Sep 13 2011

The Home Stretch

Jason

We’re in the home stretch. We’ve finished all of our recording, mixed all the parts so they sound oh so nice together, and now it’s time for the final stage: mastering. This is where we take our mixed-down two channel mixes and balance them out, place them together, and make a single coherent whole. We’re hanging out here at Boiler Room Mastering, a spot designed specifically for the mastering process, finishing up. Dan our most excellent engineer stopped by to chill for a bit, and now we’re mostly just hanging out as Colin puts the last touches on the record enjoying the sweet sweet sounds. A dance party may ensue when we do the ultimate bounce.

When we leave tonight, we’ll be musically done with the record. All that’s left is artwork and packaging and getting it into your hands.

We’re extremely excited to get some sounds out to you guys, so expect a couple previews in the next few days!


Aug 17 2011

Hi, friends.

Paul

We’re back in the studio tonight mixing Kind Eyes, with the new addition of Erik Kang’s (from Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s) violins, and man does this song sound amazing now.  It’s great to be back in the studio again, and every time I’m here somehow I get even more excited for this album.  Hopefully you’ve had a chance to check out the preview we posted a few days ago, and I hope we can share some more coming up soon.

And now, this might be the delicious American Budweiser in the American-flag cans talking, but I love you guys.  And I apologize for not posting more Mediocre Fights recently.  So here’s my pledge to you now – I’m going to make you a new one tomorrow.  Nay, I shall make you two Mediocre Fights tomorrow.  They’ll probably be mediocre, but at this point you should probably expect that kind of thing.  I hope you’ll forgive me for not posting more consistently, but the album and everything has definitely kept us plenty busy.

We’ve also been working on more of our Kickstarter awards recently, which I’m also excited to share with you.  We’ve been making some playing cards for a few of our donors recently, and as soon as we send them out we’ll be sharing them with you on the website.  It’s probably some of the least mediocre work we’ve done.  Which means it’s good… not like so-bad-it’s-not-even-mediocre kind of work.

Now, I’ll leave you with the random quote from the studio – “NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

That is all.

 


Aug 11 2011

But what does it SOUND like…?

Paul

 

Here’s a teaser of our new album:

 

 


Jun 19 2011

Finishing up recording!

Paul

So we decided to put some more vocal harmonies into a couple of the songs, and since Adam can’t sing as low as we wanted the parts I was brought in to add a little baritone to the songs.  You can tell that Adam is quite a bit shorter than I am, because I had to stand spread-eagle to actually get down to the mic.

 

 

Next up after my parts were the “gang” vocals, where we had Dan and Rob from Uptown Recording sing with us too.  They were totally awesome.  We finished up with some gang percussion too, with us playing 4 different tracks with a different percussion instrument each.  The next series of photos is from us picking out our instruments, the “gang” tracks, and then some other randomness from the night.  Enjoy.

 

We’re completely done with our vocal tracks now, and for the rest of the night Jason will be rocking it out on some auxiliary percussion.  Things are really coming together, and I’m really, really excite for how things are going to turn out!

 

 


Jun 19 2011

A clip from Adam recording “Kind Eyes”

Paul

We’re wrapping up Adam’s vocals on “Kind Eyes,” so here’s a quick preview of the chorus.  This is a very rough cut right now and we’ll be mixing the album in the next few weeks, so the sound of this will most likely change quite a bit coming up.

 

 

And here’s Adam.

 

 

Hangin out in his little isolation booth.  Like a boss.

 

 


Jun 19 2011

Happy Father’s Day!

Paul

So we’re back in the studio today for the last of our vocal tracking, and then doing some auxiliary percussion (we have a gong!).  But it’s also Father’s Day today, so I wanted to take a quick moment to give a shout-out to all the dads out there.  I don’t have a recent picture of my own dad on my laptop, but here’s a pretty close approximation:

Actually, like really close.  Let’s just say this is actually my dad.

My dad’s retired now, and my parents are in the process of moving back down to Iowa.  When I called them today they were in the process of packing for the move.  My mom said, “Your dad was supposed to get all of his woodworking stuff packed up today, but when he went out to the garage I think he just started a new project.”  Hilarious.

Anyways hope you’re all having a great Father’s Day, we’ll be making some more posts later today so check back for more from our last day recording!

 


Jun 8 2011

Progress, slowly but surely

Adam

It’s been a while since our last post!  After our show on the 27th, I spent most of Memorial Day weekend hiding in my beat lab re-learning my scales on keyboard and writing parts for the horn section we were bringing in to the studio.  Because these (very talented) horn players had never heard our music before, let alone the parts I had written for them in my head, I had to actually write out the sheet music, you know like an actual composer.  Needless to say, I had a few hiccups along the way.  Luckily our horn players were fantastic musicians and able to overcome my notation/transcription errors and lay down their takes like a boss.  We were lucky to have Brian Dema on saxophone, Saif Choudhury on trumpet and Eric Miller on trombone.  All three are killer musicians.  Here’s a picture of them at work:

We put them all in the same room to create a “live” sound by allowing the sound from one musician to bleed into the other’s mic.  Obviously you have to have pretty talented musicians to do this, since all three of them had to nail the same take.  Jason got pretty into it, here’s his reaction to what was going on:

 

When you take any individual part of a song out of context it can sound pretty simple, silly, or otherwise odd on it’s own. For the horn section, we usually had 2 or 3 parts for each instrument and would record each on a separate take to create chords. Here’s one horn line all by it’s lonesome self. Of course, the musicians hear everything else in their headphones.

We finished off the night be capturing the rest of Trevor’s back-up vocals and then saw Trevor off as he’ll be traveling on the East coast most of June and July.  We’re almost done with tracking.  All we have left are some lead vocal tracks, some auxiliary percussion, and some violin tracks which will be recorded by Erik Kang from Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s.  We’re taking a few days off while Dan takes a much deserved vacation and we’ll jump right back in upon his return.


May 26 2011

Well, the Bulls just lost…

Paul

… but we just recorded an awesome guitar part played with a can of Budweiser.  I guess things just have a way of working out?

 

Adam recording a guitar part, played with a can of Budweiser.  Sweet.

 

And Anheuser-Busch, if you’re reading this, we are not opposed to selling out.  We can record a whole damn album just played with your delicious products!

 


May 26 2011

Back in the studio! We’re in the home stretch!

Paul

We’re kickin it in the studio again tonight, spending some more time tracking Adam’s guitars.  We’re layering more and more guitar sounds into the songs, and they’re really filling out and sounding awesome.  After we finish up with the guitars, it’s on to vocals and then finishing up with whatever other sounds we want to add in that we can’t play live.  We’ve got some friends coming into the studio with us next week to record some horn parts, and then a few weeks after that we’re doing something really exciting.  We’ll be heading over to Indiana to have Erik Kang from Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s record some violin parts for us!

Here’s what’s happenin tonight – Trevor getting some work done on the computer while Adam records the guitar parts.

Adam recording while Trevor works on his computer

 

On an unrelated note, I want to say that I’m astonished that literally a third of the hits to our website are still coming from people searching for Rebecca Black.  Really?  Apparently the post I made analyzing her lyrics is going to be the defining moment in my blogging career.  I should just quit now.

 


May 24 2011

Practicing, Resting, Planning

Adam

We’ve got a few days off from the studio to rest and recuperate.   Doing such we’ve been a little lazy with our posts.  We’re getting very close to finishing tracking.  We’ve got just a few guitar tracks, a few tracks from our horn section, a few auxiliary percussion track, and some vocals tracks left before we’re finished.  As with any project, as we get closer, the devil’s in the details of hitting all the little notes, lesser riffs and accents that will ultimately make or break the album.

And, amidst all this album recording business, we’ve got a show coming up this Friday at Goose Island in Wrigleyville.  So tonight we’ve got a practice to polish our live show in preparation for seeing all of you on Friday!  It looks like we didn’t think ahead and left our instruments at the studio (oops) so we will be going by there tonight after all.

For your viewing pleasure I’ll leave you with this video of Trevor warming up on the Hammond before recording last Friday.