- I'd like to make it a "16-track" album. I'd like to pretend we only have 16 tracks to work with and make the record work with bounced-together elements. Now, that doesn't mean I won't do 5 tracks of vocals before comping them to one track, because I will. And it also doesn't mean that we'll "checkerboard" tracks because that's just impractical. If we had, say, electric guitar on the verses and acoustic on the chorus I'm just not going to put them on the same track because we'd have to go to way too much trouble to re-EQ and set new levels and compression between choruses and verses. But the basic fantasy is there -- I want to see if we can make this a 16-track mix. That might be extraordinarily difficult with the drums but I'm willing to try!
- I want to make different sections of the song have very different sounds and really play with the textures. The fact is that there's a really cheap and easy way to make different sections of a song sound very different -- bring up and down the room microphones.
- Vocals. I'm going to do vocals right this time. For 30 years I've been singing in rock bands. And I've typically gone for kind of a smooth sound. But going a bit unhinged is better. My old partner, Raphael Rudd, pointed out to me once that every famous singer had an instantly recognizable voice. Whether you liked them or not it was easy to pick out Bono or Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, et al (can you tell we were working together in the mid-80's? ;-) And another story is when my friend Alan Douches was working with the Whirling Dervishes -- a cool New Jersey rock band -- and they did a cover of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch". The cover is pretty brilliant and the vocals are completely unhinged (and very unique). And that song became their biggest hit. What does this mean for me? Somewhere between Jethro Tull and the Doors is where my voice sort of naturally sits (I'm a baritone, albeit not a terribly strong one, but I can sing out of the side of my mouth so there you have it.)
Dog rocking out via.