Contrary to what you might have heard, Not
Wired Right does not use background
tracks from Karaoke-Dokey, Tone Deaf Lepers or Elevator
Music While You Wait. We create our background
music tracks from scratch in our personal studio,
AKA Gary's basement, usually crafting our own arrangements
rather than duplicating the original release.
Our equipment is an amusing combination
of old-school and new technology.
Our Roland MC-50 MIDI sequencer has
been replaced with Sonar X2 music software from Cakewalk
and an Asus computer from Tower Computers in St. Charles
(and, no, they haven't paid us to say that). We still
have a Roland JV-2080 sound module for the ?band?
and an Ensoniq SQ2 as the MIDI controller.
Onstage, Gary uses the Ensoniq and either
an Ovation Legend or an Adamas 12-string. ’Berta
uses a Roland HandSonic HPD15 (a digital drum computer,
which you can see in some of the band photos on this
website. It's the pizza pan thingy 'Berta beats on
during the show); an assortment of hand percussion
instruments, and a 12-string Washburn. Gary also has
an accordion, and, indeed, he's begun using it occasionally
during performances. Thou hast been warned.
When we record, we start with a simple acoustic version of the
song on either piano or guitar. This allows us to
determine how we want to do the song, including who
sings the lead, the key and what the rhythm track
needs to sound like. Once we decide on an arrangement,
we build and record a basic rhythm track as the backbone
for the song structure.
Our new software allows us to record
lots of tracks -- with 16 channels per track -- so
we have lots of room to work in setting up the song.
However, the JV-2080 can only handle 16 tracks, and
can only play so many notes at a time, so we have
to watch how ambitious we get.
The next steps, then, are to lay down
a scratch-track for the melody, then record a (keyboard)
bass track. After that, depending on what instruments
we will be playing live, we record the background
instruments and any vocals we think we need (yes,
we can now mix MIDI and analog tracks!) During the
recording process, we play along with what we've recorded
so far to verify it's what we want, edit the tracks
as required, and add more till we're done. When we’re
satisfied, we set the levels so that all our backgrounds
have similar volume levels. (Ain't technology wunnerful?)