Day 5 In the Studio - from Ainsley

After a few days of rest, the band was ready to get back into the studio and record Darrells bass overdubs! Quinton, Tanner and I joined Darrell for his 11am start time - since he had to work at 3pm today, he wanted to have plenty of time to completely finish the bass overdubbing. Quinton used this time to digitally edit the awesome new logo that Darrell had drawn up the other day - and I used this time to write, while Tanner kept us company. The tracks were sounding so good; which is pretty cool since I didn't realize they could get any better. Lloyd was doing such a great job of keeping the songs true to what they were meant to be; all while making sure they came across nice and clean in the recordings - he also taught us about something called a strobe tuner; which the guys quickly decided they needed to invest in once they realized the level of accuracy it had.

Lloyd and Darrell recording bass

Lloyd and Darrell recording bass

Two hours flew by and Darrells bass parts were nearly complete. It’s been really interesting to sit in the control room throughout (most of) this whole process. While sitting in the background I have learned a great deal about all the differences between live shows and in-studio recording. Small things that can actually make such a huge difference - things that most people wouldn’t even notice if they weren’t directly brought to your attention. I can easily say it’s been a learning experience for everyone; including myself - and luckily Lloyd has been a fantastic teacher.

When I asked Darrell how he was feeling today his response was “electric; and greasy” - our very own little grease lightning. He admitted that his fingers were starting to burn from playing with the new metal strings he had upgraded to this past week - “fire fingers” as Darrell called it - like he had rug burn from rubbing his fingers along a scratchy fabric. After a quick bathroom break he was ready to record the only song he hadn’t gotten to yet; Procrastination - even though we all agreed there was always time to get it done later…

Sarah joined us at the studio in the midst of Darrell recording the last track. Once his bass parts were finished it would be time for Sarah and Quinton to do any last minute retouches on the vocal tracks so that the final recordings can be mastered! By 2pm Darrell, Lloyd and the rest of the band were quite pleased with what had been accomplished and they were ready to move on to vocals! Darrell was feeling so amped by the end, that he started pacing around the studio at a slow sprint - and once he finally tried to sit down, he had to get back up again to walk off some of the energy that wanted to burst out of him.

Sarah recording the final vocals

Sarah recording the final vocals

With Sarah now at the studio - and Darrells bass overdubs complete - it was time for vocals! While Lloyd tested the levels of her microphone; he said what I was thinking - Sarah had a beautiful smokiness to her voice. I think the couple days of rest - after a handful of consecutive days in the studio and a show - had allowed everyone to get the rest that we so badly needed.

After a quick drive to get Darrell to work on time; Tanner and I returned to the studio just in time to catch Quintons third and final recording of the vocals for Procrastination. The first two takes he recorded were done without being able to hear the vocals Sarah had done earlier - and the last take was recorded with Sarahs voice playing in his headphones. All three takes were great and everyone in the room agreed that the vocals were now complete. Tate had a few small things he wanted to redo before the final cuts were made so he headed into the recording room to get his guitar set up for recording.

Day five in the studio with Lloyd

Day five in the studio with Lloyd

After a quick run through of the solo bits he wanted to adjust; he was pleased with the final takes of his guitar - and so was everyone else. The fifth day of recording was now complete and everything was coming together so beautifully! It was such a great day in the studio - the perfect way to wrap up House Handshake’s first-ever recording experience. Before snapping a quick photo; the band members thanked Lloyd - and Lloyd thanked them - and we each took turns getting a hug before leaving the studio for the last time.

The tracks had to be cut and mastered and these were processes that didn’t require the band be in the studio. Leaving the tracks in Lloyds capable hands was easy for the band because, like I’ve said since the beginning of this blog, the band trusts him and he is quite fantastic at what he does. It'll be exciting to write something for you to read once the band and I have had a chance to hear the mastered tracks. Once I’ve had the chance to watch the band members reactions to listen to each finished, mastered song. For now, it was time to play the sit and wait game - but we were ready.

day 4 In the Studio - from Quinton

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I was feeling particularly good about todays session. Yesterday we had opened for Jesse Roper, a musician I’ve been following for some time so I was feeling very grateful for the opportunities that have come our way. The fact that I’m in the studio right now is quite emotional for me. its always been a dream of mine and Lloyd Peterson at Paintbox Studios is an amazing producer making this dream even more beautiful than I ever imagined.

I was sad to not have the full crew with us today though, Darrell, Tanner, Brennan and Tate had to be at work for most of the time we were in the studio but I knew it would help move things along a little bit more swiftly (conversations move slower when 7 people are involved) and it did. As soon as I got in we started cleaning up some sections from my guitar tracks, I shot in a solo for Insecurities, Mmhmm and Procrastination and then added some acoustic guitar to most of the tracks for a nice layer of sounds. Everything worked out better than I had imagined. I also can’t believe the tones I’m getting from my guitars. I’m using my Ibanez hollow body, I call her Victoria, signed by Shakey Graves and for the longest time I hated this guitar (despite the signature on it), it was maybe 400$ and it always gave me grief by going out of tune or off intonation but I had it fixed not too long ago and then didn’t touch it because I didn’t trust it but after the past few months of being forced to use it at shows it’s sounding great. She needed some extra love or something it just needed the right touch and I’ve got to know it well and now she does whatever I ask. For the acoustic I used my Simon and Patrick, (I call her Ray) and to hear it mic’d in the studio and in my ear was sooo satisfying. wow, just wow. Lloyd was impressed by the sound of it too.

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Brennan had stopped by sometime around here and had some time to do some percussions and Lloyd handed him this big box of percussion instruments and Brennan laid down some of the most interesting tracks with it. There’s been so many times these last few days where I am just laughing silly at the work thats happening in the recording room; everybody is adding on these amazing layers we couldn’t do in a live show and its exceeded my imagination.

Soon after me and Sarah started the vocals, it was surprisingly fatiguing. We sang the first 3 songs at the same time from either side of the recording room singing into microphones and dancing and smiling at each other. It was a really beautiful moment in my life. I knew we had chemistry in our singing but to hear it isolated and recorded in quality…. well I shouldn’t brag too much but I am very proud of the work we’ve put in and I know you guys are going to love it. We are nearly done, just a few more things to record and then a bit of clean up and picking those favourite tracks. We finished up today at about 10:40 I just felt like coming home and writing some of my thoughts. so, if your reading this thank you and I hope you hear the EP in its full release in 2019 or if your lucky enough to get early access through our Key To The House. Goodnight!

I wanted to add that I am a musician and not a languager. I make rhymes, rhythms and compositions, so I apologize if my grammar irks you the wrong way

Day 4 In the studio - from Ainsley

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It is now Day 4 - and it is time to get the guitar and vocal overdubbing done with Quinton and Sarah! Tanner had to start work at 10:30 this morning and Darrell had to be at work shortly after the start of today’s studio session - so they weren’t able to be here this afternoon, but Tanner would be joining the session later in the day.

The session started off with Quintons guitar parts. He did three takes of the first song before deciding what was best and advancing on to song number two. Brennen walked in mid way through song number two and we all gave our silent hellos until the recording had ended. There were a few decisions to make about the composition of the song while recording a few takes, but it wasn’t long before they were finished with song number two. On to the next ! It was nearly time to go grab Tanner from work so he could join the others at the studio. While I waited for my cue to head out the door they worked on the third song - with only one part that Quinton wanted to adjust; they were moving on to the last song by the time I had to go.

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On the drive to pick Tanner up from work; before dropping him off and heading to my own job; I thought about all the cool things the band would be able to accomplish today at the studio. The guitar was nearly done - Brennan was there so they could add some of the cool vibes that an egg shaker brings to the table - and I was confident that Sarah and Quintons vocals would be done in a flash. I was sad to have to leave the studio when I did since I knew I’d probably miss out on witnessing the magic of recording all the final touches however; I was really excited for the end of my work day. For when I was able to get home and listen to any un-mastered tracks the band had been able to bring home with them after today’s session.

I think I’ll have to write another blog for you to read once I’ve listened to them - maybe I’ll even be able to give you an idea of which tracks have been chosen for the first EP. This is an exciting time for the band - and I’m excited to have been able to watch the experience and share it with all of you.