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The Making of "I Like My Women Inbred - Special Edition"
Page 1: The Studio Session

By Michael - 07-06-05

(Editor's note:  Parts of this actual article have existed since 2003. Wow.)

The first step towards making the new cartoon was to re-record the song (The recording heard in the original animation wasn't as "country" as I wanted it to be).

Once I'd practiced enough, I set up an appointment with Butler Sound Studio to record the track. One of the first things I asked Mike Butler (The owner) was: "Do you play fiddle?" 

He replied, "No, but I know somebody who can" (That's actually the *one* instrument he doesn't play, by the way). I was psyched. 

I rented a 12-string acoustic guitar with rusted strings immediately before the recording session. So we've got a twelve string guitar and a fiddle player! This country song's already shaping up!

JAW HARP: I also bought a Snoopy jaw harp thinking "If an animated dog can play it, I should have no problem at all, with my superb musical talent and striking good looks." Plus, it was only around five or six dollars, which is actually quite a bargain for a small hunk of metal. There's a price tag on the image below, but I can't read it because the camera flash is too bright. Perhaps you'll have better luck.

istudio_harpbox.jpg (294693 bytes)istudio_harp.jpg (329460 bytes)
Snoopy's Harp. I can't get it to work. It must be defective.

When played properly, a jaw harp should produce a twangy, resonant bwang-bwong-boing rubber band-like tone. I had poor results. Here's a quick sound clip of me attempting to play it. You can hear for yourself that this attempt does not sound twangy at all. It's actually quite embarrassing, but I think it sounds absolutely hilarious. So here's the deal: I'll put it in the article for your amusement, but that crap's not going on tape. 

Eventually I decided, with much reluctance, to leave Snoopy's Harp out of the recording.

BANJO: I really wanted to include a banjo on the recording as well, but I was afraid that it might make me turn "redneck". I was already playing acoustic guitars and singing in a southern accent about inbred women. I couldn't risk playing a banjo as well. It would be... too dangerous (Actually, I had already rented the 12-string and I couldn't really afford to rent two instruments at the same time. Also, there is the fact that I can't really play a banjo. I would have to tune and play it like a guitar).

DRUMS: This was not only my first studio session, but it's also my first session with an actual drummer. I normally use a drum machine, which is good for the industrial stuff, but it lacks the freedom and randomness of a human player. Mike Butler can play almost every instrument I could think of. So he recorded a drum-machine click-track at the proper tempo, then he got behind the drum set to record the drum parts.

"So, what kind of beat are you looking for?" he asked me.

"Bump CHHH Bump CHHH Bump CHHHH" I replied, randomly flapping my arms in an attempt to mimic a drummer's movements. 

Drums were done with minimal fuss. A few minutes later, we were ready to record guitars.

ACOUSTIC GUITARS: I'm pretty familiar with the acoustic guitar parts on the song, so this didn't actually use up very many takes. I played the rented 12-string on one track, and then played Mike's 6-string on another track. Pretty straight-forward. Even with slightly corroded strings on both guitars, the acoustics sounded clean and bright.

That's a D chord.

BASS: For me, bass is usually an afterthought, so I hadn't really rehearsed it. I took a couple practice takes, mostly playing in unison with the guitars. During the "beat on a Yankee, yessiree" part, I began to play a walking bass part, then went back to the simple unison lines I was familiar with. 

Then Butler took a stab at it, and played a perfect walking bass line on the first try. He handed the bass back, and I tried to emulate his playing. I failed miserably. We both agreed that the song absolutely required a "BOMP bomp BOMP bomp" bass line in there. No doubt about that.

He played the bass on the recording, that's what I'm trying to say.

Butler jamming out a bass line.

VOCALS: Vocals have always been difficult for me, since I've always been very self-conscious when I sing. Jimi Hendrix had this problem as well. And I also can't sing very well. Really. I'm used to hiding behind a lot of distortion. In this song, however, my voice is as clear as a bell. Being the imperfect perfectionist that I am, however, all I hear are the mistakes. I hear parts and I think, "That's supposed to be one note higher" or "I like bacon".

Me in front of a pop-filter.

LEAD GUITAR: For the session, Mike arranged for a fiddle player to show up. We weren't certain if she'd be able to make it, so he suggested we try using a telecaster to countrify the song. This guitar was twangy. Garth Brooks twangy. 

Mike was much more familiar with country-style guitar playing than myself. I play metal, damnit. \m/ So all of the lead guitar playing was Mike Butler as well, and I think his playing helped make the song sound a lot more authentic than it would have been otherwise.

I did play a lick of lead. There's a part that sounds like "Dixie" (the song the Duke Boys' horn plays). That was me. It's not that I can't play lead, I'm just unfamiliar with country playing. Metal.

FIDDLE: The fiddle player (a girl named Marianna) was able to make it to the studio. She had this cool black electric violin, and she could play "The Devil Went Down To Georgia". Nuff said.

We recorded two or three takes of her playing and chose what we liked best. She was in and out in about 20 minutes. Flawless playing on her part. Her fiddle really made this song come to life.

COWBELL: As for myself, I decided to add some cowbell. I have no rhythm, so I began to fall behind the beat. I just couldn't stay on beat during the entire song. What we had to do was make me play a couple bars of cowbell without making any mistakes. Then, Mike had to go through the tedious task of looping the cowbells digitally. These looped cowbells also had to synch up with the drums, but Mike seems to be pretty good at it. He would regret this later, when I pretty much recorded an entire song this way.

Here is a picture I took while the CD was being written.

So that was it. After the cowbell, we cleaned the song up a bit, then it was time to burn the CD and go home. 

Well, here's the audio result of this particular session:

Download "I Like My Women Inbred - Studio Version" (2.56 MB)

After getting home, I looked through the pictures of myself "singing", and realized, oh dear God, no woman can ever love me. I've never really played live, so I had no idea I looked like this when I sang. In one photo, I appear to be passing a bowling ball through my urethra. In another, I look like I gained 20 pounds. I originally made an animated .gif of myself singing/making horrible faces, but I decided to remove it from the article. It was that bad.

That studio session was over a year ago, and the song had remained on my hard drive in .mp3 format for that long as well. I meant to get right to work on the new Inbred animation, but I became distracted by a little guy named Bob the Ball. My priorities became jumbled. At the beginning of 2005, I finally decided to get back to work on the thing. I had the song completed, now it was time to work on the art:

Viking LifePage 2: Updating the art!





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