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Blog: Two Days In The Studio

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Still a bit WEARY from all the Rock Action in Sheffield i had to get up Extra Early on Saturday morning (7.30am - ON SATURDAY) in order to catch my train to Derby, where I was due to meet with Mr R Newman to finish off the first stage of my BITS (Studio terminology) for Dinosaur Planet.

After a DELIGHTFUL journey I arrived at Snug Studio five minutes early, and was just TWITTERING this fact when Robbie came strolling around the corner. We went inside, and BEGAN.

The first chunk of business was to finish off all my VOCALS. Once again I used my REVOLUTIONARY "Sitting Down To Sing" method and with Robbie gently GUIDING my vocal stylings (ranging from the gentle "maybe one more try" to the positively HARSH "and how did YOU think that went?") we got it all done in good time, including some rather exciting WHOO OOH OOHs for the main track. We decided to AUTO-TUNE it in order to a) make it sound WEIRD b) make it sound LESS AWFUL and after one minor snag (it was all auto-tuned a semi-tone out - "I wondered why you were singing all the black notes", said Robbie) it was all done and we were ready for me to try and do a GUITAR OVERDUB.

Unfortunately for all concerned this was on the Cod Reggae Middle Eight for (theme from) Dinosaur Planet, which LEAPS in to the track at a SLIGHTLY different speed from the rest of the song, and on an entirely different rhythm. That's my excuse anyway. It took AGES to get right and eventually we had to use some sneaky Cut And Paste to get it right. Crikey tho, when we did it sounded MEGA!

All that was left then was to do a Rough Mix... Of the ENTIRE ALBUM! This took a couple of hours, but was extremely worthwhile as I needed proper mixes of everything in order to get the Vocal Overdubs done for our GUEST CAST next month. Along the way we also STRIPPED OUT some vocals that I'd done which we didn't need and even found a song where I'd forgotten to sing the bits i DID need.

It was a long yet EFFICIENT day of WORK but by the end I had a CD PACKED with ROCK.

On Sunday, however, I decided to do the GUIDE OVERDUBS - most of the songs have additional vocals that will be recorded by other people, so I thought it'd be a good idea to do rough versions of these myself, lay them over the tracks we'd alresdy recorded, and then send them out to the people concerned. A good idea... Which took BLOODY AGES and sapped all the JOY out of the tracks. Only for a couple of hours, mind you, but GOOD GOLLY what a long couple of hours they were. Who would ever have imagined that pretending to be a Space Dinosaur and saying "YARR!!!" could become boring? IT DID.

I guess that is one of the big advantages to going into a Proper Studio, as opposed to doing things at home. For one thing, I would guess that Mr Newman would be slightly more ADEPT than me at slotting audio files together, and for another I could have gone to the shops or Gazed Blankly Out Of The Window while he actually did it, instead of GLARING at the SCREEN for an hour. It was RUBBISH and, as usual with RUBBISH things like this, every time I thought I'd finished I would settle back to finally enjoy listening to it and IMMEDIATELY hear a mistake.

So it's STILL got to be finished off, but at least it IS nearly done, and i can start sending files out to people this week. The next stage is to gather most of the CAST together and go into ANOTHER Studio, this time in That London, and record vocal parts, I've a feeling that might be EVER SO SLIGHTLY more fun than doing it on my own!

posted 15/3/2010 by MJ Hibbett

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