Long Time Coming.
How It Happened.
It all began at a 30 year reunion. The guys all got together to remember our first TOTP. The stuff is on YouTube now but for a large portion of the intermediate time we hadn't even seen the show. It may be hard to figure nowadays but there were no home video recorders in 1977 so the memories were just that.

Brendon told me (Dave) that he was recording some stuff at home and I suggested we try an email liaison. A few days later Picture Of You appeared in my inbox. I added the piano, bass, drums and strings and sent it back. That's how it all began. In fact the arrangement was complete on the first pass. Later some changes to the instument sounds but that was the test song and the process seemed to work.

The Mechanism.
The demo comes in. Dave uses SONAR to timebase track the song and arranges a virtual mood test. There can be a few of these but once we have settled on a version we remove the original demo and create a solid arrangement. This goes back via email and Brendon adds the acoustics one guitar at a time and a vocal guide which get sent back into the system. Finally we meet up for real and the vocals and live stuff gets added before final mix and master. You might be thinking they did this several hundred miles apart but we actually live less than 5 minutes drive away from each other...

It's a big change from how we did it in the old days. The scope for change is huge now and the pressure of that few hours in the studio is removed. It does mean you can fiddle for far too long but the tyranny of the studio clock has gone. Laptops and portable setups means you can work on the material anywhere from the kitchen table to the 5:15 from Waterloo.

In fact it is harder now not to overcook your production. We have taken a deliberate underplayed production route much like the old difference between a "live" and a "studio" album in the 70's. Keep it clean and simple and don't muddy up the arrangement.

Almost 2 Years Later.
Fiddling over. Now the bit which the record company used to deal with.

We chose AWAL/iTunes for release and this is just a very cool and hassle free way to get the material up there and available. We learned far too much about barcodes and CDDB entries but this stuff underpins a new kind of freedom. No record label, no external producer and no commercial pressure.

Bob had a redemption song but I'm hoping this is our redemption album. I think we are getting in the groove and there is a sound appearing somewhere (with some obvious diversions). There is certainly more to come.