Recording a song is what I call "The Process"

12-1-12 Recording a song is a process. I've worked with a lot of musicians over the past twenty-five years. I've been in bands, played with friends, strangers and worked solo. I rarely find individuals or bands that can actually sit down and design their product. WHY...? Because if it were easy folks, everybody would be doing it!. Writing a song, playing a song, singing a song and then recording a song (so it sounds professionally recorded at least) are four different and distinct skill sets. At True Strings we try to bring those skill sets together in our studios. A song begins with someome putting an idea together and sharing it. It doesn't matter which comes first, the lyrics or the catchy groove. What does matter is that "The Process" begins. It takes disipline to sit down and write something new and original. Once The Process begins however, a world opens up for the song. We can take an idea, put it into time. Arrange and sequence chord changes, builds, and breaks. We lay down the basic pad and movement of the music, add beat with drums and precussion, give it bottom-end with a bass line. Then layer in the vocals and harmonies. Suddenly the simple song takes on a life of its own. It starts to sound like a real song! We EQ, mix and blend the levels of each signal. Finally we EQ and compress the master recording. This is sound engineer's work.

Sometimes, the product of "The Process" it not what the songwriter/musician intended. Too many cooks in the kitchen they say. This has been the death of many a good song,and many a good band in my experience. But this is "The Process" and it is the only way I've seen songs become tangible commercial products. At True Strings we reach out to a wide assortment of players and ask them to contribute to our studios. So each song will sound different depending on who is playing with us during the session. This weekend I brought in Al "Action" Jackson, an excellent electric bass guitar player. He set the direction for the songs "Water" and "Kelsey's Song." They've never sounded better to my ear. Although these two songs are far from post-production, you can hear them now on the audio player and in the Cutting Room Closet Hangers.

To reach a destination we need a well defined path. When it comes to recording music, The Process is the path I've seen which leads to successfully recording a commercially ready original song. Our song list will continue to grow as a result of The Process. Watch and see. MB

Leave a comment