The Four Track Mind #1 - part 7
Ok. We're at an impasse. I knew drums would be the decider and they are. I got plenty of songs ready to go. The problem is recording drums with my set up sounds lame-o. My set up is Garage Band, a M-Audio Firewire box with an SM-57 mic and a drum machine. We tried just recording drums with one mic. It sounds like the drum is in danger of being eaten by a mouse. Then we tried it with 2 mics and it sounds like the drum is in danger of being eaten by a cat. I want drums that kick you in the nuts. I chased down the recording the drum machine played through amps option for a while and that is a great vibe and feel and works if your doing Tom Waits/Kills sort of trash ball blues garage rock. I wish I was. Alas I got a bunch of just trad sounding rock n roll for you. You can't fake the rock n roll drums. There is no Charlie Watts setting on the drum machine. Also, and I find it really funny, there is no Bo Diddley setting. I have an Alesis SR-16 and nowhere in the dang thing is the "Bo Beat". I wonder if Bo has a copyright to the point that it can't be used on a drum machine? I wonder if the beat is something beyond the capability of a computer? To move on with the record I have three options. They are as follows in a not so logical order. Buy some equipment. I need a new mixer with more inputs, mics for drums, a better mic for acoustics and a new mic for vocals. Probably cost me in the 'hood of around a grand and a half. No big deal you say. I live in the hood of about 5 bucks. Welcome to the real world or at least my real world. I make 8 bucks an hour. I am on a daily hourly basis trying to fix this but I'm not going to be buying any equipment anytime soon. I am an oddity to the job world I guess. I've been reading the Wall Street Journal business guide. I figured they would know. I spent the last 10 years banking that I'd be a rock star so I never really put any effort into work or school or whatever distraction was laid before me. I sort of suck at interviews.
I have tons of skills but none of them look good on a resume. None of it translates. Synergy. "At the end of the day" IT informed etc, you know business stuff. It fascinates the hell out of me.
I could borrow some equipment. This does not really appeal to me. If I can't afford to buy it I can't afford to fuck it up. Besides borrowing it and getting it figured out and then getting some one over to play drums all before I have to return it doesn't sound like I'd have time to breathe much less make some good music. My favorite option is to go to a studio and record the basic tracks. This sounds fun. I am so tired of recording it all by myself. I feel like I'm trapped in a circus act with a mic on my head a paper in my lap a guitar in one hand a harmonica in another and then I reach for the record button. But like I said I'm broke. Studios are not cheap and the whole reason I wanted to record at home in the first place was to save dolo and to take my time on getting the grooves. There is no such thing as a free lunch. I'm reminded of the part in "Hustle and Flow". Actually a-lot of parts. The walk for him or walk on his own part. I sort of feel like I'm trying to walk all alone all the time but that nobody thinks I would walk if they helped me. Might be true, might not. I'm also reminded of the by any means necessary part. I got the room with cup holders stapled to the wall. I got the lava lamp. I got the notebook full of rhymes. I don't have a living room full of hookers but my wife will do. But it gets back to there is no substitute for real drums. I'd love it if I could record it all by myself. But I need help. I wish Westerberg would get a damn drummer on his records and get some help. They'd probably be the best damn things ever. I wish he'd finish songs and practice. I wish I would too. Maybe I need a new hero. A hero with help. But now I'm back to thinking about "Hustle and Flow". The whole thing. I have got to get my own mode. I really do.
I played a gig last night and I made 10 bucks. It broke down to about 2.50 an hour. I had a few beers. I ran a deficit. I played guitar for my good friend Greg Parker. Greg's music is sort of Dwight Yoakum and Chris Isaak with a bit of Elvis Costello. It's fun to play. I was thinking while hanging out that there is a whole lot of us playing here now on this little scene and we all have myspace pages and a demo disc we can sell you and another on the way that is coming sometime in the to be announced future and really none of is will make it big but I think Keith once said on any given night somewhere some band is the greatest rock n roll band in the world. Maybe that magic moves on from one band to the next faster than it does others maybe it hangs on. Maybe a little bit of that magic stays with them for life. Maybe they mix that with luck and they get big one day. But none of us real probably hit it big. There isn't anybody making remotely real country music anymore that hits it BIG. I don't even consider myself country or alternative country but it is my genre and there is nobody BIG in alternative country. But that's alright. We are all making our songs and playing to screaming throngs of 5 people and waiting on the magic that Keith talked about because you never know. You might just be the greatest rock n roll band in the world one night.
- Adam Hill | 2006-06-06
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