Latest Release

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13, 2014 by Wade Baynham

Through Death Into Life  Songs for Lent-Easter

I had a really enjoyable experience recording these five songs for my latest EP. I also am happy to discuss gear and techniques with any of you who are interested to chat about the project, and what went into making it. I am looking to write some posts in the near future describing the process in a bit more depth.

New Heaven New Earth record out today

Posted in Uncategorized on November 1, 2013 by Wade Baynham

New Heaven New Earth Cover.inddWe are releasing a new record that features 13 covers and original art by Amy Keenan-Amago.  I hope to tell some more about the recording process here in the next few weeks.  You can check it out at wadebaynham.bandcamp.com, and the music should also be on itunes and amazon and spotify and many others in a couple of weeks.

Thank you Tape OP

Posted in music industry, music production on March 27, 2012 by Wade Baynham

I was just looking through my new issue of Tape Op, and ran across an article at the back by Ethan Winer called “Perception—the Final Frontier.”  In it, he explains that so much of sound happens in our brain with our perception of what we’re hearing, but also how so much of the conversation in audio circles is hostile and alluding to ‘facts’ about gear and techniques that are anything but a conversation.

In my work in the studio as an artist and producer over the past 25 years, I couldn’t agree more.  It is such a breath of fresh air to hear someone talk about how much people are not willing to admit that they are describing their opinions and perspectives on something, rather than the cold, hard facts they present.  People so quickly move into a mode of circling the wagons around their idea of the sound of a mic or preamp, or of a particular style of recording or mic placement, or whatever. He makes the point that our hearing is  influenced by tons of biases that dramatically influence what we ‘think we’re hearing.’ He’s making the point that if we’re going to learn from each other and help our art and craft move forward, we have to learn to be better listeners, and better able to hear multiple voices and experiences, while getting a better grasp on where our own biases lay.

His ideas jogged a couple of other related things in my brain.  I’ve made records a bunch of different ways, and in varying environments, and with a lot of different players and styles.  Some things have really come to stand out to me, and they are not the things that I read when I look at most forums and conversations in the audio world.

First, I think a lot of folks have forgotten Julia Cameron’s point from “the Artist’s Way’ that good art comes from ‘play.’  I think a many people forget to have a sense of fun and wonder in the creative process, particularly as a project gets closer to crunch time— a release date or other deadline, but often from the get go, too.

So much is focused on the ‘right’ gear, plugins or mics, and so much less is focused on whether a song is really great, or can stand the test of time, and whether or not the performances on a project are particularly inspired, confident and competent without being massaged, manipulated or auto-tuned to death.  And pre-production, or a competent game plan before even getting to the studio is so often pushed to the side, or completely overlooked; so arrangements, re-writing and editing during the songwriting process, and getting the best available talent to work on a project seems to be happening less and less.

I think that these important tasks are truly only learned through experience; and that comes from a lot of time and practice! But in this day and age of every Mac coming with a ‘recording setup,’ this hard-won ‘experience’ has been pushed to the side.  And in a culture where apprenticeship is all but forgotten, and the wisdom of age and experience is much less valued, many musicians are not getting the kind of training and guidance they need to make the best recordings they can make, whether recorded on an aging laptop through Shure SM 58s, or the best gear on the planet (I love my 58s by the way).

I do think that Ethan Winer has a great point in his article.  We at least need to start by understanding our own biases, and begin to hear each other’s perspectives and experiences; and more honest ‘conversations’ that discuss our perspectives could hold knowledge and wisdom that would truly enrich us all.

Working on Arrangements

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 12, 2011 by Wade Baynham

I was working on stuff for the new Emmaus Way project… a follow up to Rite 7, and was thinking about how I’ve refined my work on arrangements over the years.  I’ve been recording since my college days, and in those 20-plus years, I’ve kind of found a rhythm of working on things that I’ve needed to arrange when I haven’t had a band or other players handy.  When I started recording multiple parts myself, I felt like I needed to come up with the most ripping parts for everything before I could began; and I would be really frustrated.  I am almost never the guy with the ripping parts.

But, I ran across and interview with Brian Eno where he mentioned that he would rather make a record with good musicians, who were barely able to play the instruments they were recording with–rather than their instrument of greatest skill, because they were more prone to play the simplest thing they could play that also worked on the song.

It got me thinking, and I realized, while listening to a lot of arrangements of the folk/rock/pop music that I liked, that this was a window into how these great records were arranged.  And many times the simplest arrangements were the most brilliant– it was only later that I learned how hard it can be to create a brilliant arrangement with the most simple parts : )

I’m certainly not discounting a great performance or solo, but for the bulk of what’s in a song, the meat and potatoes really is more what you need, and ‘simpler’ stays out of the way of other parts more easily.  Your ear can only take in so much at one time, and a solid, simple part  gives the spotlight a chance to make it’s way around the arrangement, and it makes mixing a whole lot easier.

So today, I worked on bass, guitar, dobro, mando, violin and vocals; and every time I started to feel bad about not having some killer idea, I tried to remember Mr. Eno and his very helpful advice.

working on podcasts

Posted in Uncategorized on April 26, 2011 by Wade Baynham

I’ve just had the pleasure of uploading a podcast from easter at Emmaus Way, where the music included Dale Baker, Tim Carless, Sarah Busman and Mike Garrigan, along with me for the service. The recording was done in Cubase off of a small 8 channel board and a stereo rode mic in the room. You can check it out at emmausway.net under podcasts for April 24th. I did the editing and mastering here at the Second Story, and was really happy with how it came out. These folks are a pleasure to hear play!

Mark Williams

Posted in Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 by Wade Baynham

Also played a bass part for the upcoming record from Mark Williams… don’t know if it will make the cut 🙂 but you all will like it!

Recording with Shannon Baynham Geiger

Posted in Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 by Wade Baynham

I had the pleasure to work on a version of ‘by way of sorrows’ by julie miller with my sister last week… guitars, upright bass, and mando along with vocals. lots of fun!