Monday, July 09, 2007

Busy Work

Today was a busy one.

I was up until about three last night working on Appendix M. I'm trying to finish it up by Tuesday night so that Wednesday I can focus completely on tracking. Last night I was working in ProTools, editing and mixing a little guitar/vocal/accordion version of a song I wrote with Ben called Further Proof.

Friday after the INO guy left Andy's studio we threw up a mic, which sounds gross and impossible, and I played through the song in one take. Since Ben was there and there happened to be an accordion on hand he played through two passes of the song and we were done. It doesn't get much easier than that, ladies and germs. So last night I had to open the files on my computer, get the mix right, EQ it all (though I haven't a clue what I'm doing) and add the song to the list.

I wanted Further Proof to be on this Appendix because it's another example of a song that I like but that won't really fit on a regular album. Ben had the idea for the song and mentioned it to me back when we were about to start on Love and Thunder. I finished the song and realized during a Weaklings meeting that it didn't really belong on L&T. So what do you do with a song like that? That's right. Appendix M.

I woke up this morning and worked on editing the journals and writings that'll be on M. That's been the most tedious part of the process by far, and not only tedious but downright depressing. I've got a lot to learn about the written word, but some of the journals I posted on my website years ago were just embarrassing. It was a relief to see that my writing got (a little) better over the years.

Meanwhile, Ben met at Paul Eckberg's studio with Andy Hunt, our tracking engineer. It's important to get your ducks in a row before tracking because it's an expensive waste of time if you realize the first day that you don't have enough headphones or preamps or whatever. The clock is ticking, and the musicians aren't free. So Ben, Paul, and Andy compared notes and figured out exactly what gear Paul already had and what they'd need to supplement a full tracking session.

About Paul. He's awesome. When he's not on the road with Chris Rice or Mark Schultz or whatever famous person he's playing for, he goes to my church. Paul is like no other dude I've ever met in that he's delightfully funny and hopelessly type-A at the same time. The first few times you're around him and his computer you're treated to a long routine of bad demos he's compiled, mp3's of funny voicemail messages he's gotten from friends, and (my personal favorite) his montage music. He found music that sounds just like the music from an 80's movie montage, like where the characters have to get a float ready in time for the big parade so that the Homecoming Queen with Big Hair will meet the Nerd with a Big Heart. As Paul plays the song he describes what happens during the montage. While it may not seem hilarious now, if you're ever lucky enough to experience the Eckberg Montage Routine, you'll see what I mean. You may lose weight from the laughter.

So that's what happened today. I'm off to work on some more Appendix M mixes, then I have to find somebody to master it, like, tomorrow. Not sure how that'll happen, but it must. It must, I tell you.

Thanks for reading, folks.



rednk-n-eurp said...

So is appendix M a cd or dvd? I think I heard dvd, but how do the journals convert to dvd?

They still proudly play those 80's big hair movies in Sweden like they are first run. Kind of fun. I watched 'Running Man' with Ah-nold uncut in prime time the other night.

JE from Sweden

Andrew Peterson said...

It's going to be an enhanced CD. You'll be able to play the 8 audio tracks in your stereo, and to access all the extras (chord chards, writings, downloads, videos, etc.) you'll put it in your computer.

Rebekah said...

SO excited about Appendix M. Especialy chord charts - maybe I'll finally be able to convince some of the music folks at my church to play some AP stuff. YAY.

The inevitable question: when can we expect a pre-order link?


eiszoe said...

I'll further reveal how little I know of recording, but I'm curious about the tracking. I've discovered a "chicken-and-the-egg" scenario, not having had bass and drums with my songs, which I imagine is similar to your new acoustic songs as you play them on the road before recording. I realize I need to lay the percussion and bass first (apart from the click) to build the rest on. However, it's tough to do that without recorded guitar, vocal, etc. But, I don't want to record those as they'll be off tempo (even with the click, I've found). So, what do you pros do? Just rehearse it live, then write the bass and drums down in notation for a session artist (for myself, it's just me and some virtual instruments)? Hopefully I'm not the only one who's interested in such a question. :)