Finally found some time for myself, and as such, I've started the serious ground work for this new album. The chosen tracks that are viable for the project have now been digitised from the original cassette tapes, recorded into Reaper 5 from the Fostex X-15 multi-track tape recorder and I'm in the process of re-learning how to play them as well as transcribing lyrics.
In addition to this, save folders have been set up on the GTK2 Studio computer and various instrument tracks have been created for things like drums and bass guitars.
"The Splendour Cascade" is going to have quite a few songs, as well as instrumentals, so I'm of the mind that a certain continuity should prevail throughout. Where possible/appropriate/applicable, I'm creating a sort of "virtual band", comprising of the basic essentials of drums, bass, guitar, piano, vocals, orchestral stuff and on some tracks, a brass section (yes, a brass section). To that end, I've set up a "band template" within my DAW of choice, Reaper 5, to reflect that train of thought
With regards to drums, once I made the decision that I was going to approach "The Splendour Cascade" as if I was recording a band, I set about choosing a drum kit to use within Toontrack's terrific EZDrummer 2 that I felt would be good for the project and reflect the sound I was after. And the kit of choice is to be the "Rock Solid" expansion, it's bold, brassy and packs the right kind of punch for the backing band this album needs.
Bass and guitar are yet to be decided as the choices are very wide and I need to see what fits the workflow, but the piano software of choice will be, without any hesitation, Arturia's Piano V 2 - it's hugely flexible, highly responsive and sounds amazing.
Earlier today, I was working on the brass section (yes, a brass section) and was really torn between the numerous brass options that are available in Native Instruments Komplete 11 Ultimate, the Roland Cloud Orchestra SRX and the Roland Cloud JV-1080 - at this moment in time, I'm favouring the JV-1080, but I'm going to need to set up a few songs first and see how each sounds.
It's now quite late on a Saturday night and considerable head way has been made on the first track, being the title piece, "The Splendour Cascade". I am really so very very pleased with how it is already sounding, and it's hugely encouraging because the piece sounds so much bigger, brighter and tighter than the original recording. It's nowhere near finished, but it is most certainly a truly wonderful start.
Time to sleep :-)