Thursday, 16 February 2012

I never wanted to be a teacher!

I'm aware that just lately my blog posts have become more like lectures than updates, and that's not what I started this for. I realise that I may well have been alienating people who want to know what I'm up to and where I am with certain projects (basically, what a musicians blog should be!) so for now I'm going to stop the lecturing for a while and keep on with the updates.

That said, any musicians who would like some advice from me only need ask :) I'm more than willing to help out where I can.

Anyway, on to the update. Today I finished recording the bass parts for the songs for my upcoming 'back-catalogue' album. I'm not releasing the track listing yet, I'll probably do that when the recording is all sorted and a release date is set. What I will tell you is that today I recorded bass parts for two popular songs from 'The Rumour Mill' and one from 'Bard Song', the latter taking a grand total of 20 takes! (I was starting to feel like I was nitpicking a little, but I nailed it just before I gave up all hope!). From here I have a decision to make.

Pretty much everything else I am going to put into the songs needs to be mic'ed, and for this I would like to record in a room different to my bedroom! It just doesn't sound great in there, and it's not isolated enough so not only do I worry about doors slamming downstairs ruining a good take, but also I feel like I can't really let rip with the vocals with other people in the house.

When I recorded 'The List' this wasn't an issue. I was recording onto a laptop, so taking the recording to a different location, which turned out to be either my conservatory in the dead of night or my next door neighbour's music room in his garden was easy. Now I'm working on a desktop PC, so moving it around is a bit of a headache. I think maybe I will need to camp in Ed's music room again (if he lets me!) or find somewhere to set up shop away from outside interferences.

These problems aside, the more I play and record parts for this album, the more excited I get about it. I'm still not totally sold that it's going to be a huge success, but it's a project I'm committed to and I'm starting to come around to the idea of it. What I like about it is that the songs that I have chosen have all, at some point, been big songs in my live sets, but recordings of them have never really done them justice. Since then I have improved as a musician, performer and engineer, so I'm hoping to give better representations of them this time around. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they come out.

Recording aside, I'm back on the gigging trail again, finding out new open mic nights, getting back in touch with promoters and finding new open mic nights for me to run, the latter starting tonight with a new night at The Stirrups in Brewood. Come down if you have the night off, it should be good fun. I'd also love to hear from anyone who has any suggestions about places I should play or people I should get in touch with about playing :)

So that's it for updates. Next time I'll hopefully be further along the album road, have had some gigs to tell you about and maybe even have some new merchandise and competitions to get you in on! Keep you posted :)



  1. Nice one Sam, I'm looking forward to hearing the album!

    I've never had the luxury of my own studio, unless you count the 4-track tape recorder I have on top of my wardrobe which I haven't used for years. So whenever I've recorded, I've always been constrained by time allowance; I know you're fairly relaxed about this but even when I've recorded with you I've still only had that day to do it in. I found that there comes a point where you just have to say yeah, that's as good as it's going to get, let's record the rest and see what it sounds like then. I don't know if I'll ever make the perfect record, because there's always stuff you'd do differently next time. But it can be good as well!

    1. You're right Matt, sometimes you just need to step back and say 'you know what, I'm happy with that'. No-one wants to hear a perfect record anyway! I've finished all the keyboard parts now too, so it really is time to move the studio gear to a more secluded location! It's exciting!