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"When I get Home" by RoughWood Studio

Calvin wrote this song on the way to the studio. He banged it out on his guitar and the band played it a few times as they worked out exactly what he wanted....


Calvin wrote this song on the way to the studio. He banged it out on his guitar and the band played it a few times as they worked out exactly what he wanted.

The drums are in a separate room behind glass with the bass player camped out watching him. Old Groove Tubes Model 1's were used as overhead/room mics with the rest of the kit mic'd with an AKG D112 on kick and Sure SM57 on snare.

Calvin was in the vocal booth with his acoustic guitar. I put a condenser low on his guitar and mic'd him with a stage mic for the scratch. To keep him from singing too loud, and getting in the guitar mic, I kept the vocal loud in his headphone mix. Everyone else was DI'd in the main room of the studio and played along.

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As soon as we had a take, Calvin re-sang the vocal. We isolated the fiddle player and had him play the most lonely part he could come up with. I finally had to take most of the original signal out and replace it with the output of a reverb unit set to sound like someone was at the end of a long hallway.

We kept pulling instruments out, but the song still wasn't conveying the loneliness we were after. I asked if this was one person's perspective, or if it could better express the distance between two people. Calvin agreed and I made a quick call to a singer I'd met a few days before. She was able to come right out and after two tries we had the take we used on the track. She just re-sang the same lyrics and we bounced between them where it made sense.

The final version is just two voices, guitar, bass, and fiddle.

The helicopter sounds may be a little cheesy, but it seemed right at the time. They were part of the compliment of sounds on the YAMAHA S90 keyboard I had just bought.

Mastering... if you want to call it that, was accomplished with an APHEX 204 and Empirical Labs FATSO feeding into a T.C.Electronics Finalizer 96K. No drastic settings on either unit were used. I don't think the Finalizer did anything except make the A/D conversion for the DAW.

Further information is available at Calvin Milburn

By RoughWood Studio Thursday November 30, 2006

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