I had the pleasure of recording Alternative Rock group Behold a Wheelie for their EP recently. The group consists of Eric Ekman and Ryan Covall from the Olympia area, some all around really nice guys. We had a lot of fun recording their songs and they were very accommodating to ideas I had during production.
It’s not uncommon for me to work with musicians that wear different hats in the studio. Some people can play multiple instruments in their band which can come in handy when recording, but what Behold a Wheelie does is unique. It reminded me a bit of the band I was in in college called Mumbleyak, the early versions had us switching instruments depending on what song we were working on which kind of mixed things up and I remember that people often commented on that. At any rate, back to the story, half of the tracks on this project the drums were played by Eric and the other by Ryan. Both guys were good drummers which is evident by the recording, but what I thought cool was how different the songs were when they did the ol’ switcheroo. Each brought his own style to the drumming, guitar and vocals.
The other unique aspect of the project is there is not a lick of bass guitar to be found on this project. This was a challenge in that I needed to have that big low frequency bottom end associated with rock music. So how did we make it happen? Ryan brought his 4×12 cabinet and a pedal board (see video) that had a big muff fuzz pedal that helped carry a lot of low end, low frequencies that I would normally roll off in mixing to make room for the bass guitar. In this situation I actually enhanced those frequencies by duplicating the fuzz guitar track, using some high frequency roll off to get rid of the guitar sizzle, and applying a bass amp model from Guitar Rig software to give the illusion of a bass guitar. Then I panned the original guitar to the left or right and put the “new bass” in the middle as I normally would. Cool.
We had fun with the track “Dales Van”. After getting the back story from Eric during the tracking session I thought it would be cool to do a little sound design. The intro of the track starts up with a car door slam then the sound of a 1970’s vintage engine starting, totally appropriate to the track I thought. Thank you freesound.org!
You can check out Behold a Wheelie on their Facebook page. Overall the guys were pleased how the project turned out and I look forward to the next one!