ad hoc recording

Hallway studiothe luxury of time to yourself is nothing to be sneezed at, so when sally flew away for six days in the united states i had little trouble easing off on the workload with a view of setting up a recording studio and laying a track down, even handicapped by sally making off with the silent macbook pro, leaving me with my noisy imac.

by friday afternoon there was a trail of cables leading into the upstairs hallway, where i intended to improvise a cabin between an open cupboard door and my bedroom door, but there isn’t much space on the landing, plus my leads weren’t stretching, so i set up just outside the office door where i could still hear the imac.

Recording acoustic guitarthere followed a series of desperate runs from computer to mic, grabbing my guitar and headphones en route to find i’d missed my cue, until i sussed i could move all the track regions further along the timeline and get into position in a relaxed manner.

one take for the guitar. that was a bit quick. i programme some beats, realise the timing on the guitar is out and re-record the track. one take for the electric. vocals next.

i can’t find the lyrics. i hunt through the house, three times, pulling out all notepads and sketchbooks, without luck. i sit down and write some new words.

Cables and knobsthen singing. this is not something i do often and i’ve never sung this song before. i know the melody, after all, i wrote it! and i’ve already decided i’m splitting vocal duties between two tracks… again it goes amazingly smoothly. i even improvise to my satisfaction, getting into the spirit of things.

now the post-production.

fiddling with knobs and buttons is at once creative and mind-numbing, a drain on the flow of things. i’ve got used to sketching out the midi and then going back later to tighten it up. better to keep up with the mind. then i always end up with too many effects running. how did the sound get so dense?

there’s a real art to mixing and sound production, way beyond my capabilities. there are all sorts of presets in logic pro, but i can never please my ears.

i’m kinda getting there and now i’m bouncing down and running downstairs with my iphone to audition it on my stereo. i keep hearing things. a mistake here, another there and another… cut and paste, cut and paste, tweak that level. i have to stop sometime. now? there’s something else, another edit, that’s it!

finished. (well, as good as it gets in my hands)

i need a producer.

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