“Listen to my breathing and let it guard your sleep”
Back in 1992, a friend who was getting into music asked me to write a set of lyrics for some music she created. It was a big challenge for me to fit the lyrics into this music and melody. I was quite proud of what I came up with.
Not much history, the dot matrix printout from 1992 of the lyrics stayed in my songbook until the winter of 2016, when I pulled them out and along with my acoustic, tried some ideas. It quickly came apparent that there was no way I could sing all of it as a lead vocal and so had the idea to sing one line as the lead and the next line as an answer line. Interesting, though I had no idea how I would ever do it live, but we needed one more song for the album. I created a drum machine track, recorded guitars and vocals and did a quick mix. This quick mix would be the benchmark for what I wanted the song to be.
“The off time instrumental break that Rob came up with on the very day of recording”
A slightly slower version was first recorded and the vocal arrangements were worked out, but I wanted to increase the tempo a tad and change the arrangement. The drums persisted to be the issue and we tried various different ideas. There was No Word v2, a No Word V3, No Word V3_1 and then No Word V3_2. Finally, why not just start the song with the drum machine, a Roland TR707 circa 1988 and then bring in the live drums. The drum machine idea was not popular with Rob or Lisa, especially Lisa for the obvious reasons, but Rob eventually bought in. I satisfied my need for the 8th note by adding this element via the Tele into stereo left. It was at the time of recording the drums that Rob had the idea for Lisa to use that offbeat to match the bass, it turned out very nice.
The flangy backup vocals were achieved by first recording them straight and then record them to a separate track using the Alesis Quadraverb. I maintain my claim of not using any digital software on this production, as the vocal still needed to be sung in its entirety, it was just copied onto another track through the flanger, this was actually all very low tech. This allowed for a clean vocal track and a flanged vocal track that I could bounce between in the mix.
Multiple different bed track master versions exist of 3 different tempos, but when it came to actual final mixes, pretty much had it down fairly quickly. I decided on a fade in and a fade out of the drum machine. No Word with the stereo drum machine tracks would be the only song over the 1 Gig of memory mark as most songs are in the 800 Meg range. I once installed 4 Meg of memory into a DEC Vax 750 in order to allow the Borough of East York to run their entire business on….4 Meg, and now one song is over 1000 Meg……