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

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Slow Progress

I finally started recording last Wednesday.

I got through one song once,

Copied it to listen to it on a different computer,

Make sure everything was going alright.

I opened the file,

Pressed "Play".

Something didn't sound right.

The microphone was clipping.

There had been too much volume for the microphone to handle the way it was set.

The sound waves that should have been appearing as hills and valleys across the screen

Were chopped off on the bottom.

Only on the bottom.

The strange thing about that is,

Usually, when the sound is clipped

It is clipped on both the top and the bottom.

Dad was worried.

So, we set up a new microphone Wednesday night.


I can't sing loud enough to clip this one,

And it has a boom, too!

(The "boom" is that pole that goes horizontally -

That means I'm a lot less likely to hit the stand with my arm while playing the piano!!!)

I was super excited.

Of course, Thursday was ridiculously busy.

I didn't get around to recording again until Friday.

Friday, I sang that same song that had clipped seven more times.

It took a couple of hours.

Then I transferred the files so Dad could listen to them.

He started listening to them yesterday,

Which resulted in a discussion about the accompaniment,

And time spent listening to various voices on my keyboard

(Most of which was spent by Dad . . . while I ate lunch).

I now have to add some sounds underneath what I already have,

Which is going to take another day of recording.

He finished listening to them this afternoon,

Which resulted in a discussion about how I was singing the piece.

(Apparently, I've been going between "talking in notes" and "singing", which sounds unnatural, and I need to pick either one or the other.)

Fortunately, however, he believes one of the recordings actually sounded pretty good,

If we can replace a section where I played the wrong chord.

So, to finish this one song, I need to:

1.  Replace the section where I played the wrong chord (which will require Dad's help).

2.  Record an extra layer of accompaniment while listening to the recording (which will probably take 4 or 5 tries to get right).

3.  Have Dad determine which accompaniment track sounds best.

4.  Mix accompaniment track with the rest of the recording.

5.  Listen to the mixed recording and come up with a flute part on the computer.

6.  Convince my amazing friend to come play the flute part for me.

7.  Determine which recording of the flute sounds best.

8.  Mix in the flute recording with the rest of the sounds.

(And that's not including downsampling and high/lowpassing or whatever it's called to get it into the proper format for a CD or .mp3 file - that part takes the least amount of time.)

Bet you didn't know that so much work went into just one song.

I sure didn't before I recorded my first album.

It sounds so much easier than that when you're listening.

After all, it only takes five minutes to listen to a song.

The really scary thing is, the time it'll take to do what I just mentioned

Is in addition to the hours spent writing the song,

Writing the accompaniment,

And practicing the song.

As much time as I've been spending working on music these past weeks, I am definitely starting to see it as a full-time job.


One song not quite finished yet,

Seven more to go.

(Not even counting the five I'm not done with yet . . .)

It'll be a miracle if I get all of these recorded by Thursday of next week.

This whole process takes so much work,

It goes so slowly,

It's difficult,

At times tedious,

And it seems like it will never get done.

But, I suppose, life's like that.

Someday it'll all come together.

Someday . . .

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