Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Netgrass: Lost Highway

I put a scratch track down. It can be found under “Lots Highway” here: … ctId=36682

I tried to stay pretty close to general layout of the youtube version here:

I put the tempo at 120 which is a smidgen faster than the Hank one above. The key is the same (D) which might change depending on the needs of the vocalist. In case it would be handy, I put together a lyrics and chord chart. In the process of doing it, I realized I was changing to A early in the last line of each verse. Bummer. I can redo the scratch track later if we stick with this general key, style and tempo. I also kind of covered the slide parts intro and exit, and I would remove those from the scratch track to make it easier for Larry’s Dobro recording.

The big point was that I wanted to get something down that gave an idea for one feel we could do for the song. If anyone has other thoughts, I encourage everyone to share them. Mine is pretty true to the original with an attempt to get a bit more drive. We could take this lots of directions.

Lot’s Highway… ends in a pillar of salt. haha

I was curious what you might do with the drop D. I thought you might be experimenting with open chord voicings, but you played it pretty straight. Nice track!

I got to dust off my dobro, now.

Pillar of salt. LOL!!! That’s hilarious. I didn’t even think of that. I was just honoring the tradition of slightly altering the title.

I just dropped the D to get a more full sound. Playing in D feels a little wimpy to me when using normal tuning. I also used a D2 quite a bit and kept the high E for the G chord (I guess that’d be a 6 chord), so I had a bit of the drone thing going, but I was not trying to make it like a new age version or anything.

I am curious to see what Hugo was thinking for a style. We might be able to fuse the two of them. If his was up-tempo, we could maybe do part of it double time (maybe 110/220… call it the alternating current mix).

If you want me to strip off the beginning and ending bits of the guitar to make recording the dobro stuff easier, just say the word.

Inspired by your dedication Mike I have laid down a bass track to go on with for now. A few notes are ahead of the beat due to the pauses. Anyways I can always redo if you change the tempo, arrangement, song :slight_smile:

I gave it a spin Ozzy, sounds good. I didn’t notice the timing issues, but I was just listening to the bass by itself. Would it be easier if I left a clicker of some sort (like the Jingle Bells from the intro) going on the scratch track?

It should stay there to make it easier for you to synch everybody - I put it onto the front of my track for you to synch, as should everyone. The timing issue was just that with the pauses throughout the song (without vox to carry it through) I thought my attack on a few notes may be a fraction early. You may notice it when you mix the 2 tracks, but if you don’t so much the better!!
Who’s singing this one?

What I meant (but failed to describe): did you want a click or something to continue throughout the scratch track like a metronome to make it easier to hear the beat until we get a few more tracks going?

By the way, thanks for keeping the sync track on there. It does make life easier.

I’ll be pretty busy tonight. If no one has gotten to it by then, I can mix the bass in tomorrow.

How’s this for thread creep: I just got through eating… if anyone wants a tasty and easy recipe for beer bread go here:

Ah sorry, get your point now. No, it was just one or two odd notes - try the mix first and if you think there is an issue let me know and I’ll redo it.

I made a new scratch track where I wasn’t playing the chord change wrong at the end of each verse (now just on the 3 and 4). Well, I can’t guarantee I am not playing it wrong, but I am at least not playing it the same wrong way as my first track.

My apologies for the initial mistake.

The new scratch track also has a metronome for the 4 beat rests. In honor of the Christmas season, I used jingle bells.

I did go ahead and make a mix with the bass and uploaded it. Note: everything is still dry, as it is only a rough mix. I wouldn’t be inclined to worry about getting the levels and panning perfect until we get further along. Nice job Ozzy. You did everything right including following me on my aforementioned mistake. Again, sorry. I think the jungle bells on the rests will make things easier as well (although most notes after the rest are pretty much spot on).

DianneP left a comment about the lyrics. Maybe she will want to participate? As far as I am concerned, anyone who wants to throw a track out there is welcome. I think the engineer can do with it as he or she pleases, but no harm in someone posting a track. … tId=36682#

We got a nice start, guys! We’re gonna need some scratch vocals soon.

I’ve been noodling around with C6 tuning on my dobro this evening trying to get those cool lap steel sounds. It’s a completely new tuning for me, so it’s a lot of fun figuring it out.

Dammit Mike - I worked so hard to get those wrong bits down right :mrgreen: Dunno if I’ll be able to get the wrong bits down right now they are right … I’m a sloooow learner…

— Begin quote from ____

We’re gonna need some scratch vocals soon.

— End quote

I’m sure there are some scratchy voices around to do some vocals. I can feel the need for Christmas lubrication coming on (he says, heading for the fridge)!

Mike: “Come on everyone, follow me!”
Ozzie: “Sure!”
Mike: “Why are you following me?”

Any victims wanna take a run at the vocals?

As the first lemming said to the other lemmings…
:laughing: :laughing:

— Begin quote from "mreisz"

I realized I was changing to A early in the last line of each verse.

— End quote

A guy at my jam likes to play “You Win Again” and it has the same change to the V chord for only two beats at the end of each verse. I screw it up just about every time. Must be a Hank thing.

Second run at the bass track now uploaded. Hope this one works ok.
Dust faster Larry!

I’ve worked up a break and quite a few fills from listening to Hank’s version, but we haven’t really discussed what instruments we are including in our version. The original only has one break and Hank splits it (with the fiddle). Do we want to do something like that? If so, with what instrument? Any chance you got a nice dulcimer break worked up, Mike? :smiley: I wonder what kinds of obscure instruments Hugo might have?

That is absolutely unreal. Larry, I would say “Ask my wife,” but you don’t know her. Earlier today I sat here with a dulcimer and worked up an intro. I was thinking about recording it at some point and see who would guess what it was. What made think of it is that the song is in D (Dulcimer is D5 tuning).
That’s bizarre. I gotta throw down a little dulcimer piece now.

We have Larry the Psychic Dobro Player!

BTW, Hopefully I’ll get the new bass line mixed in tomorrow.

— Begin quote from ____

I wonder what kinds of obscure instruments Hugo might have?

— End quote

Kalimba? Djembe? African nose flute?
:bulb: We could call it Nosegrass! :bulb:

Look forward to the mix Mike.

— Begin quote from "mreisz"

Earlier today I sat here with a dulcimer and worked up an intro.

— End quote

I guess a fellow’s got to be careful what he asks for around here. A nose flute solo can’t be far away, now! :laughing:

One of the cool things about mult-track recording is that it allows the use of instruments that might not be dynamically suited to a live situation… things like dulcimer and autoharp, or even really loud instruments. I have a rub board that is so loud I can’t use it unless we got a full band going, but it works great for multi-tracking. I’ll be interested to see what you came up with on the dulcimer, Mike.

I mixed in Ozzie’s new track. Sounds like a keeper bass line to me. Nice job Ozzie! The start of each verse is spot on now. Also you aren’t playing the wrong parts correctly… unless I left some other wrong parts in there. Anyway, the two parts match up. I liked how you doubled what I was doing nicely. In case someone else starts engineering it as well, there is a slight bit of noise on the track, but I/we can probably mitigate that with a notched eq whenever we start adding processing. Everything is still dry for the time being. My thought is keep it dry until we start getting vocal and lead instruments mixed in as we won’t really know what we need until those elements come in. Of course if someone else wants to do something different, that’s fine too.

One other note, in keeping with the established precedent I am deleting the older mixdowns and such when they become obsolete. I am just deleting my tracks. Others feel free to leave their tracks out there or delete them (unless it is an actively used track) as they want. … tId=36682#