Red Wine and Brownies, Rehearsal 2016-07-19

After our annual gig, we got together to do recordings of some of the numbers. We didn’t get them all, but here is one we recorded on 7-19-2016, in the little room over the garage, with 4 mics on the drums, one on the guitar, and bass and keyboards direct into the interface (into Cubase 4.5 on my old trusty laptop). I copied the files over to the main computer and mixed on Cubase 8. Plenty of bleed on the drum mics, so I’ve done what editing I can get away with. I had put this particular composition up on this forum years ago, I think, so you might recognize it. I’m on guitar, Spencer is on drums, Michael is on bass, and Tom is on keyboards. I wrote this probably 8 or 10 years ago. It’s my Les Paul Studio Deluxe.

Hi Leon,

a bit faster than the CD version, and with e.p. and guitar panning reversed!
Yes, I did do an A/B.

A very clean recording of a really strong take of this tune. Most enjoyable.
I’d happily open my wallet to buy a ticket to a gig. :wink:

Great job on the tracking, not to mention the playing.

As I think with all your tracks now, I’d prefer to hear the drums louder,
or to have both guitar and keys a little less prominent. When I
re-listened to the CD I noted my feelings were the same. So it’s not
just the rehearsal recording aspect I’m talking about.

Maybe it’s a genre thing I’m not appreciating. But given
Spencer’s stellar drum chops, I’m surprised he’s not quit citing
“artistic differences” with the guitarist. :laughing: :unamused:

A great tune, arrangement, performance and recording.

Oh, and I thought I was the only person on the planet still running 4.5 :wink:

Hey thanks for listening; it’s definitely not genre specific. I will go back to mixing stage. I am not against making drums louder. I think if all you could hear was Spencer, it would be a better recording! I feel so fortunate to have him play some of these tracks.

I’m still running 4.5 only on my ancient laptop, which is an excellent field recorder. I haven’t had any issue with recording simultaneous tracks, and they’re easily transferable to my giant windows 10 desktop for mixing and mastering. Soon I expect to have an old device back that will give me 8 more inputs, so I can record the percussionist with several mikes, and I might even record the bottom of the snare!

Awesome!!! I would love to see you guys live!!! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Thanks for listening, Kevin. I wish we had somewhere to play more than once a year! It’s a lot of effort, and it’s not easy to keep these guys interested with no goals other than to amuse my compositional urges.

When is next year’s gig? I might be able to catch you
on my post-retirement world tour. :wink:

This is great. Actually hit like on the track on my soundcloud stream yesterday without knowing you posted it here too.
Loved it :slight_smile:

Strophoid, thanks for listening to it! I’m taking Jet’s comments seriously, and I’ve created another version with louder kick and snare, and I’ll put it up in a day or two, once I’ve tested it on car speakers.

Jet, we get the opportunity to play at my old friend’s Independence Day party usually each year, although we are somewhat sporadic about it. We never know if we’re going to have a full ensemble… drummer before Spencer got concerned about volume on his (professional) ears, and passed off to his student Spencer; before Spencer’s teacher, we had a guy who was also pretty good but got way too busy at work, and of course, our original drummer passed away several years ago prematurely. Sometimes feel like we’re Spinal Tap. The three of us (bass, keyboards and me on guitar) have been together a very long time. Spencer has done this gig twice so far, but in truth, he’s moved far away from us, and is making his own way in music… of all of them, I think he’s going somewhere, and I’m honored we got the chance to play with him. I hope we can keep him interested. Maybe we’ll be able to get the previous guy back. We don’t really have an audience in our local area, but it is fun to get together. Forgot to mention our latin percussionist - he’s been at the gig four or five times now; wasn’t able to make this recording session, however.

I put up a new mix based on the feedback that the drums need to be louder. Guitar and keys reduced, snare and kick increased. Bass balanced per my ears.
Feel free to comment, and hope you enjoy!

Ok, balance-wise that is what I’m talking about. :slight_smile:
The track takes on another level of energy.
Il groovamondo.©

I listened first thru speakers then under cans,
coz it sounded a bit mono-ized and I wanted to
double check.

If you lessened/removed the guitar auto panning and set it and
the e.p. left/right I feel it would all sound and sit better
for a stereo spread. Of course they would share a
common verb space and that would be their glue.

A bit more fuzz on the bass? Just a fort.

But I can get into this a lot more now.
“Drums Up! Take Action Now!”
(you gotta live in HK to get it).

Much appreciated you giving it another listen. Now I’m considering the additional comments. It’s not auto panning, but the effect of a stereo widener I tried out on the master bus. But maybe I’ve made it too complicated. I like to put delays on the guitar and keys, so in the case of the guitar, which is pretty hard left in the mix, there’s a single very short delay hard right, and the opposite on the keys. There’s a little bit of rotary on the piano, so a bit more stereo impact there as well. I’m not even sure exactly what the stereo widener is doing, but I think it’s tiny delays and maybe some m/s processing (it’s the one that comes with Cubase - no explanation in the manual).

Anyway, it sounded good on the mix of a different tune where I made heavy use of a wah wah pedal (can’t share it cuz it’s a cover). But maybe on this one it’s just making a mishmash out of it, with lots of phasing causing instruments to sound like they’re coming out of different places. Just playing with the mix now, and I think it makes more sense without it.

It’s all in an attempt to give it a more pro-sounding finish when I a/b with references of some of my jazz fusion guitar heros. Most of the time the guitar sounds like it’s everywhere, and I can only guess what the mixer is doing to achieve that. I guess they have their secrets, but I also think they know each other’s secrets!

I’ve never put any fuzz on the bass… sometimes a barely noticeable chorus, but not in this case. Are you talking about a guitar stomp pedal type effect? Or more of a tube simulator? The bass is a direct out from the Hartke amp that Michael’s using, with some compression and equalization. And a tiny bit of feed into the main reverb.

And I have no idea what “Drums Up! Take Action Now!” means!

Lovely jubbley!

I like it better with the louder drums. Great breakdown at around 2:30, with your unison and then harmony playing against some tasty drum stuff. This is a really good tune, played beautifully. I wondered occasionally whether the electric piano was taking up too much bandwidth compared to the guitar, but that didn’t affect my enjoyment.

Nice sounding guitar. What pickup selection was it? Rhythm and treble, or just rhythm? I’m assuming it wasn’t just treble, sounds too smooth. What amp was it? Do I remember correctly that you have an Egnater?


Hi Steve, yes, that’s the Les Paul (Studio Deluxe), on the rhythm pickup. As I mentioned earlier, that’s all I ever use, on all my guitars (pickup I mean)! Through the Egnater Rebel 30, into a Shure SM57. The recording of this particular song that I did for the album a few years ago was on the ES-335. The Les Paul is brighter and needs to be tamed, but in fact, the double-coil sound is the double-coil sound, so it’s workable. I swear, I can make the old SG sound exactly like the ES-335 – nobody could pick it out of a lineup (I suspect that the ES-335 and the SG have identical pickups - the famous '57 Humbuckers). But in this case, I used that Les Paul for everything we recorded that night, including a couple of Hendrix numbers, using the coil tap switch. I’d let you hear it, but I didn’t write it, so I can’t post it (one of them is the best we did that night)! I discovered that with a rolled-off tone, and a little eq, it gives me a single coil sound I like, although I wouldn’t say it passes for a strat or a tele, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good tone!

Thanks for the feedback!

Hi Leon,lovely recording and great playing ,that is so funny “annual gig” . you should be out gigging lots more.

Aww go on leon post it ,i`d love to hear you doing some Jimi , just alter the name a bit,like if it is called "long hot summer night " call it something like "hot knight summa long " ,for a limited time . or pm us a link to dropbox or something.

Thanks, Polgara. I wish we had a shot at playing anywhere in our local area, but the fact is if you’re going to insist on playing original music, you’d better be in a very large city with aficionados of the style you’re working in, and you’d better be young and good-looking, with quirky fashions, so that people will want to join your following. If you’re in the area we’re in, you’d better have a long list of rock covers from the 80’s so the middle-aged people can do that creepy mom and dad wedding dance that they do, probably singing all the words, and running up big bar bills. There is a circuit out here in the burbs for good bands in small venues, but only for well-known bands that were great bands in the 70’s and 80’s. We’re better off targeting our once a year captive audience, at least we get to play!

And they liked us a lot this time, because we included more recognizable covers from the age-appropriate era! One of which I will figure out how to share with you guys through DropBox, as you suggest!

Ha Ha ,creepy dad dance . “box” is probably easier to set up ,it seems an easier format and you get more space for free ,

It’s an elite listening club here these days, inn’t it? :wink:

That widener had a decidedly detrimental impact on the mix, I think.
It elasticised the guitar in a ping-pong L-C-R sort of way yet at the same time did a lot less
to the e.p. First time I listened I couldn’t quite make out what was going on.

It is a great tune and the playing off between guitar and e.p. is what also makes it
so good.

It’s interesting to hear the description of your local gig scene. Quite depressing really, given
your band’s amazing talent.

At the risk of overdoing my requests for feedback, I’ll put up another that is essentially LCR. I’ve done it already, and it sounds good to me, but I’m still trying to figure out how to get the sound I wish I heard. For the record, none of my references are doing LCR. They are doing whatever that mystery secret thing is that puts guitar everywhere and still sounds like stereo. (Remember, I generally listen to my guitar heroes of the last decade or two - Mike Stern, John Scofield, Oz Noy, Johnny A, Alex Machacek). And they’re mostly trios, so what do you do with the guitar in a trio? Well, the answer is, you do what they’ve done, except I don’t know what it is. Of course, I have heroes who recorded much earlier, but whatever these secret tricks are didn’t exist back then.

Jet, you’re right about the widener. I didn’t use it at all on the album for the reasons you mention.

And you’re right about the elite audience of commenters. I guess we can do whatever we want!

And, given that fact, I guess I can dwell. Turns out I just found a new album by Alex Machacek I was unaware of. Now listen to the guitar on any track of this one and help me understand how it was done!

hi leon great track ,Alex Machacek sounds like a cross between Holdsworth and Eric Johnson ,incredible playing . have you ever tried duplicating your guitar track and then panning them either side and then either move one track slightly back by dragging or you can do this on the inspector which is just under the pan control ,you can shift the track in increments of millisecs ,you can then put a fx s on top of that to taste . when we used to record back in the late 70s early 80`s we used to pan the guitar hard left and then send a delayed signal hard right to get a fat sound that is the only way i see possible with a mono signal.