We(Me, my wife, my daugher, her friend Alex, Joel and Brandon) went to the Ben Folds
show in Ruston, LA last night. Chris Mills
opened for Ben and he was ok. It was just him on guitar and a drummer. Suprisingly enough, his material was almost enough to hold the crowd's attention. The drummer was more than proficient to say the least. Before Ben came on, he had this song about how you should walk the straight and narrow or else God would f..k you up. It was hilarious. I've always been a fan of his since I bought "Forever and Ever, Amen" for my daughter when she was in junior high but I hadn't really heard a lot of his new stuff. All I can say is that he is the most entertainment I've had for $20 in forever. At one point in the show, he started talking about all ringtones he had bought for his phone that day. Then he asked a stagehand to get his phone so he could play them for us. It was like being at a party where a guy is playing piano and telling jokes. After he played a few ringtones, he said we should wish William Shatner Happy Birthday because it was a few days ago. He dialed the number and the voicemail came on an said "You've reached the Sprint voicemail of ....." and we're all waiting for it to say "William Shatner" but instead it says "85..." and then Ben pulled the phone away from the mike until the number was finished and then we all sang "Happy Birthday to Bill". It seemed like there wasn't anyone he didn't want to piss off. He played a rap song by Dr. Dre that was all about ho's and biatches, etc, etc, etc and I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever heard. Then, of course, he played "Rockin' the Suburbs" and went into this kind of bash against the current state of rock(?) music. The set was awesome but he hadn't played "200 Solemn Faces" before the encore so I was a little concerned that he wasn't going to play it. Then for the last song, he started it off and I jumped around like a little kid who was told he was about to get a piece of candy. The Radiohead show in New Orleans about 2 years ago was the best show musically I'd ever been to but this was definately the most intimate and fun.
We got in about 1:00AM and I woke up about 8:00 and made coffee. The house was quiet so I went into the studio to work on something I am pretty excited about. I lurk a bit in few recording and guitar user groups on Yahoo and Google and about a month and half ago, someone posted something relating to whether they should take their songs to a pro studio to mix. My response was that for the amount of money a pro studio would charge to mix a CD's worth of material, you could buy a ton of plugin's and gear and just do it yourself. Then someone else suggested that one of the group members might be interested in mixing. I offered and FC got the tracks together for me to mix. It's a cover of The Beatles "Me and My Monkey" from the White Album which I think is really their most artist endeavor (Click Here for the unmixed version
). The are a total of 17 tracks but you have 2 tracks for each guitar, a direct track and a amped track for the bass, two tracks for the snare and the lead vocal, a stereo track for a crash cymbal, two tracks for the toms, cymbals and other percussion and single tracks for the kick drum and background vocals. A Yamaba AW16G was used to record the guitars, bass, drum sequencer and background vocals. Guitars and basses were recorded using the Line 6 Pod and the drums are from a Boss Dr-770. The vocals were recorded remotely but I don't have details on what or how they were recorded. I started off by mixing down the lead vocal and snare to mono tracks. Then I went through each of the tracks and eq'ed them. There was really no need to compress them since FC had already done that. Note: It's cool to edit tracks to get rid of extraneous noise, etc. but try not to do to much in the way of effects that can't be reversed unless they are absolutely crucial to the feel of the song. In this case, it worked out well because there wasn't any reverb on anything but the guitars and the compression was done well. I added a delay to the vocal in order to double it (A Lennon fave) and then soloed it against the kick and bass. I brought the kick and bass up to about - 3db and then brought the vocal up to point where I could hear it clearly but it didn't overpower the other two. Click here for a sample
. I put a little delay on the snare to give it some space and brought it in. Click here
for the snare sample and then here
to listen to it in the mix.
After I was satisfied with that I brought the rest of the kit in. I treated the cymbal and tom tracks as though they were right and left channels of a stereo mix. They were very hot so I had to pull them back quite a bit. Here they are
with the rest of the mix. I fed them to an aux send with the Lexicon Pantheon reverb. The guitars were next and even though they were recorded with reverb I sent them to a another aux send with a different reverb. (click here
). FC did a good job of recording them so I didn't have to do much other than pan them a bit to seperate them and then set the volumes so that they didn't get in the way of anything. There was one section that required me to step up the volume on one of the guitars so that a particular fill would cut through. Then I put a rhythmic delay
on the background vocals to give them some space. I listened to a few times, made a few adjustments to the eq on the snare and the kick and exported a tk to burn to a CD to listen to in my car which is dead on. The kick was a bit hot(just a teeny bit) and the bass lacked some definition so I plan on playing around with that tonight and I think I'll be able to put that to bed.
I finally got Anna really close and I also need to put the finishing touches on that tonight. We talked Thursday about having a demo with Caroline, Anna, Back to You, and Where Ya Goin' on it along with a couple of snippets from the "No Cover" radio show we did a while back. Thinking back, that was a pretty stressful gig. I assumed that a radio station would have a room where we would be mic'd up and mixed by an engineer. It was a good thing I decided to get there early. We had to provide our own mix and feed it to the engineer. I called my wife and had her bring my Mackie 1604 VLZ along with some extra headphones so we could hear each other. On top of that, my daughter forgot to bring her keyboard so we had to rent one for $100. It was a Korg Triton so it sounded awesome and it was well worth it. The show went really well. It's one of the shows they replay every year on their "Best Of" shows. Now they do a taped show so I don't know if it would be as spontaneous as our show was.