From 4-track to Abbey Road studio 2, recording is a process any band has to go through. From my personal perspective as a Dufflefolk, it is of highs and lows. It confirms all your worst fears about a song through its magnifying glass but also appeals to the inner geek, which resides in most musicians. The process can be long or short depending if attempting the Magnus opus of Ok Computer or the instant energy of The Clash first album. Both I feel to be good.
With our latest EP ‘Through Fire Escapes Love’, Earl Grey tea was thanked. This is due to the time old equation of recording. The tea to track ratio, which does not include the variable of wee figures highly in our recording schedule. I’m sure if we could record kettles we could. Another scientific method of recording is that of dissemination. Looking for the right drum ‘sound’ can tear you apart, from your own initial impressions, to looking for something that you like, to watching a you tube video on drum sounds with someone talking more technical jargon than a PC World salesmen, to finally settling on what you had initially. Already I feel exhausted and I don’t like long sentences.
However it is not always a negative process, it is one of discovery. ‘Ah that’s how they do it’ being a classic phrase or even’ wow why didn’t we think of that before?’ Taking demo CD’s round our local electrical shops and playing it in different CD players to see how it sounds is also very exciting. Overdubs are also a fulfilling process with the perspective that everything is possible just depending on what you play or even how you play it.
Books such as ‘Revolution in the head’ shows that The Beatles imagined their songs sounding ‘like oranges’ or ‘monks singing’ and along with more conceptual methods of recording such as oblique strategies by Brian Eno shows the excitement of recording. Having complete control over your sound, might make it sound like a control freak profession but giving something that you can present to the world that holds after we have gone is life affirming.