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"Don't Throw Me Away" by The Sole Proprietor

'Don't Throw Me Away' was the B side of 'Real Garbage', a vinyl 45 pressed and released in the 1980's, and remastered digitally this year for CD album release


"Don't Throw Me Away" was the B side of "Real Garbage", a vinyl 45 pressed and released in the 1980's, and remastered digitally this year for CD album release.

This mp3 is from the original master tape with straight digital transfer from a 1/4" AKAI DB4000 stereo reel to reel analog tape deck, 7.5 IPS to digital media through a budget MG2/2 Yamaha mixing console. Tape used is AMPEX 456 for all passes. Slight digital boost in mids and highs to make the tambourine background and background vocals more audible. Originally recorded at 15 IPS on a SONY deck (long gone, model forgotten) and then "bounced" to the AKAI deck for multracking tracks 3,4,5 and 6. This is a real chore and requires a lot of planning ahead for each track! Mics used were 2 relatively cheap Audio Research condenser mics for vocals, shure M58 for acoustic guitar, direct bass guitar into mixer and a cardboard box with mic inside provides the "bongo" like percussion.

I merely placed the mic underneath the box and tapped away! Before the box though, I did the guitar tracks first. Backing harmonies next(with a low rockabilly and high falsetto harmony) were done in 2 passes with tambourine added later. Close mic'd lead vocal was recorded next, then bass was punched in via direct recording to the receiving tape recorder (same reel to reel machines).

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The final touch was that percussion from an old cardboard box.

All total, you could consider this 6 tracks, but when you are using this old method (tape machine to tape machine or bouncing), it's really only 4 tracks and was very hard to do without losing quality. I had to plan each track in advance, set the levels correctly to overcome frequency losses and then hope I could get enough commercial volume for a vinyl cut that would not skip after production.

What I have here is a punchy mix that works well and sounds much brighter in digital format. Sampled in 16 bit, 44K, stereo format, the mp3 doesn't get too lossy. In this case, it would have been much easier using a 24 track machine, but the money wasn't there at the time.

DDD? Might be worth a try, but this production is simple and gets the message across about throw-away relationships (and throw-away societies.) Slightly quasi-political.

Further information is available at www.thesoleproprietor.com

By The Sole Proprietor Thursday November 30, 2006