Recording, Mixing, & Mastering

April 23, 2020

When I first started to make records with Robey, Falk & Bod, the main recording equipment used was a 16 track tape deck. And usually an Ampex machine. At least in the studios where we recorded. Did some demo sessions on 8 track decks as well. Kinda crazy when you think you can easily have a 100 track session today with modern digital workstations like Pro Tools.

When we recorded at CBS Studios in NY, there was actually a tape engineer. And his main job was to start and stop the tape deck. REALLY! The audio engineer handled the board, and the tape engineer the deck. I think it was the same at CBS Nashville at the time. But then you also weren’t allowed to turn off the lights in the studio in NYC. That was a union gig. Different times for sure.

Today, Jeffrey’s drums alone will take up 15 tracks.  In my early days, we would use five tracks for drums – – Kick, Snare, High Hat and Overheads (left and right.) And a lot of times those tracks would get bounced down to stereo (two tracks) so we could free up tracks for other instruments.

You had to plan your recordings out way in advance. At least we did since budgets were limited. And even in the 70’s studio time was $200-$250 and hour. A reel of tape was over $200, and that didn’t last too long. Anyway, spending $50,000 on an album was easy then. And $50,000 in 1975 is over $200,000 in today’s dollars! Crazy expensive.

In 1973 I shared a house with Dan Fogelberg in Nashville for a couple of weeks. He was just finishing his first album, ‘Home Free’. He had a test pressing so we rolled one and listened. Of course I was completely blown away. I asked how much the album cost to make. He told me $150,000. And that’s like $800,000 in todays cash. Insane! Poor Dan is not with us anymore.

Personally, I love the modern world. A notebook and a little bit of pro gear and you’re good to go, and portable. Spend $10,000 now and you can sound like a real studio. Thank you 1’s and 0’s. And this, like all other Indie’s, is the way I track my songs, in my home studio.

When it comes to final mixing and mastering though, I think you need to use real professional audio engineers. And that’s what I’ve been doing, so far. At least for the mix. Mastering by Grammy winning mastering engineers is surprisingly cheap. 

In my ‘Liner Notes’ I talk about the mixing side of things in a bit detail just in case anyone is interested. Please take a look!

AB

‘Take Me Back’ – liner notes

April 23, 2020

So who hasn’t ever wondered about what it would be like to feel a first love again? Well, I think I was in love with everything with a skirt back in High School. But, think back to that first kiss and getting close to the opposite sex for the first time. Man, if you could put that in a bottle. 

The picture is the 19 year old version of me with a Susan, a first love . . . of sorts anyway! In my dreams mainly. I was in agony over her. She still inspires me. I actually tried to find her two years ago. What I found was an obituary and ended up writing a song called ‘Finding Susan’. Have not laid tracks down on that one yet. But I will soon. Oddly, she still has an affect on me.

Anyway, ‘Take Me Back’ was another one of those songs that the universe decided to send my way quickly. It just came out. 

I sorta had a vision on how I wanted it to be put together. I wanted three distinct parts and initially started the song with just my vocal and drums.

At first I thought it was pretty cool. But, it didn’t last. It takes awhile for me to get this stuff together and over that time I must listen at least 500 times, literally. And about 100 times in, I was kinda sick of that arrangement. So, I decided to leave the drums and add the strings and organ instead, and that never got old to me so I figured I had the right arrangement.

Really, Audrey makes the song regardless of the arrangement.

The Details – ‘Take Me Back’

Composer: Gary Arthur ‘Bod’ Noubarian (BMI)

Publisher: Arthur Bod Music (BMI) – ArthurBodMusic@gmail.com

Producer:  Arthur Bod

Recording Engineer:  A bunch of us

Mix Engineer:  Michael Brauer 

Mastering Engineer:  Joe LaPorta (Sterling Sound)

Studios:  Little ones all over the world

The Players (‘Lonesome Road’)

Arthur Bod – Lead and BG Vocals, D45 Martin

Audrey Karrasch – Lead and BG Vocals

Don Falk – Bass and Pedal Steel

Jeffrey Anthony – Drums

Leo Music Design – B3 Organ

Rick Curran – String Quartet

The Mix

When I can, which isn’t often, I really try to get a great mixer involved. When you’re an Indie Artist paying for everything, it gets really expensive per song, which makes it a challenge when you try to work with the best. Then again, the best won’t necessarily mix anything you send out.

Fortunately, Michael Brauer liked the song and made the mix possible. Michael is a very big deal having worked with just about every major artist you can name.  His list of credits is huge. Bands like Bon Jovi, Train, Zac Brown are just a few. I also think he’s another great guy and I’m really honored to have had him add his touch to this song. Thanks Michael!

The Lyrics

I want to feel again
A first love again
Lost in your eyes
Your smile and your ways
I want that magic again

Take me back
Take me back to that time again
Let me feel one more time
Like I did back then
Take me back
Take me back
Take me back

I want that glow again
From the night again
Wrapped in your arms
Stardust surrounding me
To feel your breath again
On my skin again
My senses alive
With you entwined

Take me back
Take me back to that time again
Let me feel one more time
Like I did back then
Take me back
Take me back
Take me back

Copyright © 2020 – Gary Arthur Noubarian