Ghost

Back when I started mucking about with recording as a teenager one of my inspirations was a little-remembered and, in my view, underrated US alternative rock act called Live. They first made it big with an album called Throwing Copper in 1994 which got a lot of repeat play in my bedroom as a teenager. But while their 1997 album, Secret Samadhi, was less commercially successful I actually think it’s far stronger musically with it’s touches of Southern Gothic and sweeping strings. One of the tracks, Ghost, really jumped out at me and I recorded a simple guitar version by myself using very basic equipment. Fifteen years later when I wanted to find a simple song I knew well to experiment with, Ghost came to mind.

I set aside a weekend to do all the recording. Originally I intended to just do a straight remake, keeping the very simple two guitar arrangement I had before but as the day went on I added bass, then drums, then MORE drums, guitars and MORE GUITARS. I used my Ibanez S540 on this rather than the strat. It gives such a rich tone and takes distortion really really well. Before I knew it I’d gone to a sort of 90s alt rock place without really planning it. However, like Ring Of Fire, after working a lot on folk music this is much more my cup of tea.

The slightly backwards recording approach wasn’t ideal really – it did throw up a few minor timing glitches here and there. I threw virtual amps and effects rigs on everything other than the main drum kit using Line 6′s Pod Farm 2. I really like working with virtual amps and effects, the ability to tweak settings in the mix is invaluable – especially if you don’t have a concrete idea of how you want things to sound at the start.

Really pleased with the sounds of the rhythm section on this. The kit is sounding really good and I’m getting back into playing shape. I’m pleased with the bass sound in particular too as I find my bass sounds to be something I need to work on (partly because I have an inexpensive bass guitar!)

The timing issues made for a fun editing challenge though, and over the course of a week or so I was able to get this out.

Enjoy.

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