Category: Music

Music – Unclean

Credits:

Written: Brian Schwarz
Lyrics: Brian Schwarz
Vocals: Brian Schwarz
Guitars: Brian Schwarz, Chris Potako
Drums: Chris Potako
Bass: Chris Potako
Recording/Mixing/Mastering: Chris Potako

Finished: 2006

This concept came out of nowhere one night while we were just jamming after a night of practicing other stuff.  It was originally quite a bit slower and only an acoustic guitar and a bass. We decided to work it up to a “full” rock recording.

We decided to record it and focus on layering guitars and getting the drums right (which took me a few weeks to figure out).  Drums suck to learn to mix.  You have a lot of EQing and compressing to do.

I’m quite happy with how it came out!  The bass drum has a decent punch, and the snare has a good thwack. The overall mix is large and distorted, but clean.

 


Music – The Inside

Credits:

Written: Jon Delise, Chris Potako
Lyrics: Jon Delise
Vocals: Jon Delise, Brian Schwarz
Guitars: Jon Delise
Bass: Chris Potako
Recording/Mixing/Mastering: Chris Potako

Finished: 2005

This tune sort of came about by accident.  I put a drum loop behind Hold On as a joke.  When Jon heard it, he started playing the opening riff for this tune.  I instantly knew it had to be our next recording.

Jon didn’t have a bridge, so he turned to me for that.  I’m proud of the saddest sounding E-major ever as the final chord.

After we had all the pieces together, this tune was pretty simple to record. 2 acoustic guitars, a bass, and a sloppy mono drum-loop.

The concept behind this recording was to be loose, and that it was good to not play rigidly…  To keep it a little dirty on purpose.  Really, it was the opposite of Hold On.

And if I may pat myself on the back a little… I love the bass in this tune, primarily because I got to rip-off some of Rob DeLeo’s (of STP) motown fills. Sadly, my Epiphone wasn’t going to cut it for this tune. I needed a bass with actual character, so I borrowed a friend’s Schecter Model T (thanks Bryan!).

 


Music – Hold On

Credits:

Written: Jon Delise
Lyrics: Jon Delise
Vocals: Jon Delise, Brian Schwarz
Piano: Chris Potako
Guitars: Jon Delise, Chris Potako
Percussion: Chris Potako
Bass: Chris Potako
Recording/Mixing/Mastering: Chris Potako

Finished: 2005

This tune has a bit of an interesting story.  Jon wrote this song, and the band The Starting Line recorded it for their demo with Jon playing the piano.  It became a bit of a fan-favorite, but most people are unaware that it’s not a Starting Line song.

Anyway, Jon came to me and wanted to re-record it in 2005.  He wanted to flesh out the ending with bass, chimes, cymbals, etc.

The goal of this song was to be very precise and clean.  We wanted to minimize noise and really bring the vocals and solo guitar work to the front of the mix.

 


Music – Without You

Credits:

Written: Jon Delise
Lyrics: Jon Delise
Vocals: Jon Delise, Brian Schwarz, Chris Potako
Guitars: Jon Delise, Chris Potako
Piano: Chris Potako
Bass: Chris Potako
Strings: Chris Potako
Recording/Mixing/Mastering: Chris Potako

Finished: 2004

This is where our recordings started becoming more about concepts for me.  In order to keep pushing myself with recording techniques, each song from here forward feature some sort of over-arching design decision when it comes to the production.

This tune was about making a unique biting acoustic guitar tone and starting from 1 track (the guitar) and building it to be very layered.  By the end of the tune there are 4 acoustics, 3 electrics, 3 vocal parts, strings, bass, piano, etc.

I must say though, I’m quite fond of my piano ending.

And as a bonus, here is a remix of the ending sequence:

 


Music – All I Want

Credits:

Written: Brian Schwarz, Chris Potako
Lyrics: Brian Schwarz
Vocals: Brian Schwarz
Guitars: Brian Schwarz
Drums: Chris Potako
Bass: Chris Potako
Recording/Mixing/Mastering: Chris Potako

Finished: 2003

A riff written on the deck of my friends shore house turned into this tune quite quickly.  We wanted to experiment with “smoother” sounding guitars and (funny enough) faker drums this time around.  I really enjoy the switch into 3/4.

In the end, it made the tune a bit muddy, but it forced us to learn a bit more about EQ and compression. With a good bit of adjustments over the course of a few weeks, it was mostly corrected! You live and learn.