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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Recording Corner »

Permalink The Madeira - Recording the new album, March 2015

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The Madeira is back in the studio! We got there at 5:30 pm, and had everything set up and mic-ed up by 7:30 pm. Playing all together in one room, we recorded two takes of the first song, "Leviathan", with the second being the one, having it in the can by 8:15 pm. The next song up was "Farthest Shore", which was on our live album. Had that one in the can by 8:45 pm, with the second take again being the one. Next up: the opening song for the album, the furious rocker "Journey to the Center of the Surf" - the second take was again the one, and we were finished with that one by 9:20 pm. That was all we intended to do tonight, but given that it was only 9:20, we tackled one more, another one from the live album: "Caravela". I decided to do my lead in three separate tracks, so that one took the longest, but we were done with it by 10:45 pm. Four songs done, nine to go the next two days - so off to an unbelievably good start! My guitar tone on these tracks is probably the most overdriven yet - and with the reverb and the Strymon El Capistan (and the EP Booster), at points it sounded like shoegazing guitar. Well, something different! It's not all gonna be like that, for sure.

OK, I'll write another report tomorrow after we're finished.

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Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

No need to apologize about the Gaze Man. The Surf is Versatile. Everchanging. Sometimes you just gotta float on the Ethereal plane for a while. Interesting colors in that studio. Where you recording on the surface of the sun? Or was it the Third Stone From The Sun? Laughing (see what I did there? A reference to a psychedelic song by Hendrix which loosely ties into the shoegazing and that Ambient vibe. A song also covered by surf legend Dick Dale) Have fun!

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Last edited: Mar 14, 2015 00:09:08

Looking forward to hearing it. Looks like you were able to keep the groupies out of the studio. They can be a real distraction!

Surf_Skater wrote:

Looking forward to hearing it. Looks like you were able to keep the groupies out of the studio. They can be a real distraction!

Certainly the biggest challenge any surf band faces, regardless of venue.

The Mystery Men?
SSS Agent #31

Exciting news! Thanks for the pic's too.

Curious, to hear if you've tried using the ABY (tonebone switchbone box)after a single reverb unit since your settings on both seem to be aimed at the same sound. ...or do you vary the reverb as much as it appears you are doing between the Band Master and Surfer depending on the song?

BTW - interesting to see you're plugged into the 'Glassy' (Normal) side of the Surfer with the Tone and the Vibrato side of the Band Master... and how relatively high the Bass knobs are set on both. Made me go look up your last batch of recording pics from 2011 and indeed, it looks like you're a tad higher there. Must just be another part of your ratcheting up of the sonic boom (along w/ a lil more overdrive) Wink

Maybe the ol' adage goes for both the channel and splitter now that I look closer at both sets of photos (if it ain't broke...)

Anywho - here's to the rest of your time going as smooth as the first night!

Cheers

Fady

Surf_Skater wrote:

Looking forward to hearing it. Looks like you were able to keep the groupies out of the studio. They can be a real distraction!

Looks like they were able to keep those Marshall amps out of the studio, too. Or at least the recording room. I wonder how people would have reacted, if Ivan had said something like: "I am looking forward to combine the AC30 with some Marshalls for the remaining songs. Aiming for a Blackmore-like sound this time." Laughing

Best wishes for the recording sessions!

Los Apollos - interplanetary surf music trio (Berlin)
"Chaos at the Lobster Lounge" OUT NOW as LP and download on Surf Cookie Records!

Cannot wait to hear this!!!

What cool pics! That sounds exciting! Sounds like a great vibe going on in the studio and I'm sure it will show in the music. Can't wait!

The Kahuna Kings

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kahuna-Kings/459752090818447

Last edited: Mar 14, 2015 10:00:18

Great pictures Ivan! It's amazing how much work you guys got done in just a few hours. Really looking forward to this album. Good luck with the rest of the songs!

Paul

I'm getting the shakes here, man...
Still overwhelmed from "Sonic Cataclysm", the new songs are monsters. That lead from "Caravela" is a pinnacle of Ivan's style (I'm still trying to get it, half speed...), and the break straight after the solo is my favorite piece of music right now. I'd love to hear the high gain, triple tracked result.

Love those Studio reports Ivan, be sure we'd continue to nit-pick every little detail. That's because we can. Uh-Oh Cool Soooo... What microphones on the Showman in the pic?

Good luck with the rest of the recording. You guys have to be the most prolific band on here!
Looks like 2015 is off to a great start for instro!

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http://thecoffindaggers.bandcamp.com

Richard wrote:

Surf_Skater wrote:

Looking forward to hearing it. Looks like you were able to keep the groupies out of the studio. They can be a real distraction!

Certainly the biggest challenge any surf band faces, regardless of venue.

Laughing Good stuff...

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Hey, thanks very much to ALL!! We really appreciate your support and your well-wishes! We had another AMAZING day in the studio today. We got there at 10:30 am, starting at 11 am, and recorded until 7 pm, with half hour lunch break. In the seven and a half hours of recording, we were able to knock out another seven tracks, leaving us only two for tomorrow, plus acoustic guitar and percussion overdubs. But we're way ahead of schedule, pretty unbelievable! Paul, yes, we do work VERY fast in the studio. There are several reasons for it: 1) we really work hard to be well-prepared in advance, and 2) we cheat. Smile Cheating is done through ProTools. Eric Klee Johnson, who owns the studio where we record, is a ProTools whiz, and we've come up with a system that works incredibly well: we record two takes as a full band, with the second take usually being the keeper, but both takes starting at exactly the same place in ProTools, going off the click track, so the two takes are aligned. There are usually mistakes by everybody in that second take, but they're probably not in the same places as the first take, so Eric is able to simply pull out the parts from the first take to fix the mistakes in the second take. It only takes him a minute or two to do that, and it greatly reduces the need for many takes or to record over and over again until we all get it right. It's really an amazingly efficient and effective way to work.

The songs we did today: we started with "Here Be Dragons", a song that's the little brother of "Tribal Fury" - so more metal than surf! Smile I did multiple guitar parts on that one, so it took a bit. The solo is another pure Maiden experience. Twisted Evil Then we toned it down a bit, and I switched the Bandmaster with the AC-30 for the next several songs, to give it a smoother, more mid-rangey vibe. First up was "Hail, Poseidon!", a fast but not aggro track, more trad than the stuff we had recorded last night, co-written with Jeremy DeHart (formerly of Aqualads) who contributed an absolutely killer chorus part. From there on we were onto "Sirena", a co-write with our own Danny Snyder! A bit of a middle-eastern vibe with the signature Danny-Snyder arrangement, full of twists and turns, great dynamics, up and down, an amazing arrangement! (Danny, even Eric said so when we walked into the control room after recording it.) Next up: an as-of-yet untitled track (working title: "Prelude To Launch"), written by Patrick (who wrote the record six songs for this album!) with a contribution by me. It's got a bit of a Latino vibe, more melodic and rhythmic. Got some lunch (the previous song should have been called "Prelude to Lunch"!), I switched the Gomez with the Bandmaster for the next batch of tunes, and we started playing the slower stuff. First up: the album-closing track, "Into the Deep", a haunting mood-piece written by Patrick. I had to overdub a very intense, shoegazy section for the climax, which was a blast, using the gorgeous, chewy Fender Harmonic Vibrato! Then on to "Dawn in Cadiz", an achingly gorgeous ballad (if I may say so!) co-written with Alex Faide of Los Twang! Marvels! His lead parts are a huge challenge to play right, and that one definitely made me sweat! But it sounds great, I think. Finally, we finished with the album title track: "Ancient Winds", written by Patrick, a bit in the style of "Undercurrents" and "Cities of Gold". I cranked the echo, and it came out beautifully.

So, an excellent day's work, I'd say! Everybody is playing at a level we've never played before, I'm so proud of my bandmates and feel extremely lucky to be in a band with them!

I almost exclusively used my SG101 Dakota Red '65 AVRI Strat today ("Here Be Dragons" being the one exception), and as a show of my continued gratitude for receiving it as a gift from the SG101 community, I wore my SG101 t-shirt! Thank you, Jeff BTD, Paul, Brian and all others who were responsible for it! It's my best-sounding guitar, and it will be on more than 2/3rds of the new album. Check out the multiple photos with my SG101 shirt and my SG101 guitar! SG101!

OK, we'll wrap things up tomorrow, and I'll post the final reports. I'll also answer some of the questions from above at that point, too. Thanks again, all!

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Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Last edited: Mar 14, 2015 22:44:46

Outstanding, can't wait to hear this! These studio notes just ramp up the excitement factor of a new Madeira release for many of us. Also, thanks for explaining the "cheat"- if you had told us that you just go in and nail it perfectly the first time, I honestly would have thought about putting my gear in a pile and burning it... maybe taking up another hobby like crochet. Best of luck with the wrap-up!

Mike
http://www.youtube.com/morphballio

SG101! indeed! Thanks for the write-up Ivan and good luck wrapping it all up!

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

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

Click tracks are indeed a great thing. Good luck tomorrow, though I don't think you need it!

Rev

Home of Surf & Twang
http://reverbranch.wordpress.com/
http://revhank.com/
http://www.urbansurfkings.com/

Looks like a well equipped studio.
Just like everyone else - I'm looking forward to hearing the new record!

Cheers,
Jeff

http://www.facebook.com/CrazyAcesMusic
http://www.youtube.com/user/crazyacesrock
http://www.reverbnation.com/crazyacesmusic

Really looking forward to the new album, Ivan!
It really comes in handy to have someone who knows his way around ProTools. We also used different parts from different takes when recording, though it did not work out every time. Mostly because of the reverb tail which was hard to cut so you will not hear a 'jump' in the recording.
Is there going to be vinyl release of the alnum and will you bring it to Surfer Joe this year?
Wish you guys an easy going last day in the studio!

The Hicadoolas

Really admire your prep for this project. As I recall you had played a gig in Dec or around there where you had played the material. I dream of the day The Kahuna Kings could be so well organized to be able to record a record that way. Good tip on using a click track for full band recording so you can cut and paste efficiently without having to experiment with the tempo pastes between takes. I use much the same method when getting the initial drum track for a song but I need to add a click track next time.

The Kahuna Kings

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Kahuna-Kings/459752090818447

Last edited: Mar 15, 2015 05:18:45

That's great news Ivan, looking forward to another kick-ass surf album!

We record in a similar way, we record a few takes, pick the best one and fix any mistakes with parts from other takes. We don't use a clicktrack though.

It's great to know what amp and effect was used in each track and then listen and try to match what I'm hearing with what I know should be there. I'm a gear junkie Smile

I can see a Marshall head in one of the photos, is that your secret surf tone weapon!?

https://www.facebook.com/zakandthekrakens

https://www.dirtyfuse.com

Last edited: Mar 15, 2015 06:36:01

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