Tag Archive for 'Ben'

And The Rest Of The Trip – The Concise Edition

After Mount St. Helens we headed to Timberline Lodge. It was built in the 30s for the Works Progress Administation. It was also the building that was shot for all the outside scenes of The Shining. It was pretty cool. And it was strangely anything but creepy. What was awesome about it was that it was 6,000 feet up in Mt. Hood. And the artwork and detail in construction were amazing. I’d tell you about it, but Emily would do a much better job. So needless to say it was snowing. We got to enjoy the hot tub while it was snowing. Nothing is more fun than an outside hot tub and snow falling on your face. At least I found that out afterwards.

The next few days were spent in Portland, OR. Jamie’s wedding was incredible. We, go figure, randomly sat down with the CDbaby people at the rehearsal dinner and met some really interesting people. Very cool people. Great connections were made. The wedding was awesome. Incredible food, as expected and incredible people. It was awesome spending a weekend with Jamie’s friends and family. The rest of the weekend primarily was spent in our robes ordering a lot of room service. We did spend one afternoon with Brian (Beb) – which was fun! It was nice seeing Brian. Man, it had been years! What really ruled about the hotel was that they had bellboys to take our luggage to our room and people to call cabs for us. So fancy for such little money. Portland was ok. I really liked it, but I could see it getting on my nerves after a while. Too many white people and too many people to agree with, politically and musically. That and it’s kinda lame to be a teenager or in your 20s and be a punker homeless person. That’s just a lame copout. Oh and there is a book store, record store and recording studio on every block. I’d go broke in 3 weeks. Oh yeah, and then we stayed with Cara and Jon for a few nights while during the day Emily and I went to a bunch of studios. Seeing Larry Crane’s Jackpot! Studios was most excellent. Thanks Kendra. All the studios in Portland were such a wild range and it was definitely very reassuring that this is something we will be quite successful at.

The rest of the trip was spent in San Francisco. Traveling to SF via Route 1 was beautiful however it was giving me a heart attack as the drop off was so goddam steep with little or no guard rails most of the way. Mark and Maria graciously offered to let us stay with them. It was great hanging with Mark’s family. His two kids were fun. It was kind of strange sleeping in his studio with Emily and having his sampler at eye level. Very surreal. But none the less, getting to spend time was more than informative. He took us around to a few studios and we all learned a bunch! It was also cool tieing up loose ends on the record we plan to release. We also got to talk about Horsetricks III. There was also a lot of wine and politics. Go figure. The last night in the Bay Area was spent in Oakland having dinner with Tolya and Otto. Yay Tolya and Otto! Oh snap and we got to hang with my old friend from University of Hartford. Ben! Yay Ben. And John was also coincidentally in town so we go to to spend some time with him which also ruled. And we also went to this gay leather festival. Nothing is more San Francisco than nude (sans shoes) oiled up men masturbating in public down the streets. I shit you not. Sadly we missed the parts where the pornstars were peeing on each other. Wild, I tell you.

Ok that’s it. Yesterday was spent with the ever wonderful and supportive Al and JG moving our stuff in to the apartment. The rest of the week will be spent rebuilding our nest.

Catch ya later Bill & Ted…

Great Barrington + Betatron = Great Barringtron?

Last weekend David Riposo and his friend Ben from Boston, came down to my living room to organize some sound. We are calling this project, “Great Barringtron.”

The setup was simple in our heads, but actually turned out to be much more complicated. Three mixers. A bunch of room mics and drum mics. Headphone amps. Click tracks. Foot pedals. Midi cables. 9v batteries. Roland synths. Mini-kit. Casio synths. The fun goes on.

There were cables everywhere and I got to play to a click via the start of a long long midi chain. I was the midi-master. Woo! At times you can hear me trying to get back in the grove of things. It’s kinda amusing to me.

I was going to go down a list of all the gear we used. But that would take away a lot of the fun of the experiment. I hope you enjoy the songs. FYI, David should be in the left channel. Ben in the right. And I am somewhere centered in the mix as not to draw much attention to. The entire sessions could be broken down in to three movements. Mercury. Gemini. And Apollo.

Mercury Sessions:

  • Freedom 7

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    Definitely the most danceable cut of the sessions. Notice the slap-back delay on the snare. It took way too long to achieve this with our rigged up pseudo way we tried to “multi-track” this. Listen around 7:00. You can hear David yelling out a “wooo woooo!” Classic.

  • Liberty Bell 7

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    My delay was channeled through an aux send/return. And somehow the gain got pushed to the top. And all hell broke loose. Mainly what you are hearing are the drums completely over-driven. You can hear me yelp when I slapped my finger with a stick at around 0:40. Not too much else going on here.

  • Friendship 7

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    Slow the tempo down. Ben said it sounded like a march. I thought it sounded more like a Latin beat. Ben comes up with some of the greatest bass lines ever. And David does the best space blaster sounds of anyone I know.

  • Aurora 7

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    Some serious ring modulations going on. Love the “woooo!” at the fade in of the track. Somehow I doubt any of this song was synced at all, but I think it played off ok with the crunked out distortions. There are some hits I really thought we got tight in. Then there are some where it virtually falls apart. The part at 1:29 is seriously one of my favorite parts of the night. Snare ring and 16th notes on the hihats and all. Towards the end you can hear my synth for the first time. It sounds like feedback. David is doing this crazy fast rhythm, which I assume is looped.

  • Sigma 7

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    A droned out cut with my feedback taking the lead at times. I never realized how loud this was going to be in the mix. I really only wanted it to be buried, at most. Mellows out halfway through and reminds me of Deneb from MONSIII. Strangely Ben had not heard that cut until the day after recording this. I really think this section could go somewhere in the future. My chops can be heard as lacking. I am out of practice. But this is a great end to the first section.

Gemini:

So what’s funny or frustrating (you pick) about this session was that we readjusted the levels of my synths because we thought no one could hear them at all. Turns out in the end by turning up my synths a bit everything else was buried. Not our intention, in fact it’s quite embarrassing at times, but most of the Gemini sessions are virtually all my synths with minimal back up from Ben or David. You can hear their stuff from time to time on headphones. There really isn’t one session here that stands out for me. 12 are pretty similar with the arpeggiations kicking my ass and talking like robots talk. 3 starts as a drone and I lay off the synths for a bit so, in turn, David and Ben can be heard. I struggled through the drums in this cut tremendously. Playing slow is a huge challenge for me. Especially once the click failed. David has this sick guitar part, that can barely be heard. The neighbors jammed out to it though. 45 are more Mat Gone Wild. Good stuff to go to sleep to.

Apollo:

  • Apollo 1

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    These sessions were to be a recreation of the Gemini sessions. They ended up having a theme of their own. Mainly Ben and David. I don’t believe I am heard at all in this sessions. I might have been knocking over drum mics at this point.

  • Apollo 2

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    Definitely eerie. The strings are really morose.

  • Apollo 3

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    Again, slow slow slow. A challenge. Cathedral ‘verbs make us all happy. I wish my living room sounded like this. David got his guitar up in the mix with his sick ‘verb as well. It’s lush. It’s amazing. It ended up sounding like that Portishead spy theme b-side mixed with a little Angelo Badalamenti. A real gem, if I may say so myself.

Feel free to share this and spread it like jelly. I have encoded this @ 192kbps in the MP3 format. I thought about encoding in the AAC format @ 160kbps but I thought that would leave too many people out. So enjoy it.

Sessions

Sessions
This weekend David R. and his friend, Ben, from Boston came down to make music. The cables were a mess. The keyboards were loud and linked to beat boxes. The drums were minimal and machine-like. The guitar, quite western. I hope to have some mixes done this week. The Sessions were real and cathartic for me. Long overdue.