Grinding it out

Finished the first song for the new album this morning. Coffee. Record button. More coffee.

Yashima, Kagawa Prefecture, Shikoku, Japan. She wanted me to let the seal kiss me. So I did.

This evening I started tracking the second song.

This blog entry is a testament to how important it is to get it right. And how I haven’t, yet.

Spent a couple hours working on tracking the ukulele part. Finally, nailed it. Even better than I could have hoped for. Followed up with vocals. Finally got those the way I wanted them, too.

Time to track some bass.

Oops. Something’s wrong. Something’s very wrong. Something called “creep”. “Ukulele creep”, to be precise.

Turns out I failed to make sure my ukulele was in absolute tune (A=440) before I hit the record button. It’s in relative tune, that is, in tune with itself, but A does not = 440 Hz. Probably closer to A=450. As one string would go out of tune throughout the day, I’d accidentally overcompensate, tuning it just a little too sharp. And then I’d absent-mindedly end up tuning the rest of the strings to match that one.

Instead of simply getting out my tuner and making sure it was right every time. (Ouch.)

Instead of scrapping all I’d done and actually TUNING and starting over, I decided to play the Wise Guy. “I’ll just tune my bass UP a little bit to make up the difference. And everything Will Be Just Fine.

So after wasting at LEAST an hour with that silliness, I finally tuned my bass back to A=440. Laid down the track. It sounds good by itself. BUT it’s just enough out of tune against the ukulele to be crazy making.

Note to self: Don't just buy it. USE it.

After so many years, you’d think I’d have learned this lesson enough times not to have to repeat it. But no. Apparently, I needed a reminder. There’s absolutely no substitute for clean, in-tune performance. Period.

Looks like I’ll be re-tracking the ukulele tomorrow.

And releasing an album I can be proud of.

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Filed under Playing the fool, Writing & recording original music

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