The string theory

Posted on Posted in news, Recording, Technique
My string theory
Here’s my string instruments, from left: Fender resonator guitar, Fender Precision bass, Fender Stratocaster, banjo, Hagström acoustic guitar. Missing in this picture is my Squire Bullet Strat

I’m sorry for not have updated too much lately, but I’ve been in quite an intense phase of the recordings. The drum sessions have turned out well and most of the songs have drums recorded. And those songs have a bass track too now. As most of the songs have a base of drums, bass, acoustic guitar and vocals, I’m starting to look at the final add-ons. At the same time I’m also planning for the mixing, looking through my equipment – like, “do I have everything?”, “does everything work?”, and so on. So you might understand I’m not having too much time left for blogging at the moment, But I’ll do my best to report as often as possible anyway.

The add-ons are kind of the icing on the cake. It gives the sound its character. Here you have the opportunity to highlight a melody hook, or make a guitar solo, or just color the sound with an organ. Another important type of add ons are the backing vocals.

Since I’m running this production pretty much alone, I have the benefit of having a good overview of the progress and at the same time a good track with the details. The downside is that you have to be very all-round as a musician to be able to play all the instruments I wish to have on my album. I’m quite all-round but I’m prepared for having to spend quite some time on finding the right feeling with each instrument in each song. And when I feel I can’t make it myself – I simply need to ask my friends for help. That will indeed be the case for the backing vocals, since I wish I will have a variety of voices throughout the songs.

To start with I’m planning on using my own instruments. That includes two electric guitars, one banjo, a resonator guitar (dobro) and an accordion. I also have two amplifiers for the electric guitars.

The electric guitars are a Fender Stratocaster and a Squire Bullet Strat. Both are quite all round in their sound even though none of them has a specialized character. Of course, the Stratocaster has a quite twangy sound when using the front pick up or the front and middle at the same time but it’s rather decent. Using any of them with my Vox AC30 amp, I get a great range of really good sounds to chose from. I can also plug the guitar into my Fender Studio lead and get a more crispy thin sound characteristic to Fender amps. The later is also transistor powered in comparison to the tubes that makes my Vox and the sound coming out of it warm.

The dobro guitar is also a Fender, and at this planning stage, I plan on using it quite a lot. It’s good for some lead guitar tunes and also for some slide guitar. We’ll see if I can make it when I’m pressing the recording button (actually it’s the space key when using Pro Tools).

I also have an open back banjo for some nice rhythmic picking wherever it may fit in. I’m not any good at playing the banjo, but I can make it sound good if I put it in the right context. That’s a privilege you have when being both the musician and the producer.

The accordion then? Well, I’m not sure. I once got it from my uncle, since he had ran into it without being able to play it. I can’t play it to well either, but since I’m a musician, he thought I was more likely to use it, and gave it to me or lended it – I don’t know. And since I’m not too good at playing it, I might just ask someone else to play the accordion instead. But I’m not even sure I want any accordion on my album yet.

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3 thoughts on “The string theory

  1. Hey there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward
    to all your posts! Carry on the fantastic work!

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