So what happened was this:
Back in March, @Thalandor46 and @HoundstoothCap requested an acoustic-driven “Hunting High and Low,” by a band called Stratovarius. Since I was already working on “Elsa” at the time, I moved the song to April.
In April, I found an appropriate drum track and did some preliminary recording, but for some reason (I don’t recall why; it was two months ago, and in 2020, that’s practically the previous century), I wasn’t happy with the acoustic guitars and decided I’d redo the track from scratch. But I DID like certain parts of that session and it seemed like a shame to waste them, so—having only the drums and the acoustic guitar to work with—I did a little mixing and released “Hunting High and Low: Noodle Soup Version.”
A few days after that, I kept the drums, but re-recorded the acoustic tracks, added bass, and then attempted to do vocals. And that’s when I made a discovery:
So I had a choice to make: I could do the cover with vocals and have it be mediocre at best…or I could erase the vocal tracks, re-imagine it as acoustic ambient metal (like I did with “Hyperdrive“), and pour my efforts into something I KNEW I could do well.
Many tracks later, I’d finished….and yet, when I listened back…something still wasn’t right.
After puzzling on that for a bit, it occurred to me that I actually liked the Noodle Soup version better, and specifically because of the “lead” acoustic guitar, insomuch as there is such a thing.
Since I’d saved the Noodle Soup stems, I copied that lead track (called “StereoNoodles”) into my new version and hit Play. And now it seemed right.
But I wasn’t 100% sold on this combination song-thing I’d made, so I sent the unmixed demo to @HoundstoothCap, who said:
Now satisfied, I prepped the stems and uploaded them for Sean, who immediately noted that I’d done something very much not my usual style:
This cover is a “wall of sound”: it’s even got some bass solos on a DIFFERENT TRACK from the actual bass line! That’s hard to mix, and you can run the risk of it sounding muddy. As we talked about it, I worried a bit that maybe I’d gotten carried away, and asked Sean if he thought I should lose a few of the tracks.
That was pretty definitive!
I am grateful, as ever, to Sean—due to the competing frequencies, this was a difficult one to mix!—and to @Thalandor46 and @HoundstoothCap.
Here’s my acoustic-based “Hunting High and Low.”
Original artist: Stratovarius
Acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass: Joseph Camann
Drums by Arnaud Krakowka
Mixing: Sean Lake (with a very teensy assist from Joseph. I did, like, 3% of it)
Want to see everything I’ve created in the same place? Because you can do that!