I’ve known since my first screening of “Gut” the type of tone I wanted to establish for the soundtrack. Brooding, rhythmic, droning. In the back of my mind, I instantly recalled Howard Shore’s soundtrack for Cronenberg’s “Crash”. The slow dirge that moves on regardless of the action but more on intention. Now, due to most of my equipment being in storage (see the first blog entry) I have to really be selective with the equipment I’m choosing to use. The equipment needs to reflect the mood I’m shooting for with a minimal amount of processing. This is a dark film and I want the sounds not to reflect the characters emotions but to underline them. I absolutely do not want the score to in any way sit in front of whats happening. That’s vital. That being said I’m making two choices in the writing and recording process that will reflect the outcome of everything. 1) All of the hardware being use is analog and being committed as it is being recorded. For the non-engineers out there that basically means that what I record is what I will get, leaving very few options to “fix” or “effect” things after they have been recorded. 2) The entire soundtrack will be recorded in MONO. Again for the non-audio people of the world that means one channel. This has a lot to do with my desire to have the music playing as a minor character vs. a leading role. It isn’t being written to be expansive and it certainly shouldn’t sound expansive in the mix. The film should wrap around this… leaving hints of mood and tone affecting the action but not leading it.
For the gear curious here’s the gear line up…
Instruments: Schecter Damien FR six string electric guitar (through a Peavey Studio Chorus 210 on a Shure SM57), Sequential Circuits Six-Trak, a stylophone and a korg monotron.
FX: Tech21 Comptortion, Guyatone Micro Chorus, Tech 21 Boost R.V.B. (digital), Ibanez Time Machine and a B.Y.O.C. Tremolo.
All of this is getting recorded into an older Dell laptop running Sonar 7 through a really old Tascam US-122. The hilarity of that setup is that I’m recording right next to a ProTools HD 192 setup on a brand new Mac Pro. Given time I might go into the reasons for that decision not to use that but I’ll let it rest for now.
I’m using the Schecter as it’s my main “go-to” guitar that I’m able to illicit the greatest variety of sounds from. For most this guitar is just a loud metal guitar but I like it and that’s what counts the most. I’m using the Six-Trak as it has AMAZING character and although it doesn’t have the editing flex as a lot of other analog synths, very few synths have the personality this does. It has a thick, dark tone that sound rich in the right spots and when parameters are pushed, this things breaks apart in the most unusual ways. Something I really love about older synths. The Stylophone and Monotron are being used a supplementary synths because they fill some spaces the Six-Track doesn’t hit, I just got them and want to play with them and they are super small so it wasn’t any hassle to bring them along.
That’s the stuff. In the next entry I’ll go over what I did this past weekend. Meditation, finding tone, at least one person thinking I was dead and about 5 days worth of scratch material recorded to sort through.