The Band In The Sand
The More You drink,
The better We Sound
Dining Room Studios
Page II - The
Making of "La Cantina" and "Recovey."
The Making of "So
Where's The Party?"
whispers in corridors. Furtive phone calls between the other members of
the band. "Eddie can play again!!!" Eddie, if you already didn't
know, has recently had a major operation on his back - something to do
with removing a yellow streak and implanting a spine. Anyway, he's been
given a clean bill of health by the local witch doctor and is biting at
the bit to get to whacking away at the old vellums.
But, back to the story. As quick as you could say "Red Lorry, Blue
Lorry, Green Lorry, Yellow Lorry", we had a practice organised.
To diversify a wee bit, let's discuss this, the third CD that is about to
be given birth from the aforementioned band BedRock. (from now on to be
known as "BedRock", the band formally known as
The name of the new CD had already been suggested and almost agreed upon,
namely, "So Where's the Party?"
Kenny, true to nature, decided to take this literately, and soon embarked
on a 2 month tour of the town, gate crashing every household that appeared
to emit the slightest hint of music or exhibit any ambience of a social
Michael, on the other hand, 'cos he's left handed, decided to act very
grown up and instead of immersing himself, along with Kenny - and Pete at
times - in socialistic gathering of entertainment statistics, placed his
musical career in serious jeopardy by becoming engaged!!!
Pete, other than the one or two or twenty times that he's embarked on a
"tour" of the town with the reprobate Kenny, has (as far as
Kenny's concerned), been a wee bit of a "wet blanket". UNTIL,
Yes, UNTIL, Kenny found out that Pete was only a slow starter and within 5
minutes of Kenny leaving a party, Pete would arrive to help keep up the
reliable and trustworthy name of BedRock.
Kenny's guitar playing was brilliant! He seemed to have picked up the
playing just slightly lower in pitch from the rest of the band, but still
have the ability to physically bend the neck of his guitar to bring it
back into concert pitch at crucial moments.
Then Pete suggested that Kenny tune his guitar and things got better.
Eddie's new drum stool made a big difference. The padding on it is
fantastic and should save us a lot of time in having to try and EQ out the
vocalistic harmonies from his anal passage.
I must mention that Pete has bought himself a
new bass guitar. I tell you, he's only proud of this chunk of wood. He's
so scared of harming it that he wears gloves whilst playing. Well at least
his playing has improved in the sense that his sound is a lot cleaner.
Well, the first practice proceeded
without any serious hitches, although Kenny had to be persuaded to change
the lyrics of a couple of the songs. Four letter words and constant
references to "poofters" do not go down well with the general
public and don't get you much airtime on the radio.
We're aiming to have the all the tracks
down by about the beginning of July and then spend the next four weeks or
so in mixing before releasing the CD hopefully by the beginning of August.
Let's see how it goes.
last we're starting. Plenty of delays with this album. Nobodies fault
really, just work commitments and circumstances. In a way, maybe it was a
good thing because it allowed us to play most of the new songs live a
couple of times which always makes the recording easier.
Anyway, on with the story. Saturday morning, Eddie and Kenny pitched up
and Pete's house and proceeded to totally re-arrange his dining room.
(Pete's wife was away on an overseas trip - don't worry, we'll put
everything back the way we found it.)
The next couple of hours was spent on attempting to get a decent drum
sound. Are all drummers so bloody fussy? "Turn this up Kenny - Turn
this down Kenny - to much bass - too little bass - a little crisper."
tell you, it was never ending. Eventually Eddie was finally satisfied. Now
for the bass and guitar. Five minutes later we were ready. Bloody
Right, here we go. First backing track for the new album.
We'd decided to be a bit different this time and record the drums, bass
and guitar "live." On our other albums we'd recorded the drums,
but only "scratch" tracks for the bass and guitar, re-doing them
at a later stage. This time, we'd decided to try and get a more
"live" feel. It took a bit more concentration from our intrepid
bass player Pete, but all in all we were quite satisfied with the result.
Good day, 5 backing tracks done.
Sunday 15th August
we arrive at Pete's bright and early. Straight into the songs this time as
we had no setups to take care of. Bloody drummers!!
4 backing tracks today which gives us a total of 9 songs for the new
album. Mike, who by the way is in Cape Town bonding with his chick, has
got another two songs which we'll lay down on Thursday. Kenny has at least
one more and Pete two which will give us a total of 14 songs. Hey, that's
an album. Another good day.
The lads are feeling happy because
the backing tracks are always a pain in the bum. Hey, we also got some
good footage on video. (Eddies new toy.) Hopefully we'll have a
video-documentary of this album. Watch this space.
Monday 1st October
Things are going well and shaping up fine. Eleven songs
recorded with four of them almost complete. We've been making slow but
steady progress and can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Lot's more guitars this time, and even a few keyboards thrown in for good
measure. But this is definitely a guitar album and a lot more
"heavier" and rock orientated than Recovery. Kenny has even
managed to get a lot of the editing done whilst the other three were again
off carousing and boozing it up in Cape Town.
We even managed to design our own soundproof booth by
making good use of Pete's lobby. Hey it's great, two mike's on the amp,
volume control up to full ball, and a good whack at the old guitar
strings. Hey, who needs drugs?
We've still got quite a bit of work to do and, in fact,
still need to put down the backing tracks for at least three more songs.
Not to worry though, we've got the material and we're getting quite good
at this recording business now. We hope to have all the tracks down by
latest the 24th of this month and then, well the fun and games start as we
get down to final editing, mixing and then mastering.
If you're interested, here's a download link to a rough
mix of one of the songs off "So Where's the Party." It's a
little reggae number, written by Kenny and entitled "Nothin' Worries
Download it, play it, listen to it, dance to it, laugh
with it, let us know what you think.........
Nuthin' Worries Me -
October 28th 2002
Finally we finished with
the mixing, and what a week it's been. We spent until Wednesday last week
laying down the final tracks and re-doing a couple of things that we were
not happy about.
on Thursday - enter Neil Thain.
To try and improve the quality of our latest offering, we'd decided to
enroll the help of a professional Sound Engineer/Mastering Specialist.
Deciding not to skimp on anything in our quest for the ultimate sound, we
sent our Citation to Johannesburg to collect Neil and drag him back into
the desert. Arriving Thursday evening, he was quickly introduced to the
bands families, followed by the bands drink - Taffel Lager - and then a
rather large welcoming braai. Good fun was had by all. (especially Pete
who got stuck with all the bloody cooking.)
Friday - The hard works
begins as Kenny and Neil fired up the Roland and got busy with the
final mixing of, by this time 16 tracks of raw, earthy music. With Neil
acting as a sort of consulting engineer/producer, Kenny twiddled away at
the knobs, letting out small grunts of satisfaction as he followed Neil's
expert directions. Here's a couple of memorable quotes from Neil :
"Paint a Picture
Kenny but using sound instead of paint."
"Get your wings
standing on only one leg."
guitars are bloody 'orrible!"
"Bring the voice
up until you can just hear it, push it up a notch and then bring it
down half a notch."
The bass guitar and
drum foot pedal are sharing the same bed. Naughty!
"Bring the snare
and the foot symbal closer. No drummer has 12 foot long arms."
"Is it time for a
By the end of the day we'd
done extremely well as we'd managed to complete all the drum sub-mixes.
(bloody drummers.) Friday evening, all day Saturday, most of Sunday and
all day Monday was spent on mixing the rest of the tracks until, believe
it or not, at 17h15 (quarter past five in the afternoon for those who
can't understand a 24 hour clock,) we had finally finished. A truly
exhausted but happy bunch of musicians then made their way to the local
pub for a nice dinner and lot's of small drinks.
Tuesday morning, bright and
early, (06h00) Neil was again poured onto the Citation for his trip back
home, clutching tightly in his hand the precious CD containing the final
mix which he was taking back to his own studio to master.
A BIG THANKS from BedRock Neil and an even bigger personal thanks from
Kenny for teaching him so much about sound and revealing so many of your
Well, as far as the band is
concerned, that's another album in the can. Now it's just the copies to be
made and the CD covers to be printed and then fame and fortune will be
Release date? Hopefully the beginning of December barring no disasters.
Watch this Space for details of the CD launch.
The Launch - 31st
beginning of December barring no disasters."
Well, we had no disasters, but we did
have a few technical hitches that caused us to delay the launch of the new
album. We really wanted to improve the technical production on this CD, so
after listening to some good advice and following our own gut feel, we
decided to delay the launch and fix up all the niggly little things that
were bothering us. Thanks Neil for your patience - the poor bugger must
have produced at least three FINAL masters, only to have us appearing on
his door step a week later with further requests to "tweak" this
and "push the bass up a bit" on that.
Suddenly Christmas was upon us. We managed to get the CD's manufactured in
the nick of time, but were too late for the covers. So, the decision was
made. It was to be an end of January launch.
the Xmas break and lot's of searching, Peter finally managed to hunt the
rest of the band down and drag us out of various, pubs, hotels, brothels,
"We need to practice," he yelled at us, "You all need to
learn the songs on the album that you've all probably forgotten."
So, with plenty of liquid refreshments as bribes, we all got down to the
hard work of re-learning the songs. It's strange how you play the songs
live for months before recording them, and then you totally change the
bloody things once you've got a microphone in front of you and a tape
machine running. But, being men of strong character and upstanding members
of the community, we persevered and soon had all our individual parts down
pat. We were now ready to conquer the world - well Oranjemund.
The Launch night finally came and we
gathered at the local drinking establishment early in the evening to set
up and attempt to wow our faithful followers. Just to get the party going
and waiting until the now rather large crowd was inebriated - cunning hey?
- we started off the evening with a set of a few oldie but goldie rock
standards. Then, before our guests had time to think, we sneakily snuck in
a set of numbers off our new album. Not only were they surprised, so were
we. They liked 'em!!! I nearly fell off my shoes at the reaction we got.
Hey, suddenly all the hard work and long, lonely hours drinking beer was
I must say, a good time was had by all, especially the band as we love an
appreciative audience - and free drinks.
We hope that everyone who listens to
this album enjoys it and has as good a time as we all did in making it. A
round of applause and a BIG thank you to everyone involved in this
production, no matter how small.
Okay, time for the next one. Watch This
The Studio Page II
- The Making of "La Cantina" and "Recovey."
To purchase a copy of
"So Where's The Party", "Recovery", or "La
Cantina", pay a visit to The Shop.
Or, if you would like to sample some of the songs from
then visit BedRock's MP3 Site.
Some very helpful recording sites :
Planet - Virtual Studios - Roland VS-1680
Planet Bulletin Board- Bulletin Board - Roland VS-1680
- V-Studio Users Group - Roland VS-1680
- Roland U.S.A.
Paul - VS-1680 Manuals.
- A Guide to Equilisation.