24th Aug. Tape blog post. Kafkadiva mixing

Lovely blog from Peter Wyeth about tape… rather nicely gathers the ace-ness of it

Tonight, back on the Kafkadiva mixing trail. Enjoyed throwing up virtual faders and went weird on their ass. Too weird perhaps, but before I had chance to straighten it out, I stopped.

John R has been mailing me great ideas for the WAA album sleeve. Exciting.. just got to make them!

22nd / 23rd Aug Mix tweaks/Mastering One Cure For Man/ Logic Studio App / Kafka Diva mix

Debates over drum replacement yielded a successful mix OK from One Cure For Man… so mastered that track. They want me to mix the other 3 tracks on the EP now.

Emailed the Logic Studio questions off for the Logic revision Iphone app, then downloaded some more Kafkadiva files and prepped that mix.

John R had a great idea about cassette sleeve : note pad with cassette shape carved out. .. cassette inside it…Not sure we’d be able to do it but ace idea!

21st Aug. Tweaks and reapproached. Shortwave Fade/Jamie Says/One Cure for Man/ WAA album release date

Had a tweak for a Jamie Says master, two tweaks for ‘Levitate’ by Shortwave Fade mix… done nice and quick. The No Cure For Man mix, I re-approached after hearing a live version from last night’s Sumo gig. I stripped away the ‘ear candy’ and based it around the live version. Lots of guitar.. a little Suede-y (in my head, anyway). Mailed to James for comments.

In other news, John and I have finally settled on a release date for the We Are Altered album: 22nd Oct (yes, this year!). I can’t believe it’s taken this long… 3 years and then some. But if you boiled the time down to the nuts and bolts, it’s 6 months work… just spread over 40 months!

So, now the date’s set, we need to get our fingers out with the physical release.. the cassette. John R likes the idea of a clear cassette. I think I’m with him. Or maybe white.

any cassette’s a bonus!

19th Aug One Cue For Man mixing and another icky vid

… finished “passers By’ ready for band comments. Significantly different for their mix.. but thats why they used me, I guess. Lots of fader riding, rather than fancy bits and bobs. Good song, tho, so that helps.

After the Yeasayer video the other day, I thought I’d remind you all of another icky vid in case you haven’t seen it. From March this year, directed by Peter Serafinowicz ( you really should follow him on Twitter)


18th Aug One Cure For Man mixing and WAA album thinking

A couple of hours on the NCFM track. All stuff in.. started to ride faders and thin stuff out. Well arranged, very layered. Astounding vocal.. very special singer (whatever her name is!)

Trying to think of the best WAA album packaging. Handmade of course.. so much work culminates into this album.. it needs to look and feel very special indeed. ….. maybe our kids could do the artwork………….?

Aug 17th The perils of drum recording / One Cure for Man mix prepping / Vile-Viral ace video

Received the One Cure For Man files today. Spent a long time on the drums. The recordings were fine, bearing in mind they were done by the band themselves and not in a controlled studio environment: not an ideal snare or tom sound: needs to be very driving, but the gate on the snare made the snare disparate to the rest of the kit, so I did some drum doubling to allow the real snare to give the feel and the extra snare to give the drive. I miss not having a click for the track… have an urge to tweak timings, and this will take a lot longer with no bar reference. Will see how I get on tomorrow nite. Ended the night with a solid drum track, bass sound and a fake double tracked acoustic guitar for width and the ‘jangle’ element. Fake double track? In this case where the acoustic’s just doing a pushing job, I simply copied the take over and delayed it slightly (about 30 ticks in Logic) and applied different EQ, too and panned them left and right. Again, if we had worked to a click i would have copied other sections of the song over to make, effectively , two takes. I can already hear the swoony section, so I quickly chopped the single strums of acoustic and applied a nice tape delay…

I say the new Yeasayer video the other day. Absolutely brilliant. Totally vile. Amazing.Am a fan of the new album: very adventurous.

Aug 16th WAA session tracks, Butterfly Polite and Zola Jesus

Last night’s success spurred me on to ‘session-ise’ Bandages the WAA track. Bad idea.Just one of those nights.. nothing really worked.

Heard Zola Jesus today on the wonderful 6Music today. Modern Siouxie. Nice.

Rubbish video tho.

The We Are Altered 1 hour cover versions have had lots of views on YouTube. Happy to see Butterfly Polite rinsing our track record and recording a cover in real time (I believe they call it ‘live’).

Pop your eyes over this lovely Willy Wonka fueled gem

August 15th. WAA session tracks and LSD

As WAA don’t play live, we need to generate more material to promote the album. So I spent an hour doing a ‘session’ version of ‘All she left me was a valentine’ .. kind of intentionally rushed to get the urgency. Bass isn’t my thing, but I had a play, and thanks to Flex time in Logic I did OK. Muted bass in an LCD Soundsystem stylee. Nice. The version sounds good so far, but it’s against my natural instincts to leave faults, flaws and rough edges: I have no problems appreciating those elements on others’ work and love leaving in hiss, scrapes and the like in mixes, but in my own music I have the desire to tweak! So, before I tweaked, I stopped.

.. other news, James from One Cure For Man is mailing me files to  mix one of their tracks. Looking forwards to that.

Read with great interest a post on the internet and the mystery it takes away from, in this article. lead singers (catchily bundled up as Lead Singer Disease, or LSD (ahem) for short)  and puts forward the point that we shouldn’t know everything about them should we? Have a read. I think I’ll write a blog on this soon.. it made me think….

14th August : tweaking and listening

Tweaked some bits and bobs on the Levitate track.. just a little tuning of vocals (very hard for subtle tuning with Logic’s Pitch Correction plug in but lot’s of automation made it sound natural)and cutting out. Just waiting for the band’s comments now.

One Cure For man’s james mailed me a new mix of Passers By…… much better. It’s hard when you master.. you really want to go to the mix and tweak that, but very difficult to explain what can be done with a mix over email. Still, James did a good job. Am mixing a track from scratch for them, so they’ll hopefully hear the difference.

Aug 12th and 13th : Recording, mastering and emailing files (yawn)

Last night I packed up my freshly flight-cased gear and went to Shortwave Fade’s rehearsal room to record some guitars. Great set up, though small, it was fine for what we needed to get done. Only took a couple of hours to record Ben’s parts with some extra ideas we worked up: nice when people are open to try things, even when the idea is ‘make your amp sound like the end of the world, use one string and feedback in tune’. Needless to say it sounds ace. Their room is like so many others out there and the band are clever boys… am pushing them into thinking about doing more of their own recording: they really don’t need anyone for the nuts and bolts.. just the fairy dust and mix. Cheaper for them, too. But we’ll see. Last year, Gareth Jones gave a guest mix and talk at my day job.. he was saying most of the records he makes these days, some or even all of the recording is done in the band’s rehearsal room. Food for thought. He should know what he’s talking about. In fact he as telling me how he recorded the vocals for the last Erasure album he produced in his kitchen. Exactly the type of ethic I relate to… just get on with it…………

After we finished guitars I played the band the ‘Levitate’ mix as it stands.. which is nearly there but before tweaks. They’ll use that as a a reference for where the mix goes from here.

Tonight has been remastering the One Cure For Man tracks, and tweaks to the Jamie Says stuff.

And then.. a whole host of emailing files (and keeping track of them). Very dull but necessary.

Also dull was finishing the WAA album uploads to CD baby and attempting to rearrange the album order. John (Rushton, co-band man in WAA and all round musical genius) has done some great artwork for it, which I uploaded too. Now, thinking cap on for the physical release……..