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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Recording sessions

I find recording a lot of fun and it gives me the chance to play styles that I don't get to play live or as a leader. I've been doing sessions for quite a long time now and I always find I learn something new every time. The recording scene has changed so much. I do a lot of my guitar tracking in my home studio and then either send the files to the client or artist or bring them to the session at a bigger studio where we then import my parts. I have a Pro Tools rig and am able to record, edit, mix and export right in my own home which I still find remarkable. I will talk with other musicians and we would have been on the same recording but never have been in the same room together. I must say though I do miss the hang that usually happens at a session but being able to record at home is a luxury for sure.

To be a session guitarist, I feel it's very important to have several different sounding guitars. I have a Tele which has been on almost every recording I've done in some capacity since 1995. It's a fantastic guitar and definitely a special one even though it's a factory guitar like all the other Teles of that year. It's a '52 reissue, US built and is the classic butterscotch finish although it's got a lot of road scars. This guitar in indestructible as well and always stays in tune! I also have a beautiful Gibson Les Paul that is about 5yrs old and is chambered which means it doesn't weigh a tonne. It has that beefy Les Paul sound which is great for certain tracks and always adds heft to the song. It also can sound smooth and creamy which again has it's place on certain tracks. I have an American Standard Fender Strat which is from the late 80's and always seems to find a spot on a track. The Stratocaster has such a unique sound and really adds a lot to most tracks. It's funny, I record a lot with the Strat but rarely seem to play it live. I also have a beautiful red Gibson ES-339 which is like a 335 but smaller body shape. Great sounding semi-hollow guitar and offers something sonically that the others don't. I use all of them frequently. I have a very nice Larrivee LV-09 acoustic which is a dreadnought size with a cut away. It always tracks beautifully and has a very rich big tone. I find I almost always add an acoustic rhythm track to a song even if I mix it quite low as I find it warms up the track a lot. I also play mandolin and banjo. I've recorded a lot of mandolin tracks and again much like the acoustic guitar, it really adds a timbre and frequency range to a track that brightens up the sound and makes it sparkle.

As far as amps, I have two great Fender tube amps (Blues Deluxe and Blues Jr.) as well as the ZT Lunch Box which has it's own solid state sound which is different than the tube sounds. Basically the more sounds you can offer the more flexibility you have when recording.

If anyone is interested in having me play guitar, mandolin or banjo on their recordings I do record at home as I was saying. All that you have to do is send me a 2-mix (stereo file) and I lay down my parts and send them back to you to be mixed. e-mail me for more info.

That's all for now!

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