Saturday, December 1, 2007

2x: 10. Not A Setting Sun

Track 10: Not A Setting Sun
Thom's songwriting journal entry for Not A Setting Sun

Virtual Ensemble
  • A.V.: acoustic guitar, lead vocal
Actual Ensemble
  • Thom Barker: acoustic guitar, lead vocal

There was no question that this track had to be a guitar/vocal solo. The recording is a single performance, with Thom doing vocals and guitar together. Careful microphone position allows some separation, but there is still plenty of guitar in the vocal track and vocal in the guitar track. That makes it very difficult to edit one without messing up the other. So I did almost no editing of the tracks... a little compression, a little bit of volume riding on the vocal track and plenty of eq and reverb. But really what you hear is the raw performance.

When we recorded the song, I left Thom alone in the studio with the system recording. After a few false starts, he nailed a good take end-to-end. I did a quick mix, and since there was so little editing and no other instruments, the track was finished pretty early in the project. I'd go back to it every once in a while and tweak the sound a little, and then leave it again. But I never listened to anything recorded in the room before that final take. Then one day very near the end of the project, I went back and listened to the rest of the recording from that day. That's when I found the "For Louis" that Thom speaks to open the song. He didn't say it before the final take, so I didn't know it was there. I don't know why I decided to go back and listen to the rest of the recording, but I'm glad I did.

Next: 2x: 11. Say Goodnight


  1. Wow Thom, how did you resist not playing that last note as a chord? I was actually leaning forward when I heard it.

  2. How indeed? Because that's the way I wrote it and that's the way I always play it.