Thursday, October 15, 2009

"A Typical Wednesday" LIVE on iTunes

Just wanted to let you know that the new album is now available for purchase on iTunes worldwide! Get your copy today!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mix complete! "A Typical Wednesday" ships today

Well, the day you've all waited for is here. The mix for all 13 tracks of the new Throttle Body m/c release is complete and it will be shipped to Tunecore today for distribution to iTunes worldwide, Amazon, Napster, IMVU, lala, Rhapsody and other outlets.

The final track list is:
  • A Typical Wednesday
  • Safe
  • Long Time
  • While I Was Gone
  • Girl
  • Love Is A Heavy Load
  • Woe Is Me
  • Hole In My Heart
  • Reminders Of You
  • Raindrops Falling Down
  • Falling Apart at the Seams
  • Mother's Eyes
  • Butterfly
It will probably take a few weeks to go live on all these sites, but the good news is that the wait is almost over!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

There's a hole in my drum part

Well the mixing is moving right along - six songs in the can with both mono and stereo mixes available. I've even begun preparing the artwork for the release and as that moves ahead, I will be revising the website ( as well.

After four days spent mixing the track, "Girl", I was looking forward to moving onto "Hole In My Heart" tonight. It's a really open, moody song, in the spirit of "Come Together" by The Beatles (newly remastered collection available today!), and after the mid-range density of the last track, I was looking for relief.

Unfortunately, there's a hole in "Hole". Somehow when Dan and I were tracking, I missed a burp in the drum track. See, the track is actually made up of three performances, as we found "best" sections for the front end, middle 8 and backend solos. It was put down in reverse, where we got the backend of the song done first, then the front end and finally the middle. Unfortunately I didn't notice the middle has a burp in it that I don't think I can heal digitally. After about 20 attempts tonight I stepped away from the mix. Tomorrow I'll look back through the various takes of the middle 8 (four in all) and see if one of them will do the job. If not, the drum track will need to be redone from scratch.

Not the best of nights for me...

FOLLOW UP - the track worked out! Everything is good and it will be included on the release.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mixing begins

If you've been following the Throttle Body Twitter feed (, you'll know that recording is more or less complete and that the mixing of the new album has begun.

I've been reading a lot about how The Beatles' engineers at Abbey Road in London mixed their sessions and have been applying that knowledge to these tracks. In particular, I've been starting the process by mixing everything to MONO. Yes, you read it right - not STEREO, not 5:1 MONO! The idea is, if you can articulate the instruments and vocals when they are stacked upon each other and have them sound great, then the STEREO mix is a slam dunk.

Ten of the twelve original Beatles albums were mixed this way, and they sound killer to this day. Each mix is taking about two days of work to get right, but I'm really pleased with the results. I'm sure you will be too.

I'm even considering releasing this session as a Deluxe set, including both MONO and STEREO mixes of the sessions. What do you think?

Stay tuned for news of a new title for the album too!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mother's Eyes complete

Dan Ruiter rocks the coronet on "Mother's Eyes"
A little late on the session update, but the heat here in Seattle will do that to you - make you lethargic. Dan Ruiter completed the drum track for "Mother's Eyes" on the 23rd of last month, before the miserable 100 degree temps hit the area. Not only did he complete a tight drum track, but he also added a beautiful coronet solo to the tune on the same night. Completely his idea of course - and a great one at that. Drum sessions are set to proceed tomorrow night. Stay tuned!

Cheers - Jer

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Faces of Throttle Body - Dan Ruiter

Dan Ruiter is the club's newest member, being a fantastic drummer and having previously worked with Jerry in both the Joe Arrants Band and Dry Bones, Dan brings the groove (as well as a little dose of joy every time he plays).

Let there be drums

Dan Ruiter officially joined the Club last night as he tracked drums, bongos, tambourine and cowbell on "Girl" and "Safe" for the new Throttle Body session. The Seattle studio was brimming with groove as Dan suffered through take after take while your friendly producer worked hard to tear down every natural, instinctive groove he had. Here's a sample of the comments:

"Ok, add a snare hit with that..."

"Hmmm, now that I hear it, maybe two hits right there..."

"Do you think you could give me a little roll of the cymbals there the first time, but the second time, just play through?"

"I liked that, but lets do it again." (repeat 17 times)

Ahhhh the joys of club membership!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Scotch 45 update - all vocal tracks completed

Wow - I guess I should check how long it's been, but actually, I'm really happy - the vocals are all in the can! Tonight I recorded "Safe", "Mother's Eyes" and "Reminders of You" in a marathon five hour session. My throat is dead. Still and all, I'm diggin the results and of course with the vocals, the sessions are almost completed.

Now onto the drum tracks, which I'll be playing along with Dan Ruiter. Haven't decided quite who will play what yet, but it's bound to be rockin!

We're on track for an end of Summer release to iTunes, Amazon and the like worldwide!

Guess it's time to start revising the website for the new release!


Friday, July 10, 2009

"Love Is A Heavy Load" vocals completed

Just like the title says, making good progress now that I'm back from Arizona and back focused again. This song took a lot of takes to complete. It's a single, intimate vocal and since it is so out front in the song, I tried to pay attention to every nuance of the notes I was singing.

I don't talk about it a lot, but it's difficult to produce, engineer and record yourself. The thought processes for each skill are not exactly similar. Producers want something interesting and powerful happening in each song - making the most of the moment. Engineers just want it to technically sound right and to technically capture the intent of the producer. The performer just wants to play the best they can. Sometimes the producer is an ass and and I just want to go home - or the take is perfect, but the engineer screwed it up...

Well, at least I wont have to work with these clowns on this session for too much longer!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Hole In My Heart" vocals in the can

While not the epic progress that I made the other day on the vocals for the session, "Hole in My Heart" was in the can yesterday after about three hours of singing. The vocals ended up comprising seven parts in all, and I have begun to take my approach to them from my days working with Michael Lord.

Here's the deal: sing the song - the whole song. Sing it like you mean it. Sing the whole song like you mean it until you think you like it. Then listen to every bit of it in isolation, line by line. Don't like a line? Then fix it. Once the lead vocals are done, I'll go through for any doubling of the lead I want to hear or primary harmony, then add backing vocals and harmonies and kaboom - seven vocals tracks are suddenly there to manage, and I'm a step closer.

How did I ever think I would finish this in April? Crazy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sing, baby! Sing!

Since my last check in, I've made a lot of progress (finally) on the vocals. The following songs are in the can, ready for drums and the final mix:
  • "A Typical Wednesday"
  • "Falling Apart At The Seams"
  • "Raindrops Falling Down"
  • "Girl"
  • "While I Was Gone"
These tunes represent an average of five vocal performances per tune (lead vocal, some doubling leads, and up to three-part backing vocals). I had a good night last week where I actually got almost three entire tunes in the can in about five hours before my voice gave out.

All the vocals are being done through a Berhinger B1 condenser mic set at cardiod and prerouted through a Mackie board where compression and limiting are added, then into ProTools where additional compression and limiting are added. It's sounding rather nice!

Started working on "Hole In My Heart" tonight after I finished "While I Was Gone", but my voice started to give, so I hung it up.

Five in the can - I'm halfway home!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vocals - "A Typical Wednesday"

Well I did finally get the vocals started on the Scotch 45 session tonight. Screw the end of the construction around the studio - it was time to sing. I started on "A Typical Wednesday", which is a fairly brief song, with a bit of a Beatles "Getting Better" vibe to it. The lead vocal went down with only a couple patches and then I built up a double-track for the choruses and finally four tracks of backing vocals that come in on the bridge from Chorus to verse. It took about an hour and a half to track.

I started in on "Falling Apart At The Seams" but the lead vocal is kind of precise and I'm not hearing it all that well right now, so I stepped away and will pick it up tomorrow night.

I am really going to try and get these vocals done in short order while my voice is pretty strong, so I plan on singing for the next two nights and seeing what damage I can do!

Cheers! - Jer

Monday, June 15, 2009

Session news - guitars and delays!

Good news and bad news on the Scotch 45 front:

The good news is that the guitar work appears to be in the can. I listened to Aaron's work again (which KILLS), and added my own touches to the balance of songs, and after going over them and over them, I have to believe the guitar work is in the can! I'm sure I'll find a little something more to do on them after some time away, but perhaps not - in which case the end of the road is well in sight.

I was planning on hitting the vocals this week (and may still get to them), however, events are converging to push them out a little later than planned. Specifically, there is a road construction project going on just a couple blocks from the studio. Due to the project, traffic is being diverted right to the studio door 24/7 for the next week. The roar of jake-brakes, the rumble of busses, the thump of hip hop from over-amped kids in under-amped cars, all make for a poor atmosphere to try and get vocal tracks done - even at this hour of the day (830pm). Since the project is due to be completed in a week, I think its best just to take some time off and chill, enjoy the summer to come, and play with the dogs.

Learning new stuff on the ukelele is also fun (my grandfather's 1929 Hollywood).

Cheers - Jer

Friday, May 15, 2009

Session update - Aaron rocks four tunes!

Aaron Taylor visited the Club studios in south Seattle yesterday and added some rockin' guitar work to "Gone", "Hole in my Heart", "Reminders of You" and another tune I can't remember the title of in a six-hour session. Always a joy to work with and despite a hand injury that had him inventing new fingering for some parts that wouldn't strain the Ace bandage he sported, Aaron was focused and inspired as he ripped through the parts. Despite my best attempts to influence everything he was playing, the parts sound great! Thanks, Aaron! We took a break for some great teriyaki, courtesy of Yum Yum and ended the evening both fat and happy.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Yes, it's late

When I started the Scotch 45 sessions, the intention was a sort of "instant karma" approach, where things would get decided and get done quickly. Unfortunately, the calendar is no respecter of such plans. Here it is, almost a month after I intended having the session shipped to iTunes, and I'm still missing the guitar work, vocal work and mixing work.

When John Lennon recorded "instant karma", I have to remember that he had a band, the whole engineering team at Parlophone/EMI/Apple and a mainline into the manufacturing process. So I guess I can give myself a little break.

I do have the guitar work scheduled now, and in the meantime, I am going to get vocals completed next week.

The good news is that the tracks sound great! And after all is said and done, isn't that what matters most?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Scotch 45 sessions report

The new sessions are motoring along. Now both keyboard and all bass parts are complete on the 10 songs. I had a great day last week where I both created and recorded five of the bass parts in a little over five hours. It helped that I had spent days in advance just getting the bass sound the way I wanted. There are those days as a musician when the mind and the skills are in harmony - when what you hear in your head you can play immediately with your hands. This was one of those days. In addition, the immediacy of the session is preserved by this rush of activity. It sounds and feels both unified and fresh.

Next up - guitars! I've decided to play most of these myself, but we'll see how it goes...Rod and Aaron are far more skilled.

Cheers until next time!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Scotch 45 sessions update

Here it is February already and I'm making fairly good progress on the Scotch 45 sessions. Tried a pass at "Shrug It Off" - a bouncy (for lack of a better term) rocker, but just wasn't feeling it, so I laid down a tune called "Falling Down" which I think is more in keeping with the feel of the session so far.

Keyboard parts are almost complete on ten songs, representing about 30 finished performances. I'm pretty happy with how things are starting to sound.

Aaron Taylor and Rod Moody are on board for guitar work, which is very exciting.

I'd like to have these sessions completed and ready for iTunes by April. I still believe it can be done!