"No matter where I am, your teachings fill me with songs." - Psalm 119:54 (CEV)

Monday, June 13, 2011

This Should NOT Take an Entire Day: Recent Recording Struggles

I've been listening to the same music for many days now.

More than just "the same music", the same five songs.

All of which have vocal parts that are . . . lacking.

I made the CD a few weeks ago.  A re-recordable one, with the five tracks from my E.P.

Surprisingly, the CD-RW played in my CD player.

Not surprisingly, it played in the desktop computer I often use . . .

And my laptop.

I wanted to practice the vocals so that I could record them again, hopefully doing a better job.

I have listened to it every night . . .

And sometimes during the day.

I am absolutely sick of these five songs.

In the hopes of having only a very temporary mess in my room and being able to pop in a new CD as soon as possible, I decided to attempt to record new vocal tracks for all five songs in one day . . .


I got up this morning, spent time with God, ate breakfast, and began to set up equipment.

I was ready by a little after 10:00 A.M.

Once I got the equipment set up, I ran into technical difficulties.

After consulting the resident technology expert, I recorded the first song with the microphone set to "80".

It clipped.

(For anyone who doesn't know, that means that the microphone and/or computer couldn't handle the amount of sound they were receiving.  The wave flattened at the top and/or bottom, creating an electronic buzzy sound.  Basically, it was not good.)

I set the microphone to "90" and recorded the vocals again.

The waves looked funny.  I opened the file and played it.

There was no vocal part, just a constant electronic buzz.

Once again, I enlisted the aid of the resident technology expert.

I read a book while he played around with the settings.

Finally, it was all fixed.  I began to record again.

I managed to record the first song five times and the second song about four times when I removed my headphones and heard a lawnmower driving past my bedroom, cutting the grass.

Too much noise.

So my efforts to record were put on hold until the mower finished.

I waited . . .

And waited . . .

And waited . . .

And read . . .

And read . . .

And read . . .

Checking occasionally, of course, to see if the mower had ceased to be disruptive.

I finished my first book . . .

And a second . . .

Before I was finally able to go back and record some more.

I had managed to record a few more tracks when my stomach began rumbling.


I went out to see when dinner would be ready in order to determine if I should grab a snack and keep recording or simply wait.

I ended up turning equipment off once again to help cook . . .

And starting a third book.

After dinner, I made significant progress . . .

And then someone came home from work, banging the doors of both the garage and the dryer.

I think my microphone caught that.

I explained what I was doing and was told I should put up signs.

This thought had occurred to me, except for the fact that I am not allowed to tape anything to the doors, so it would not have done much good.

I returned to my work and was finally able to finish . . .

Around 8:30 P.M.

I recorded five vocal tracks for each of the five songs.

That's twenty-five tracks . . .

And approximately 125 minutes (rough estimate).

Including setup, tear-down, and technical difficulties, recording probably took me five or six hours.

It should have taken a little over two - three at most.

I definitely think that recording is more fun when it doesn't take all day.

I went through about two liters of water.

(I usually don't even drink one in a day.)

My feet are still sore from standing to record.

(I usually don't stand much, either.)

Astonishingly, I am even more sick of those five songs than I was before.

(Which may have something to do with the fact that I had to listen to each one at least five more times while I was recording.)

Come to think of it, my ever-increasing weariness of those songs probably contributed significantly to making recording less fun than it normally is.

I need a break.

I really need a break.

Now, which CD should I put in my CD player tonight?

I'm thinking The Other Side of Something.

Yep, probably that one.  It's one of my favorites.

Even if I decide to listen to a different CD, chances are it'll still be by Sara Groves.

I really like her music.  Therefore, I think it would be perfect to listen to at virtually any point, especially when it's the first real CD I've listened to in what feels like forever.

Of course, there is a slight possibility that I may come up with something else I really want to hear within the next couple of hours.

Honestly, I don't really care what I end up listening to . . .

As long as it's not even remotely related to the five songs I've been listening to for almost a month.

It'll be so nice to listen and sing to something else, blissfully ignoring the fact that once I get two of the five songs I worked on mixed, I will be listening to them again to work on background/harmony vocals . . .

Yes, most definitely and most blissfully ignoring that fact (because I honestly can't stand to think about it right now).

Mmm . . . a nice Sara Groves CD.

I can't wait.

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