For those who don’t know, “Kiko’s Blog” has also been published on the Guitar Player magazine. I will post the texts here too!
On the pictures we can see all the band’s members. Mike Terrana-drums, Doug Wimbish-bass, Maria Ilmoniemi-keyboards,, Tarja and me.
After a month time tour, nothing stranger than being at the hermetic environment of a studio, moreover together with “boludos” argentineans.
Studio and Stage: two completelly different words. There are musicians who are focused on only one of these words, but we have to be ready to learn how to survive in these two too hard environments.
In my opinion, studio is worse than stage. It shows all your mistakes and weaks like a microscopic magnifying glass. Everything sounds, everything is heard, there’re sound from outside, no applauses, signs of satisfactions, hisses or something to guide you.
You just hear : “Next Part”/ “Next electric guitar”, which means “It’s enough to the producer to work”; or “ Do your best now”, which means your attempt was failed. This euphemism “pseudo-encouraging” helps you, because you always believe that you can do something better. But after we learn the first “take” is the most authentic ever. Rule # 1 never delete the first take, you will probably regret it.
After the Buenos Aires concert with Tarja, we went to the studio at argentina’s capital to record a new song from an upcoming single of hers.
We have played this songs throught out the tour, so everyone knew their parts and what to record. We had only 12 hours to record it, to set it up and get the best tone of our instruments, extremely short time for a cool production, but there was no choice.
In this age of magic and perfectionist computers, it’s seldom to Record live in a studio with the whole band, but due to the matter of time that what we did.
It was an unique experience to share the experience of life of Doug Wimbish who has already recorded with Jeff Beck, Madonna, Mick Jagger and etc, and Terrana who has already recorded more than 100 albums also aside clasiscal musicians and the pianist named Maria and the violoncellist Max.
An interesting fact is about looking at these two worlds, classical-popular, confronting each other. While the americans ( From a very empiric education) give more importance to the song and the mood that everyone is going to create, the classical musician focus on the perfect playing,. It was funny to see the discussion about what conducts time, the drummer or the metronome? The drummer follows the metronome, but in case he plays “in front” or “laid back” it, who will we follow?
We followed Terrana, after all it’s much more musical, of course.
When the drums, bass, keyboards and electric guitar were done, we chose a good “take”
And the drudgery starts. Guitar recorded in more than one channel!!! Modern productions and mainly rock ones require what we call “ Guitar walls”.
Incessant channels to get the ideal tone. I recorded four times with an amplifier and more four times with other amplifiers, using different electric guitars too. The interesting is always about trying to alternate from a heavier amplifier, less middles, more distortion and less attack, which are characteristics from the american amplifiers and more moderns, with a nas al tone, straight to the point and with attack which we find in the traditional amplifiers. In case you have just one amplifiers, you can find this difference changing the controls of it. Other idea is to record a sound almost clean, crunch, to get attack and definition. Alternate electric guitars with different pickups and styles is also essential. On this record I used a K 1 seven strings ( No floyd rose at all) and a Tagima Les Paul.
When we start having uncountable channels like in this case, the playing has to be repeated in the minimum details. This way is better to record each part ( 16 metters, for example) and to record it again in the sequence. When you play the entire song and after you record the other channel, it turns out to be very complicated to memorize and probably difficulty to get the effect you want.
After the electric guitars, time for the nylon acoustic guitar. An interlude barroque , a duet with a cello. I decided to record three channels by my own, two of them I recorded the same thing and at the third one I added a “higher” note. It’s a good opition to create a good sonority on the acoustic guitar, mainly for us , electric guitar players, who don’t have that skill with the right hand. Despite of the difficulty of recording more than one time sounding pretty the same , you get it all in tone.
After these uncountable hours being vexed by the “grid” of this infernal binary system, we went out to have some deserved “chorizo” and have some fun with the argetineans.