Original Song – ‘Jack & Coke’

As my farewell to the Evergreen recording studios, I decided to call in a favor with an old friend. Josh Henderson is a former co-worker of mine and also frontman of the project Ozette Drive. I had been wanting to work with him for a while, so I asked him to help me re-record my first song “Jack and Coke” – an homage I wrote back in 2010 upon parting ways with my friends in Japan when I moved back to America.

We mic’d Josh’s acoustic guitar with  an Electrovoice RE20 overhead and a Sennheiser 421 at a low angle for the lower frequencies. I wanted a clean, acoustic tone to the guitar. Josh had just put new strings on and they sounded really good. We succeeded in getting bright, higher end tones but unfortunately made the decision to give him a rather creaky chair whose sounds came out in the recording.

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I recorded my vocals with a Neumann U87 in cardioid mode. I have given in and accepted the fact that my vocal and musical style is very pop. The U87 picks up clean and clear, and has never failed me in catching a vocal performance I was happy with somewhere along the way. My one regret is not using a pop-filter.

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For the re-amping assignment, I decided to use my backup plan when my original of having my co-engineer sing backup vocals fell through. I recorded three backing parts and took them into the comm building stairwell. Playing them back through my iPhone, I re-recorded them with the concrete stairwell’s reverb into an Olympus recorder. I placed a vocal run after the bridge where the guitar solo was in the original. I then layered up at the end, putting harmonies on the outro and on the last repeat, adding a falsetto vocal run.

I put the GuitarRig plug-in in Digital Performer on the bridge run and got a cool effect on the vocals with a lot of reverb. All in all, I would give anything for one more tracking session and time to mix afterward. I’d want to re-do that guitar with a different chair and the vocals with a pop filter. Above everything – I’m really going to miss the creative avenues the Evergreen studios afforded me.

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