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Friday, July 30, 2010

Some Words on Porches

Well, here it is: “Porches,” that new record we’ve been writing about. We like it. Produced by our drummer Jason, who did all the technical stuff, we made a recording we are proud of, and we did it in our own house. I guess that isn’t unusual or special in the wider world of music; many of my favorite bands do just that, but it’s the first time for us. (Ok, we did Six Sad Songs, but this is the first time as a “band.”) I’d like to think we can all pat ourselves on the back. Then, we will pray that you all will too. We love patting. A lot.

Some words about the songs are in order. It has seven of them – three by penned by Jason, one by Cory, and three by me. Four of them have appeared on previous recordings, three from the already mentioned “Six Sad Songs” and one from our first EP. They were all solo recordings originally, but for this we added the whole band.

Three are entirely new, unless you’ve been to any of our recent shows, and I think they deserve some special mention. “Bottles” is a collective effort. Musically, it breaks down like this: verse by me, chorus by John Gordon, and bridge by Jason Bolinger. I wrote all the lyrics, which is a rare and sweet thing for me. The other two are by Jason. “Ride with Me” is about the love of touring and features two fun experiments: I play some slap upright bass for the first time on record, and Cory plays a badass guitar solo. I think he’s recorded guitar solos before, but this is the first one that’s badass. “A Well Lit Room” is the newest, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s the hit of the whole project.

We’re also giving it away for free. You can just go to our website, add yourself to the mailing list, and we’ll give you a nifty code so you can download it. Please do, and tell us what you think. Either way, good or bad, just pat us on the back.


Recording Notes, Part VII: Carl's Note on Mastering

Here is the last of our recording notes for the new EP, this time from Carl Saff, mastering engineer. You can find him here:

By the way: Holy crap!! I just checked out his site myself, and I see that he mastered the Boston Spaceships' last EP. I friggin' love that band - Robert Pollard and Chris Slusarenko of Guided by Voices and John Moen of the Decemberists. Hell yeah, go check them out. I feel all cool now.

Ok, enough of that. Says Carl:

"These mixes came in sounding quite solid, and so a keep-it-simple approach to the mastering was quickly adopted after surveying the songs. I focused on keeping the highs from being too "digital" or brash (dipping at 7.5khz here and there), and in solidifying the low end, which was loose in spots (both in terms of focus on the punchier part of the low end @~100hz vs. the subwoofer frequencies, and in terms of phase coherence here and there). On the first two tracks, I used some shelving EQ on the left side to center the highs a bit better... I felt my ear being dragged to the right now and then on those songs.

My analog chain was:

* API 5500 EQ
* Millenia NSEQ-F EQ
* Manley Massive Passive EQ
* API 2500 compressor
* Requisite L2M mk. III tube limiter

In the box, some software EQs complemented my analog chain, and I did final peak limiting via plugin as well.

The band really liked the first pass, but requested more presence for the
upright bass. A subtle push at around 200hz on the mid channel using a mid-side EQ did the trick. They also wanted less "slap" from the upright bass on track five. Some creative notching EQ alleviated that, and voila, the record was done. Mostly painless!"

Thanks Carl! You kick ass.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Get new "Porches EP" for free now!

It's finally here! Our new "Porches EP" is now available! And the only way to get it for free is to go to and sign up for our newsletter!