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.
- Freedom 7
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
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
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
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
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.
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. 1–2 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. 4–5 are more Mat Gone Wild. Good stuff to go to sleep to.
- Apollo 1
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
Definitely eerie. The strings are really morose.
- Apollo 3
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.