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Another Way To Die
Old 19th November 2017
GS Community Manager
Whitecat's Avatar
Cool Another Way To Die

Hey Vance!

I absolutely adored this as a Bond theme - thought it re-energised things quite a bit and still paid homage to earlier ones too.

Jack’s guitar sound right from the hop is epic - would love to know about the recording chain for that.

In general, what’s it like to do a Bond theme? Did did you land the engineering gig, and when you’re doing it is there any kind of “bible” you and/or the artists need to work to, or are you given free reign as long as you deliver something containing the motifs they love?

Cheers and thanks!!
Old 22nd November 2017
Special Guest
vancalot's Avatar
🎧 15 years
That's a crazy one.. Jack called me one day at 3pm and asked if I could record something at Sputnik for him.. so at 5 he came over with LJ (Jack Lawrence) and they started with this riff.. Then Jack played Piano and sang it with LJ playing along.. I hooked up my TR77 (Rhythm Arranger) so they would have a click of sorts and it made the record! We finished at 6am..
That demo went off and then a few weeks later he called and we asked if I could start the next day. it's a long story why, too long..

So the went into Blackbird where I transferred the Demo(PT) to 16 track tape at 30ips, (Sputnik didn't have a working machine on short notice at the time) and we started by adding some chorus parts which required me going and getting the TR77 and striping a few minutes of tape with that beat (at not quite the same tempo, although we marked it..) and Jack and LJ played to that. I cut them into the master take of the demo and we started editing and overdubbing. There are hundreds of edits (the beginning is edited about every 2 bars..) the middle part was an edit, the end has 10-15 edits.. it was quite a spectacle passing over the heads..

Once we got the arrangement done, Jack played drums over it. Then he flew out to do a session in NY with some guy named Keith. When he got back the next day we had edited the drum track a bit and had made a Slave reel.
First thing we did (on the slave reel) was add the piano, Jack's assistant Laura Matula played the piano part and if you listen closely at the very end she hits a wrong note(which we fixed) and yells "aaahhh!" We left that in..
Then it was more guitar and the chorus double drums.
Oh, and then Alicia keys showed up.. it was not a firm deal until about noon as she had an evening personal appearance at 10pm so Jack flew her private and when she came in she was thinking at she would just sing the chorus with Jack as she loved his take.. but they wanted a female singer (another long story..) so Jack said "Lets do it together.." and the only Bond duet was made. Just like that.
She was awesome, friendly and so good. Wow. She was done in an hour or so and out to NY..

Then we had strings come in, 2 Violins and a Cello.. One of the Violins had a 5 string violin that did the Viola parts and then we stacked them a few times.. but with only 15 tracks we had to bounce back and forth with passes.. ( I mixed them to one track at a time) so take 1 would become take 1+2.. Then 3 would become 3+4, then 1-2 and 3-4 would become 1 again. An the whole process would repeat till we had 4 tracks.. 16 passes.
then we went home.

The next morning we had the Memphis horns at 10, they were finished by 12:30 and we had a Double bass player come in.. we blew his mind by varispeed-ing the tape up a step or 2 so that he could play a lower note than his bass was able to play. You can hear it in the very end orchestral part. Gooey bass part I called it..
Then we added the cool tremolo Tele part in the Chorus's and got setup to mix.

The signature guitar sound of the intro was a accident, and on purpose...
Jack wanted to hook up two whammy pedals to get a two octave spread on that guitar, I offered the H3000.. I set it up +12(L) and -12(R) for pitch and sent the Guitar track to it almost wide open on the send... that's when the accident happened.. it was set up with tons of gain so I totally overdrove the front end.. and that glorious sound that you hear came out. I never touched it again!
There's more.. but I've got to jet.. I'll be back to finish..
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