Recording, Day One

Posted by: Sarah Saturday
Location: Big Light Studio

It was the first cold, truly autumn-like day of the season. We started with the first song I wrote for this album, on New Year’s Eve two years ago, called “Hunting.” Bryan was on hand to lay down the drum parts, which we did mostly on a real kit, adding a few additional parts using 808 and 909 drum machines. Bryan’s such a solid drummer that it didn’t take very long to get the parts down. It also helps that Logan is a drummer (and a great one at that; check out his band Roman Candle), and he and Bryan can talk drummer-talk while I try to explain my ideas using my hands and my sad excuse for a drummer vocab (“you know, like dun dun DUN”). I have such a deeply-rooted love for the drums — probably because I’m primarily a bassist, and the drums are my counterpart in the rhythm section. It feels very safe being in the studio with two knowledgeable drummers. I am in good hands!

After drums, I laid down the bass line for “Hunting,” which I wrote on my Casio DM-100 — a little gem I found on Craigslist this past summer. We got a great sound off that thing in the studio, and if I have my way, I’m going to make sure it’s on every single song on the album.

When I wrote this song nearly two years ago (on New Year’s Eve), I was borrowing my friend’s microKORG. I somehow found this really great sound, and made sure to record a decent-quality track, knowing that in the end I might not (a) be able to recreate the sound in the studio, and/or (b) remember how to play the part. Good thinking, Past Self! We ended up using the original track, which feels like burying a time capsule in the album, to me. It goes along with the album’s motif and title, too.

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We spent the rest of the first day in the studio just talking about “Hunting,” which involved me jumping up randomly saying things like, “I have an idea for a piano line!” or Logan suggesting adding effects and delays to different instruments and parts, or Bryan suggesting we add a shaker part. (Shakers always make everything better, by the way.) We left for the day with only a few things left to track for this song. And… we’re off!

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