Eddie Vedder Biography - Pearl Jam
The Songwriter (continued)

Eddie's recording setup in 1987 was the living room at his La Mesa apartment and the GasCard office and petroleum warehouse at San Diego Petroleum Corp. Occasionally he would also record at my house using the sampler and reverb that I owned. He spent a lot of evenings at work programming his drum machine to the proper rhythms for the particular song he was working on. Vocals were also recorded at work because the warehouse was large with a natural reverb, and also because there were no neighbors to disturb. He spent a lot of time practicing guitar at work. It was also common to see his black Fender Telecaster at work. However, he primarily recorded guitar at his La Mesa apartment living room because it was a pain to load up all the gear necessary to do the job.
Once Eddie programmed the drum machine for a particular song, he would lay it down on the third track in mono. He would then record the base line on the second channel, and then bounce both to the first channel so that the drums and bass were on the first channel in mono, panned dead center. The guitar tracks were then recorded on tracks two and three. Once he had all the instruments accounted for, he recorded his vocals. Sometimes he would have vocal over dubs were he would leave the third channel open from guitar. This allowed him to record the lead vocal on the third channel and then bounce to the fourth channel along with the vocal harmony (real time) direct to tape. He would then bounce the guitar on track two to track three so he would have stereo guitar. Each song varied, of course, but that is a typical way he would do it. The amount of bouncing he had to perform took its tole on the audio quality of his demo's. As most of you probably know, the more a track is bounced using analog equipment, the more rapidly the audio quality diminishes.
His recordings were 'so-so' in quality. Some of the other problems he encountered were that he had no compressor/limiter to even out his guitar, bass, and vocal levels. The final mixes had some problems of certain instruments drowning out the sound of another at certain parts of a song. The drum machine he used was another problem. It did not sound like a real drum. The Roland TR-707 he used was commonly used for more techno oriented percussion sounds. It was an early model drum machine that lacked the technology to emulate a real drum sound (particularly the snare).

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