Session 1
more: Viva las Vegas

My trusty iCal says FellowMan: June 18, 7PM to June 19, 7AM.

Shit. Let me take you back to May, when it all started:

I work in a sound studio. I have a friend who raps and fashons himself a musician. Y'all know where this is going:

WE beg for free studio time, LRF's boss resists, not liking hip-hop as a genre. Boss, relents and says "have at it when I am gone." LRF thinks "at least I will have board time and some engineering experience."

These things never start well. I has been asking for a month is C (the rapper) is ready. Nope. Nope. Nope. It is a battle to get him past the romantic idea of 'cutting a record' to putting all his shit together so he CAN actually cut a record. I had to wait for his ADHD driven mind to swing around to the music he so wanted. He is a brilliant person, but a complete flake. I finally arrange some studio time. Friday, June 18:

My boss leaves. He hands me a box of fuses and says "you might need these". I hoped not. I ended up not needing them. I asked him a few questions about fantom power and some other techie stuff. He left, I had the place to myself.

C (the rapper) gets lost. He drove the wrong way around the Capitol beltway (I-495). He gets to the studio and promptly locks his keys in his car. We finally get started around 8:30 PM. I was rather pissed, because that would have been a $200 mistake if studio time wasn't free.

He sets up his drum kit, the guitarist (K) pulls his stuff out.

I mic it. I follow the 'closer is better' school of miking. Get them close enough to avoid bleed, but just far enough away that they don't clip. For the curious:

Drum kit:
Overheads: AKG C451E
Kick: Shure Beta 52
Toms: Audio Technica ATM 25 (low) and Shure beta 56 (high)
Snare: Shure SM 57

Other stuff:
Acoustic Guitar: AKG C414B1 (favorite mic of the night)
Vocals: Neumann KMS 105 (rapper's delight)
Timpani: AKG C414B (yes, same mic for acoustic guitar)

Batoru Rowairu means battle royale. The working title of song one. This is where we started. C (the rapper) banged out 8 and 16 bar beats. We chose the better ones, then turned towards vocals and guitar. I added a low cello drone so he would tune his voice to the key of the song. Yes, it even matters in hip-hop. After the 3rd take of "A hungry MC is an angry MC" (verse 2), we moved on. We laid down an acoustic track, added some bass via a keyboard sampler and called it half done. It still needs an electric guitar (C's friend who plays electric was gone on a gig) and some lace.

Two more songs and 8 hours later, we were feeling it. I had a headache that didn't go away until Sunday. We reviewed the night's work and decided to do one more thing over.

I was feeling burnt. I had no idea how much stress studio engineers feel. All eyes are on you when things fuck up. By the end, I was enjoying myself. I was comfortable with the equipment. I was even enjoying the occasional lyrical witticism. We ended the evening with the last line of Don't you think:

Don't you think if the devil had a daughter, he'd name her Ann Coulter?

1-The AKG C414B ULS is one of the greatest mics ever made. The Neumann U-87 is merely the most famous. This isn't in a daylog: Music is ageless

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