Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Recording series, part 1

I was planning to post some pictures or video or something, but that's not working out yet... I'll try to do so in the future.

Right, so, I've officially begun the recording process for the new album. At this point, I have recorded all the guitar for the first of seven songs, and I'm probably just going to progress straight through and then do bass and vocals after. Seems simpler that way.

So about my equpiment: I've been using the same guitar for a long time now, an Ibanex EX 370 that I got used in 2005 or so. I don't like it very much. The main problem with it is the fact that it has a floating (Floyd Rose) bridge, meaning that where the strings attach at the bottom just kind of goes up and down whenever it wants instead of staying put. Apparently there are professionals who can string guitars with floating bridges. I can't. When I restrung my guitar for Antimonument, I tried to use regular drop D tuning, resulting in so much tension that I just broke the top two strings. I'd already recorded bass guitar in D, so I was more or less forced to record the guitar using only the lower four strings. The only real solution was to downtune, which is why Lifting of the Veil is downtuned to drop B flat (as is Cleanse). This actually worked out quite nicely since B flat was more in my vocal range anyway and I got a decently heavy sound with the detuned strings. However, B flat isn't a good tuning for bass guitar. I own a five-string Ibanez Soundgear (also kind of a crappy model) and wasn't sure how to tune it. For Lifting of the Veil I just detuned all the strings down so they were incredibly floppy and sounded awful; for Cleanse I only detuned the bottom string so it was six half-steps off the rest of the strings which was really difficult to play with and I'm really not sure what I was thinking. So, for the new album, I've decided to go a bit further with drop A tuning; with this, not only can I get away with only detuning one bass string, but I've also been able to borrow a fretless bass for some parts without detuning it (people hate it when you detune their guitars). So that will hopefully wind up sounding pretty cool.

Since I record in my apartment bedroom and can't really have any amps, I do direct injection from the guitar/bass into a Digitech BP80 pedal straight into my desktop computer. I love the pedal; I've had it almost as long as my bass (about 6 years) and it's excellent for practice; however when recording I only use it for distortion since I add most other effects (reverb, delay, etc.) during mixing.

That's pretty much all there is to say about my equipment... hopefully next update I'll have more to say about the actual recording process.

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