Saturday, August 18, 2007 (4:16PM)
+   Basic drum beat and T5 scratch. 
    *   I have enough of the song defined to lay the road map with
        scratch tracks. 
        -   T5 theory and setup. I want the T5 to drive the song.
            I have developed a rather sophisticated patch for it
            on Mission Control (#57). The pedal morphs between the
            two preamps: a bright tube at full gain and the overdrive
            solid state with variable gain. The pedal is also assigned
            to the overdrive gain varying from 40% at low (when the
            tube is fully active) to 100% at high (when the SS is
            fully active). Thus, at the ending I pedal slightly forward,
            to introduce a little overdrive crunch to the sound, and
            fully forward for the solo. The T5 is set to position 3
            (bridge pickup), full gain, extra bass. 
        -   The FCB1010 controls a few parameters from bank 02. 
            For this song, pedal A controls delay level and pedal B 
            controls volume. 
        -   Save Mission Control data
                Bulk Dump from RP20
                System Dump from RP20
                Bulk Dump from FCB1010
    *   Record the solo so its there for a reference for tracking.
        Patch as described above. Didn't do half bad. 

                                                            6:43 PM
+   Bass. 
    *   Try going direct through BlueTube and compressor. 
        -   Bad response from dbx 266xl--especially on low E. It is
            like it can't decide whether it senses RMS or not, and
            it acts like a vibrato. Listen to dbx_on_bass.mp3. Very
            >   Try Behringer MDX4600. Problem gone, though I do not
                have control over attack and release times. But the
                sound is fine. 
                                    Sunday, August 19, 2007 (5:41AM)
    *   Couldn't get around it; I had to file the fingernails off.
        It's early, but I think I am hearing an approach. 
        -   Blisters setting in. Besides, I think I need to experiment
            with the T5 more to define the bass' role. 7:30 AM

    *   Return to T5 for another scratch.
        -   Oops. Broke a string. 
        -   Better. Iterating over the basic instruments is helping me
            close in on the song. One thing I like about the T5 is the
            absence of controls in the strum area. This allows me to 
            fully mute with my palm while strumming without worrying 
            about messing up the setting. 
        -   Render far_from_your_home_scratch_a.mp3
                                Wednesday, August 22, 2007 (6:28PM)
    *   Back to "bassics"
        -   Try going through Mission Control. I have always had good
            luck with patch 91, "Wills Killer Bass"
            >   I think this patch works better with the T5. Pan to
                bridge pickup, use mid boost. 
            >   Render far_from_your_home_scratch_b.mp3
                                    Friday, August 24, 2007 (8:50AM)
    *   scratch vocal. 
        -   Beta 87 through MDX4600. 
        -   A little trouble with the high A. But the purpose is to
            give me a better reference for arranging the instruments. 
        -   render far_from_your_home_scratch_c.mp3.
                                Saturday, August 25, 2007 (11:58AM)
    *   Try the 555 for a rhythm track. I don't know if I will use it,
        but give it a shot. 
        -   I might conclude it is too thin and inarticulate for 
            this song.
                                                            2:23 PM
    *   Back to bass again. I am closing in on a piece I like, but I
        am also on the edge of developing a blister. But the part and
        its tone demands a firm attack close to the bridge. 
        -   BTW, the tempo is 132. 
    *   While I have the bass out, lay first tracks to another idea
        growing in my head. Something to do with mountain biking.
        Call it trails_of_farmdale.seq for, call it
        "The Ride".
        -   render far_from_your_home_scratch_d.mp3.
                                    Sunday, August 26, 2007 (10AM)
    *   Try the 414 for a rhythm track. 
        -   Through B-2 Pro, dbx 266xl (attack & release at 12:00,
            ratio at 2:1, low threshold). 
        -   Yes, this blends better than the 555. After 3 or 4 
            punch-ins, I think it is a keeper. 
    *   Now I have something to work up a bass line to! 
        -   One take with a handful of punch-ins, and I think the
            bass is done. 
        -   render far_from_your_home_scratch_e.mp3
            Back to The Ride.

                                    Saturday, October 6, 2007 (3:14PM)
+   Drums.

    *   Still struggling to find the right interface for creating
        the drum fills. 
        -   The keyboard is valuable as it lets me try notes
            and velocities. 
        -   I can get a good volume to play along by playing on a
            blank track assigned to a different MIDI channel. but, for 
            some reason, what I play gets played back a lot louder. 
        -   Idea: Play and create the drums in the extra track.
            Set the volume equal to the master drum track, and edit
            velocities until it is right. Then cut/paste into the
            master track, and move on. 
                                    Sunday, October 7, 2007 (11:50AM)
        -   I played a long fill and liked it, but I held the keys down
            and the long durations are distracting. I found I can set
            all durations (30 ticks is good) using edit | replace. 
            Set both sides of the range on replace. 
        -   How loud is it? It sounds loud to me. Grab the SLM. 
            Typically right at 80 dBA. One peak read 82 while a vocal
            rang out. Hardly anything to worry about. 
        -   Managed to get a 4.5-hour shift in, but I still have the
            ending to write. Drums just don't come easy. 

                                    Saturday, October 13, 2007 (7:30AM)
    *   Haven't been able to do more this week. The ending is left.
        I have been struggling with whether the song is developing
        with the right feel. But now as I close in on the drums, I
        am feeling better about it. 
        -   Nasty crash. File corrupted. Recovery worked pretty well:
            >   Save .TMP to crash.seq.
            >   Load crash.seq. Copy drums to clipboard, then save
                scrap to drums_13oct.mid.
            >   Load recent backup. Paste directly from clipboard,
                and overwrite drum track. Works great!! 
        -   10:52 AM I think the drums are done--at least until
            mixdown. Ten hours--a typical investment in a drum line.
        -   Render far_from_your_home_scratch_f.mp3. Practice 
            & develop T5 part. far_from_your_home_noguit.mp3

                                    Sunday, October 21, 2007 (10:44AM)
+   Track the T5. 
    *   I remembered how to monitor (hear) the delay without recording
        it. See monitor_delay_a.png. Set the monitor insert to be
        100% wet, and use the Delta Control Panel to mix in the dry
        sound. My previous problem was the slight delay in the dry
        signal due to input monitor processing, but this is negligible
        via the Delta Control Panel mixer. 
        -   No--mistake. The effected sound is recorded, not the dry.
            I cannot monitor effects without recording them. 
            Hmmm...could I in Pro Tools?
        -   Wait! I was wrong! The audio preferences dialog has two
            checkbox in the upper-right: "Enable Input Monitoring"
            must be checked to use the effects, but
            "Allow IM effects recording" must be unchecked to prevent
            recording. See monitor_delay_b.png. 
    *   12:51 PM Takes 1 and 2 had the wrong RP20 patch. Takes 3 and 4
        are right, and take 4 may rule--not sure there is anything I 
        would change. 
        -   Wrong--four punch-ins for the ending 115-144. I keep 
            redefining what I want the T5 to do there. One problem was I 
            kept attacking the high C (concert D) too hard, which killed 
            the sustain. 
        -   Integrate. Done. 2:24 PM
    *   render far_from_your_home_scratch_g.mp3
    *   8:54 PM I think I need to integrate the takes for the bridge
        and very end. 
                                    Monday, October 22, 2007 (2:04PM)
    *   Prepare for vocal. Render far_from_your_home_novocal.mp3 to
        practice with. 
        -   Voice felt good and sounded good in headphones. Go ahead
            and get three takes. 
            >   SM87 through BlueTube with tube drive at 12:00. 
                Flat EQ. dbx266xl with nominal settings (ratio 3:1,
                attack & release at 12:00).
            >   Made a three-part harmony for the fading end with the 
                three takes. 
                                    Tuesday, October 23, 2007 (3:11AM)
        -   Can't sleep. Worried about temporomandibular joint
            disorder and related tinnitus. Integrate the takes. 
            >   Export the integrated vocal, voc_integ.wav
            >   Export voc_backup_2_146.wav and voc_backup_3_146.wav.
                These are the 2nd and 3rd harmony parts. They can
                be pasted in at 146:01:000 in case of a crash. 
            >   Nice. It doesn't seem legal that I can snap out the
                vocal in two hours, but...if it works...

                                Thursday, October 25, 2007 (12:07PM)
+   Mixdown.
    *   This will be the first mixdown with a new monitor system:
                Behringer B2031A monitors
                Samson C-Control monitor matrix
        See mix_desk_04oct2007.jpg and delta1010lt_setup.png.
    *   Vocal.
        -   At the song's climax, I really liked the way I
            faded out the vocal in take two--descending into a
            weary rasp--and I don't I think I could replicate it.
            However, I really blew the pitch on the word "never".
            Reduce 42 cents via edit|audio effects|pitch shift.
            See fix_pitch_a.png.
    *   Lots of EQ and fader movement, but nothing really special.
        I think I am happy with the verses, but the bridge will need
        some vocal processing as I hit the high A--upper mids too 
        -   Got it: a slap-back delay with an expander. This will
            double the really loud parts and back off in the quiet
            parts. Tie to aux 2 and automate send only during bridge.
    *   New lesson learned: Do the fadeout in Audacity with the 
        envelope tool (see audacity_fadeout_a.png). Using the 
        fadeout effect creates a constant-gain slope, and the audio
        suddenly disappears at the end. The envelope tool creates
        a constant-decibel slope and multiple "nodes" can be
        inserted to guide the gain envelope. Then, place two nodes at
        the end, the first when the audio needs to disappear shortly
        after, and the second to force it dead by dragging the node
        below zero (See audacity_fadeout_b.png, notice scale). 
        Sounds great!
    *   Render far_from_your_home_mix_a.wav and 
                                    Friday, October 26, 2007 (7:57AM)
    *   Time to fix some stuff that will bug me. 
        -   One of the T5 takes had some magic that I passed over in
            the light portion after the bridge. Patch it in. 
        -   The opening vocal phrase has a slight flaw: I wish the
            word "weary" had less intensity. Take 2 might be slightly
            better. Wrong, take 2 was what I used. Oh well. 
        -   Vocal in bridge: drop fader from 90 to 80. Reduce delay
            from 127 to 120. 
        -   Listen on all monitors.
            >   DX4's sound great. Very impressive product.
            >   Bass gets a little muddy in PC speakers because of 
                their lack of lower mids, but acceptable I think. 
            >   vocal has a bit excess sibilance in the surrounds
                (cheapies). The bass sounds nice, so even a mediocre
                low-mid response is adequate. 
            >   Oops, forgot to initialize T5 fader to 111.
            >   The B2031A's rock (but that may be because I mixed to
        -   Archive RP20 and FCB1010 data to the file sysex (though no
            actual FCB1010 modulations were involved in tracking).
        -   Render far_from_your_home_mix_b.wav and
    *   I just realized: I never redid the solo; I just left the
        scratch version in place! But, if it works, don't fix it!

Total Production Hours: 36.5