Cheat Sheets/No Comply EP recorded in 1 room to Tascam ms16

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Hector Alamo
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Cheat Sheets/No Comply EP recorded in 1 room to Tascam ms16

Post by Hector Alamo » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:17 pm

Hi Guys,
This my band Cheat Sheets. I wrote, recorded, played guitar and sang on these. My friend Zoe played bass and my friend Darren played drums.

We recorded this EP in a one room practice space to my Tascam MS16 1 inch tape machine. I used sytek preamps... I can go further into detail if anyone is interested about the recording process.

If I had to describe this EP, I would say some Jon Cale-ish style vocals over less chaotic Pixies riffs with Gary Young from Pavement on drums, not drunk but on way too much xanax... I dunno, it's hard to describe your own music.

The lyrics are about off kilter subjects: "Born in the 70s" is about a generation who just wants a pill for everything. "Got Nothin" gets tongue and cheek about faith and social anxiety issues, "Science" is about a coworker who made "pro science vs religion" cheat sheets to use during arguments about religion. "Satellite" is a sarcastic look at a guy who moves around town to avoid getting a girlfriend.


I moved to LA recently and I'm looking to play music if anyone is interested. I have new songs and we don't have to play all my stuff either. I'm down to make a new band.

As far as this EP goes, any comments? Positive or negative. I understand different strokes for different folks.

http://cheatsheets.bandcamp.com/
"like a dog without a bone... Hector Alamo... riders on the storm, yeah..."

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Gregg Juke
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Post by Gregg Juke » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:29 am

Funny, quirky rock-- I dig. It sounds a bit like a punky American version of early XTC (to me, anyway).

I liked "Science" best.

GJ
Gregg Juke
Nocturnal Productions Music Group
Drum! Magazine Contributor
http://MightyNoStars.com

"He's about to learn the most important lesson in the music business-- 'Never trust people in the music business.' "

Hector Alamo
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Post by Hector Alamo » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:33 am

Gregg Juke wrote:Funny, quirky rock-- I dig. It sounds a bit like a punky American version of early XTC (to me, anyway).

I liked "Science" best.

GJ
Whoa, XTC! Thank you for the feedback, I appreciate it! XTC is a great band!
"like a dog without a bone... Hector Alamo... riders on the storm, yeah..."

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Gregg Juke
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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:51 am

I just downloaded the whole EP. Coolio.

On second listen, I'm not sure I'd go with an XTC comparison, but I'll tell you what, Lester Bangs would be proud!

I like the organ in the last tune. Is that a Farfisa, or what?

GJ
Gregg Juke
Nocturnal Productions Music Group
Drum! Magazine Contributor
http://MightyNoStars.com

"He's about to learn the most important lesson in the music business-- 'Never trust people in the music business.' "

Hector Alamo
audio school graduate
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:13 pm
Location: los angeles
Contact:

Post by Hector Alamo » Tue Jul 23, 2013 11:46 am

haha! If Lester Bangs had even thought to comment about my music that would be amazing, let alone like it! That comment made my day!

On the last song I used the "jazz organ" and "piano" from a yamaha p-90 keyboard. I put that through an old blackface fender showman and 2x15 cab to give it some warmth. I was trying to thicken up the sound, not really have the organ and piano be standouts.

Glad you enjoy the EP Gregg!
"like a dog without a bone... Hector Alamo... riders on the storm, yeah..."

eh91311
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Post by eh91311 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:47 am

Wow. Way cool. The more I listened, the more I liked it. Not about perfection, just an assemble of simple parts and retro-y riffs that work. Reading the lyrics of the tunes is what sold me. I like music that is different, and this is. I'd like to read more about your recording & mixing techniques.

Hector Alamo
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Post by Hector Alamo » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:17 pm

eh91311 wrote:Wow. Way cool. The more I listened, the more I liked it. Not about perfection, just an assemble of simple parts and retro-y riffs that work. Reading the lyrics of the tunes is what sold me. I like music that is different, and this is. I'd like to read more about your recording & mixing techniques.
Thanks! Yeah you get it, it's about everything coming together, crafting a song. I'm very big on lyrics meaning something so I put a lot of time into them and I need to believe them / be into them. There's nothing worse (IMO) than songs that have shitty everyday lyrics that people try to sing their heart out to, or lyrics that just don't say anything at all or don't tell a story about something interesting...

As far as recording, it took a long time because we recorded it all analog, step recording style. I recorded a scratch guitar track directly into the tape machine and played with the drummer to get the drums isolated. No click track, he doesn't do fancy stuff, but he's super solid with timing. His style also works really good for the tunes too.
The drums (60's ludwig super classic) were mic'd: D112 for kick, 57 snr, 421 on rack and floor and I have one Shiny Box ribbon that I put high up in the corner of the room for cymbals and room. All the preamps were the Sytek mpx4aii, no bur brown.
Guitars were either a 70s Traynor combo TS-25 or a 66 fender showman with a 67 fender 2x15 cab with JBL D130F speakers. I close mic'd with 421s for the guitars. The only guitar i used was my 1996 Fender Japan Jazzmaster. I put new pickups in it a while from the "pickup wizard"...
For bass we used a 70s Acoustic 140 and the fender 2x15 cab mic'd with a d112. The bass is also Fender Japan, a Jazz bass from the 2000s.
On a couple of songs I put some keyboards. I used a mini casio keyboard with the showman and the 2x15 cab or a yamaha p90 keyboard with the showman set up too.
For vocals I used a 90s communist China U87 knock off mic called a, "Dapro". It sounds pretty good, but I've never recorded with a real U87 so i have no idea how it compares...

Now for mixing, we released a tape version that we mixed all analog through a mackie vlz pro 1602. That was fucking hard and it was mixed in the practice space, having to wait if other bands starting practicing around us because I couldn't hear anything if they started to play. So when I moved to California last fall I dumped the whole reel into my computer and mixed in pro tools. Needless to say that was a piece of cake compared to mixing the previous way.

Thanks for checking out the tunes and posting about them!
"like a dog without a bone... Hector Alamo... riders on the storm, yeah..."

cale w
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Post by cale w » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:28 pm

I wanted there to be more songs! Really well done, man. That vocal slap is stellar.

Hector Alamo
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Post by Hector Alamo » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:39 am

cale w wrote:I wanted there to be more songs! Really well done, man. That vocal slap is stellar.
Thanks! I am mixing 4 more songs we did so there will be more soon!
"like a dog without a bone... Hector Alamo... riders on the storm, yeah..."

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