this kind of cracks me up. people come to this xanga, see all these photos, read these details about making the record and still don’t think its me. i love that! i wonder what could breed such distrust? perhaps multiple people pretending to be me. ok let’s prove this thing once and for all…will the real david crowder please…ok so tomorrow, which is sunday, at exactly 8:30am, as i am leaving to go to my church, i will go into the barn, take out some paper and a pen. i will write something upon the paper. i will then take the paper and walk toward the camera that has been sitting upon the piano staring at the kitchen. i will place the paper with the thing that is written in front of the camera. i will walk to the other camera that is downstairs (not the one in the blue room that is on the vocal mic) i will approach it while flashing the scouts honor sign. i will then look directly into the lens. and i will smile at you. this will forever prove that emprise34 is none other than me, david crowder. oh wait, i’ve actually got to be up at the church by 8:30 so if i’m doing all this camera stuff, that won’t work. and i don’t think there is any paper left out in the barn. dag yo. there is a sharpie though. no, wait that’s gone too. uh…never mind. i don’t really think it would be worth the effort to rise any earlier for just a couple of people who still don’t think it’s me. i mean how would those imposters feel if their eprops started dropping? i suspect their fragility is more tender than mine. so i confess. this is not david crowder. never was. seriously. i have broken into their studio and have remained hidden under the stairs in the barn closet. i only come out to take pictures and update the blog when they go to lunch or dinner. see they post this sign on the webcam that says “out 4 eats” and so when i see it come up on my screen i know it is safe to come out. and so then i run about the place taking pictures and posting them and telling you everything i have overheard. this rules!! i’ve been eating stuff from their cabinets. dave got really mad about the missing ding dongs. i’m talking really mad. he was blaming everyone and everyone was denying it and this just made him angrier! he was like, “dag yo! someone ate my ding dongs!!! i told you – do not eat my ding dongs – but you ate them! there we like 5 left and now there’s 1!! who ate them!!? tell me!!! who ate the ding dongs!!” man was it hard not to laugh. he looked so funny on the webcam. the frame caught him in mid yell and the vein on the left side of his neck was popping out. hilarious. man was it hard not to laugh…oh wow…got to go. someone’s coming. he’s supposed to be editing all the guitars and dumping stuff he has on other drives into the sessions! man these ding dongs are good…
well this morning i begin emoting with my voice. guitars are put on pause. our friend gary who is a tone and note guru leaves us and we are again left on our own. i couldn’t be happier with where the guitars are at this point. so i will sing. i’m feeling my soul swell and it is as good a time as any to let some of this out. so i will sing. we will first do a blind test to decide upon a mic. for illuminate the winner was a blue kiwi. now we have access to many fine vocal mics including some of the typical u87 types as well as some of the very famous vintage variety such as the akg c12 but every voice is different and when put up against this healthy dose of competitors last time the kiwi did the job. this go however it may have met it’s match. shane has now procured the blue bottle. this is the largest mic in the barn for sure. it’s huge. it has interchangeable capsules that are quite typical in size but the body of the thing is over a foot long. the test will be conducted as follows…i will be in the blue room singing. there will be a kiwi set up. there will be the bottle set up. shane will set up the signal path and i will sing first into the kiwi, then into the bottle. both will be recorded. shane will not know which one is which. it’s like when they would do the pepsi challenge. they would cover the can so you couldn’t choose with bias. same thing. you see the bottle is more expensive and so impressive to behold that you would simply expect it to capture my vocal in a more pleasing manner. but we need impartiality here. so the blind test. i will let you know soon who has won and what the signal path is. i also need to give the low down on all the guitars but i will need to sort through all of the parts and see which ones are winners. don’t want to mislead you and give you the goods on guitars that don’t make it on the record. now i will go sing.
so the bottle won. with the b – 0 capsule. i just finished up four passes of “o god where are you now? (in pickeral lake? pigeon? marquette? mackinaw?)” and we will comp from those. that simply means we listen a phrase at a time between the four takes and pick the best of what we have there. then once we have a comped vocal we will listen down and if there are issues still present we will then resing some parts. that one went fast and the moment was thick. i know they won’t all be this way. some of them fight you. so i am enjoying these seconds before moving on to the next tune. i’m not sure which i’ll go for…
the signal path is as follows…
i’m singing into a blue bottle with the b-0 capsule
the power supply on it is padded to -6 db
into a telefunken v76 mic pre 34 db of gain on the mic pre
into a urei la3a in compressor mode gains at about 40 percent peak reduction 45 percent
into another urei la3a in limit mode both gain and peak reduction at about 45 percent
into dbx902 for a little dessing
and then an amek 9098 eq with high pass at 60htz to take out the rumble and about 1.5 db at 21 k
so i have moved on to “wholly yours”. i’m still referring to it as wholy yours but it has caused problems around the barn here with file transfers and such so i have already lost the battle. we will spell it properly from now on rather than try to be so clever as to use deft word play as we want everyone working on the proper version of the song…
so i got through “wholly yours” and “here is our king” and started “foreverandever etc…” and the voice just wasn’t happening. done for the day. so we got through 3 songs today which ain’t too shabby and were quite enjoyable. you never know which way it’s going to go but today it was painless and fun. we’ll see what tomorrow holds. we’ll sing another in the morning. we just had bwack cut some ammo for a couple of songs. just gave him a click and told him to play a straight beat. then we had him do a pass of just fills. ammo man. ammo.
what the!??? hogan has lost his mind!!!!! he walked in ready for the hoe-down and saw the keytar sitting on the table and he lost his freaking mind!!!!!
Bohr, Niels 1885 – 1962
today is all about complementarity.
1. the condition of things that complement one another
2. the concept that two different models may be necessary to describe an atomic or subatomic system, for example, electrons may be regarded as particles or waves in different circumstances
yesterday was great. we’ve now got some guitars on 4 songs. lovely and loud. meanwhile hogan has been going to town upstairs. he’s at this point through about 5 tunes. happiness. the guitar tones are so perfect. we’ve dumped every amp we could get our hands on in the blue room and it has become quite fun to rumage through and find the one that the part wants to come alive. quite a task for sure. we also have a ridiculous number of pedals. a particular pedal brought an unexpected smile during the intro of “foreverandever etc…”. it was a completely useless sound but it got me up out of my chair for a moment or two.
morning. today i am excited. i have a couple of friends coming to visit us. hogan is upstairs already pounding out violin parts. he got an early start. his electric violin parts sound amazing. we’ve been troubled with each recording by its tone. not that it was bad just that it sounded like every other electric violin that we have encountered on recordings. not this time. i have the fabulous news that we have it figured out. typically when mic’ing an amp you stick the mic fairly close to the cabinet. unless you’re trying to go for something geeked out and grab the reverb in a room or hallway or bathroom shower, then you put the mic in a place that will capture what you’re hearing. so we have always stuck the mic on the cabinet and eq’d until we were somewhat ok with things but one day on the road it occurs to hogan that when he plays live he is standing about four feet from the amp and since he is standing up his ears are about three feet above it. at this location all of the issues we have been troubled by in the studio are not present. so the mic was placed in a similar location and wouldn’t you know it…it sounds fabulous. how slow are we? i can’t wait for you to hear it. it sounds so rich. it emotes and pulls at your insides now. it is truly glorious.
well i’ve got to go now and procure all of my items for breakfast that have become a bit of chore this moment. they are just not cooperating and the assembly of it has proven difficult.
it might be that we got up around 4 am the past 2 mornings. it might be that we are simply tired. it might be that our minds are just a little weak. decisions have become hard. sometimes songs are elusive. the sounds that they need to come alive are slippery to hold in the head. or maybe we are simply tired. we have spent all afternoon on electric guitars for the title track. it has been really sneaky. it is finally coming to someplace good. music is hard.
it is absolutely amazing how small things can make a great difference. i’m glad i stayed awake for this. there is again movement in the air. freakin rocks! come on. music is too easy!!! see you in the morning.
well there you go. the end of week 1. that was fun. we have a flight out of waco early in the morning heading to atlanta. the alarm is now set for 5am. it will be good to be away for a day stuck in a seat on a plane with my computer in my lap as usual. it will be great being able to spend a bit of time regrouping. i’m getting really really excited. things are sounding great. we had some church up-in-that-barn today on a couple of occasions. its so amazing when that hits. when the moment is bigger than what you can take in. when the air is thick and vibrating. when you can feel it all. it always seems like it sneaks up on you, you’re not looking and then all of a sudden your skin is alive. i love the way god made us. to be moved to our core. that molecules colliding against each other could make you feel such things. i’m looking at these speakers moving, in and out, in and out and i’m thinking, “how can that thing moving the surrounding air make these things move in my soul?” movement provoking movement. i fell more in love with god today.
well the rest of yesterday shaped up just fine. and the electricity is still on this morning which is helpful. we have paused on drums for a bit. we cut bass to “wholy yours” last night. a very tricky song. some notes that should have worked rubbed wrong with the acoustic part so it was a bit of a tight rope walk to find out what the song wanted. in the end we were all smiles. it felt kind of like a puzzle…we will begin this morning with bass on “foreverandever etc…”. then we only have one more song to get bass on for him to be caught up with bwack. fabulous. we’ll more than likely get hogan over here later this afternoon or tonight and get him set up upstairs while bwack tracks some percussion stuff on a few tunes.
here is the signal path for the bass guitar that we used on “wholy yours” last night.
a 63 fender jazz with a
direct line through a radial jdi
going to a neve 1272 preamp
into a tube tech cl1b compressor
into a manley tube eq
also micing the ampeg b15
with a 421
to a 1272
to a purple audio mc77 compressor
awesome. at 9 this morning i went out to the barn to finish setting up the song “be lifted or hope rising” and i was there for maybe 10min when things went dark. the electricity went out. nothing. blackness. so i run/stumble down the stairs and there’s this guy walking away from our breaker box at a brisk pace. he looked sneaky in his white hard hat and official blue shirt with the electric company logo embrodery. i shouted, “hey! hey! what the crap!?!!??” he said, “dude i just do what they tell me.” i said, “what did they tell you?” he said, “to cut off your power for non-payment.” i punched him. in the throat. no, i didn’t. i smiled and said, “you have got to be kidding.” he said, “nope.” i said, “that’s impossible.” he said, “that’s what they all say.” then i punched him. in the throat. no, i didn’t. i smiled and said, “this is not good. this is sooo not good. what can be done?” he said, “you’ll have to call and talk to your power supplier.” i said, “aren’t you my power supplier? you took it from me. cann’t you give it back?” he said, “dude, i’ve got other orders pending that i’ve got to get to. i’ve got to go.” i said, “no. you must give back what you have taken.” he said, “dude, pay your bill.” i said, “i assure you that i have paid my bill.” he said, “that’s what they all say.” i punched him again. this time on his chin. no, i didn’t. i smiled and said, “what can be done?” he said, “call your power supplier and they’ll send me a reconnect order. i’ll watch for it to come in on my computer and come back as soon as i see it show up.” i said, “that’s what they all say.” 30 min later he was back. i asked him, “why do you wear the white hard hat? it looks a little silly wandering around in the neighborhood with the green grass and sunny skies and you with such protective covering. i’m just saying.” he looked at me like he’d been thinking the same thing for so long and slowly removed it and as it hung in his right hand by his right side i punched him. on the top of his head. i had to jump up in the air but i came down with great force. no, i didn’t. i smiled and said, “i really like your hat. and thanks for coming back so soon. we really needed back this thing that you had taken from us.”
day 3. bass guitar. it is lunch time and we now have four bass tracks complete and “we win!” is up next. we have dialed in tone and are ready to hit the red button after consuming food. this is moving at a brisk pace. mike d’s new amp sounds fabulous and he has done his homework and come prepared. well done. solley popped by for a little this morning as did hogan. bwack got rolling a little later today. needed some well deserved rest after tracking steadily for 7 songs. did i mention that he is a beast? 7 songs in 2 days!!! crazy. it seems being out on the road for two years in between records has done some amount of good. i’ve got to get some more scratch tracks ready to keep up. there are 4 songs that i haven’t set up yet. so i must go eat my chef boyardee and get crackin’.
this is the door to the barn. i thought you should see it. we walk in right there. (i’m currently pointing at my computer screen to the door on the right). today was long. but some really cool stuff came of it. one thing that was pleasant was this - the computer that i ordered yesterday arrived this morning. crazy. overnighted from nyc. and then there is the pleasantness of four bass tracks finished for a grand total of 6. we will pause on the bass guitar and begin again with bwack in the morning. he will be tracking in the blue room. we don’t have a camera in there. sorry. we will have to move the one from upstairs so you can see. we have tracked drums once in there already. oh, actually, you’ve been in the blue room before, it is where the bass amp is, as pictured below. it is an isolated room right off of the main control room. you can sort of see part of the window in the upper left section of the control room webcam frame. the room is completely dry. dead dead dead. we’re using it to get really tight drum tones. for the song “wholy yours,” that we tracked yesterday, we used two different kits simultaneously. one in the big room and one in the blue room. they are panned left and right with dotted quarter delays. the beats are played in a way to give lots of space and allow for the two parts to act as one. fills are started on one set, taken up by the second, and finished by the first. quite complicated but the end result is very pleasing and required considerable precision to allow for the proper interactions between each pass. i digress…i was simply trying to tell you that the song we’re starting with tomorrow, “foreverandever etc…” calls for really tight drums. when shane heard the scratch track immediately he had sounds in mind. tight tight tight to allow plenty of space for the loop which was made from casio sounds and this ancient roland drum machine that i have. actually one of the first “drum machines”. it’s kick is very 808ish and the snares are simply white noise that is gated. beautiful. the loop is quite interesting and action packed with lots of 16ths, a few spots with 32nds even, so we need room, we need room, we need room. shane had it all scoped out and a small part of the solution is the blue room. it is amazing how versatile this space is. you walk through those doors (again i am pointing at the screen of my computer, tapping at it slightly) and the options seem limitless. i’m glad you’ve come with us…
Crowder Blog archive
An archive of Crowder's blog posts, 2004-present.
Posts come from the following blogs:
emprise34.xanga.com (2004-October 2009)
davidcrowderblog.com (October 2009-2010)