Making the New Album…

Ok….so for the better part of September I had extremely limited internet access, and for that I apologize that I was not able to post many blogs. However, that issue has been rectified and I’m back at it. I figure the best spot to pick back up is with last week’s recording of my new album!

Above is a picture showing my setup during the main tracking with the band. You can see my keyboard and several guitars in the background. I brought the Les Paul back out and it sounded perfect. With this new arrangement of my band it really helps keep things full and warm, given the lack of a bass. Surprisingly enough, I only played electric on one song for this album.

A lot of people often ask me what the order/process of recording is like. I can give you a general breakdown of how these tunes were put together:

1) Live take of each song with myself on vocals or guitar/keyboard, Brad on guitar/lap steel and Rio on drums. Multiple takes are done to try and capture the best performance of each song. Slight changes to arrangements are made in between takes. My producer on this album was crucial for bouncing ideas and having suggestions to help enhance the original arrangments, and the tracks are all that much stronger as a result.

2) Once the general tracking is taken care of, it’s time for the overdubs. With this album, I went through a re-recorded all of the piano parts with a real piano vs the initial tracking done with my keyboard. The difference in sound is pretty stunning. It’s a bit tedious to go back through everything but absolutely worth it. In addition to the piano overdubs, a few organ parts, guitar parts and vocal harmonies were added in.

3) After putting together the full arrangements of each track I go back through and lay down final vocal tracks where needed. Here’s a photo of what my setup looked like while tracking the final vocals.

That big, round black mic behind the pop screen was on loan from the guys in My Morning Jacket, and it sounded unbelievable. Hands down the best vocal sound I’ve ever had during a recording.

4) By this point we had basically every track arranged and recorded as seen fit. There was one last thing to do. I put together an on-the-spot arrangement of a song I’ve never played on piano before. Some of you might know it. It’s called “Whiskey Roads”. We miked up the piano, threw up a vocal mic and I cut the tune live in one take. It was one of my favorite moments of the entire 4 days of recording and I think will be a very powerful track on the album.

And that as they say…is a wrap.

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