Recorded music is, in my opinion, the most incredible creation i’ve ever known. It’s nothing short of magic, an area where music meets physics, electronics, computer science and psychology. Culminating in a few minutes of audio that has the power to take us all somewhere that transcends emotion. It is a truly powerful thing.
I find it difficult to pinpoint my first love of a musical recording. I remember waking up every morning as a kid to my older brother blasting ‘Sgt. Peppers’ as he got ready for school. I remember my Dad waking the same (and incredibly moody in the morning) brother with the start of Pink Floyd’s ‘Time’. The first record I truly had that was mine was ‘Is This It’ by The Strokes (I think). But none of that is particularly important aside from the fact that without all those tiny moments and experiences I probably wouldn’t be sat here writing this right now.
It’s hard to point out one exact moment that defined your entire life from that moment on but I remember mine as if it were burned into my memory. I don’t know exactly how old I was, but I was in my older brothers room, I don’t know why. I was probably being a dick (I used to do that a lot). Pouring water on his bed perhaps? Sometimes I used to spray furniture polish all over his braces, it’s a good thing he didn’t wear them… But I was in there and I saw a guitar in the corner, that my Dad had gotten for my Mum for one of their wedding anniversaries. A crappy 10 year old Epiphone with strings that were (possibly literally) older than me. I remember just picking it up and asking Mum if I could learn to play it. She went and dug out some of those ‘teach yourself acoustic guitar’ books that every household inexplicably has whether there are musical instruments present or not, and off I went!
I ask myself often why I didn’t give up, I couldn’t even press the strings down to the fretboard because I was so small and it was so poorly set up. My young mind rationalised this into; ‘Well it must be MEANT to be like that, the chord must be made up of the strings i’m not blocking with my fingers!’ conveniently omitting the presence of frets and that fact that my pitiful rendition of ‘House of the Rising Sun’ didn’t sound anything like the original (or any other) version. But for some reason I persevered. There was another period where I thought that guitar tab was meant to be played one line at a time. So I would play the high e string of a ‘block’ of tab, then the B, G, D, A and E, before moving on to the next bit. I realised there was a problem when I was my Mum’s face when I told her what I was playing as meant to be ‘By The Way’. I asked around and realised my foolishness.
I eventually learnt how to hold down the strings and the other key milestones, learnt to play ‘Comfortably Numb’, learnt to play ‘The Song Remains The Same’ and carried on like this till I was smashing out Paul Gilbert and Joe Satriani.
I remember one night I had another one of those ‘moments’. I downloaded a version of Audacity and was recording a cover of (all the guitars from) ‘Seize the Day’ by Avenged Sevenfold (don’t judge me I was 15). Obviously it was awesome and I was having a great time trying to match all the guitar tones and panning positions and levels (again, I was 15, fuck off). I remember, again weirdly clearly considering I’m viewing this portion of my life through a weed tinted haze, thinking, “I wish I could do this as a job.” From that day onwards I had a plan. I enrolled in college not soon after and took all the subjects needed to take a music tech course at Uni. I somehow managed to scrape together the grades required whilst doing enough drugs to kill a small elephant every weekend, got into Uni and managed to get myself sorted out enough to get onto a work placement at Peak Studios.
I remember coming in for my interview and being interviewed by none other than James ‘The Grove’ Grover. (Our bassist) A baby faced Cain Cookson was sat in the office (We were briefly introduced). George then started later that year. The band was formed in the front of Cain’s car on the way to pick a bunch of the new interns up from hospital after an EXTREMELY minor car crash. They all got compensation and we were all jealous.
So I guess I should probably get to the point of this rambling, vaguely autobiographic introduction. The point being I am masses’ self proclaimed recording nerd. Cut me and I bleed stereo microphone techniques and eq presets. I will be making a series of blogs/videos and whatnot about how we went around recording and mixing our music, seeing as we did it all ourselves and we’re very proud of it. You should poke your nose in if you’re into all this stuff. You might even learn a thing or two.