Welcome to the GGE recording report for the recorded album, currently titled "Natural Disaster"
What I hope to achieve in this report is a short but detailed summation of the processes and theory behind the recording of the album entitled "Natural Disaster"
Natural Disaster was an intense and unusual recording exercise which gave us excellent results in a very short amount of time and managed to conform fairly well to the belief system and rules under which it was recorded.
Firstly it was designed not as a conceptual studio musical work, but as an archival representation of an already existing live performance piece. This means that the essence of the album is not in its overall studio potential, but rather it is in its true to life capture of a momentary experience, being the live performance which essentially created it.
The nature of the album is a thirteen song collection which runs to thirty-four minutes and thirteen seconds. It has a carefully prepared structure and the songs are all sequenced with this particular compilation in mind. There are spaces in-between the songs, which are not included in the actual material of the recording of the song itself. These spaces are the spaces between the data which is the songs themselves, on the actual compact disk to which it was mastered.
The nature of the recording was as follows.
DAY NUMBER ONE
On the first day of the recording GGE loaded specialised equipment which had been borrowed especially for the occasion into the mud rendered hay-bale sub structure which comprises the Little Gold studio, located inside the Irene Warehouse Community Arts Centre. This equipment was then assembled and tested for faults.
Whilst this was occurring the Principal Recording Engineer Steve Frazer made ready the various microphones and tape recording apparatus required, also testing line levels and finally performing a preliminary proto-recording to examine the response from the various instruments.
The plan with this particular recording was to record all of the instruments including voice and electronic keyboard in one single sequence, with no overdub or non-performed sound to be added to the final tapes. As was mentioned, the reason for this was due to the essence of the recording and the desire to stay true to that essence as much as possible,
This was all that could be done on the first day.
DAY NUMBER TWO
On the second day work started late not due to ANY expected development but surprisingly due to an unexpected development, The acquisition of another audio compressor.
By this stage, the manifest difficulties had become apparent. It seems that through poor fortune it was this particular recording session that all of the potential faults which were inevitable, should all occur, at once. The most prominent of these faults was the failure of tracks one and eight on the 8-track tape reel machine which we were using to record onto. This left 6 tracks which we could record onto. The problem with this was that we required seven tracks to record onto at a total bare minimum.
This situation was solved by combining both of the vocal tracks onto one. The issue of relative volume was attended by the exceptionally heavy handed use of compression, leaving exactly no dynamic range in the vocal performance at all and then attenuating the two signals to make them sit well together. As drastic and sub-optimal this seemed at the time, it actually had a very benificial side effect, in that it also caused the spill from the other sounds being picked up by the vocal microphones to be raised to a very audible level, and thus allowing a room microphone sound where there was none previously.
The other problems included catastrophic microphone failure, lead earth issues and catastrophic failure of the phantom power on the recording console. This was all dealt with in an unusually calm style, with work arounds for every situation developed quickly and successfully. At the end of the day a short test performance had been checked for issues, and recording was ready for the next day.
This was the day for recording everything. The day went smoothly with few problems as song after song were painstakingly laid down and checked for quality. A few re-takes of entire songs were made and on one track an actual vocal overdub was made, with the original vocals being supplanted by the overdubbed version, still with the same microphones, however with a superior rendition.
Finally all of the recording was completed and the studio cleaned of GGE equipment, made ready for the next recording session to be held immediately
The mixdown was and is a significant factor of the recording concept, and is still in an interesting state of flux. The album itself has developed into two main conceptual ideas. Each idea leads in a different direction and each is important as examples of the ephemeral nature of sound.
One of these directions is to have the project which was begun at Little Gold Studios, finish at Little Gold Studios, with an analogue master in stereo of the recorded tapes. This is still yet to occur.
Another one of these directions involved organising with Simon Grounds to mixdown in a different way than what would occur at the Little Gold Studio. The idea behind this process, was a hybrid analogue/digital system, whereby the analogue material recorded with high levels so as to make the most out of the tape compression would be sampled into a multitrack digital system at 24bits 44kHz. This digitised sound would then be used as the playback system, and sent back into the console and through whatever sound processing equipment was necessary as analogue, and then re-recorded once more into digital. This allowed the most possible flexibility with a digital system, whilst still retaining the audio processing reality of actual sound, transduction, thermionics and discrete circuitry.
Roughly two days were spent mixing the sound, and mastering to stereo cd-audio.
PRODUCTION AND MANUFACTURE
Natural Disaster is being produced as part of a Trilogy
of collected works by go genre everything.
It has been mass produced as 500 descrete compact disk units with a beautiful reversable cover. depicted here is a low resolution example of the exquisite work by Nela Krupic depicting the image of the main cover.
The methods used to render the original image were a combination of digital reprinting, photocopy, water colour, guache and ink on paper. Notice the detail given to the slouching dinosaurs, and the care in depicting the way in which they might loll about on old sofa lounge chairs drinking bier of some sort.
It has been printed in 600dpi resolution using a four
colour process, on recylcled paper.
The compact disk is available though munchiegohilarious
and go genre everything.
please send word of any inquirys to this location
We at Go Genre Everything would like to thank you for your interest in the recording and production of "Natural Disaster" and hope that you may find many moments of wonder and magnificence in the quality recordings which we at munchiegohilarious are warmly keen to present.
If you like the album "Natural Disaster" then perhaps you might like to subscribe to Go Genre Everything, or set about getting a pre-order for the latest offering to the consumers of pre-recorded music.
Natural Disaster was launched at the Dinosaur Show in 2004.
here is a little more about it.