The Book ::: Session Notes

Tally-ho from the wonderful, elating land of recording preparation! While this week's update is slightly shorter in stature, it's none-the-less a very integral part of my process for anything involving recording music in a studio.

That brings us to the "Book"... No it's not mythical or spellbinding, but it certainly holds all my secrets! Before every recording session I take the time (usually a hefty effort) to sit and chart out the gear, guitars, tones, settings and any notes I'll need for the upcoming work in the fast paced world of tracking guitars. There are definitely situations where I'll enter a blind session and I'll just need to be quick and think on my "toes"... but usually if I've been given the music and direction ahead of time and specifically with my band, the Brian Buckley Band I'll get everything together ahead of time. The "Book" as I call it (ahem, it's a book folks!) is a tattered memoir of tons of sessions and ideas that is as special to me as the written word inside. A constant companion and incredibly helpful aid when needing to create in the studio's "Time Is Money" atmosphere.

My process for creating these little lighthouses in the sea of creation, particularly with the Brian Buckley Band, are a mix of two ideals: Rhythm tracking and overdubs. The rhythm tracking is our first set of recordings, where the whole band plays at once and we play the song as normal. I'll make a decision ahead of time if I'd like that to mirror how I play it live with the band or rather a simpler rhythm type of accompaniment to sit as a base for my overdubs... and I do often have many overdubs --- Layers are the magic for me with tracking guitars. The next section of my session notes would be the overdubs, and they guide me for each part of the song: intro, verse, chorus, bridge, solo etc... and all the corresponding gear and (most importantly) settings that I'll need to get the job done.

A messy mix of exploration... getting the tones together.

A messy mix of exploration... getting the tones together.

All in all, creating in the studio when most often budgets and time allowance are always an issue, it's extremely important for every musician to be able to nail their parts and get the tones and feeling down as efficiently as possible. My "Book" helps with that process in the literal sense and possibly more importantly with something deeper --- a reminder to dig deep and pull from all of my experience crafting tones.

See you all next week with news and updates after the session.