Day eighteen: finishing touches, part two…

By Chris Moore:

Again, not too much to say tonight, other than to convey how exciting it’s been to complete these tracks.  This morning was a bit frustrating at first, as I spent an hour working on some mixing of tracks and another hour after that searching through my Zoom guitar pedal for the best possible effect for my “No Lights, No Sound” solo.

Regardless of these struggles, I was certain of one decision: I wanted to use my Squire strat to record the solo (ironically NOT the guitar pictured below).  This simply felt right because I haven’t used the strat for any part of this album, though it was the only electric I used to record every single electric guitar track on all six of my previous albums.  Considering that “No Lights, No Sound” is the oldest song on this new album, it felt right to finally bust out the strat.

I faced more struggles in the afternoon, as I couldn’t find my groove with background vocals today.  Nothing I practiced felt right for “Threshold,” and I ended up deleting all the background vocals I recorded on “You Will Thank Me.”  That being said, I honestly do think both songs, particularly “You Will Thank Me,” work best in their tight simplicity without harmonies.

The great news of the day is that I recorded three solid bass tracks, for “You Will Thank Me,” “Threshold,” and “It All Comes Around.”  So, in the end, this was a big day, as these are the all-important 1, 2, and 4 spots on the album.

That’s all I’ve got for today, but I’ll be back tomorrow for more!

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Day seventeen: finishing touches, part one…

By Chris Moore:

Today, I’ll be brief because, as of today, the final touches are beginning to be applied.  This means that, very soon, The 2010 Project will be a completed product and will exist as an item in my history, topping the list titled “Chris Moore’s Discography.”

What remains to be done in most songs is some variation of bass, background vocals, and solos.  Today, I started by listening back to the album in the order that my producer, Mike Fusco, suggested.

The verdict?

The new track listing is far superior to what I had before.  For me, this is the umpteenth incarnation of the list, so I’ve been a bit too close to the project, I think, to see the best order.

As of this evening, I’ve completed every song on the second half of the album, with the exception of “Work Time, Get in Line.”  Tomorrow should be interesting, as I’ve saved the more complicated tracks to complete for later.

And later is, of course, tomorrow.

So, stay tuned for a few final updates and — very soon (!) — a release date announcement.

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Day sixteen: a little listening, a little rockin’ out

By Chris Moore:

I’ll always remember day sixteen as one of the high points of The 2010 Project recording sessions.  I started late morning today with the arrival of Mike Fusco.  We ended up playing all twelve songs on my 0h-so-cheap Radio Shack speakers and making a master list of “What Left to Do?” broken down task by task (i.e. bass, background vocals, harmonica, etc).

On “Socrates’ Gulps,” the only remaining track that needed electric guitar work, Mike helped me find an electric sound that was bright yet had distortion, but wasn’t too grungy.  I still haven’t completely mastered my Zoom guitar pedal, which is significantly more nuanced than my original Zoom pedal, so after some hit and miss there, we plugged in directly from the amp, and I played while Mike found levels and balances that sounded great.  After several mess-ups and false starts, I got a take that sounded great.

Mike captured one of the good ones, so I’m finally posting a recording session video for you:

Before he left, we rocked out to “Goodbye, So Long” with me on acoustic and Mike on bass, which was great fun.  We just played a couple days ago (Thursday) to an assortment of tracks, including my songs, new and old (from “The One for Me” and “You Will Thank Me” to MoU staples “Please Stay,” “Marissa,” and “Goodbye”) and Mike’s classics (like “You I Won’t Forget”) and lesser known gems.  For Thursday’s songs, I alternated between twelve- and six-string acoustic/electric and Mike traded off between twelve-string acoustic/electric and drums.

Now, that was a LOT of fun, and it served as just the boost I needed to get excited for this weekend and this coming week, which promise to hold — finally — the final sessions for my new album.

Look, Ma: no pedal! (Me adding a "phaser effect" on my electric)

After a late lunch, I worked out the harmonica solo (in the key of E, the closest I had) and harmonies to “Goodbye, So Long.”  In terms of background vocals, I tried some things I haven’t tried before, so I’ll have to run them by my producer before giving that track the final nod…

Me and my high-tech studio set up

And that about brings this up to date.  Thank you for reading, and stay tuned this week for hopefully many more updates, photos, videos, a final cover image, and…

…drum roll, please…

…a release date!

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Days fourteen & fifteen: it all (begins to) come around…

By Chris Moore:

Somewhere in this process, I’ve lost a couple of days in my online journal.  Thus, here I am to fill in the gaps.  I don’t have full details or exact dates, but Mike came over one night (in April? during my school break?) for the first bass track overdub of the album.  Although he was here for a couple hours, we only worked on one song: “No Lights, No Sound.”  This may not sound like what you’d call progress, but we were thrilled.  We experimented with bass sounds (i.e. through pedal, through amp, directly into laptop), Mike developed a tastefully simple but memorable bass line, and I managed to finally play it right.

This was a very enjoyable night… so much so that I forgot to write it down in the logs entirely.  It was a tease, though, in some respects, considering that school and grading were still on my mind and needed to become the priority shortly after he left.

Chris plays bass?

Another lost and notable day — and one which was also a tease — came shortly after.  On Thursday, April 21st, I brought the master tracks for mixing at Fusco Theatre.  Mike finagled the hookup between my laptop and the main (and very sizable) speakers.  Then, we ran through all twelve tracks, discussed the overall sound, and in the end, each received the Mike Fusco mixing treatment.

This post is long in coming.  I’ve post-dated it to April 22nd for posterity’s sake, although I’m writing it months later in July.  As a final note regarding continuity, the picture above was taken during the “day sixteen” session on July 2nd, but it seemed appropriate here considering day fourteen was the first all-bass track session.

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