Drum tracks have been recorded for 5 of the songs so far, and I’ve recorded bass for each of them. Usually, I’m able to gauge how well the song will turn out by this point by how it feels during the bass recording process. When Kevin is tracking, I usually play along silently to get a feel for the performance also. Since I’m not very good at guitar, I generally use that as my standard – if I can play the song on guitar at the tempo and feel Kevin is playing, then that’s a good start. I’ve been playing along with bass though, so I’m able to play comfortably at faster tempos, and that has led to a couple of takes that are faster than they should be. A lot of the other parts don’t work as well at different tempos, so it’s a balancing act between playing what feels best when it’s just bass and drums, and keeping in mind all the other stuff that’s going to get heaped on top.
Kevin isn’t playing to a click track, which is a something I’ve normally done when recording this way. The demos for the songs with real drums were all played to a click track. Usually, it’s an annoyingly loud click in one stereo channel, and a rough bass and/or guitar in the other – then you can listen through headphones while you’re playing to follow along. Kevin chooses not to work this way, and that’s fine, but it places extra responsibility on me to make sure he isn’t getting carried away. He’s perfectly capable of playing every one of these songs at ridiculous tempos, and they would sound fine until the other parts started getting layered in.
Long story short…we re-recorded one of the songs last night. I think it’ll work out a lot better now.
We also started working on a couple of the remaining songs. I’ve saved the harder songs for last, and I question that judgement from time to time, but then I look at the 5 songs we’ve now finished drums for, and the one that is almost complete, and wonder if I’d have that much done if one of these other songs were first. Probably not. We’re coming down the home stretch for drums though, and that’s very exciting.
Kevin and I have a bit to keep us busy once he’s done with his part on this album, so we press on.