We are very glad to see this record get shrink wrapped. We started tracking in December of '97. The CD was released on August 7, 1998. I hope to never take that long in the making of a record again. Don't get me wrong. When we were actually in the studio, we had a blast. The reason it took so long for us to put this record together is because there was too much time in between our sessions. It's very difficult to keep the focus spread out over 8 months. But we made it. And we're happy, for the most part. There's always going to be those things you wish you did differently. If there wasn't, then I'd be scared.
There's nothing like getting lost in the midst of a solid tracking session. And this is true even when you get a track, just to realize you have to do it again because, prior to going red, you forgot to tap that mic that's so peculiar in her ways. "Yep, there's that unmistakable hissing noise across the entire track. Let's do it again." But, for me, making music is pure unadulterated fun! It's the only thing that can make me forget about food. And making music is particularly fun when you've been blessed with a studio, albeit small, so you don't have the clock ticking your ministry's money away while you're trying to make the music.* Money and music don't dance well together.
On another note, someone who really liked our last record, after listening to Trilemma, expressed her concern about the fact that the Christian message was more remote in this record. It's a great observation and valid concern. I responded by sharing that we were aware that the gospel message is more hidden in Trilemma as compared to our last CD. In fact, all four of OTH's CDs have moved more and more in this direction. The explanation is two-fold.
First is our desire to go further into the mysteries of our Lord, which I think require more abstract and perhaps even ambiguous language. I am reminded of the many parables that Jesus shared with us.
Second is our desire be "all things to all men so that by all possible means [we] might save some." (see 1 Cor 9.19-23). The second item is a much debated topic among Christian artists. Just how much should we become like those under the law in order to witness to them? Great question. One thing applies to all--no compromise on our obedience to the Lord. Assuming that is in place, the answer to the question in my opinion is different for different persons in the body. Some are called to wave the flag of Jesus at the parade for everyone to see. But somebody's got to drive the car (a little red one, no doubt) hidden under the float. Different functions in the same parade.
Our strategy is to reach more unbelievers because of our more subtle Christian message. Then, the more involved one becomes with our ministry, the more transparent our faith becomes. For example, our monthly newsletter and our website speak more directly about Jesus. Next might come meeting a "fan" for lunch, or speaking to someone directly by phone, etc.
Quite frankly, I, as a believer, prefer more subtle Christian messages in art. I find they have a better opportunity to go deeper and I get something out of seeking out His kingdom, as opposed to it being spoon fed to me.
If you are interested in going deeper into the message behind our songs, and we hope that you are, we invite you to visit the "Background" section below. Jesus is in our music, revving his engines, waiting to scream out of the garage and take you on the ride of your life. "Put the rag top down and enjoy the ride ..."
*for the specs on what we used to get what we got, see below the chart
|Little Way Out|
|Winds of Wheat|
|Walk on the Water|
|This Little Red Car|
One Tree Hill's project studio consists of two Tascam DA-88s (8 track digital machines) linked together for a total of 16 tracks. We run on a Macki 24-8 board. All mics run first through either a Drawmer 1960 tube mic pre/compressor or a TL Audio tube mic pre/compressor, then straight to tape. We tracked the drums with borrowed Shure beta series mics on kick and toms, SM-57 on snare, AKG 360 on the hat. We tracked the djembe with a Shure beta 52 underneath and the 360 on top. The electric bass ran directly into the Drawmer 1960, then to tape. The acoustic bass (our nemesis) was miked with an AKG Solidtube. We did the best we could after going around the horn several times, but acoustic bass is hard. We used an AKG 414 and 360 (when stereoed) on acoustic guitars. On electric guitar, we miked different amps, depending on the song. We either used a Fender twin, Peavey tube classic or Brian's solid state Crate. Sometimes we combined two of the amps. We miked the vocals on the AKG Solidtube. It did very well on vocals. It's a lot of mic for the money.
I hired Blake Eiseman (engineered/produced/mixed Shock Lobo's last record) to mix. For effects we had two Lexicon MPX-1s and two Lexicon MPX-100s, thanks to Kent Morris with National Sound. Blake monitored mostly through OTH's Yamaha NS-10s, and occasionally through OTH's Macki 844s. Blake did a great job mixing. Glen Matullo (engineered Shawn Mullins, the Lullabye guy's CD) at Orphan Studio did his usual great job mastering.
We've been blessed by the Lord and hope all is to His glory!