Indie Music Production Blog #9 - Just Like The Rain

Just Like The Rain, like all the songs in the album is based on a live, unedited guitar take which is tuned in open D major. In this track I've used my Epiphone Broadway jazz guitar recording both the body and the guitar amp in order to get a nice mixture between the acoustic and electric sound. When I was working on this one I was reading a book by Vietnamese zen master Thich Naht Hanh about impermanence and the continuation of life from one form to another and this is was my inspiration for the lyrics.

After recording the guitar I wanted to create a breathing sound that follows that tempo of the guitar and since the guitar tempo variates throughout the track, I had to do it manually.

After listening to my breath I realised that the "in breath" has a bit of a darker sound in comparison to the "out breath" and ended up creating these 2 sounds by filtering white noise through 2 fixed, analog low pass filters, 1 in my Korg Ms20 Mini and the other in my Vermona Retroverb Lancet. After getting the 2 different cutoff frequencies right, the only thing I needed to do in order to switch between the in and out breaths was to use the bypass switch on the Retroverb while following the tempo of the guitar.

Vermona Retroverb Lancet and Korg Ms20 Mini noise generator

In order to keep the arrangement moving I decided to add an instrumental chorus (the part following the intro and every verse) which is made of an ambient recording of rain and 2 additional guitars panned hard left and right (my Fender Telecaster and a high strung, 1950s HofnerJazz guitar both tuned in open D). There is a also a strange gong sound in this part on the 1 of every bar which I discovered (by accident) after dropping my telecaster on the floor which sounded really cool since the guitar was in open tuning and had a large amount of echo (Moog MF Delay) on it.

Fender Telecaster, Vintage Hofner, Moog MF Delay with expression pedal and Vox Night Train 15

The telecaster was used again in the guitar solo (which is the only guitar solo in the album) passing through the Moog delay and in to my Vox Night Train 15 amp in a clean setting. I used an expression pedal with the Moog which allowed me to change the delay time with my foot while playing the solo which created strange and random pitch drops. The only additional processing added to the guitar solo was the Pro Tools Lo-Fi plugin which is heavily automated throughout the solo.

UPDATE: Just Like The Rain was shared on Overblown

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