Saturday, March 09, 2013

Austin Again & Again

Last Wednesday Televators played with three other bands at Red Eyed Fly in downtown Austin.
Hooka Hey from Paris France was really good. (Their video is NSFW, in case you look it up)

We played well, and debuted our new song 'Sonetto' which features acoustic guitar, a more melodic bassline than usual, and Led Zep-ish vocals and drums.

My favorite moment was when we finished our set with the driving 'My Paradigm'. After the thunderous ending there was 3 seconds of silence, then a member of another band on the bill yelled "How the hell do you follow THAT?!?!"
Exactly how it should be done, my friend. Take no prisoners--go out and kill.
We cracked up.

Still deeply in love with my new-ish Ibanez Iceman bass and Peavey MAX tube pramp. Great tone inspires me to play better.

Just two days later we were back in the State Capital to return to Wire Recording studio and get down to work mixing the 3 unfinished songs recorded last April.

Our producer Lee Popa spent too much time and called-in all his favors mixing 'Milk Run' on his own, delivering a fine final product. Then he dropped the rest of the project, violating our contract and exposing himself to a nice lawsuit, but instead we chalked it up to lessons learned and we're still going to attach his name to the final results since that's all we have left of any value.

We used Wire engineer Joey B for mixing last Friday, in a marathon 7pm to 7am session.
Joey really knows his way around the studio, and is a cool relaxed cat to hang with.

It's interesting that we get to combine the convenience and speed of recording digitally with ProTools, but get to enhance and warm up the sound with piles and piles of vintage tube audio gear culled from famous studios world-wide. My bass might get run through a compressor used by The WHO while Bex's vocals are catching a vibe from something that the Beatles or Stones once used.

The rest of the band went back to re-do vocals and stuff on Sunday, but I missed that trip.

Not to fear, because I just went back up to Austin for the third time in a week for more mixing this Wednesday.
10pm-7am this time, and we finished 'The Visitor', our next release. The other two should be done in a few days, hopefully without my help.

Mixing is a tedious and exacting process, and we found the perfect engineer for us. Joey and Televators plan to work together from now on. But man, after hearing the same song again and again and again all night long, I'm so burned out on it that listening to the results is the last thing I want to do.
No wonder many artists never listen to their own recordings.

Some of you might wonder why I didn't mix it myself, given my 25 years of experience mixing live shows.
Well, the studio is a totally different animal and the results will be heard for years on all different kinds of sound systems from iPods to car stereos, home theaters to REAL theaters (SHHH--it's a secret for now).
I just don't have the gear or experience to do it justice, and that's cool.
Besides, live sound is more like playing an instrument.
It can be creative, spontaneous, and fun.
Plus, if you make a mistake people often blame it on the band and forget about it two seconds later.

Once 'The Visitor' gets mastered (yet another engineer performs final tweaks to make it fully compatible with all playback environments and CD pressing) I will post links so y'all can hear it for free (before you buy it on iTunes).
Once the final two songs are mixed and mastered, we'll be approaching record labels to try for a recording contract as well as looking for opening slots on major tours.

Again I ask: "Why didn't all this happen when I was younger?"
But hell, if bands that I grew up listening to can still do it...


Dave said...

Congrats! I'm looking forward to the next iTunes purchase. I still enjoy Milk Run at least a time or two a week on my iPhone.

Keith Alan K said...

Thanks! Milk Run is still slated to appear in the documentary about artist Chet Zar that's in production. No release date yet, but I'll be sure to make an announcement when we find out.

AlanDP said...

I really like that last shot. It's a mountain dulcimer, right?

Keith Alan K said...

Yes, missing a string or two. Lit with a flashlight.