Normally, when it comes to explaining how I record, I tend to put out a podcast. But because I have a terrible cold at the moment and I sound like Malcolm from the “Tunes” advert from the 1970s asking for a “A second-class return to Dottingham (Nottingham)”, I thought it better that I jot down some thoughts about my musical meanderings.

Firstly, I don’t have as much time as I used to record. My studio is half-complete, I’ve got all my effects racks and mixer housed in a flight-case and this is the third iteration of “StudioLock” that it has seen. The first was a shed near an abbatoir, the second was the box room back at the shop and now I have a draughty corner of a 1930s house we are renting for too much money and is colder than living in that fricking barn conversion in the middle of the Norfolk countryside. Plus, I now care full-time for my kids during the day and sometimes feel a little burned out in the evenings to do anything. But I am sure once I get into the rhythm of things I will start spurting my creative juices from every pore. What a charming image I paint with these ‘ere words.

But I digress…

Andreas Hoffmann delivered a wonderful backing track. My initial thoughts were “What can I add to this?” I am primarily a creature of rhythm first, melody later. Attack from the hips – worry about the details when you have time. So it was just a matter of dialling up a suitably trebly patch on my VG-99 and adding a panned delay to the output. So, muting the strings with my right-hand as I picked, I created a suitably bouncy rhythm guitar part. It is simple and fit nicely with the loops.

This method of rhythm guitar I kind of coined from Mike Rutherford and his playing on “Invisible Touch” by Genesis. A lot of people slated that album off for being too poppy, but the 5.1 surround sound mix of it really brought out the staccato rhythm guitar of Rutherford and I was genuinely surprised by his technique (or lack of), but it seemed to fit so well into a very rythmic soundscape. So I’ve been using that technique for a while now, but throwing in some delay pedal for added depth.

Then there was the lead guitar, which was just another patch from the VG-99 dialled up and recorded in one take. I think my ears are on wrong though because sometimes it sounds fine and there are other times when I think it sounds a little out of tune, but hey, honour your mistakes, that’s what I believe. (Thanks to those Oblique Stategy cards, Mr Eno!)

Finally, it was a very simplistic bass line underpinning the proceedings. Unfortunately, the frequency of the bass drum on the original MP3 track kind of drowns it out, but it is there somewhere. This was all recorded using Sonar X1 Producer, my DAW of choice these days with a little EQ and reverb on the guitar parts and T-RackS3 handling the final mastering of the track.

Anyway, this is part of my actual contribution to that track with the backing stripped out, featuring the panned delay rhythm guitar, the lead guitar and the boring bass line.

The Hoffmann Effect [My Contribution Solo’d]


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Put all that together with the backing track and you have “The Hoffmann Effect”.


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