Figured since The Albatross by Foxing is out I should do a post about the actual album.
I’ve posted “Rory,” because it seems to be the song folks gravitate towards on the album. Here are the things I think about with this song:
-The basic tracks for the whole record were done at Music Creek Studio, where the band was rehearsing while writing the songs. The band’s guitarist Tommy Pini, who departed midway through the record, was interning at the studio and I was in talks of becoming a house engineer when the powers that be told us the studio was shutting down. It was heartbreaking, but it put the fire under the collective ass to get serious.
-The piano on the intro of this song was Music Creek’s baby grand, close-mic’d with a nice Coles ribbon mic. We also tossed a Shure SM57 inside (the official mic of F-ing S up) and plugged it into a Fender Twin with the vibrato raging. That’s where a lot of the wooziness of the tone comes from.
-All of the not-obviously-guitar noises at the beginning were made by Josh Coll, his bass, and pedals.
-I did not engineer the drums on this track due to time constraints, but Tommy Pini did an excellent job. I probably would have tuned the snare drum down to a really nasty pitch, but in hindsight it was probably better to not.
-We recorded Ricky’s guitar parts at Firebrand Recording during the purgatorial phase where Music Creek was out of business and Bird Cloud was being built. The nasty feedback that comes in at 2:11 was the result of playing with Firebrand’s pedal collection very late at night. I couldn’t tell you what we used and if I had to re-create it, well, I couldn’t.
-The strings and horns were recorded by the band at Webster University’s studio. By the time the files got to me, there were multiple takes of everything with multiple microphones. God bless ‘em for being extra careful to not lose any content for the record, but when I loaded up the orchestration on this song there were literally 400 tracks.
-Conor Murphy killed it on vocals. As with most records, the version that makes it onto the final track is a composite of the best takes, but this intro was one solid pass. By this point we were tracking at Bird Cloud. I opted to not put a window between the control room and tracking room, as I always found the visuals distracting. When Conor was recording “Rory,” we only heard his voice and it was utterly chilling. I later found out he recorded this whole song with all the lights in the tracking room off.
-When we were mixing, Josh asked me why I distorted the horns. I couldn’t think of a better answer than “Why wouldn’t we distort the horns?” In the end, we scaled that back quite a bit.
-The room at Music Creek is the star of the outro. There is no artificial reverb on the drums, just some distant room mics.
-The thing that I didn’t realize until putting this all together: every part of “Rory” was recorded very late at night. This is fitting, since there’s not much daylight in this song.
That’s all I have to say about that.