Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Saxophone Session

I went to the studio this afternoon to watch saxophonist, Mark Douthit, add some special sounds to "Real Big Fan". This was one of those days that I wish Mom and Dad lived closer to us. Sax is Dad's favourite instrument, and I know he would have loved being at the session.

Again, Mark worked without a chart, and just improvised his way through 3 full passes of the song. He would occasionally redo a lick, but generally, things were just one-offs. He did 2 passes using a tenor sax, and one using the soprano. Aaron had two mics in the booth - one directly in front of the instrument, and one in the room to catch the natural reverb, kind of like recording the ambiance on set. Everything sounded warm and present.

I think Aaron is leaning towards the tenor sound for the final mix. It just suits the overall feel of the song a little better.

Johnny Minick was at the studio when I got there. He and Aaron had just recorded Mills-Brothers-style harmonies for "Moving Up to Gloryland". They sound great, and with the clarinet in there too - it's just awesome! Johnny told me how much he's enjoying my project, and, given his history in the industry, I'm taking that as high praise.

So, this is the last official session! All the big stuff is recorded! It's amazing that it's come together so quickly. We'll have one more chance to do a few clean-ups on one or two vocal sections. After that, it's mixing, mastering, graphics, and manufacturing. Aaron will do the mixing, and I'm going to go with a local mastering house. (Mastering is that final touch, like a good coat of varnish. It makes sure that all the songs are the same volume, the spacing between the songs is correct when you're playing the CD as a whole, it puts the songs in the proper order, etc.)

I also think I'm going to get the graphics and manufacturing done in Canada. It will probably cost the same, and it will work much better with our travel schedule.

My photo shoot is Wednesday, so that's my next focus. Tomorrow will be the day I pull out all my clothes, decide I truly have nothing to wear, and take a panicked trip down to Ross and Target!

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