Unfortunately, we didn't take any pictures or write anything down, like mics or amps or guitars or pedals or plug-ins or mishaps, but I will do my best to recall as much as I can...
The whole record was made in Ryan Wasoba's Fiancee's house in Edwardsville, Illinois. It's a nice two story home undergoing some remodeling. The downstairs portion of the house is reserved for living, eating, being comfortable, while the upstairs half is strictly business, two rooms to track in, one control room, one bathroom. As I mentioned before, it was a brutal winter during which we made the record, and it was punctuated by the fact that there was no heating in the upstairs half of the house, save for a space heater that was used sparingly. Lots of hot tea and coffee was consumed, and several trips to the liquor store kept us warm on the inside.
We started recording the first weekend of November, 2008, all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Everything was recorded into Pro Tools LE on an Acer laptop. The gear was minimal, but it was all used well. When we started, we didn't have an album title, or even have names for all the songs, but the first song we did was Tail Feather. The drums for the entire record were tracked in an awesome sounding room, hardwood floors, green walls, two windows and a closet; no acoustic padding, no blankets, no nothing. You can really hear the sound of the room in the snare hits on Tail Feather and in the toms during the choruses of Tail Feather. There was a 10-ish foot long hallway between the drum tracking room and the control room where we had a mic (Shure 849 i wanna say) placed to get a natural hall reverb for the drums. That mic is mixed in during the end of Tail Feather, along with the overheads, and it is one of my favorite sounding parts on the record. Since it was the first song we did, the guitar sound ended up being way out of place from the rest of the record, and we had to add in the all important and infamous lime green Chorus pedal from Target. Infact, I think all of the guitar parts ended up being re-recorded for Tail Feather. It is a little hard to hear, but during the Chorus pedal riff of Tail Feather (during the verses), listen for a marimba. Ryan had this super old Marimba from a garage sale or something, but he could play the shit out of it, and it appears a few times on the album, makes for good texture.
Right around the end of day 1 is when Trevor got incredibly sick. This was bad because we had the next two days scheduled to get the basic tracking done. So the next day, Justin and I went out to Edwardsville sans Trevor and did most of the tracking for Robot, Lasso, and Panama. For the most part, guitars and drums were done live at the same time. There was a lot of experimenting with guitar sounds and effects arrangements, but that again came later on when we were focusing on overdubs and additions. It was kind of a shot in the dark for Justin and I to record these songs without being able to hear any of Trevors parts, but it worked. It took us about 5 takes at the most to get Robot, and another 4 or 5 to get Lasso/Panama.
Trevor came around on day 3, and we managed to track everything that weekend except for Claustrophobe, Sweater Weather, and New Letters.
Part 2 coming soon..