Two Days at Mad Oak

So the last two days have been something amazing. My powers of articulation fail me, so I’ll just read the transcript of the little man upstairs in my head that’s been doing cartwheels for 48 hours.


Actually, it goes on like that for twelve pages. And that was just the first day. I’ll spare you the rest, but there’s a few “FRESH POTTTTTTSSSSS!” in there as well.

The Recording Experience

Air Drums, Meet Real Drums

After deconstructing the demos, we started with the drums. Like I said in my Phase Two video, the drums are the bedrock upon which all good rock is founded. Watching Runtt work his ass off surrounded by that much hardware was an awesome sight to behold. I mean, I play live shows next to this guy, but he’s a force to be reckoned with when he knows the red light’s on.

We were fortunate enough to be joined by some of our higher-tier backers as well. I’m glad that Runtt and I have had plenty of experience performing in front of close audiences and even closer lenses, ’cause Mad Oak Studio is pretty tight quarters. Still, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves (and the beer, and the amazing coffee roasted by one of the studio’s co-owners).

The Space Pirate Crew at Mad Oak

My favorite moment was hearing Benny, the engineer AND a touring drummer, compliment the hell out of Runtt. He seemed pretty impressed, and this guy’s worked with Ben Folds, The Dresden Dolls, Aerosmith, Weird Al, and a parade of Boston-area hardcore rock bands.

Benny Grotto Listening On day two we took the bass and guitar parts provided by Matt Pompei and Rosco (friends of mine) and let Benny handle the reamping. That’s your musical term for the day: Reamping. When you take a guitar, bass, or whatever and record a take with NO effects on it, you end up with a super-clean, direct-input sound. Then you take that clean recording into the studio, send the signal out through an amp or effects pedals or whatever, and record THAT output with a microphone.

The result is the same as if the guitarist were playing directly through that amp, but it lets you fiddle around with amp and effect settings AFTER the guitarist has given you the best performance they can. Imagine if your bassist gave you an amazing performance, only to find out later that the fuzz pedal they were using was too noisy. Hence, reamping.

Until day two, all I’d heard were my fake-ass software amp simulations in Logic. Toys like the vintage Vox amp and original Russian Big Muff bass pedal that Benny provided, however, turned an adequate idea into enormous reality. (…holyshitholyshitholyshitWOOHOOOOholyshit…)

Also, these awesome photos were taken by Earl Madness, some of which will be a part of the Art Book. Which you can still pre-order at!

Turn The Bass Up

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