If I were to get a blood test today, there would still be some antibodies present from when The World Has Turned and Left Me Here entered my bloodstream sometime in Grade 9. While the entire blue album is constitutive, The World Has Turned has a special place secured in my nostalgic heart. Thus, it’s become one of my “Hello World” covers.
First, my high school band covered this song. (I have a performance on a VHS tape I’ve been meaning to digitize…) Then, when I was trying to get familiar with home recording in Ubuntu Studio back in 2009, I decided to record it for practice. And… it was crap. This attempt, and several others at the time, were so incredibly discouraging because, despite getting decent results a few years earlier, I just couldn’t get anything to sound anything but terrible during this phase. I abandoned the project and never finished it.
But this Spring/Summer during the pandemic, I went through a couple Recording Revolution courses and learned a ton about home studio audio production. I figured out what I was doing wrong, but more importantly, I also figured out what I had been doing right — even though it may have been incomplete.
As I was journeying back through old recording projects, Graham Cochrane (Recording Revolution) posted this video:
Graham found that, sure, his old recordings were bad in so many ways… but there were also gems in there, there were also ways in which they were good.
When I looked back at my 2009 session files for The World Has Turned, they sounded rough and messy. I had poorly recorded drums with bad timing, and bass and electric guitar that sounded like mud. But… this time, I wasn’t discouraged. I spent some time applying drum editing techniques to fix some of the timing issues in my performance, and I used EQ to make the best of a beat up drum kit that was miced awkwardly in places. I started applying mixing techniques to clear up the mud in the bass and electric guitars, and redid the static mix. And… it actually wasn’t that bad after all. The reason it sounded terrible wasn’t so much that I did the wrong things, just that I didn’t know what to do next.
So, in October, I layered vocals on top of the instrumental parts I had recorded way back on May 21, 2009. I spent some time with the mix, orchestrated a gang vocal cameo from NMG Studios (who are already Weezer blue album fans), and this 2009/2020 performance didn’t turn out half bad.