It’s uncharacteristic of me these days to provide commentary on an event in progress rather than spending ages summing up afterwards, I’m awake before the others, it’s raining outside, and I’ve already run out of other internet. It’s our third day in studio on Vibe, Drill and “It”
. The Dapper Swindler and I have been sequestered in the handsome SAE Institute just outside Oxford under the tender care of Dean “Contemptuous Glance” McCarthy. Dean’s been splendid, particularly on the patience front, and I am even now in the house he shares with his charming fiancée Liz “Very Small Printing Press” Gallagher. Their hospitality has been overwhelming, and since this is our first recording session in over two years (and our first studio recording session ever) we’ve been having quite a time. Perhaps other artists out there on the internet might benefit from our experiences? Here are some of the lessons we learnt.
1) Don’t leave a nice piece of Thomas Hoe Stevenson’s Aged Red Leicester in the glove box of the car during your recording session.
Whilst providing a somewhat tasty treat upon exit, it will make your car an undesirable place to be for some time afterwards.
2) When shown into the luxurious megastudio, don’t immediately spill beer everywhere.
We learn this lesson courtesy of the D. Swindler, although in fellowship I deliberately opened a fizzed-up new bottle of Dr. Pepper five minutes later.
3) Sound Engineeers absolutely love listening to you doing take after take after take of the same song, making the same mistakes in the same places.
Through the window which seperates the studio from the mixing room, you can just about make out Dean’s facebook page on the computer screen.
4) If you can’t write or sing vocal backing parts, just record about twelve different terrible freestyles and layer them all up together.
Improv choir of awesome! This totally works.
5) If you break a string whilst restringing your guitar, no-one will notice if you just stick the old string back on.
There’s a button in Dean’s office with “make an old B string sound like the other 5 jangly new strings” written on it. It’s next to “poke” and “add as a friend”.
6) If you then break a second string after throwing away the old ones, you can use another string of a different gauge that your friend Will happens to have with him to make do.
Who even breaks A strings? I’ve never seen anyone break an acoustic A string before.
7) If you threw away a whole, brand new, set of your friend Will’s different-gauge strings yesterday because you had them out to investigate the possibility of putting one of them on to replace the first string you broke (see 5), you can always go through the bins a day later to rescue them.
I’ll stop this one before things become passive-aggressive up in here.
8) Recording is better if every meal you eat is sandwiched between two pieces of bread.
Yesterday’s breakfast: Egg McMuffin (more on this anon). Lunch: Steak burger in a pub near SAE. Dinner: Turkey burgers hand-crafted by Liz.
Right. Everyone’s up now, so I have to go and cut pieces of melted Thomas Hoe Stevenson for the egg bagels.