Friday, July 17, 2009

Last track I recorded with Alan Wiseman

When I originally recorded the track "Reasonable Persons" using only Propellerhead's Reason, I knew that I wanted a "real" drum track on there eventually. And who better to do it that my old pal Alan Wiseman. I've known Alan since 7th grade, and we've been playing music together since 8th grade...over 30 years. His drumming style was something I had grown so accustomed to, I think when I "programmed" drums they sounded a lot like what he would play (in fact he said as much during the session).

Anyway, I provided lunch and access to the swimming pool, and that was all he needed for payment. We had a great time. I really played producer on him, pretty much telling him what to play in every spot. I tasked him with exactly copying the basics of what I had programmed on the original track, but also to make it his own, which he did with the usual flair and taste. I especially like what he did with those two "build ups" on the toms during the last two turnarounds, toward the end of the track. We did a couple of takes before his swim, then when he came back he nailed it after about four more takes. I don't think we did ANY punch ins; the take you hear was played start-to-finish in real time.

I did very little editing of his MIDI part, which he performed on my Roland V-drums triggering Native Instrument's Battery 3 plugin. Originally, I thought I might replace all of the Reason instruments with higher quality VST instruments in Sonar, but I ended up not doing so, just dumping each Reason instrument, raw, to it's own Sonar track and mixing them down with Alan's drum track. I did use three instances of IKM's Classik Studio Reverb on the various instruments to provide a "stage" ambiance.

My friend and musical comrade Alan passed away in March of this year. I'm still struggling very hard to deal with this loss, so I suppose resurrecting these takes (which were recorded in summer of 2007) and finally finishing this track was a form of therapy for me. Several times during the mixing and tweaking I could swear he was right behind me pounding the skins.

I am indeed blessed to have had his friendship and musical companionship for all those years.

So long Al, and thank you for all the drumming! I love you, man.

here is a direct link to the mp3 for non-shockwave environments

1 comment:

Jimbo Hagey said...

i think i took both those picts of Alan. i miss him also.

nice track - needs real guitar..
although there is a part in there thats pretty close sounding.
7 out of 10
i'm sure you wont be voted off the island this week, John. i believe you are safe.