Mercury 5 - lockdown project

An old song, written in the early 2000’s, maybe 2004. It was originally a midi piece. My band liked it (the Incontinentals) and it became a staple of our repertoire. In 2016, we were getting ready to play for a party, and I set up my remote recording equipment for one of the rehearsals. The setup was me on guitar (miked), bass and keyboard via line-in from amps, drums with 2 overhead mics, a kick mic, and a snare mic, and one mic on congas. It was late, the last song of the evening, and the guitar part was a mess. But I recently realized I already own software that can remove the bleed from one track into another, and I used it to get the guitar part out of the drum and conga mics.

Then I recorded a new guitar part, and a second guitar part, a marimba part, and added a shaker (afuche). I edited and mixed like crazy, although I didn’t edit the drums or congas at all, those guys actually know how to play!

So it’s a live rehearsal recording in a small room, and added to later.

Hope you find it interesting, and maybe even enjoy it!

Quality stuff in all aspects (the playing and the mixing), liked it a lot. Liked especially the quiet part (starting around 1:51) where guitar and bass play the same theme. Yes, definitely time that you produce a new album.

Good playing and a good job recording and mixing this one! A 'pre-snarky puppy" composition :slight_smile:
what software are you referring to regarding removing the bleed of the mikes? It sounds like a studio recording to me now so works great.
btw are you still in the netherlands sometime ?


Thanks, hko, for the comments.

Peter, thanks for listening. I used RX6 from Izotope. There’s a tool in there called “de-bleed”. You feed it the track of the stuff you want to remove, and the track you want to remove it from, and it figures out what to take out. Works great for things that click, like for example a click track leaking out of headphones bleeding into a vocal track. Doesn’t do quite as well with something complicated like this, but you play with the controls and strike a balance - take out the bleed up until you start to hear artifacts. Most of what I bled out of the drum overheads was going to pretty much match the new part I recorded so you don’t really notice the glaring mistakes. I found I could not go back and de-bleed from another track (say keyboard) without making a mess of the drums. So I handled a few glaring mistakes with volume automation.

Was last in the Netherlands three years ago on a visit, after not being there for a very long time. Amsterdam seems to have gentrified some! It was a great visit, I would sure like to live there again. Such a wonderful city surrounded by beautiful countryside. But alas, no travel these days!

very nice Leon ,great mix ,all the instruments sound great . I used to listen to stuff like this but i never actually attempted to write anything like this,not to say that i didnt want to ,it sounds like there is lots of complicated arrangments going on ,i tip my hat to you sir and i mean that with great respect ,it kind of takes me back to Jean luc Pontys enigmatic waves featuring Allan Holdsworth and daryl struermer and all the great Jazz fusion bands back then .Your guitar sounds are great.kit also sounds very good
i once manualy cut out all the bleed of a drum kit there must have been about 7 drum miced tracks or so from a gig nearly 2 hours long ,talk about a glutten for punishment .

Ha, funny, I’ve always been trying to write music like this, but usually failed! It was a surprise to me to meet local guys who were willing to play this stuff. They were willing to play it based on a midi rendering! Imagine finding guys in your own neighborhood interested in this crap, after meeting them at the ball field! I had to learn how to play it myself! I loved Enigmatic Oceans, and so much other fusion stuff. Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck, Zappa, Bill Connors to name a few. Let’s also acknowledge Snarky Puppy (the drummer is a huge fan), and how about Garage Mahal and Fabulous Austrian Trio (you will love these guys).

yeah! hko is right . Absolutely great one, both on playing and mixing.
And I feel it in line with your style.

Prog Music also educated me, so, i’m happy!

Hey Stephco, thanks for listening!

Fabulous Austrian Trio ,i checked a live video out ,not bad i need to check some more out they sound a bit holdswothy .i just watched another video and the bass player was cooking away and all of a sudden his bass fell off, his strap must have come undone :laughing: shouldn`t laugh really.
what is or who is Garage Mahal ?

Sorry. I spelled it wrong. Garaj Mahal. Google them and you’ll find a lot of cool stuff. They were snarky long before Snarky Puppy was snarky. And Herbie Rock should be Herbie Hancock. Don’t know how that happened. We did Watermelon Man. One of our best recordings. Maybe I should have mentioned Oz Noy as well. He’s all over the internet. Oh, Jimmy Herring too. Did I mention Jeff Beck? I love good guitar stuff. Johnny A.

ok, that’s funny, Herbie H was changed twice to Herbie rock. I think I understand what the bad word was that Steinberg changed! It wasn’t me. His last name starts with Han and ends with Rock except the r is a c. He plays keyboards.

Now that’s what I call productive lockdown! I remember the original you posted, which was great. This sounds superb. I love the sounds of all the instruments, and your guitar sounds perfect - a bit hairier than the previous one? Great playing. Did you change the guitar for the amp you used? (Have you been venturing to the dark side of the bridge pickup…?)

Lovely stuff.


…Or was it another tune you posted originally?

Hi Steve, thanks for listening! I think you’re thinking of a different tune; I don’t believe I’ve ever posted this tune before (but maybe?) The band was playing it for years, but I had never gotten a very good recording. We’d tried once or twice to do a “studio” version where we would overdub parts, but it never went well. The only times we ever really locked into the groove were when we were playing all together. So that’s when I decided to try erasing my part and overdubbing. The other thing about the tune was that there were other parts we just had to leave out when we played live, so I added them into this one.

I didn’t wander very far from the neck pickup on this one… the one guitar is my Strat in position 4 (neck+middle), and the guitar playing the solo is my LP on the neck pickup. And I’m using Guitar Rig as my amp. But I have to tell you that in this new band I’ve been playing with, I am definitely using the bridge pickup a lot. We cover old favorites, and it usually works better on the bridge pickup.

Very well done. Great production and playing. Most cool

Thanks for giving it a listen, iluvstrats!

I think I remember you talking about another tune that came from you recording a live session with your band, and so added two and two and made five! Great tune.