Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bob Bell Projects begin in ernest.

A long time ago my (now) ex-brother in-law Bob Mowbray and I had talked about doing songwriting projects together but time and life responsibilities had robbed us of that opportunity.

Fast forward 10 years. Bob now lives in St Isidore, Alberta (near Peace River) and I have remained in Edmonton and for health reasons I have retired from playing drums in a live situation.

By the summer of 2010 Bob and I had individually started building DAWs in our homes. So on the rare occasions when we got together, talk of doing recording projects together just for fun invariably came up.
So in February 2011 we set up drop box accounts and started sending wav files back and forth.

Bob is a prolific writer and has been turning out song after song and I have yet to produce one serious effort to work on. Bob being the hyper-active child and I being the attention deficit child.
He's the mover and shaker and I'm the one who slows things down to make certain all details are covered.
My job in the partnership has become more technical and production rather than musical, though I have contributed a few tracks and have promised to do more.
I imagine that I sometimes frustrate Bob with my snails pace often getting distracted and finding it hard to finish a project. I know that I should be working on some drum tracks for his tunes but I have 6 blogs and 2 Facebook accounts to look after. Oh shiny thing. Be right back.

Last weekend is a good example.
Bob was scheduled in town for a week and we had set up a tracking session with Percy Marshall to record some guitar parts for as many tunes as we could get done in two 3 hour evening sessions.
My DAW was in some disarray and needed a spring clean up to accommodate more people than just myself and though I knew for several weeks that company was coming, I left it until the night before to attempt to a clean up.
With the help of Bob and Mrs. B. we got things squared away to where the DAW was in a reasonable shape to accommodate 3 people and equipment comfortably. More needs to be done of course, but I'm feeling more positive about the space.

We did have fun during the sessions, talking about the old days, dropping names of all and sundre and telling stories while drinking a few brews.

I found out an amazing thing about Pro Tools.
During the second night of recording we had a couple power outages in our area of town.
Candles came out and beer was poured and more discussion ensued.
We had fully expected to re-do all the previously recorded tracks because we hadn't saved any of the sessions to that point.
Fortunately Pro Tools has a wonderful function where it saves a new bak file after every pass while recording until the session is saved and then it deletes all those bak files except the very last one.
That function literally saved us hours of re-recording. Brilliant. Score 1 for Pro Tools.

More to come in the next installment and perhaps some music as well.

Oh... yeah... why is it called the Bob Bell Project?
Well you've probably got that figured out already. Bob's first name and my last name.
Oddly enough I have an uncle Bob Bell. So, Bob's is my uncle.