Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It's Hard to Love a Reptile

Howdy to my new friends at Waurika Elementary School! I enjoyed performing for you this past Thursday. Those of you who ordered CDs - they are on the way!

And now on to the PCS&T update for this week...

Today I (hope I) finished recording "It's Hard to Love a Reptile" for the upcoming Paws Claws Scales and Tales CD. (The white alligator on the CD cover is from this song.) This song has been looming large for a long while - I've been putting it off because I thought it would be a toughie to record. It's kind of a long story song, which is best done with some freedom tempo-wise, and that always presents a challenge. I've been practicing and memorizing it over the past week or two, and two days ago I recorded a couple of really good passes of vocal and guitar together. Technically this can present a problem, because the guitar bleeds a bit onto the vocal track. But I found that I was able to use pitch correction in a couple of spots anyway, so I ended up with a pretty polished recording.

Yesterday I added a bass line, using MIDI, and today I went through it meticulously lining up each bass note with the recorded performance. This was necessary due to the free tempo, which is tough to follow when overdubbing a part. Then I added an electric guitar part (using the new Fender Stratocaster I traded in my old drum kit and PA for) to the choruses, and that was it. A bit of mixing and I think it's done. Simple but effective, and I hope I still like it tomorrow!

I also am close to finishing a recording of "Fred's Frog Flippy," a song that was inspired by a toy frog at the Children's Music Network gathering this past October. I just need to finish editing the vocal and mix it.

Last week I was mostly working on "Dog Books," a song about, well, dog books, of course! This one has a somewhat complicated arrangement with somewhat Beatle-ish horns and orchestra parts, with a good rock beat. I'll probably re-visit some of the background vocals, but it's close to done.

I'm left with only one song that needs to be tracked and that's "Paws Claws Scales and Tales." I already have the chorus recorded, but I need to write, arrange, and record some verses!

That will round out ten songs for the CD. All of them still have varying degrees of refinements needed. Then once those ten are perfect (ha ha!) maybe I can add a song or two from the runners-up list, which includes, "Bird Brains," "Pet Rock," "Pet Parade," and "Crazy Old Dog." We'll see...

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