Friday, August 27, 2010

Pre-Session Jitters

Booking studio time somehow always makes recording a new album more real. This time around, I especially feel it. Why? Simple: I haven't actually *paid* for studio time since my first record, Leave It All Behind. Commit was recorded for a class at Columbia, Love Said and Glimmer were both recorded on my own gear, in my own studio, on my own time.

So you might be asking yourself right now, "Why would Jay be paying to go in to a studio to record this time around - especially when all of the records he's done in his own studio have just been getting better and better?" Again, simple answer: when you're recording such a delicate type of album - one where the instrumentation is super-simple - every component in the recording process has to be excellent: the instruments themselves, the microphones, the cables, the pre-amps, the A/D converters, the room/environment itself, and the channel effects.

In my case, I lack really nice pre-amps. The price tag on buying a unit that has four of them built in? $2,700. Yeah. I don't think so. I could rent them, but it would still cost a pretty penny. The best bang for the buck is just going in to a quality studio, with a quality engineer, and having somebody else work with you to record it.

In my opinion, going in to the studio is always a better option than recording it on your own, in your own environment - unless, of course, you've already invested the $15,000 needed to get all of the nice stuff you'd need: the microphones, the cables, the pre-amps, the A/D converters, the room/environment itself, and the channel effects.

So there you have it. I'm going in to a studio to record my next record. I have the jitters.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Looking for a New Apartment

Megan and I decided a couple of months ago that September might be the month that we move out of our ridiculously small and over-priced apartment. The process of doing so has begun - albeit in a very small way.

Today, I requested a listing of available apartments from the college down the street (Wheaton College) and they were very happy to send me over a very out-dated list of available spaces. Oh well. I guess you have to start somewhere.

By the way, if you were wondering, this is not a picture of my apartment.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Live Show Practice ≠ Perfect

As you all know, I've been working on incorporating live electronic loops into my shows for a while now. I must say, I've been having a heck of a time trying to make that happen. I haven't given up, because I think the results are really going to be a huge asset to my live solo show.

As you probably also know, my next big show is at Glenbard East High School in Lombard, IL, in just a few, short weeks. I'll be ready by then, but it's going to take a heck of a lot of work. I'll be doing a lot of work late in to the evening on the nights leading up to the 25th, and I know I'm going to be tired. But alas, the pay-off.

The goal for the 25th is to utilize electronic loops for half of my set, or nine songs. As of today, I am 90% confident with performing and looping for one song, and know exactly what I want to do for at least four others. I haven't even started on the remaining four songs; and I'm anticipating a total of about 15 hours per song to get everything "performance ready."

Add on top of that the fact that I plan to record a solo-acoustic record this month, and you can see why I might be feeling a little bit under the gun. But it's a good feeling, I assure you. I haven't felt this lit about my music in a long time, and I'm looking for ways to keep stoking the fire.

To that end, can anyone say "shows"??? If you are willing to help me out with booking, I'll make sure to get you a CD copy of the new record when it's complete. Just email me and let me know where you can get me a show: jaymathes {at} jaymathes {dot} com.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Album? Yes. Coming in October

Yes, it is true. Many details are amorphous right now, but what I can confirm is that I will be releasing an all-acoustic album in October. I'm currently commissioning artwork from a couple of friends of mine, working on the track list, and figuring out how I'm going to make it happen. So here's what I can guarantee:

* All new music
* Huge album jacket
* Eco-friendly production
* Hand-made album cover and disc image

Mailing list members will hear about the track list and pre-order info first, plus they'll get a free track from the record the week of the release. Sign up on my website,