In Euphoria at this time, I am the keyboard player and I do some back-up vocals and percussion.  

I get to set up in the recording control room and listen to the studio speakers for monitors. I can look through the glass and see the other players; drums in isolation booth, guitar amp and bass rig in separate areas with go-bo’s and sound partitions avoiding spill-over.  Vocalist was in place in booth, but we are doing scratch vocals now for the most part to keep the musicians on track.  The studio is using reel-to-reels back then, but they are great machines and the board is more than I had gotten my hands on at the time.  To let you know I was the performer here.  I was not the engineer and I kept my mouth shut.  [OK, maybe that was a hidden lesson if we think about it!] 

To set up the story a little, when Euphoria plays live and the guitar player breaks a string (in our band this happens all the time and even our BASS GUITAR player breaks strings regularly!) we have to stop the song.  The guitar players will grab another guitar or change if needed…… 

And no matter where we were when we had to stop playing the song, we started from the same place and continued the song to the end.  So when we came into the studio, we knew what songs we wanted to record and in what order, but we also knew which part of each song should be on the demo.   We did not want to record a bunch of full songs all the way through.  When we were ready to record, the vocalist would call out what song and Verse 1 and 2….  Chorus 2…….,  Verse 3, Solo – then Verse…..  Whatever it was that we wanted to record.  We did not play all the way through and then have the tape ‘cut’ to those areas;  it is all we recorded.  We caught the sound guy off guard.  He must have initially thought we were going to go way over time.  As it happened, we did all the cover tune sections we wanted and had time over to play with an original tune the guitar player was working on. 

Oh, yeah, there is still a lesson for the recording engineer in all this.  He told me during a number of conversations (I asked about stuff after all, but I tried not to back-seat-drive the recordings) that he had struggled for two years on getting the drum booth tight.  He had changed the drum heads multiple times.  He bought more and more expensive microphones.  He used the latest gates and processing gear.  He moved everything up, down and sideways.  He changed soundproofing a million times.   

Here is what he said to me that day, “All this time I thought I didn’t have the right drum booth and gear.  It wasn’t until tonight that I figured out that I just did not have the right drummer!”.   

Unfortunately the other band members would not let me tell the drummer that for a long time in fear his head would get really big and explode!  

Journey – Separate Ways

Black Crowes – Hard to Handle

Yes – Long Distance

Yes – Changes

The Who – Can You See the Real Me?

Shooting Star – Last Chance

Queensryche – Jet City Woman

Comments
  1. queasypaddy says:

    Having gigged the length and breadth of Ireland for the guts of thirty years , I really enjoy the stories other musicians tell. I played mostly Irish ballads, but I love stories from others no matter what the genre.
    The recording studio story resonates with me even though I did not get to record very often. It’s that it brought back to mind the joys and tribulations of trying to organise others. Also the punchline regarding the drummer was very good.
    I enjoyed the tracks especially the Black Crowes.
    Keep On Rocking in the Free World !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      Another musical veteran! It must have been a thrill to cover Irish ballads across the country. Much of my ancestry hails from Ireland and I love to hear stories of the music scene there. Getting a group of musicians to schedule anything is as big a challenge as getting the first gig! Thank you for sharing and encouragement. Long Live Rock!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan says:

    …even our BASS GUITAR player breaks strings regularly! – OMG !!! :))))

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I knew you would catch that! Seriously. I have never been involved in other bands where the bass player would break strings at regular gigs. We got to play songs in two parts quite often. LOL

      Like

  3. Aquileana says:

    Hi there! I love your posts…. Thus I nominated you for a Lovely Blog Award (Monkey & Sunflower Version)… You can check it out at the end of this post http://wp.me/p60vo-48t
    Best wishes Aquileana 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sonniq says:

    Oh! I’m so glad you found me. another musician. i am a keyboardist. I played professionally for many years. stopped about 10 years ago because of health problems. The first song – Separate Ways. Journey – Damn they were great. I did some of their covers, too. I saw a recent video of Steve Perry singing in some local club with a cover band behind him. He did an impromptu song. Older, heavier. Couldn’t tell the quality because it was recorded on a phone. The people didn’t care. All they knew is that it was Steve Perry. I wasn’t able to listen to all of the tunes you put up but I promise you I will be back.

    You read something I put up on my second blog, http://watchandwhirl.com. It isn’t my main blog. That one is http://mynameisjamie.net – about a man in prison. Today I teach and I record piano that is purely improvisational. I just hook my piano into my laptop. I usually play in a dark room and let my fingers play what they want. I’m going to give you a link to one of the latest pieces I put up on one of the posts on this blog. I did more recording today. If you click on the menu button on the top you will see a link for ‘piano music links’. All of these pieces were recorded by putting my Nook near the speaker, so the quality is not as good. I recommend listening through headphones. Since I only improvise, each one comes with their own authentic bad notes! I couldn’t play the same piece twice so there is no use rerecording it, I’d just make different mistakes. I play the emotions of what I’m writing. My music turned a corner and became my style of who I am. I do miss the recording studios and the gigs, but sometimes we have to find a different way to play our music. I’m a different kind of musician now. i don’t have anything left to prove. i think my creativity and abilities are better than they ever were.

    You guys sound great. I look forward to listening to more.

    http://mynameisjamie.net/2015/02/08/in-prison-who-do-you-have-to-care-about-your-day/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sonniq says:

    Reblogged this on Watch and Whirl and commented:
    I found a musician! – a band really – a dinosaur like myself, that plays music from an era that I say real musicians come from. a time when players had to actually learn their craft and it took them more than 2 weeks to do it. I know, I know, each generation has their own music. The first tune he is one of Journey, who is definitely up in the top 3 of my favorites. This is a good band. Take sometime and do a spin through their tunes. Please, any comments you may want to leave, go back to https://midimike.wordpress.com songwriter and engineer to leave it. And go to http://www.cdbaby.com or his other links and buy his music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I am pretty good with words, but I am humbled and honored. I will think of something clever to say eventually but for now, thank you so much. Your posts are very kind. Share and enjoy.

      Like

  6. othermary says:

    I’m not a musician, I mostly just play the radio… but this was still interesting to me. Just wondering how long ago this was. The tunes sound great too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • midimike says:

      I am chronologically challenged! I wanted to reply to your comment a while ago but I could not remember the date. I tried some old notes I have but I don;t want to give you bad info! I will ask one of the band members to confirm and will let you know. The decades blur after a while LOL. And don’t worry, some of my best friends are radio players too! Thank you for your patience.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. LyricalFool says:

    I loved this post, especially the part about the drum booth. I’ll be mulling it for a bit and reblog you with a ping back when I have the opportunity.

    Like

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