the Recording of Weird Decibels part 3

onto the final part of our extended look at our recording experience in Kelso

the moon shone through the ceiling window most nights. Beautiful.
the moon shone through the ceiling window most nights. Beautiful.

Wednesday 4th March

Hangovers. They hit me hard and I had a belter on the Thursday. Derek looked no better, I’m not sure if it was a hangover or his mood was low. He sat on the stairs for a while deep in thought as I prepared to record some vocals.

We mulled over breakfast, I picked at some food. Derek said he was missing his daughter and he was thinking about returning home. He said he felt bad about leaving the band. I said that we were lucky to be given a chance to do this for a week but you can’t help your feelings. I suggested he should return home to his family. With a heavy heart Derek headed off; the cottage was quiet for a while.

Recording the Vocals

the sun shines through the pop sheild
the sun shines through the pop sheild

I set up the rode just of the centre of the room ( sound reflections can sound worse in the middle of a room) and placed a room mic up on the balcony to see if we would get some nice over spill or ambiance from the louder vocals. The sun shone through the window onto the pop shield. It was a nice moment.

It generally went well although my voice burned out pretty quick; probably due to the alcohol the night before. My head was pounding as well. Greg manned the desk.

Onto Solos

Again using the big room I set up the blumlein mic setup using the two Rodes to capture Stu’s solos. I had a SM57 on the amp for back up. Again Greg thankfully manned the desk. I went outside for a wander.

With shotguns blasting in the farm far in the distance and the cold cutting through my skin I wandered down the dirt track away from the cottage thinking about the band and Derek’s early departure. I wondered if this would be the last time we would do this.

Then I heard Stu’s epic solos in the distance; when I listened back on the desk I was truly impressed.

A quiet night was had; Stu and I drove down to Kelso to get a chippy only to get lost on the way back. When we reached the dirt track in the black of the night Stu switched off his lights…

Thursday 5th March

We had a nice truckers breakfast thanks to Greg and Stu; I was feeling great and headed though to the big room to lay

Pabs and Stu. Victory coffees
Pabs and Stu. Victory coffees

some more vocals. There was a notable difference in the length of time my voice survived. We had to change some lyrics to one of the songs which Greg was happy to help with!

I found a use for my marshall distrotion pedal that I failed to get a sound for my guitars. I fed my vocal through a SM58 and the pedal for ‘Its Who You Know’.

With the vocals complete we took the whole kit back upstairs to concentrate on Stu’s clean guitar sounds. We completed those in a fairly quick time. The full day was a long shift though; when we were finished I was ready for Stu’s Spaghetti bolognaise and a mountain of garlic bread (the man likes garlic)

I missed my wife and kid a lot; we were all feeling it by now but I had a heavy heart as I packed up all the gear and stored it in the hallway for putting into the cars. We moved all the furniture back into its place and the cottage no longer looked like a makeshift studio.

The three of us sat and watched Still Crazy while the fire crackled in the background. It was the perfect movie to end the night.

Going Home

I woke up and thought of the solo gig I was due to play at the Tolbooth in Stirling; the nerves kicked in. So I got up and got ready to leave the cottage.

As I talked to the farmer who had stopped by to collect the bins I watched from the corner of my eye Stu and Greg load the cars. When they were done I nipped back into the cottage! We had a final look around and I knew that we had a fantastic time.

As the car trundled down the dirt track for the final time I turned around had a wee look back; Springfield got smaller as we drove away. It was time to return to our loved ones, a wee smile came over my face. I turned back around and looked to the road ahead; perhaps this won’t be the last time we do this. I’m sure we’ll find a way.

The cottage stands silent after a week of rock.
The cottage stands silent after a week of rock.

Pabs.

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