a decade later. I threw away all the extra tracks and had the drums sounding really good after a couple hours of work. We recorded the main rhythm guitars with a prototype amp that basically was an Egnator preamp with a Marshall JCM 800 power section and a Marshall Mode 4 amp. I remember them sounding decent in the room,but after trying to mix them it became apparent that we had dialed the guitar tones in with way too much gain and it’s taking a lot of EQ to get them loud enough in the mix without the distortion tearing your head off. I ended up throwing away about half the guitar tracks. Eric Valentine hipped me to an EQ from a company called Hofa that’s been working wonders on fixing the guitars.
The bass was salvageable tone wise, but I replayed it because I’m a better player now and came up with a part that supported the guitars better….and I had just gotten a new Yamaha bass in the mail. The guitar solo just isn’t working for me,so I think I’m going to cut that section out of the song. There was really only one solo on the first record on the song Strangled and it was highly stylized and cool and wasn’t there just for the sake of having a solo,it was more of a composition within the song and made a huge difference overall,it was written and played by Greg Camp, and this solo is just a flurry of distorted notes with a wah pedal.
The hardest thing about re addressing these old recordings is that I was moving the band into a more straight ahead rock sound because we were marketed as part of the Orgy,Otep/goth thing and that wasn’t what we were at all,so I wanted to make a record that was easy to categorize. We had a hard time marketing Sonic Jihad and a harder time finding bands to tour with and I didn’t want to have those problems again. Now I’m trying to take songs that were written in that harder more rock direction and drag them kicking and screaming into the world of Sonic Jihad because that’s what SRC fans are waiting for. It won’t be Sonic Jihad 2, because Eric Valentine is only contributing some recordings that were done back in ’99. They are alternate recordings/mixes of songs from SJ.
Eric was a big part of making SJ,not just musically,but he dealt with Tobey,recorded all her vocals,and did all the tuning. I’d write lyrics,he and I would collaborate on melodies,he’d teach her the parts and record her. For the recording of the new songs I’d write the lyrics and melodies and on most of the songs Troy VanLeeuwen sang the entire song and then Tobey would come in and double what he sang,then I would erase Troys track,have her double her own track and then I would edit and tune them. It was a bit of a process,but it was the only way to get takes we could use. On this song I can get the vocals in tune,but it has that damn robot sound they use on all the hip hop records…….it’s not that bad,but some words that are really out of tune end up with the robot. I’m doing what I’ve done on other records and hiding the bad parts with some creative delay and reverb effects. Not ideal,but it’ll work. I’m almost done with this one, I just have to deal with the chorus vocals,send it out to some trusted ears and make a few adjustments from there.
In other news, you gotta check out Spiral Arms,my friend Craig’s band. Their new record is coming out on SPV Records. Check out their new video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0dD_Oflc4U&sns=em
AS I WROTE IN THE LAST INSTALLMENT,THERE ARE NO MORE T SHIRTS LEFT AND EVERYBODY THAT WROTE IN IN TIME HAS GOTTEN THEIR SHIRTS AWHILE AGO. I WILL HAVE MORE SHIRTS MADE WHEN THE RECORD IS DONE. THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST AND PATIENCE.
Hey guys, I’ve been really busy and haven’t been keeping up on the blog. I had no idea so many people wanted shirts! If you didn’t get an email I either didn’t have your size or ran out before I got to you on the list. This got me to thinking (which can get me in trouble,but what the hell) I can get full color shirts made very inexpensively,if I printed up the same shirts we sold on the A Perfect Circle tour would you guys pay 7 bucks for one? That’s about what it costs to make em. I’m not trying to make money off em,I figure it’s a good deal for both of us ,you get a cool shirt and I get free advertisement for SRC 2. Speaking of which,my partner in SRC Eric Valentine is getting together some alternate mixes/versions of some of the songs from Sonic Jihad that I’ll be adding to record 2. I apologize it’s taking me so long to finish,at this point SRC 2 is kind of a hobby.the paying work has to comes first. This will make no sense to you unless you are an audio nerd,but Slate Digital made a compression plug in that is a game changer,so I’m re addressing some of my mixes and it’s making a big difference. I’m also having a few friends whose work I admire doing some remixes. All in all I think the record will be a fitting way to put SRC to bed while keeping my promise of a second record. There will be a lot of content for 9 bucks. Ok, that’s it for now. To the people that sent emails asking about the meaning of some of the songs,I’m working on getting back to you.
If ya haven’t guessed it,I’m writing like crazy for two different projects and have been working on SRC2. I’ve readdressed the production and settled on a mix for a song called Wont Go Quietly and have started getting a song called Saline together. I found a couple songs I’d completely forgotten we had started recording that I’m going to start getting the production together for. It’s a lot of work,almost like starting from scratch with just a vocal but I wanna finish EVERYTHING,put it out and never have to look back. It’s going to be different than the first record,but if you were/are an SRC fan you’ve heard the demo’s and know where it was going.
I found some old SRC and Enemy shirts,if you want one leave a comment with your info and if you pay for shipping I’ll get em out to you. There’s not that many SRC shirts,but quite a few Enemy shirts. Make sure to specify size. Bjork’s Army of Me is still amazing sounding,Shuggie Otis is still a genius and Angel of Death is still the best song to listen to while doing dishes so all is well in the world.
A moment of silence for Jeff Hanneman if you will.
I finally got the VooDoos record up on iTunes and everywhere else,check it out and see if ya like it!
Anybody that was around while we were making the record knows how slammed we were for time. In the end the mixes suffered as they’re the last part of the process we didn’t really have time to mix them properly. It was more of a race against the clock than a mix situation. much to Cleopatra’s credit,they’ve given us extra time to get things right. Back when there was lots of money in the record business it was pretty common to go back and do recalls on mixes,but as the margins have gotten tighter it almost never happens anymore. All that being said, I have to commend Cleopatra for putting the record first and letting us go back and recall the mixes,it’s been quite awhile since a label spent the time and money to go back and get things right. I’m going back and doing 3 or 4, a few of the mixes were fine and another mixer is doing 1 or 2. I wanna thank the folks at Cleopatra for the opportunity to make this record right,most labels nowadays will just throw the record on the shelves ( iTunes) instead of spending the money/time to do recalls. The record will be much better for it,and that’s all that really matters.
We finished a day before the deadline!! Maor Appelbaum is mastering it and it sounds great. It’s fun to read all the trash talking and speculation that is so far off base it’s laughable on some of these forums…..well one in particular….the ridiculous things people come up with and speculate about is comedy. Apparently in these circles it’s a bad thing to use the best musicians you have access to,it’s also a bad idea to use good songs if they are available to you. Just silly nonsense. I’m proud of the work we all did on this record and even more so that we finished on time and on budget. It was a challenge and a joy to work with all the musicians involved. Craig Locicero and Chris Poland did a stellar job,as did Chris Cannella,Ty Tabor and the rest of the guys. I’ve never been this worn out at the end of a record,but it was well worth it,everybody pulled their weight and we got it done. Much thanks to all involved. (If your not a Friend/fan of my work,great,you read it,there’s no reason to post it on another site like a child that can’t wait to spread a rumor.high schools over and done with.)
Time to rest!!!
In the home stretch of writing, producing and mixing a record in 6 weeks, I have one song left to finish but it’s turned out pretty amazing if I do say so myself. I don’t think I’ve ever been this tired in my life, but it’s been well worth it!