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Diary - Oct 05

October saw the end (nearly) of the recording of the 2CDs to be released next year.
I'd been recording since July - well, I'm not on a big budget so it was a matter of 1 day here, half day there, with a few weeks' break in between for mad rehearsing. I have to do everything really quickly, so I always make sure beforehand that I can record the tracks in 1 take or so.

I wanted to do an analogue recording on 2" tape which turned out to be a problem. OK, go to any of the big studios that charge you minimum £1,000 a day and they'll have the tape machine - but most of the rest don't. But I managed to find an almost affordable studio with the machine and equipment I was after, so finally my recording began. It wasn't a smooth ride though - I changed the studio as I wasn't happy with the house engineer - but in the end I came back to the same studio, after some negotiation - this time with a different engineer who had engineered for a couple of my favourite bands. All in all it was a moving experience to be doing this again.

I know everything is important, but I think I care about the vocals more than anything else. I normally record 3 vocal tracks and pick up the best. I used 2-4 mics for the guitar - each song has at least 4 guitar tracks!
The last song I recorded was 'Platinum 2'(note- now called Myriad Luminescent) which turned out to be the best recording. I'm almost bound to have some guitar problems in the studio as I use multiple analogue effects, stick a few mics in front and around the amp and turn it really, really up. But this was the first time I had to change part of the effect settings to get rid of some unwanted noise. Then I encountered yet another problem when I was laying down the next guitar track and this time it was an earth problem - we just couldn?t get rid of the hum. Gareth (the engineer) said I'd have to tape wires onto my skin to solve it. I thought he was joking but he wasn't - he soon produced this clip that had a cord with wires coming out at the end - just like one of those coloured ones you see inside a socket. He assured me I wouldn't get an electric shock, so we attached the clip onto the tremolo arm and placed the wires onto my arm, which I had to cover with a patch of gaffer tape - ouch! But then, miraculously, the hum stopped!

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My last guitar part was making little noise to add a spice in the middle of the song. I recorded 2 tracks but didn't think they were wild enough so decided to do one more take. When I finished I looked at Gareth but instead of stopping the tape he made a gesture. I immediately realised that he wanted me to carry on with the feedback, so I did - until the end. I quite like doing this sort of thing - that's how I used to finish a live set anyway - except that this time there was no audience and that I was sealed off by the double glass doors- .
I turned around swinging the guitar neck then the feedback changed into a minor key, which added a kind of pathos to the music -. I walked up to and around the amp and mics, letting the electric air around me take charge -. And for the next 1 and a half minute, I felt as if I was in a sonic heaven - I didn't want this to end.

When I heard it back later while we were mixing I got goose bumps! It sounded so special. The song overall sounded sweet, uplifting, but a little sad and moving at the same time. Until then I thought 'Gliding In The Wind' was my best recording, but on that day I was pretty sure that I made something that just out it.

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