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Author Topic: thermals: fuckin a  (Read 6375 times)

xonlocust

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thermals: fuckin a
« on: April 06, 2005, 10:23:41 am »

hey chris-
i guess i'll try and start this off kinda vaguely so we can get an overview. could you share a little bit about the making of this awesome record - from what i understand it was done quite quickly.  can you talk a bit about the advantages/disadvantages of this situation and maybe how it contrasts to what you're doing on the new death cab record with a bigger budget.  what do you like about the record?  what would you have done different?
thanks,
nick

WALLA

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Re: thermals: fuckin a
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2005, 04:17:45 pm »

The Thermals might be my favorite band still making music, and Hutch's songs make me melt completely.  They're written the way anthems should be written.  I mean, really:

'Anything you can break, you can probably mend / Anything you can feel, you can feel again / Hold tight, remember today / Anything you can climb, you can easily watch crumble away.'

Endlessly catchy and as real as a migraine.  

The concept for the second Thermals record was to make it sound like a chainsaw, I guess.  We did the whole thing in five days at Avast in Seattle, onto one reel of tape at 15 ips, tones inclusive.  It was mixed to two reels of 1/4" tape, also at 15 ips.  There's one overdub on the album, aside from vocals; a little guitar bit in 'Let Your Earth Quake, Baby'.  Two of the songs were written during the session, as I struggled to get to the studio through the snow.  It may be my favorite record I've worked on to date.

I do wish there was more (some) bottom in the record.  In a way, it's great, because it appears to be louder than just about anything else, but there's just nothing below 125 or so.  And it seems to do well in the car at 10 or higher, which I like.  The mastering engineer, Ed Brooks, de-essed it pretty seriously.  I couldn't even get it all in the studio, with two de-essers, because I wasn't very smart about how the vocals went down.  That, and we had the vocal daisy-chained through three Distressors, all at 1:1, all with 3rd harmonic distortion in, all redlining.

'Fuckin' A' isn't really comparable to the DCfC record.  We all love The Thermals, but it's a totally different process:  Very little of our record is going down live.  We're very modular.  And my hope is that this record sounds more like a butter knife than a chainsaw, because Ben's voice doesn't do so well when it's covered in sawdust.

Thanks for the questions...  I love this stuff.
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xonlocust

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Re: thermals: fuckin a
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2005, 10:19:34 am »



WALLA wrote on Wed, 06 April 2005 15:17

I couldn't even get it all in the studio, with two de-essers, because I wasn't very smart about how the vocals went down.  That, and we had the vocal daisy-chained through three Distressors, all at 1:1, all with 3rd harmonic distortion in, all redlining.



ha! can you elaborate on your vocal problems, or what you could/would have done different?  this sounds like the projects i've ending up doing - everything gets done and i feel like i was barely holding the ship together with duct tape and bubblegum, and it was a hell of a ride!

WALLA

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Re: thermals: fuckin a
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2005, 11:28:56 pm »

In this case, the vocal wounds were self-inflicted, because of the effect we were after.  Sometimes there's just no way to de-S something enough.

I wouldn't trade a thing about how that record sounds if it meant losing a performance, or the panic, or the way the record feels.  Of course it's hard to know, but that's always the most important thing.
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