Last modification: 01/19/08 19:26

Production Notes - "Don't Touch That Dial" (Also see: metal mistress Lori' Linstruth's "Me and my Strat" blog for more on this track!)

Dedicated to KOME DJ Dennis "Erectus" Netto, the best of the best: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/16129749.htm. (6/16/2012 Update: Dennis passed away today. So sorry, Mimi. Snippets of his personality live on here.)

After recording "Aphasia", I decided the next step was to try and make the most of  my project studio's acoustic space, and "tune the room." So, a lot of stuff got moved around, Auralex pasted up, monitors floated, bass traps put in the corners, etc., etc... all in the hopes that my next mix, what ever it might be, would translate better on other systems and have a more predictable low-end. While this was going on, I took Don Bass Dude's recommendation and ordered a copy of Spectrasonics' Trilogy ROMpler for some improved bass sounds and set to work writing my first detuned guitar piece. This is that track.

Low keys require thick strings, and thick strings means refloating trems, so rather than subject my poor Ibanez to that treatment I decided to record the rhythm guitars on the only hardtail I have, my oh-so-metal pink Fender "Hello Kitty" Strat. This guitar is like early Van Halen - one humbucker and one knob, and having only one tone I tried to get a little extra color out of it by triple-tracking using three different picks. I also restrung it with a packet of Elixir Mediums, and after some fiddling around settled on C# as being the lowest tuning that sounded decent while not resulting in a too unfriendly key for my Ibanez to play over later. Hence, while the song is mostly in F#, and soloed over in F# on the Ibanez, from the rhythm guitar point of view the song is played is if it were in A.

Besides the room remodel and the new bass library, the other thing I wanted to try out was the new GearBox plugin from Line6. This turned out to be the ideal project, because I had a heckuva time finding proper-sounding tones for this track in the usual way. It's been my experience that low distorted guitars are a real challenge to record - they don't sit the same way in the mix, and they tend to saturate differently. For this reason, nearly all the guitars were recorded clean using a direct box as a splitter into my TonePort UX2 and reamped (at mix time) using the new plugin.  This has been a dream of mine since writing AmpSim years ago, and since the Plugin is largely just a VST wrapper around the TonePort's GearBox its tones and patches are compatible. BTW, If you've been thinking of buying a GuitarPort/TonePort-type device at some point, the UX2 allows you to run two amp models simultaneously which is perfect if you want to record clean but monitor dirty for the vibe.

Although I'm very happy with the overall sound of this track, my favorite part is actually the drums. Sound-wise, they're just the ordinary TTS-1 drum sounds that ship with SONAR, but I've gotten very comfortable working with them and this is my favorite drum track to date. As to the rather indulgent (by my standards) outro solo, that was written over a couple of days and re-amped along with everything else. The only bit of real analog tube dirt comes from some Demonizer accents sprinkled under the rhythm guitars for a little extra sonic brutishness. d:-p

Everything on this project was created from scratch, including the musique concrete intro. That's real radio and traffic, captured on a compact flash recorder held outside my car window while driving around San Jose.

And as Dennis Erectus would say: "Don't Touch That Dial... It's got KOME on it!"

MP3Pro is the way to go. Best heard on MusicMatch Jukebox.

CapnZilog used:
Instruments: Fender "Hello Kitty" Strat, Ibanez S470DXQM, S540 Custom
Hardware:
Line 6 TonePort UX2, Damage Control Demonizer, Stewart Electronics ADB-1, Echo Gina 3G, Durabrand AM/FM radio, Edirol R-09 Field Recorder, Creative Prodikeys DM
Monitoring: Mackie HR824's, Sennheiser HD-580's
Editing: SONAR Producer 6.0.1, Sony Sound Forge 8.0
Softsynths: Cakewalk/Roland TTS-1, Spectrasonics Trilogy
Effects: Line6 GearBox Plugin,  iZotope Ozone 3.10, Waves Raxx/Doubler/L2/RBass/S1-Imager, BBE Sonic Maximizer, PSP Vintage Warmer 1.6.5
Mastering: iZotope Ozone 3.10,  Waves L3 Multimaximizer
Encoding: MusicMatch Jukebox 10.0

"Guitar History" Video:

Camera: DXG DXG-505V Flash Camcorder
Editing: Pinnacle 11 Studio Plus


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