Songs: Ashes to Ashley (AGF2)
About the Music: "The song was written for my daughter, Ashley. It’s a song about astral travel – physically going to other places while dreaming – to find Ashley. She was always aloof and hard to reach, even as a child. I had done some reading about astral travel and decided to combine it with communicating to Ashley.
Even though I had always played the song solo with acoustic guitar and vocals, I had some ideas for expanding it with other instruments when I got around to recording it. This included the bridge moving to a more up tempo beat with an electric solo. I usually begin recording with a skeleton of the song in place, but experiment a lot with using different instruments and arrangements. This song was no different. I got the idea for adding violin when I thought I was done with the song."
Instruments / Recording Information: "Ashes to Ashley was recorded in my home studio. My main system is a Mac Pro with Dual Core Intel Xeon 2.66Ghz processors, 2GB of memory and separate system and audio drives.
Recording interface: ProToolsLE, version 7.3 running on a Digi002 rack system. Sennheiser HD280Pro headphones, Mackie 864 powered monitors.
Microphones: Audio Technica AT4033 (acoustic guitars) and AKG 414-B XL (vocals)
Preamps/compression: a dual channel FMR RNP (Really Nice Preamp) and FMR RNC (Really Nice Compressor) for vocals and all acoustic guitars.
Effects: Universal Audio plugins (RealVerb, Precision EQ, UAD EX-1 Equalizer/Compressor)
Acoustic guitars were both recorded in stereo. I like a bigger sound for acoustic guitar tones, so I typically use large diaphragm condenser mics instead of small diaphragm. Two AT4033’s were positioned in X-Y pattern about 12 inches from the 14th fret. From there, I experiment with each one till I find the sweet spot. The Goodall Royal Hawaiian is the best acoustic I have ever played – it’s the one I inevitably use to record acoustic rhythm guitar parts. My Bourgeois’ are close seconds.
• Acoustic Rhythm Guitar: Goodall Royal Hawaiian (all Koa Jumbo)
• Acoustic Lead Guitar: Bourgeois Country Boy Custom (Adirondack top, quilted Sapaele Mahogany back and sides)
• Electric Rhythm Guitar: Fender Custom Shop, 1957 Stratocaster (shoreline gold) loaded with Holy Grail Lace pickups.
• Electric Lead Guitar: 1982 Fender Vintage Series ’52 Reissue Telecaster loaded with Joe Barden pickups.
• Bass: Fender Precision Special through a Rane AP-13 preamp.
• Amplifier: All electrics were run through a Boss GT8 guitar effects processor and amp modeler.
• “Violin”: Fender Vintage Series Stratocaster (1962 reissue) with GK3 synth pickup trough a Roland GR20 Guitar Synthesizer.
• Drum Tracks: programmed with Reason 3.0.