Last night I was working on the mix for one of my original lullabies when I realized that the harp part I’d recorded with Jerome Harris in the studio just wasn’t good enough for anyone else to listen to.  Bummer.

Fortunately, we’d recorded the guitar direct, so there was no harmonica in the guitar parts, and the guitar part was very solid.  I decided to record a couple of new harp parts.

For various reasons, I couldn’t work in my rented house, and at 9 PM on a Saturday night in Idaho there aren’t a lot of places to go to where you can record.  So I took my laptop computer, my fireball mic, and my Line 6 UX2 audio interface out to my car, and recorded the new parts there, sitting in the driver’s seat with the laptop in the passenger’s seat, holding the Fireball mic in my hand.

The great thing about the Fireball is that it has a beautiful sound when you hold it–almost as nice as a good large diaphragm condenser–and holding it cuts out all the background noise, making the recording space completely irrelevant.   The UX2 is a modeling interface, so it has a lot of nice preamps in software.  However, it also tends to emit bursts of BIG noise when the disk I/O gets overloaded, which is a really nasty little design flaw.  I had to turn the headphones WAY down to avoid getting smashed in the eardrums, and I had to play sometimes with nothing but noise in my ‘phones.  Fortunately, that noise didn’t end up on the harmonica tracks.

I finished recording the new tracks in about an hour, then spent another hour-plus “comping” the two takes together and doing a mix.  All done by midnight, at which point my computer decided to go completely haywire, so it was a good thing the job was done.  You’ll hear the results at my site at later today.

A lot of work and problem-solving, huh?  But ten years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to work from the front seat of my car under any circumstances, let alone drag a mulittrack recording setup out to Idaho in a shoulder bag.  What’s not to like?