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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Recording Corner »

Permalink The Madeira in the studio - July 29-31, 2011

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(In this last photo Todd found out the hard way that I run things with an iron fist in the studio!!! Twisted Evil )

Having a GREAT time in the studio this weekend!! Trying hard to ignore our nerves/excitement yesterday morning, we started setting up at 11 am, and one blown (expensive!) mic later (sadly my fault - or, I should say, the Gomez Surfer's fault!!), we were ready to start recording by 2:30 pm. We knocked out five songs by 8:30 pm, with (almost) all the overdubs. From 8:30 to 9:30 Patrick recorded acoustic guitar tracks for four of them, and we called it a night. We were back at 10 am, and have recorded three more in the first three hours. For the past two hours we have had the guest percussionist Brad Harner do his magic on several of the songs, with a couple more to go. We've got one more full song to record tonight once we're done with the percusion overdubs, and then four tracks left tomorrow - and that's it!

The titles of the new songs, and the order in which they were recorded:

Yesterday:
Arcadian Voyage (Patrick's) - a very trad, heavy-reverb, Astronautish stomper
The Expedition (Patrick's) - a melodic, trad-ish midtempo tune
Twilight (mine) - a tribute to Jerry Lordan and the Shadows
Jungle Drums (Ernesto Lecuona's) - a lesser-known Lecuona track given the full Shads/surf treatment
Zanzibar (Patrick's) - a gorgeous ballad (a bit like an instro version of And I Love Her) to close the album

Today:
Mar Vista (Patrick's) - an all-acoustic flamenco-ish piece
Pre-Ritual (mine) - Bass VI, spaghetti-westernish intro to another song (titled - what else - The Ritual!)
Fire Sacrifice (mine) - an epic monster! 4+ minutes of Bo Diddley meets Godzilla in the heart of jungle darkness! With a nod to Ritchie B. in the solo....

more later....

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Last edited: Aug 01, 2011 00:15:39

Most Excellent! Really neat to see the near real time progress report. Sounds like steady progress. I know there are many eager to hear the output of this excitement.

PS - Love that last picture; your new handle - Ivan_IronFist_P Big Grin

fady

Thanks, Fady!

Here're some more photos:

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Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

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Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Last edited: Jul 30, 2011 17:33:53

Right on Go Ivan and crew!

www.northofmalibu.com

Nice shirt Ivan!

I hope you didn't let that little guy press any buttons!

Go make some surf music magic for all of us to enjoy!

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

DISCLAIMER: My avatar is a reflection of the relationship between myself and computers, and should not be construed as any kind of comment on my fellow SG101'ers.

Totally stoked Ivan! I thought you sold that Jazzmaster, is that making an appearance on the album?

Mike

http://www.youtube.com/morphballio

Just seein' that red Strat makes me feel all oogie inside. Can't wait for the new Madiera! And the Jazzmaster too...

Rick

Groovy Sooo exciting! Groovy Just reading the descriptions of these songs is getting me totally amped up. How cool to see the Madeira exploring a new direction, and great to see a significant contribution from Patrick. Thumbs Up Keep us posted, Ivan!

Thanks, all! Brian, the t-shirt was for all y'all! Smile Morphballio, no, I never sold the Jazzmaster, couldn't really do that, have had it for 15 years, and I like it, it's nice to have something different from a Strat on occasion. It actually made a couple of appearances on the last album, in particular the track Carpe Noctem and I think Surf Fidelis. On this album it's found its way on to three tracks so far, but just for the Astronaut-ish 'booch' guitar part on two of them and some harmony guitar parts on the third.

We ended up laying down tons of percussion, some really great stuff (cabasa, djembe drum, claves, finger cymbals, triangle, vibra-slap, rainstick, kitchen sink, oh wait!), on to the following five tracks: Jungle Drums, Zanzibar, Mar Vista, Pre-Ritual and Fire Sacrifice. It sounds incredible, Brad did such an amazing job. Afterwards, we ended up addressing some issues with Twilight from the day before, it needed some serious fixing up of drums and rhythm guitar. By the time that was done it was 8 pm, and we thought about packing it in, but Patrick and Todd wanted us to do one more track, so we knocked out Giant (by the Atlantics) in two takes, and were out of there by 8:30 pm.

Tomorrow we've got four more songs to do:

Devil's Tower (mine) - fast and heavy, the album opener
Cities of Gold (Patrick's) - big, mysterious, melodic, uplifting
The Ritual (mine) - throbbing tremolo and double-picking madness in 3/4 time!
Witch Doctor (mine) - eerie and pounding with more double-picking madness and heavy reverb - DD eat your heart out! Twisted Evil

All four are full-bore surf songs, so it'll be rockin' day - no more acoustic guitars or heavy echo - time to crank the reverb and unleash the double picking!!! Whoo-whoo! Smile

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Last edited: Jul 30, 2011 23:32:38

Sweet! Cant wait to hear it!!!

Headbang Headbang Headbang

So super great to hear these "in the moment" updates, Ivan. Of all the things you could be thinking about and doing, making the time to share this kind of scoop is just awesome. Thanks for that!

fady

Jealous! Recording is so much fun and hopefully fulfilling. Can't wait to hear the results!

http://www.myspace.com/satanspilgrims
http://www.satanspilgrims.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Satans-Pilgrims/8210228553

"Psychsploitation" is HERE!

Awesome! A new Madeira album is definitely an exciting event! Can't wait to hear that DeArmond tone pedal in action!

Ryan
The Secret Samurai Website
The Secret Samurai on Facebook

I am excite!

Hot Summer Comes Again!
Let's Go Beach! Let's Go Beach!

Thanks so much, everybody! Ted, you're speaking the truth - the studio is stressful, but exciting and fulfilling FOR SURE! Especially as we get nearer the end and things are sounding really good. Ryan, the DeArmond found its way onto one song only: Zanzibar. Turned out really nice! Fady, there was a lengthy period yesterday where we were doing the percussion overdubs so I was able to just sit back and write the update. It's nice also to give my mind a break from the music for a moment.

Got here at 10 am today, and after about 3 hours of recording we're almost finished with two tracks (Cities of Gold and Witch Doctor) and all the overdubs (some percussion, some acoustic guitar, currently in progress). Sounding soooo good! I'm very pleased. Next up: Devil's Tower and then The Ritual. If there's time we might redo Twilight from scratch, that's the one that we're not totally sold on yet.

Thanks again, all! We greatly appreciate your enthusiastic posts!

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

I love it. Thanks Ivan! Are you recording leads live or overdubbing them?

Danny Snyder
aka Mycroft Eloi of The TomorrowMen
aka Shecky Shekels of Meshugga Beach Party
aka Zync Oxyde of Frankie and the Poolboys

DannySnyder wrote:

I love it. Thanks Ivan!

Thank YOU, Danny - your suggestion is what inspired me to do this!

Are you recording leads live or overdubbing them?

Definitely live, though I usually have to fix it a bit, just punch in right after we get a drum take. There are sometimes errant adjacant strings, or I won't get a particular note as cleanly as I wanted to. I'd say that I've been really close most of the time, though. Felt nice. Cool

Just finished Devil's Tower - only one to go!

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Last edited: Jul 31, 2011 15:43:07

This could be an epic album...I'm really looking forward to this one, Ivan!

Jack
aka WoodyJ
The Mariners (1964-present) http://themarinerssurf.wordpress.com/

The Surge! (2004, 2011-2012)
X-Rays (1997-2004)
HulaHounds (1996-2004)

Well, I don't know about epic, but hopefully it'll be good. Thanks, though, Jack.

I got back home a bit ago, utterly exhausted but relieved and cautiously happy. It took us a while to record the final song, The Ritual, as it features a very difficult drum part for Dane - he's really challenging himself on that one! So, we needed about five or six takes, and then had to do some fixing plus some percussion overdubs. Man, oh, man, what a monster. Dane's drumming is just completely insane on this one, very tribal. Wow. the verses feature me double-picking like my life depended on it, and then there are two extended sections where we all join Dane inside of rhythm by intensely scratching across muted strings on our guitars. Not much trad about this song.

This was the final song to be recorded, and we were done with it by about 5 pm. But we weren't quite finished, as it was time to once again face what had grown into our nemesis - Twilight. We gave it another careful listen, and decided it needed more work. Dane fixed up the drums in a few places, and then I redid the few guitar overdubs, after having to abandom my earlier approach and trying several different ways to play the parts in a way that would work. I tell you, nothing like being under the gun in the studio, everyone staring at you as you're trying to figure out how the hell to play something so it'll work! And time's ticking away... Once I finally got it, I listened to the main lead, and came to realize there was too much echo, and that my playing just wasn't up to Hank's standard. So, we trashed the lead guitar part, and I started from scratch. I played my '62 RI shoreline gold Strat into the Zoom RFX2000 effects box, loaded with Sounds Like the Shadows echo patches, and then straight into my AC30. I used a patch that replicates the echo sound used on Atlantis, Peace Pipe and Find Me a Golden Street, except that I turned the mix down quite a bit. I also turned down the AC-30's volume to about 4, and also turned down the treble and bass to get a super clean sound. Playing the lead with this sound, well, I felt almost naked - nothing to hide behind! No reverb, no overdrive, not even all that much echo. Every squeak, every tiny finger movement could be heard. I curled my pinky around the trem arm, and went for it. It took about an hour and some change of intense and focused work to get a guitar track I was pleased with - and that in my fantasy I'd like to think that Hank would be pleased with, too. That was freakin' hard. It was all about the phrasing, playing the right thing in the right place with the right feel. I always laugh when people describe the Shadows' songs as 'simple.' A-ha, right. I really want to ask them, have you tried playing them exactly as Hank does? Once you do, you'll quickly reconsider that opinion. (I remember Art Bourasseau of MuSick Recordings telling me back around '97 as he was getting together the tracks for the Shadows tribute album "An Evening In Nivram" that most bands as they sent him their final contributions would add something along the lines of, "That was hard." Yep, it is.) The bigger challenge with this song was that I actually had to come up with the parts and the phrasing that would capture Hank, and couldn't just copy him and recreate what he had already done. Well, we'll see, I might have totally blown it, y'all will be the judge!

Once I finished my lead and listened to the track a couple of times to make sure it sounds good, Dane added a cymbal swell to the very end - AND THAT WAS IT!! WE WERE DONE!!! Unbelievable. You work towards this weekend for a year and a half, think about the songs, play them over and over again, record demos, think some more, obsess a bit further, start completely freaking out about them - and then the recording finally comes and goes in a blink of an eye. It was a hard three days, though. The focus in the studio is so intense that it takes a mental toll. I'm pretty exhausted and very glad it's finished. Now the mixing process starts, and that can go on and on....

Tearing down the gear took a while (an hour and a half) and our engineer didn't have the time to make us any rough mixes, so we had to leave empty-handed. Probably for the best, though. It was actually nice to be able to just step away from it all and give ourselves a bit of breathing room rather than immediately start obsessing about the recordings. As I drove north on I-69 and left Indy behind, the sun was setting on my left and I had a CD on that was fairly far removed from the music that we just recorded, acting as a palate cleanser - Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water. As the title track was playing and the red sun was dipping behind the horizon, I thought about what we had done this weekend and thought, 'this is a good moment.' Really, that's exactly what happened.

Smile

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube
The Space Cossacks on Facebook

Last edited: Aug 01, 2011 14:54:37

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