Las Vegas – The Making of

July 1, 2011

Las Vegas was a fun song to record. We had a very definite idea of what it should sound like and I think we managed to capture the vibe fairly well.

I wanted something with lots of guitar but still sounding a little hollow, a bit like a ghost town. So we ended up having 4 guitar tracks; One is the acoustic guitar (which is a kind of a base, present in many of the tracks on the album), which I recorded. The three others were record by Thad DeBrock. In this song he plays the pedal steel, an electric with bottle neck, and another electric with a somewhat dirty bluesy tone. Oh, and he also played the banjo part that starts in the second chorus.

The result is a very nice texture that fitted perfectly our vision of the track’s atmosphere. I made a bounce of just the guitars and the banjo so that you can hear what it all sounds like (I left some of the bass drum to fill those empty spaces)… Listen all the way to the end! At points I find this mix almost eerie…

Las Vegas - Just Guitars... Oh Yeah!

Another thing we ended up putting in the track is something our drummer (the awesome Chris Schultz) came up with. I’m not sure when he came up with it but he played a really high pitch sound, not very unlike chalk screeching on a board, by rubbing the tip of a stick on the cymbal. So here’s to give him the credits, and show you how it’s done: the sound snippet that made it in the final recording, and a video of him recording it!

The Cymbal Screech

http://www.thewhisperingtree.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/LasVegasCymbalFX.f4v

Hope you’ve enjoyed this second post in the Making Of series. Don’t hesitate to post a comment if you have any question about it, or about any aspect of the recording, I’ll do my best to answer all of them!


Elie

By the Side of the Road – The Making of

June 9, 2011

Since Eleanor started this great series about the songwriting process (http://www.thewhisperingtree.com/blog/the-genesis-of-a-song-by-the-side-of-the-road), I decided to start an accompanying series about the arranging/recording part of the album making.

I find that very few artists talk about this part of the creation of an album, and I love when artists create inspired remixes of their tracks, or share technical aspects of what happened in the studio, and all the “behind the scenes” type of things.

So here we go, “By the Side of the Road – the making of” 🙂

As Eleanor mentioned in her post, we originally envisioned somewhat of a tribal feel for this song, with percussion and didgeridoo playing a drone the whole way through. However, due to production constraints (budget + time), we never got the chance to record it this way. We did have a percussion track that did not make it in the final mix. Here’s a snippet of the percussion track by itself and the same snippet of what the mix would be with the percussion in:

Percussion Track

Mix with percussion

We decided that the the percussion didn’t sound like we wanted it to and that the mix was more interesting and less cluttered without them. However, nothing is lost, we bring you a video of our drummer Chris Schultz improvising on the track when we were experimenting with percs!

http://www.thewhisperingtree.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/ByTheSidepercRec.f4v

I really hope one day we’ll do another recording of the song with our original instrumentation idea (and for that I’ll have to find a didgeridoo in F#, which is really not easy to come by!)

In the mean time, while playing with the stems to write this post, I found that listening to the whole song with just the piano and the vocals had a really good feel about it. So just for you, those who made it to the end of this article, here’s a gift: a downloadable mp3 of “By the Side of the Road” with vocals and piano only (which sounds pretty awesome if you ask me!)

By the Side of the Road - Vocal + Piano only

Download link : By The Side – Piano + Vocals only.mp3

Enjoy!!!

Oh and here’s a video of me tracking the acoustic guitar. I think it looks cool so what better place to share it than this post?

http://www.thewhisperingtree.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/ByTheSideAcouRec.f4v

 


Elie