Days 7 & 8 (In the Making of Love Was Here First)  

Posted by Carolyn Arends in , , , , , ,

The following is the second blog that was posted about the making of LOVE WAS HERE FIRST, originally published on the Carolyn Arends Newsblog on October 10th, 2008.  (You can read the first blog here.)

DAYS 7-8

After a several week layoff we were back at it for a few short days this week.  Tuesday, Oct. 8, I cut a rhythm acoustic guitar for THE LAST WORD.  For every guitar part, there is a mind-boggling array of choices, starting with which of Roy's amazing guitars to use.  I knew on this tune we probably wanted a dreadnought, so that "narrowed" the choices down to:

1965 Martin D28 (this guitar has been on every album I have ever made)

1977 Martin D35 (had some trauma and was rebuilt by John Larivee.  Has a neck like a baseball bat, but sounds great)

1967 Gibson J45 (has a hole in it that we fantasized was a bullet hole, but the local guitar repair guy said probably not)

1970s Mark Beneteau

Handbuilt J Duncan "Chocolate"

Handbuilt J Duncan "Vanilla"

After trying 'em all, we decided the winner was ... the J Duncan Vanilla.  (Not its technical name, but one of the Duncans is a dark brown and the other is light, so what would YOU call them?)  This was my first time playing the Vanilla -- sounds amazing.

After we pick the guitar, there are always more decisions to be made.  Which mics?  Which preamp?  Which compressor?  Which EQ?  At Whitewater there is an almost wicked level of unbelievable options; we are trying our hardest to use them for good.

In the end we went with a stereo pair of Neumann M-149s (why have one Cadillac when you can have two??), through the Portico preamps.  I'm guessing Roy used the ADL compressor and maybe his API eqs, though I can't say for sure.

I am aware that 99.9% of the population doesn't give a rip what we used, but for the .01% of you that does ... cool, eh?

Anyway -- our guitar set-up looked like this:

Here's the fun part -- after cutting the acoustic, we decided it needed an electric rhythm part to keep it company.  I hardly ever get to play electric.  We had the same ridiculous overabundance of choices (which electric?  which amp?  which mics?  which pre?  which compressor?  which eq? -- never mind which part I should play!).  In the end, we went with the yellow tele through not one but two amps -- the Fender Princeton and the Vox.  Sweetness!

Of course ... sweetness comes at a price.  Whilst rocking, I sustained a finger injury.  It wasn't a very impressive one.  One of my acrylic nails (I get them just on my right hand for fingerpicking -- my Vietnamese salon technician calls me "One Hand Lady") flew off ... but I can play hurt.  I rocked on.

After my rhythm parts were done, the tune seemed to be crying out for a lead guitar, so Roy strapped on his Les Paul, ran it through the not-so-ironically named "OCD" distortion pedal, and played great.

That brought Tuesday to a close.

Thursday, we cut acoustic guitar for ACCORDING TO PLAN (the chocolate Duncan through the 149s and the holy grail of preamps: the D.W. Fern) and then played endlessly with options for the song.  Wound up printing a keeper Hammond organ part and scratch lead/arpeggiated acoustic part.  It was a short day, so that was all she wrote.

Unless some studio time opens up, I won't be back at it until mid-November, so you will be spared obscure gear and instrument analysis till then. [ed.note - My parents got very sick that fall and thus my recording was delayed for several months and did not resume in earnest until the summer of 2009.  More on that in later posts!]

Peace to you!


Next:  An Album in Tweets

This entry was posted on Saturday, October 10, 2009 at Saturday, October 10, 2009 and is filed under , , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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