Recording Journal: 12/7/2009  

KMRC Presents : The Paddle Boat

It's been almost a year since we first fell in love with The Paddle Boat, taking in their pop melodies from the floor of the Boathouse and the stairs of Luce Loft.  When we heard their plans to track a record in Oregon, we asked two questions: Can you provide some behind the scenes footage, and can we help you throw an amazing record release party?  They said yes to both.

Keith: After a whole day of driving north, The Paddle Boat and I arrived at our destination: Lincoln City, Oregon. Sonny, of San Diego's pop sensation Get Back Loretta, was kind enough to lend us his family's ocean front getaway for a week, which meant we had an entire house to create a temporary recording studio.

Keith: Upon arrival, we hauled in the contents of our Astro van. As I took in the vastly panoramic view, I realized that staring off into the ocean's abyss while tracking a record was going to be pretty damn inspiring. 

Keith: We began our endeavor by tracking live bass, electric guitar and drums for a handful of songs that called for a full band type feeling, such as Air Conditioned Nightmare and Just Like a Good Girl Should. Other songs were meant to be constructed painstakingly piece by piece, so as natural procrastinators, we saved those for later.

Pictured above, I placed a D-112 in front of Jackson's Fender Bassman Amp, which was placed in the center of the performance room's west wall.

Keith: We transformed the bathroom into an isolation booth. Jeremy's guitar amp was captured by a SM-57 placed 3 feet away from the speaker, in the center of the medium sized bathroom. Due to the delicate and dynamic nature of some of The Paddle Boat's material, keeping the instruments separate was a matter of extreme importance. The tile covered walls added a spectacularly modest small room reverb, which everyone was quite pleased with!

From where I was sitting, Dave seemed to be in good spirits for the entirety of his drum tracking. However, I was fairly concerned after reading his diary entry later that evening after he fell asleep (sorry Dave).

Dave: Jeremy and Jackson are basically slave drivers that would shout at me through megaphones, and make me play parts over and over again for hours on end to get it right. After all of it, I am really happy even though I can't feel my teeth anymore. (above) I believe I was listening to "fields of gold" by sting. On repeat. All day... and in my mind I was as happy as a majestic figure skater.

Keith: Our first morning, We had a breakfast of champions. Tomatoes, onions 'n cilantro. A classic Oregonian way to start your day, or at least that's what they told us at the general store.

Now that the live tracking was over with, it was time to knock out the remaining guitar and bass parts.

Yay! Guitar and Bass are done!

Jackson: The whole place felt like camp to me with all the wood and whatnot. I guess it kind of was camp in a way. All we did was record, eat, and sleep when we couldn't stay awake any longer. It felt really good, like making this record was our only mission in life. Time seemed irrelevant, and we were all truly living in the moment. Dave turned me on to coffee and wine in combination. The feeling is bizarre. The whole week sort of seemed like a dream.

Keith: In order to capture a well rounded clarinet sound, I used three microphones. A 57 beneath the bell, an AKG Perception in front of the finger holes, and another AKG condenser in the corner of the room. The 57 can be used to get the definitive raspy clarinet sound, while the AKG in front of the body absorbs the tone of the notes in a less wind-heavy area. This will provide the listener with a feeling of close proximity to the clarinet, while the secondary condenser can be used to emphasize the amount of room sound.

Jeremy: By the eighth day I started to go a little crazy. We ran out out food by the second day and the only sustenance left was cigarettes and Hershey's chocolate syrup (which i found that consuming copious amounts of allowed me to reconnect with nature in a strange and special way). I was basically blind and spent most of the day questioning the bushes and just having a laugh. This picture takes me back. The particular shrub I was conversing with in this picture was called Brett and actually gave me a lot of good ideas for the record.

Jeremy obsessively re-recorded his vocals all night through the wee hours of the morning, until he reached his pinnacle of transcending his own human vibrations into that of a T-Pain-esque state. This almost mutant-like ability was a telltale sign that Jeremy's sanity had worn out it's welcome, and he was drifting. Drifting quickly into a place from which he would never return.

Jane: It was so frigid outside that all i could do was attempt to knit warmer clothes for myself, so that i might brave the elements and try to get some food for Jeremy, who had been guzzling all the syrup, locked in the bathroom. Unfortunately, i wasn't able to complete the clothes and Jeremy died.

Keith: In the end, all we had left was a bunch of crazy memories and a suitcase full of a great album.

Signing off, Keith Milgaten.


The Paddle Boat will release their record this Thursday with a special performance at Sushi Art in Downtown San Diego. A $10 ticket for the evening will include a copy of the LP, which you can sample a track from here:

The Paddle Boat - 'The Course'

Tags: Oregon, The Paddle Boat, Paddle Boat, Keith Milgaten, Jackson Milgaten, Recording Journal, Jeremy Scott


hooray for this album!
jordan made this post on 12/12/2009 at 4:38 pm
this article rules!
odie made this post on 1/20/2010 at 3:58 pm
what a great way to record an album!
Tony F. made this post on 3/23/2010 at 1:06 pm
i like the way of enjoy the record's album and heard the players do while put it on the record i'ts so sweet that way that you do, good luck
Roberto made this post on 7/15/2010 at 10:31 pm

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