i was a teenage raydon

back in the old days we recorded without computers. yeah, imagine that. we used little machines called 4-tracks that needed cassette tapes (again w/ teh analog). this mode of recording was easy to set up and sounded pretty good (especially the drums, when they were recorded right & in tune) — not really ever “pro” quality, but then what we did actually sounded better without the gloss…most of the time.

the problem with analog recording is it takes longer to mix because you actually have to wait until the tape forwards or rewinds, and it takes a lot longer to edit because that usually involves splicing the tape and/or having another tape machine. in reality, editing wasn’t even a viable option; you were much better off trying to get your takes as close to perfect as you could because there was no way you were taking a razor blade to your master.

well, after many years of 4-trackin’ i ended up with a bunch of tapes. and (wouldn’t you know it) it’s been a long while since i’ve actually owned a machine that will play them. so…hmm, what to do?

ah yes, that’s right, i borrowed heath’s machine. a long time ago. he asks me about it sometimes.

as it turns out, what i’m doing does serve his interests, because he’s on quite a few of the tapes. last night i began the process of recording all of those tapes onto my computer, track by track. there are over 30 tapes so as you can imagine it’s taking a while. between each recorded segment i have to recheck all the levels because pretty much everything was done at different times with different equipment. going through a single 45 minute tape can end up taking 2 hours or more. it’s a labor of love.

maxell_xlii90i started with tape 1 but realized i might have to prioritize things a bit and moved right into the raydons sessions, which i’ve been meaning to do for months. i actually discovered a few gems in there amongst the usual suspects (alternate version of so happy today, and a raucous version of a splinters song featuring fernando the mystery bass player). the best discoveries will end up on some sort of raydons release through ingot rock, i reckon. about a year ago i was holding out hope that the “new” raydons could overcome the logistics and finally get some tunes down, but i think regardless of that outcome, this stuff needs to get out there. i’m guessing it will, sometime this year.

which reminds me – heath called a few days ago and said he might be visiting. i wonder if he wants his 4-track back?