The process of recording…

I know you all know I have just been recording a heap of music. It all sounds very glamorous, doesn’t it? “I’ve been in the studio…”.

It’s not, you know. It’s hard work. And requires enormous amount of concentrating. And after all that sitting four four days, I got a really sore bum.

Some players I know really like it. But I am not one of those people. But I’ve written that before, in some blog post not-so-long-ago. But I am amazed at people who don’t really know what goes on. So, if you read this blog , and you do know what goes on then now is the time to walk away. See you next time I write. Hopefully then it’ll be something more engaging for you. Sorry ’bout that….

But if you don’t know what goes on, there’s a few ways. There are generally two ways….

WAY THE FIRST (probably didn’t get the ‘Messiah’ joke there. The music of Handel’s ‘Messiah’ is in three parts. They aren’t numbered ‘Part A’ or ‘First part’, but ‘Part the first’, ‘Part the second’… I always found it odd. Now that I’ve actually explained my not-so-funny joke, it’s now even less funny. Even more not-funny. Ah well…) OK. Back to ‘Way the First’. Musicians play through the whole piece. If someone makes a mistake, everyone pretends it didn’t happen (and is secretly pleased it wasn’t them.) The players try and ‘perform’ the particular piece as much as possible, as they would in a concert. This is hard, as there’s no-one in front of you – just a bunch of leads, and microphones, maybe a tea mug. You do this three or four times. Then the producer will tell you if there’s a consistent problem – like “Guys, we need a clean bar 27.” Then you play just around that little part, and it’s eventually patched in. This is a fairly pleasant way of doing things. You can calm down, and really enjoy playing. It’s quite close to performing.

WAY THE SECOND You choose the chunk of bars you are going to tackle. Maybe from the start to the end of bar 12. Then you play just that part over and over again. Maybe 7-8 times? Just those bars. Then hopefully you get the thumbs up from the producer, and you move onto the next chunk. Totally unreal. For me, totally frustrating. For me, not-so-pleasant.

So now you know. Others may do this differently, but this seems to be the way most people work. The magic happens in the editing studio, with the super-patient editor and their ears. I am not the editor. I do not have the patience (if you know me, you can stop laughing now. I know… I have no patience AT ALL.).