Saturday, March 7, 2009

Editing Part 1

                                   Peter Schwebs- Bass
BLOG # 5: Editing Part 1

This week I went back to Systems 2 studio to do some editing with Mike Marciano. We got through 6 of the 9 tunes. Its pretty amazing what a good editor can do. On one track there was a moment when the drums and piano were a little off during a transition of a tune in 11/4, and we were able to move a cymbal hit, to where it sounds perfect. The biggest challenge during editing so far was my tune "Momentum". We did three takes of this song during the two days of recording. We had some really nice solos, and the heads sounded tight, but we didn't have a good ending(which was definitely my fault for not communicating better to the musicians what I wanted). All of the endings we had just sounded the like the tune was stumbling to a stop. My idea was to splice the last two bars of the head leading into the solos over the 'messed up' last two bars of the tune, and then to splice an alternate rhythm section intro to the end and fading from there. This was by far the biggest edit we did, and I would feel slightly guilty about it, if it wasn't for the fact that everyone took such nice solos on the tune; I had to make sure we got the track on the record.

One pleasant surprise was I had written down a couple of moments where I thought I might have been a little out of tune. Mike brought up this tool that shows you how in tune you were and I was surprised that I was right on 99% of the time(There was just one moment that I was adjusting my embouchure during a head that we had to fix). This made me feel good since playing in tune is something I've worked on while practicing these past couple years.

Everyone loves to point the finger at the trumpet player when something seems out-of-tune, so this was a nice little victory for me and my brass brothers! One more day of editing should finish it up...


  1. Hey Jon, I am enjoying following your recording adventure and I think it's great that you are doing this. I plan on doing the same thing in a few years when I'm done with school and reading your blog has definitely given me some insight. Since you are being so honest about everything, one thing that I am very curious about is all of the costs involved in recording and how much this will end up running you when it's all done. I don't know if that is something that you'd want to get into but would help me (and others i'm sure) out a lot so that we can know what to plan on spending. Thanks Jon,
    Craig Tweddell

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  3. yeah, I have no problem being honest about the whole expenses, I'm not sure if the studio would prefer if I not say though. But when I started this whole thing, I promised to share 'the good, the bad and the ugly', and I keep to my word.
    So here it is; The studio charged me(prices may change, so this is Jan 09' price), $175 an hour to record. This charge included an engineer and an assistant; everything was all set up when we got there, so we were able to start recording pretty soon after we got there. The drummer and piano player both played on in-house instruments, which were top of the line and sounded amazing. We recorded for 10 hours(6h one day and 4 the next); so that comes out to $1750 for the recording (before editing, mixing and mastering). There are studios that will definitely record for less; but you get what you pay for. My recording sounds awesome and I used a Mic owned by John Coltrane. I've been running up my bill for editing(I did about 6 hours worth), and still have mixing and mastering, so I don't have those numbers yet. Then there's the album cover design, which I also haven't started yet. Send me an email when I'm done with the mixing and mastering and I'll give you the final bill. Keep in mind though, some people just do one day of recording, and other people spend CRAZY amounts of time editing each individual note of a solo. So the price will vary greatly depending on how much time you spend.

  4. Hey Jon, now that your project is pretty much completed I was wondering if you could give me an update on my previous question about the expenses of this endeavor. I do really appreciate your openness about everything. Congratulations on making this entire thing happen, you really put a lot of love and sweat into this. As soon as the record hits CDBaby I'm ordering my copy. Keep on keepin' on, good luck with everything and have a great tour.