The Making of Paul Winders “Boy Dust” part 1

Well, since about half way through 2011 I haven’t done much Complex Engine music, as my efforts have been directed at making a CD with Paul Winders and the Goodness. It has just come out – we have the CD’s! – and is available at http://paulwinders.bandcamp.com and http://dunedinmusic.com.

This was quite an interesting project all around. Paul is a primary school outdoor events coordinator in his day job, and lives in Arrowtown. Matt, who drums on it, lives in Dunedin. Kiri, Paul’s sister who does BV’s and keyboards, is in Brisbane, and I am in Auckland. We had a budget of y’know, about $0. What dollars we had went into airfares to get us in the same place to do something, and then on mastering and printing the CD’s. I am a big believer in proper mastering.

We are playing 3 gigs in Dunedin, Riverton and Arrowtown over Easter, selling the CD and tickets together. This was pretty successful for Paul when he made his previous CD “You Can Have it All” a couple of years ago and may cover some of the CD production costs.

No studios were used in this recording. No acoustic drums were used either. The whole thing started out with Paul’s demos from Garageband. Matt has a Roland electronic drumkit – pads that trigger samples. So to record drums Paul and I settled into Matt’s home office where the drums reside, with a laptop and soundcard. The 8 audio outs from the Roland thing went into the soundcard, as did midi, and straight into Reaper. I dumped an mp3 of whatever song we were doing into reaper, and played it back through Matt’s (terrible) computer boombox + satellites. I hit record and he drummed along to the demo. Easiest drum set up I’ve ever done – not a microphone in sight!

I figured that later on I could a) replace the audio or b) use the midi to trigger new audio if the sounds weren’t right. I never got to grips with (b) but ended up doing a fair bit of (a). Sometimes the samples weren’t great for the song, other times they were pretty good. It was certainly nice to not have to deal with spill, and it worked a whole lot better than I expected – I had been pretty sceptical at the start.

 

 

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