Tank, Day 4

Final planned tracking day (5/28).

Today’s tools:
Silvertone lap steel [C6 tuning]
TC Electronics EQ/Sustain
Boss Volume Pedal

Akai Headrush delay
Walrus Audio Slo reverb
Victoria Amplifier Reverberato
Into both a 1964 Fender Princeton Reverb amp and a 1954 Fender Deluxe amp


One of my favorite aspects of working in the studio is you can play and layer multiple instruments on a given song. So I have already managed to get multiple layers of guitars of varying degrees of weirdness (6 and 12 string electric guitars plus Nashville and regular tuned acoustics). So today is the day for the lap steel. I love this instrument. It was a gift from my college professor and dear friend Bill Morse and I think of him (and his impact on my musical life) every time I play it.

It went down like this: Ben and I established a pattern:
• Do a couple passes of a song (the second take is always better but there might be a flash or two from the first take we could steal)
• While Ben sets up next song, I tweak my effects for it. I was all over the place sound-wise; bridging the gap between music and sound effects some times, other parts trying to sound more “traditional”.
• repeat

Two spontaneous events were the highlight for me:

  1. When tweaking my effects in preparation for the next song, I pushed one preset to a sort of extreme and a mental lightbulb flashed! “This sound won’t work for the song I’m doing next, but it conjures something up for The Getaway.” We track the next song and then I ask him to cue up The Getaway, I had an idea I wanted to try. Thus, a 2 pass attempt at a lap-steel/e-bow/volume-swell/delay+reverb outfreakage. For me, it paints the twilight sky over the titular getaway (YMMV).
  2. After the experience of the above, I felt like I had exhausted my lap-steel palette. Then Arty asked about Take Me In Your Arms needing something. I told him everything that was coming to mind for a lap-steel part is reminiscent of something I just did so…. “Um, is that Strat still here? Yeah? Okay, let me see how it sounds through the lap rig.” [listen to the forthcoming album to find out!]