Last night I got together with fellow members of the Eclipse Trio and we tackled our ‘difficult’ tune. In the recent recording sessions it had resisted being played properly and had been similarly awkward when we played it live. Nothing too obvious, but obvious enough that we wouldn’t want it enshrined on CD unless it was played correctly.
So, we had two plans. One was to add drums to the problematic second part and play along, then remove the drums once we’d managed to play all our parts in time. Plan two was to analyse exactly where we went wrong and try to avoid the same mistakes. Plan Two won out. We found a section where the rhythm guitar part effectively grew an extra beat and then threw the rest of us off. We took the tempo down a little bit and played through to see if it happened again. Thankfully we were recording because, for whatever reason, this take came out perfectly.
Hugely relieved, we spent the rest of the evening sorting out minor fixes and then dumping the separate tracks onto CDs ready for mixing and mastering. I also took the time to make a roughly mixed version of the album, which we played, at volume, while packing up. Considering nothing had been panned, eq’ed or given the tiniest hint of reverb, it sounded pretty good.
Next week should see more progress with my other band. This one started in a very humble way (as an exercise in keeping playing when none of my usual bands were active) and has grown into quite an amazing group. These are exciting times.