Yesterday and today, a band I am in which currently doesn't have a name since we've now finished school, but which used to be called the Senior Jazz Ensemble at my school went into a recording studio to record some stuff. The name "Jazz Ensemble" is actually rather inaccurate since while what we do is jazz-influenced, we've moved into more experimental areas substantially. We each got a cassette at the end of the day, but we're going to go back and mix it in a few weeks and get a CD with the final mix.
Our band comprises three members, plus the band director - me on keyboard (plus effects pedals), and then a bass player and a trombone player, with the band director on tenor sax.
We recorded three songs:
Freedom Jazz Dance
Our version sounds nothing like the original. We initially recorded it with just keyboard, bass and trombone, with the trombone keeping the rhythm using a simple riff involving the root and the seventh, the bass playing a simple bassline with occasional improvised stuff, and me using my volume pedal to play a synth part similar to that in One Of These Days, rising to a peak and then falling away. Then we had a sax overdub playing the same rhythm as the trombone, then improvised sax/trombone overdubs with weird pitch bends, then sax/bass overdubs with the melody. The finishing touch was a keyboard overdub, where I got to experiment a bit with my delay pedal. My actual playing here wasn't anything special, at times I just hit random notes, but by changing the settings on the delay (especially the delay time) I managed to create a sound similar to the slide guitar on ASOS and finishing by turning the delay time knob all the way to the left (shortest time), hitting some random high-pitched organ notes and then slowly turning the delay knob to the right to bring the pitch down, a sound which bears a vague resemblance to the slide guitar ending of OOTD. That took all of Wednesday, and today the bass player just added an improvised intro to the piece.
This was perhaps the most interesting piece we did; it was our band director's idea. We set up the trombone with a mic, which was then sent through my tremolo and delay pedals to the control room. The trombonist then improvised while I played around with the effects - it was really weird but it sounded awesome! At one point I had a fast, deep tremolo on a square wave, which made the trombone sound digital. We did 3 takes, 2 of which we deemed worth keeping, one with a mute that ended similarly to FJD and one without a mute, where I faded out the delay, and at the last second spun the delay time knob hard left to bring the pitch way up. The most interesting thing about this piece was that my delay's mains transformer seemed to have stopped working so I had to use a battery instead - unfortunately (or, for reasons I am about to describe, fortunately) at the end of the take with the mute the battery started running out and as I was fading out the delay (by turning the repeat knob to the left) this digital-sounding crackly noise started happening that I'd never heard before, going for a few seconds before I managed to shut the thing up using the delay level knob. It's a great sound, and I want to keep it - I don't think I'll ever be able to recreate it!
I wrote this one, but we did something a little different with it today. Instead of going through solos like we normally do, we just got more and more chaotic (it kind of reminded me of IO). We initially recorded it with bass/trombone/sax/organ, where we took 2 takes, decided on the second one and then I did an organ overdub, inspired by the funky bit of Echoes where there are 2 organs panned hard left and hard right, playing the same thing. On the overdub I got so aggressive in my playing that my keyboard nearly fell off its stand! It was worth it, there's nothing like the sound of randomly slamming your hand down on the keys - at the time my first organ take was playing diminished chords and doing glissandos up and down the keyboard, the sax and trombone were playing some weird-sounding random notes and the bass was also going rather wild - we had a great time!
I don't want to upload the recordings I've converted to digital from the cassette, but I'll keep you guys posted on what's going on with the final mix. If you'd like to hear some of my home-recorded music (nowhere near as good as what we've recorded these past 2 days, but still reasonably good), just click the link in my sig!