September 10, 2009

New Album Recording Journal – page 14

Posted in Recording Journal at 6:08 pm by Matt

Two more nights of mixing to go!

All the tracks are recorded now (unless my friend Monica pops in for some guest violin tomorrow), and the first two tracks are mixed to their final version. Tonight, I plan on tackling 5 or 6 more. Things are sounding great; I think the mix is retaining the heaviness and thickness of the tracks (particularly the guitars) without making them clippy or noisy like in the olden days of “The Millstone” or “Dance With Divinity”. The vocals might be lacking a little punch at times, and the same might be true of the drums; I’m not sure how to fix this, but I’ll play with it if I have any free time the next two nights.

Here’s the final track listing of the album, slightly revised from previous posts:

1. Outside the City Gates / 2. Sector 7 / 3. Tower of Need / 4. Fluorescent Twilight / 5. Ambling Cadavers / 6. Where Gardens Never Grow / 7. Vagrant Prophecy / 8. The Crumbling Dam / 9. Avalanche / 10. The Greater Gospel

The album’s not perfect, but I think it’s a big step for PH. Not necessarily a step better, or a step forward, but a step toward a consistent yet unique sound. It’s definitely a springboard from which even better albums may yet come!

This will be the final page of my recording journal. The next time I post, it will be to announce the release of the sixth Potmos Hetoimos full-length, “The Greater Gospel”! Thanks for reading!

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September 8, 2009

New Album Recording Journal – page 13

Posted in Recording Journal at 1:08 pm by Matt

I feel like I haven’t slept in a week and a half.

Vocals are done. All that’s left is synth and bass on about 4 songs, and a boatload of mixing and production. And this has to get done in the next 4 nights.

Things are sounding great though. Jason almost singlehandedly made the album not suck with his awesome, varied vocal deliveries. He definitely registers another solid performance on this album. The synth also sounds pretty great on the songs I’ve put it on thus far, especially “Tower of Need”.

Considering the entire album comes out in four days, I think I’ll forgo trying to get a song ready for myspace tomorrow and just give you all the whole deal on Saturday without any preview. How does that sound?

September 4, 2009

New Album Recording Journal – page 12

Posted in Recording Journal at 2:42 pm by Matt

Guitars and drums for the album are DONE!

Pat isn’t going to get to do what I originally planned. I’m okay with that. Rather, I will be taking over the synth duties myself, and the piano will be relegated to only a couple of tracks. Pat’s piano will feature prominently on “Ambling Cadavers”, Carole will be playing piano on the final track of the album, and I myself will be adding very brief piano parts to “Tower of Need” and “The Crumbling Dam”.

Synth and bass need to be added to most of the album, but that will get done this weekend. Also on schedule for the weekend is the completion of vocals for “Fluorescent Twilight”, “Vagrant Prophecy”, “The Crumbling Dam”, and track 10.

Not sure which yet, but a teaser track will be posted on myspace by Monday.

September 1, 2009

New Album Recording Journal – page 11

Posted in Recording Journal at 8:05 pm by Matt

The first big chunk of vocals was laboriously laid down this weekend. Three tracks are finished vocally out of the seven that will have vocals. I’m working on the music for track 7 and possibly track 10 tonight, and Raleigh should be laying down the noise for track 9. So much to do, and increasingly little time.

Still only one song with keyboard, only a couple of songs with bass, no synth. Pat still wants to finish the keyboard parts; I am skeptical. We’ll see. This album will get done, even if I don’t get to sleep next week.

August 25, 2009

New Album Recording Journal – page 10

Posted in Recording Journal at 6:06 pm by Matt

Well, that was an unsuccessful weekend.

Pat had a wedding to go to on saturday, so we actually only got keyboard recorded for one song (“Ambling Cadavers”). I’m working on “Fluorescent Twilight”, and I’m changing the name of track 7 again – this time for good. I may also change the name and nature of track 10 – it’s not going to be 18 minutes long. Some of the other songs are running over the amount I time I planned for them, which is perfectly okay. Track 10 is looking more like a shorter classical/symphonic doom piece, which I’m excited about. Jason might be laying down some vocals this weekend, and Raleigh’s coming down on Sunday for a few days which will include a guest appearance on “The Crumbling Dam”/”Avalanche”. I consider myself slightly ahead of schedule, which is a good place to be.

Onward!

August 21, 2009

New Album Recording Journal – page 9

Posted in Recording Journal at 9:04 pm by Matt

This weekend is a big weekend for the new album. Five of ten tracks have guitars and drums, and I plan on doing the sixth and maybe even seventh tonight. Then tomorrow will be a day full of bass and keyboard/synth recording, as my strings are now changed and Pat will be around with his full keyboard. If everything goes as planned, by tomorrow night this album could be half-recorded!

I’m stumped on lyrics for the moment – been too busy with other things to write any more than I already have. But those don’t have to get finished until 5 minutes before they get recorded anyway. Maybe I’ll just let Jason improvise lyrics.

…Maybe not.

Unlike “Kingdoms”, this album will have cover art. And unlike every other PH album, this album will actually have awesome cover art (actually, I liked the art for Dance With Divinity, but it was a little weird). I’ve gotten permission to use an image I really like by photographer Trevor Dunt, so I’m going to have my best photoshop people manipulate it into something cool for the cover.

23 days and counting.

August 19, 2009

New Album Recording Journal – page 8

Posted in Recording Journal at 2:59 pm by Matt

Things are NOT going as planned. Life stuff and music complications are really pushing back this recording. Nevertheless, I have recorded guitars and drums for 4 of 10 tracks. Still haven’t changed my bass strings. This album might end up sounding sloppy, and I’m okay with that. You will be too.

August 10, 2009

New Album Recording Journal – page 7

Posted in Recording Journal at 2:03 pm by Matt

Tonight is the first night of scheduled “studio time” for the new album.

And already, it’s getting pushed back.

Oh well, doesn’t matter. I’ve been writing down lots of lyrical snippets and sections for various songs, so a lot of progress is being made there. Most of the songs are beginning to take shape. I know what I’ll be working on first, and thanks to some great developments, I now know that each song will be done in three phases.

First, I will record drums and guitars (using up to 6 tracks for guitars, instead of trying to constrain them to 2 or 3 as in previous recordings). These tracks will be exported onto my laptop and a rough mix made. This rough mix will then be imported back onto the recording unit, replacing 6-8 tracks with only one track, saving heaps of space. After this, bass and keys/synths will be added freely, then exported onto the computer. The bass and keys will be mixed together with the guitars and drums (and anything else that might happen to be there) to create a full instrumental mix, which will eventually be used to lay vocals over. So in summary:

1. Record guitars and drums

2. Record bass and keys

3. Record vocals

This will allow a LOT more flexibility than in previous recordings. I am very excited to get started.

Now I just have to figure out how to change my bass strings.

August 3, 2009

New Album Recording Journal – page 6

Posted in Recording Journal at 2:54 pm by Matt

It’s August, folks. The new album officially comes out NEXT MONTH. No recording has been done. Am I freaking out? Nah. Remember, no PH album ever released on 9/12 has had any part of it recorded before 8/12. However, no PH album has ever been recorded while I’ve been working a 40-hour week. AND, no PH album has required the consistent services of TWO other musicians (Jason and Pat, this time around). Pat is a relatively busy man, as well as a musical perfectionist, so I’m uncertain how recording him will work out. There are also 2 or 3 guest appearances that I’ll have to factor in.

It’s going to be an interesting month.

So I’ve stepped things up a little bit, gotten a little more professional, and drawn up a rough studio schedule for myself. I think that will ensure that I, the artist, have sufficient time and space to get everything accomplished that need to be, and will provide you, the listener, with the best music capable of being produced by Potmos Hetoimos. I’m very excited about this album; if things come together as I hope, it very well could be the best one yet.

Here’s a very rough tentative plan:

Aug 3-6: Preproduction, figuring out recording process, getting equipment ready

Aug 10-13: Two pieces* recorded

Aug 17-20: Two pieces recorded

Aug 24-27: Two pieces recorded

Aug 31-Sep 3: Final piece recorded

Sep 7-11: Production, mixing, loose ends

Then in a weekend somewhere in there, Jason will come visit or I’ll visit him and we’ll lay down vocals. I think this allots plenty of time for everything to happen. Let’s do it!

*While there are 10 songs on the album, three are shorter songs that each go together with a longer song, so they’ll be recorded in pairs like that – resulting in seven total “pieces”.

July 28, 2009

New Album Recording Journal – page 5

Posted in Recording Journal at 2:27 pm by Matt

Finally changed my strings. The new ones are very bright, a quality which is sometimes desirable and sometimes detestable when recording sludgy post-metal. I’ll have to wear them down a bit before laying down any serious tracks. However, energized by the return to playability of my beautiful guitar, I wrote a new riff for the album – very different from anything else written so far. It’ll become the intro/beginning of “The Crumbling Dam”.

Let’s take a look at where things stand right now in the songwriting process (all percentages approximate):

1. “Outside the City Gates” – 50% written musically. / 2. “Sector 7” – 80% written musically, 10% lyrically. / 3. “Tower of Need” – 95% musically, 40% lyrically. / 4. “Fluorescent Twilight” – 25% musically, 10% lyrically. / 5. “Ambling Cadavers” – 80% musically, 0% lyrically. / 6. “Where Gardens Never Grow” – 80% musically. / 7. (not yet titled) – 60% musically, 10% lyrically / 8. “The Crumbling Dam” – 50% musically, 10% lyrically. / 9. “Avalanche” – 50% musically. / 10. “Baltimore” – 10% musically, 0% lyrically.

As you can see, “Tower of Need” is the closest to being “done” in terms of the writing phase. As I mentioned before, you’ll probably see a rough demo version of this song in the near future.

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