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20 Feb

Harrisburg

Posted by 5 comments

Listen: Harrisburg

My goal with this song was to record a song as if a singer/songwriter had hired me to record a demo. In a case like this, I want to record the song with some energy, add some details and interest and keep the budget down. This is not supposed to be a CD-ready master.

This song was written by Josh Ritter and I pretty much copied the form from Josh’s album, Golden Age of Radio. I shortened the intro and picked up the tempo a little. I wrote my own vocal harmony. These are the same kinds of change I would make if a songwriter gave me a cassette.

Although I set up the instrumentation as 2 guitars, bass, drums, I recorded the 2 guitar parts on 3 tracks. I was trying to get a fuller guitar sound so I recorded the 2 rhythm parts in stereo, while the solo is in mono, mostly for separation. One guitar strums chords throughout while the second adds some punch on the chorus and one verse. The second guitar never overlaps with the solo guitar (so, live, one player would cover both parts).

The bass part was generated by Band In A Box. This is a quick, easy way to set my form, get a steady rhythm and ensure my parts stay together. I sent a midi file to Pro Tools and used an acoustic bass patch from my sampler.

The drums were programmed in midi. I needed a straight beat for the choruses and a little shuffle rhythm for the rest. Simple, easy and effective. I set up drum sounds on 3 tracks (for control), and used the Pro Tools included synth, Xpand2 as a sound module.

Categories: Recordings
  1. Doug Wheeler
    February 20th, 2012 at 20:46 | #1

    I really like this one.

  2. Suzi McDonough
    February 22nd, 2012 at 15:28 | #2

    I dig that! Especially since I am a non-musician, I enjoyed reading about how you put it together (I even understood most of it!), and your thoughts behind why you made those decisions.

  3. Donan
    February 26th, 2012 at 13:46 | #3

    Sounds great! My father-in-law says you should sell music online.

  4. Mark Johnson
    March 19th, 2012 at 18:55 | #4

    Chris, this stuff is inspirational… I love to hear how you’re thinking when you write and perform and record. Thanks a bunch!

  5. Terry Dawson
    October 27th, 2012 at 22:36 | #5

    This is just sweet. I love your arrangement, and the mix is just right for everything to contribute while the vocal stays clear and on top with a nicely understated harmony. Great job!

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