Alan Reed Studio Report Pt. 4

After the excitement of a week in a studio with Scott and Karl, I’m all fired up to complete the album.

Perhaps a month of full-time work will see it ready for mixing. But that’s not a luxury I have.Confession time. Quite apart from music, I have a full-time life.

I’ve got a ‘challenging’ job as a producer for BBC News, and a family to support and entertain. Music has to fit in where it can - which is mostly one day a week when I’m not on shift. Progress can vary from the slow to the glacial.

With limited time I have to focus on the job in hand, and the first task is clear. Scott’s drumming on one track in particular has changed the feel quite a bit, and I’m going to have to re-think the guitar and bass parts. Those who follow me on my Facebook ‘artist’ page ( will already have heard an early demo entitled ‘The Fixer’. I said it’d change. I just didn’t realise quite how much.

The opening’s based around a phased stratocaster part I came up with during a rehearsal with The Daughters of Expediency. I like it, but it’s starting to feel a bit dated-sounding if I’m honest. I need to freshen it up a bit. I’m recording clean so I can experiment with the exact combination of FX later (one of the joys of digital recording). I just need to concentrate on getting the parts clean and accurate.

Wonder what happens if I put a harmony part on it? Oooh, I like that! Maybe it could do with another faster high-end part chasing the hi-hat? Indeed it could!

You can see how it goes.Record. Edit. Playback. Try another combination, add another part etc. No wonder some people take weeks just to choose a snare drum sound.

That’s another day gone. And then another for reviewing and fiddling further. But I’m getting there.

A complaint often levelled at my previous band was ‘they said they’d have an album ready in the New Year - They just didn’t say which one!’ History could be in danger of repeating itself :-)