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Blog: A Bright New Dawn In Recording History

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I was on the last (non-ludicrously priced... well, non-UTTERLY-ludicrously priced, it still cost seventy quid!) train from Derby to London after work last night where, after a brief stop for CHIPS i made my way to Snug Recording Studio, home of so many of our TRIUMPHS, were recording was due to start on Dinosaur Planet: THE ALBUM.

I was delighted to find BOTH Robbie AND Rich in attendance for the evening and almost equally as delighted to get there in time to hear a good half of of drum soundchecking. As anyone who's ever been in a band, or just near one, will know, the drum soundchecking is the choicest delicacy in any meal of ROCK and people have been known to RUN just for a chance to hear it. Usually in the other direction, for some reason, but still.

Anyway, we got that done, Tim went off for HIS chips, we set the guitar up, had a chat, then Frankie arrived. HE got set up, Tim returned, chips, pies and pickled eggs were eaten, and we BEGAN. I hope i am succesfully conveying the IMMENSE GLAMOUR of the proceedings.

We started off with Don't Darren Don't, and succesfully managed a full take with swift ease. HOWEVER we appear to have suddenly got a bout of the PROFESSIONALISMS - there was a time not so long ago that just getting to the END of a song would have been sufficient for it to be The Final Take, but no longer it seems. We had four or five goes at it before a listen through and the agreement that trying to do the "atmospheric intro" was putting us off, so we went back in and did it ANOTHER five or six times WITHOUT the intro. The final version was take TEN! TEN!

It DID sound rather good though, as did the next one, My Grandad Is Nuts which didn't take quite as many attempts, but still had quite a few. Again, each one might have DONE, but was abandoned for reasons like Insufficient Bounce until we got to the RIGHT one.

Next up was my FAVOURITE song at the moment, We Are The Giant Robots. This sounds BLOODY GRATE - it's quite different now from how I did it on my own, becoming, to use the term, a bit KRAUTROCK. A bit - as Tim pointed out, with even the Very Extended Version (which'll probably get faded LONG before the end) only just getting past three minutes, it's hardly NEU.

Some major WORK was undertaken on the next couple of songs, A Little Bit and its reprise A Little Bit More. Previous sections which had featured STOPS were smoothed out, transitions were added and ALL SORTS. I was also impressed by the way we did the reprise with a slightly different, more TRIUMPHANT feel. It was dead good!

Also rather lovely, I must say, was the way we slipped back into the Mutual Bossing Around which DEFINES our MASTERY of the studio. Throughout anyone of us could say "No, do it again!" and off we'd go, or suggest a change that everyone would try out. It was made easier this time by the FACTS that a) none of the songs are very long, so another go was no problem and b) this ISN'T our Big Important New Rock Album, it's a ROCK OPERA, where we don't necessarily feel quite the same need to make every song sound different for the sake of it. We normally DO do that, you see, honest!

Anyway, with the main songs finished we knocked off a quick version of Literature Search, just to get another song in, then had a few run throughs of (theme from) Dinosaur Planet - SENSIBLY we're getting in as much practice at this one as possible before recording it properly. And, judging by the recording we made, WE NEED TO.

So all in all an EXTREMELY productive evening's work - I was VERY pleased with how GOOD everything's sounding, and pleasantly surprised by how much like PROPER songs they all are, working on their own even though they were written to fit into an Overarching Narrative. We might even do a couple of them at tomorrow night's gig, just to prove it!

posted 21/10/2009 by MJ Hibbett

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