[Video] "Why Aren't You Runnin'?" live at Harvey's

Here's another from the Live-at-Harvey's series. It's an original that we deemed the unofficial theme song of the Kalamazoo marathon a few years ago.

Video of Artios Live at Harvey's on the Mall

Anybody remember when Harvey's On The Mall still had live music? We do. We used to play there all the time, even though the stage was tiny. Seriously, we could barely all fit on it. Well, we found some video Ryan took of two of our shows. Here's the first song we put together. Enjoy.

SVT Classic

Yesterday we started tracking bass for Break. I finally bought an SVT classic bass amp. We borrowed one last year but kept feeling the pressure since we didn't know when the owner would get a rental and need to take it back. I know own my own and we'll be able to leave it set up as long as possible. So far, it sounds AMAZING! It gives a nice, clean tone with just the right amount of color in the low end. We fiddled around with the settings for a while and now have a tone we're thrilled with. Thursday we'll start tracking.

My newly purchased SVT Classic bass head

It's so pretty. Hopefully I can avoid spilling beer on it for at least a few weeks.

Open Mic Night & Skiing

Artios on stage at Louie's

No Ryan. Sadness.

We needed a night off from the constant editing and mixing thing so we decided to go out to Louie's Trophy House to play a few songs for their open mic night. It was great to play with these guys again. Unfortunately, we didn't have Ryan since he was feeling under the weather; Erik jumped over to the kit and we went with one fewer guitar. We played a few originals and then invited some people up for a "super-jam" (really it was just Artios with Jeff on drums, thanks Jeff) at which point Mike busted out his EWI which can make some impressive sounds.

Last night was also the last night of our beloved race league for this year. The team is not restricted to Artios members but four out of five are in the band. Ryan has class on Tuesdays so he can't make it. We had free pizza and several pitchers of beer. Good times. Never mind the fact that our team placed dead last; we got first in drinking.

The Slopey Seconds team at the Bittersweet bar

SLOOOOOPEY SECONDS!!

Recent events

Hey Artios fans! We have been hard at work the past couple months and its about time for an update as to the progress we have been making. Where to start?

We finished up all of my lead vocal parts for the first 7 songs on the album. Most of the harmony parts have also been completed for the first 7 songs. While working on doing harmony parts for "Barn 01" we brought in our good friend Hal to help fill out our group singing section.

Guitar and Locks of Love

Sorry there hasn't been a post in a while.  I'd come up with some great excuse but I don't really have one. I bought an acoustic guitar over the weekend so I suppose I could use the excuse that I've been playing that. We've actually been quite busy lately. We got Pat's acoustic guitar track recorded for Down in Flames. We're also half way through Erik's vocal harmony part for These Four Walls. Unfortunately he's got a cold or something similar. Playing an instrument with a cold is annoying but the instrument's not affected. Singing with a cold is a whole other story and he's been fighting to get a good tone. We got a good chuck of it done, though. Pat also came up with a additional harmony for the bridge of These Four Walls that sounds killer.

Patrick playing guitar

Mike got his hair cut last week. If you don't know Mike it probably sounds like we need to get some better material to write about. If you do know Mike you're probably struggling to comprehend what you just read. He's had long hair for a while now and last week he got most of it chopped off and donated it to Locks of Love. They will take the hair and use it to make wigs for children suffering hair loss due to medical conditions. I'm not sure if he plans to grow it out again or not but it was quite a shock when he walked into the studio.

Mike's new haircut

It's Alright: Vocal Teaser [video]

Well we finished Patrick's lead vocal part to It's Alright last week. We had a very productive night despite have to delay our start by an hour and half due to the concert going on in the recital hall next door. Normally the rooms are sonically separated enough that the recital hall doesn't bleed into the live sound room. This time, though, we were up against a drum ensemble so we had to wait. Eventually we got underway, though, and captured some great sounding vocals.

Here you can see a clip of what we were up to. The "dancing" presented in this clip does not represent the views of Artios or any of its individual members. For inquires and angry letters, please send them directly to Patrick.

The good news is the amp works again...

…the bad news is we didn’t have any time left to record anything. We started out by getting Mike’s amp up in the attic of the barn. This wasn’t easy to begin with; in case you hadn’t noticed (or don’t live in Michigan) it was very hot today. So we got Mike’s amp up and running and were about to track when we noticed an obnoxious buzz in the microphones. We switched it out with Erik’s amp and realized that had a buzz in it, too.

Circuit board in Mike's amp

As we looked in we noticed that one of the transformers had come off and was stuck to the magnetic speaker. I think everyone’s response was the same: “Huh…” We figured we could tackle this problem easily, though. We pulled apart the amp. That was an adventure in itself. There’s always one screw you can’t find that’s keeping the whole thing from coming out. Then we had to remove the main circuit board so we could get underneath it to the screw. A few zip-ties later and we had the transformer properly (and I use the term loosely) seated back in its spot. Then we soldered the inputs back in to place. With constant, fermented abuse they had become loose.

Transformer in Erik's amp

Of course, no band repair job is complete without tape; Mike taped down the inputs to the board so they will hopefully last longer this time. After that we just had to put everything back together. Turns out we weren’t done, though. Two out of the four screws that hold the speaker in place had fallen out. The other two were about ready to fall out. We’re still not quite sure what was holding it in place.

Deck Party Today

We played at Erik and Patrick's parents' party today. The weather was great and the company was even better. Mike had to work in the middle of the afternoon so we played early. Sure some people might not consider 1PM to be early but for musicians getting up before the sun goes down is outside of our comfort zone. We had some great times with friends. We also got to share our music with the people that floated by on pontoon boats during the course of our show. If you were on one of those boats, I hope you had a great time out on the lake today.

Artios Sound Check

The day was not without its problems, though. Pat broke a string on the acoustic guitar. Our friend Joe offered up his guitar but the lack of a pickup meant we couldn't use it. All things considered, though, the show was a success. A special thanks to the Sebastians for hosting us and to everyone that came and enjoyed our music. I had to leave at five but I hear there were some jam sessions that happened after that, too.

Ryan running through his drums

Finished piano for Barn 01

Well we finished all of Pat's piano parts for Barn 01 tonight. He had two parts we tracked. There's a deep heavy part underneath the light poppy part you may recognize from our live shows. Being able to record multiple passes gives us so many more options for part-writing. Who knows, we may even add an organ part.

I also got a chance to play around with MIDI. This method records the keys Pat presses as individual events rather than capturing the audio produced by the keyboard (we did record that too). This will let us take his part and add or change the sound made by his keyboard during mix-time. It might save us the trouble of re-recording the part if there turns out to be something we wanted differently.

Below is what the part looks like. The red section shows the part Patrick was actively recording at the time. The grey section underneath that is capturing which keys he's pressing (MIDI). If you want to hear it instead of just seeing it, make sure to watch for the release of this song down the line.

It's Alright: Drum Teaser [video]

Here's a video we took over the winter if I remember right. We posted it on facebook but not on any of the other channels. If you've already seen it, sorry. If not, take a look.

It's a video of Ryan tracking his parts to the song It's Alright. The audio on this video is the actual audio that will appear on the final album. We were at Monaco Bay in Kalamazoo. It's a bar we attend from time to time after our sessions and gigs are done. Pat had a brief stint there as a keyboard player and Erik works there as a live sound engineer as well as taking up the drum set from time to time. The room sounded great. Sorry to all the audiophiles out there but I don't remember what we used to mic this thing.

The Basement Show: Tracks

Hi, all. Due to popular demand we're releasing the individual MP3's of our basement show songs. If you want all of them, grab the .zip file. Otherwise the individual tracks are available below. We wish we had some photos or videos to show you of the experience but oh well. Next time.

Enjoy!

Sunset Drive

Download MP3

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New Music: The Basement Show

In case you weren't near a radio two weeks ago we now have a recording of our performance on The Basement Show on WIDR (89.1FM). Special thanks to Bryan Heany for hosting us and the two assistants who were there helping out. We had a great time and look forward to playing again someday.

Download MP3

For more information about The Basement Show, check out the WIDR website or The Basement Show online.

Tracking Piano for Barn 01

So the last post mentioned that we might be able to save some time by tracking Pat's fancy Norg keyboard instead of miking a real piano. While we love the sound of the recital hall in the Dalton center the keyboard really sounded great. We played around with sounds and found a set we like. Actually, we can download an entire library of piano sounds from the internet and transfer them via USB.

Pat tracking keyboards

We got most of his part tracked for Barn 01 while I had a chance to learn something about MIDI. Those of you who went through the recording program at WSS know what an event that is. Anyway, forward progress is always nice and an hour or two more and we can check this part off the list.

Pat tracking keyboards

Piano versus keyboard

So tomorrow we're heading into the studio at Western to answer a very important question: can we track Pat's piano track using his fancy keyboard. We'll be sure to post the results.