Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Beat goes On...

I am sitting in an over sized brown leather chair, just a few feet behind the massive SSL sound board, in the control room of Hemispheres Recording Studio in North Hollywood. In the live room sits Charles Ruggiero behind the Yamaha kit banging away... getting levels of each separate drum, through each separate microphone, that is then connected to all separate tracks on the SSL board, and into the Pro Tools session that is Wall of Tom's new album.

Behind the sound board sits James Lugo, world renowned musician and brainchild of the 'Vocal Asylum'. James was a natural choice to track our drums since he and Charles have been working together for years now, and considering the vibe of these songs and Mr. Lugo's background in creating radio oriented sound, he fits better than a glove... not to mention his own air-drumming techniques are legendary.

Now over the speakers, a click enters the room, soon followed by guitar. My stomach flips a bit as my voice appears, but my oddity is soon overpowered by the feeling of amazement as soon as I hear the drums. Charles is amazing. Amazing is not even a word I should be using, but I really detest people who use the word 'phenomenal'. His groove is so groovy, his kick and snare are vibrating my ass off this chair. My senses are overwhelmed, and my mind is racing faster than my heart as he enters the crescendo... it's a complete mind fuck and I am enjoying the hell out of it.

At 4:12pm we are completely done with 7 of the 12 songs, and have begun the roll on the eighth. Charles and James have moved into their element and they are bouncing their ideas off us like bullets from a machine gun. This is what creation is all about, and their input is changing the arrangements of the songs, ever so slightly, taking them to the next level of cool.

It is now 5pm, and the songs have been flowing off Charles' sticks in record time... although he did call it at 10am, when we first started setting up, that we would be finished by 6. I think he may be right since we are now on the 11th song, and the energy is on high for this cover.
Yes, we are doing a cover for this album- and it is so obscure that if any of you can guess it- I'll give you a quarter. (and no family members that know the answer- you have been sworn to secrecy) As the song begins James is coaching Charles through the markers.. you know- verse, chorus, verse, bridge, stop.. and the dance he is doing with his cues is bringing Tony, Charles and I to tears... as a cheerleader I have done a lot of these moves and if we just had a set of pom-poms it would make this visual complete. I love recording, and this is just one prime example of why music should never be considered work because it is so much fun.

5:41- We are breaking down the drums and bouncing all the tracks back onto our drive. Really. I am still in shock, and although I have moved from this comfy chair many times today, it is here that I end my session before heading home. I am happy. I am overjoyed.

Now it's time for the bass. And the beat goes on...

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