Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

The Hard Way

I was riding along on the fat bike, last Thursday, on my way from work when I started thinking about what I was doing. It was my seventh day in a row of riding that bike for at least an hour a day, and my knees were a bit sore. For three weeks, I had not ridden enough to speak of, and I was really enjoying riding back and forth on my commute.

But, why was I commuting on the bike, out of all the bikes I own, that takes the most effort to get down the road? My knees probably wouldn't be protesting, as much, if I had been riding my cool titanium bike, for a week, instead of the near-50-pound Beast.

In a word, I was riding that bike because it was hard, rather than in spite of that. I wanted the most ride possible, withing the time and distance constraints of my commute. I wasn't looking for an easy ride. I was looking for a more intensive ride.

This got me to thinking about other aspects of my life.

Steve and I are in the middle of recording the second Skull Full Of Blues album. We are doing that the hard way, as well, per my choice. About a year ago, we went into a professional studio and recorded the first CD/album/collection of songs (I'm not sure how to refer to it, nowadays ... nobody calls them albums, but the CD is on its way out, as well). Kyle, the studio guy, miked us up and set the levels and all we had to do was play.

It was a bit too easy.We got everything done in a day, and it was representative of our sound, at the time. But, something was missing. The effort level was just too low, I think, and it lacks something, to me.

So, for this album, I decided to take the hard road, and record on tape. So far, we have worked on the album for a solid month and we have eight songs in the can. We are recording on tape, with two microphones, in my living room. It took us two weeks to figure out how to get the room sound to translate to tape, and two more weeks to manage to get the songs we have down to sound right. And, we have six songs to go.

The sound is not as clean as the studio sound. There's some electronic noise due to the bad wiring in my house, and my microphones are not near the quality of the studio mic's. But, I love the sound that we are getting. It sounds like it was recorded the hard way, live in a juke joint, and that's the sound of SFOB.

Blood, sweat and tears = soulful living, for me. Your mileage may vary...



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