Remember Her is a song I wrote back in '89, just a few months after my mother died. It is currently the only serious song I've ever written and recorded on my own. I did write other songs when I was younger, but mostly they were crude lyrics with very few of them actually set to music. The bulk of my recording and writing has been in collaboration with other artists.
The original recording of this took place shortly after I wrote the basic parts. I wrote the part that I call the 'rhythm' (the tapped, arpeggiated chords) first, followed by the 'melody'. I then put it together using my Fostex 4-track and Roland drum machine. Once I put together a very basic drum beat, I recorded it plus the 'rhythm' and a simple 'bass' part, then bounced them all down to a single track. I then recorded the 'melody' on two of the tracks, panning each one 70% to either side. The last track was the 'solo' and the 'harmony' piece at the end, both of which were actually written after I put the rest of it together. Unfortunately, I never mixed this recording down to a cassette. I still have the master, but no longer have the Fostex so I have no way of playing it. The instruments were a Custom Dreams fretted bass (ESP parts assembled by Dave Sabo of Skid Row) and Fender Jazz fretless for the solo.
Fast forward to 2005. I wanted to re-record the song, but didn't want to tax my wallet doing so. With a little research, I found a program called Audacity, which is open source multi-track recording software. The price was right and it seemed relatively easy to use. I then found Fruityloops, which is a software based drum sequencer. Fortunately for me, they have a trial version that lets you use the software but not save your work. Since the drum track is very basic, that was good enough for me.
The nice thing about software multi-track recorders is that the number of tracks is only limited by the power of your machine. As such, I didn't have to bounce tracks the way I did before. It took me some time, however, to learn how to get around the differences of recording to PC, such as lag. Also, my current soundcard leaves a lot to be desired, which is why it's so difficult to hear without turning it up. Even so, it came out pretty good. I had to force myself to avoid getting anal about it, continually re-recording the solo. Finally, I got one that was half way decent and left it at that. I no longer have a fretless, so I did everything on my new American Fender Jazz Deluxe 5-String.
I will probably record this again in the future, once I have some decent equipment and spend some time getting aquainted with playing bass again.