I wasn’t necessarily planning to cover this song, nor do a 3 part take series of it, but here we are.
I was actually just going to omit this acoustic cover entirely and focus only on the full-band version of this song as part of the Jaimee Eat World exclusive discography set, but every time I sucker out and skip a song on my Observatory playlist (the playlist of all my cover songs I planned out for this year) I feel like I’m somehow cheating my way through the list, so I decided just to give this one a go tonight.
It has the added benefit of forcing me to think about how I want to track the full band version, and how much or how little I want to change it from the original song.
So before I get to my version(s) for ya here, listen to the original track off of Bleed American:
This is probably my favourite song off this record, and it’s almost definitely my favourite single across the entire board. It’s the one I always look most forward to seeing the band play live, cause it gets me all hyped up especially when I’m standing in General Admission on the floor and ready to GO (dance and jump around).
Was really having some trouble when I first started trying to cover this one with getting the timing right on the verses, because the stutter’s are a little tricky to mimic. I actually think I landed them best in take 1 here:
This is me in my natural element. My bedroom, fooling around with popular songs you love, and trying to focus on just getting it down right at least 1 time so that I can feel like I accomplished something.
When I track these acoustic covers (and I’m talking all of them now) I still only use 2 mics; my Audio-Technica 2020 with a pop filter as pictured above, and a Shure SM57 just to reinforce the acoustic. It’s one of those things you don’t think is adding much to the mix until you take it away and suddenly it’s so much more hollow.
Here’s Take 2, we ran with the same type of idea for the cover. Didn’t really spend any time considering if we should change it out too much from here, just trying to get those stutter’s down right.
In the mixing stage for these acoustic covers we don’t add too much treatment either, because the idea behind all of our covers is to give listeners a sense of what we just sound like with, well, just ourselves and our guitar.
That said, we do bus both the vocal and the guitar track to a verb (D-Verb, what up, it comes stock with ProTools and its our most used reverb plug-in to this day), and we do add usually a BF-87 compressor to our vocal just to bring it forward a bit and give it some “oomph”. Finally, a touch of EQ, because our room sound is trash.
On the master track we throw a limiter on, too (Pro Limiter these days) just to bring up the overall volume and level off some of the peaks, especially with some of those bigger vocal runs (yells? You know what I mean).
Here’s take 3!
Again, I almost didn’t even want to cover this one, because it’s one of my all-time favourites so I set the bar a little higher for this one than some of the others, and because I didn’t really want to unveil anything until the full-band version. But, I’m overall pretty happy with how it turned out. I know I can get it a lot tighter; these covers were all done tonight over the last 2 hours or so.
One thing that’s always funny to me when I do these covers, and even just when I’m tracking for a release, is that I’ll often track a few takes but, I almost always feel happiest with the first or second take in the whole batch. This happened tonight here, too. You can sort of tell, or at least, I can tell, that I’m pretty tired by the time I get to Take “3”. But I still did a couple things I liked in here that I didn’t quite do in the others, so that’s why I ended ups sharing with you guys all 3 takes tonight.
‘Cause another thing that sort of happens is, after I got “Take 1” down I was like, alright, I at least have something useable now. So I can chill out a bit and not stress out so much on the next ones…. but then I kinda also let my voice get away from me a bit, pushing it a little harder, and sometimes that’s a bad call, too. It’s a fine line. So wherever possible, just record literally everything.
If you have any questions about the recoridng process for these things, or the whole editing together of the videos I do, I’ll keep trying to explain it all through these blogs but you can also leave a comment anytime or send me an e-mail if there’s something I haven’t mentioned here that you want explained for whatever reason.
The videos are put together using Premier Rush which is a free app, and I pretty much just export my Pro Tools mix into that, and export my video file recorded from my iPhone. I really try not to fuss too much with that end of things at this stage in the game, because even just practicing these covers like I did tonight can be a bit of a process.
Which is all to say, a lot of this stuff looks really easy from the outside looking in, but once you get into you you really start to appreciate all the work that professional bands and their teams put into developing their own videos and records.
I try to do all my stuff on the cheap, and it shows, you know? I barely made my bed today.
I’ve said before but a big reason why it’s hard for me/Crooked Forest to get away from doing these Jimmy Eat World covers is because a lot of the CF catalogue directly relates or is in some way a response to these same songs. “Wasted Time” which I’ve posted above is an example of that; it’s my response to A Praise Chorus. Let me know what you think! It’ll be available on Spotify & other streaming platforms, soon, too after I try to gussy up the mix a bit more.
Anyway, that’s it for tonight. ‘Til next time! Thanks for listening & watching and please subscribe if you liked anything you saw/read/heard here tonight 🙂
OH! And I’ll be live-streaming another acoustic set tomorrow on Sessions and MAYBE TWITCH again (I don’t know if I goofed on some stuff on Twitch today so I have to check some things out first) so make sure you follow my Twitter @crooked_forest or check out my Tour page here on the site so that you don’t miss out.
Okay, that’s it for tonight for real now. Good night!