Blue Cousins

My second cousin, Daniel, and I jam all the time on guitar, so I decided to have him come to the studio one Sunday so the both of us could get studio experience. He brought his pro bass player dad and his drummer friend and this is what came out. (Both he and his friend were 11 or 12 at the time of the recording.)

We used a Shure SM57 on my cousin's guitar amp, a modified Oktava tube mic for vocals, DI for the bass, two Audio Technica pencil condensers for the overall drum sound, and a 57 on the hi hat and snare, a Shure Beta 52 for the kick.

We recorded one decent run-through of each song with the entire band and then went back and overdubbed each individual instrument. The hardest part was getting the vocals right. Daniel was a little uncomfortable singing without his guitar and had minimal experience singing into a microphone as well. It took a couple takes to get the vocals, but it was a neat learning experience for the both of us.

Because of time constraints, we ended up with four songs. Three were covers, but one was an original by Daniel.

Blue Moon (original song)
Red House (in the style of Jimi Hendrix)
Knockin' On Heaven's Door (in the style of Bob Dylan)
Tore Down (first take)
Tore Down (final)

I played Red House for the class. Here's what they said:

  • It's long
  • Add organ!
  • Vocals and guitar should take turns
  • Fix the solo's awkward parts
  • Bring vocals and guitar down
  • Put delay on vocals
  • Drummer dropped tempo
  • Add distant reverb, like B.B. King
  • Put the second verse at the end, not randomly in the middle
  • Get Daniel to really get into it and make it raspy, dirty, and soulful

I probably won't have a chance to record Daniel any time soon, but I did add a little reverb, play a little organ, bring down the vocals and the guitar, and put a mastering preset on it. Listen!

I also fixed Daniel's flubbed vocals and faded out at the end of Blue Moon (Listen!) and took out some of the noise on Tore Down (Check it out!).

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