Studio Progress Update: so far, so good :)
Hope you all have been doing great! I wanted to touch base to update you on the progress we are making in the studio. As promised we got to work immediately after the project was fully funded. The first session at Hideaway Cafe & Recording Studio in St. Petersburg was on January 9th and we have met to record every Monday since. The goal is to have it finished by the end of February, but I will keep you posted. In case you are interested and don't know what goes into recording an album in a studio, I will give a brief overview of how we are tackling it.
Session #1 & #2: Tempo, Acoustic Guitar, Scratch Vocals
The first thing that happens is the artist (me) and the producer/engineer (John Kelly) determine the appropriate tempo and feel for the songs being recorded. Once we establish a song is, for example, 102 bpm (beats per minute), then a click track is generated (exactly what it sounds like...bap, click, click, click, bap, click..etc). Every instrument played has to be on beat with that click track for the overall song to sound cohesive. So after we determine the bpm I go go into the recording booth and play basic acoustic guitar for each song to the tempo we established while staring at the painfully intimidating red recording light. It is not as easy as it sounds!
You don't have to start with the acoustic guitar, but we did in the case of this album. Next I go back in the recording booth and record scratch vocals for all of the songs. A scratch vocal is just a test run that is good enough to build the song around and inspire the other musicians playing, but likely not the final album version. Once the other instruments are recorded you can usually put more energy into the vocal because the rest of the song sounds so good :). In the case of this album this process took 2 sessions to complete.
SESSION #3: Drums, Drums, DRUMS!
Once we had the framework of the songs recorded to the click tracks it was time for drums. This session was on January 23rd. Jesse Rojas who plays nearly every live show with me was willing to play drums on this album, which is VERY exciting. After we completed the basic tracks, I sent them to Jesse to review and prepare. He met me at the recording studio last night with the essential pieces of his drum kit. In this case John Kelly had a great basic setup he used including kick, snare, and toms. Jesse brought some amazing sounding cymbals and high hats to round out the kit. Once everything was set up Jesse and John did about an hour of soundcheck. As there are separate microphones on each piece of equipment and a couple overhead to capture the entire room, it can take a long time. I can tell you though that it is more than worth the wait. Once everything was set up Jesse was a MACHINE. He tracked amazing drums to the entire album in 3 hours. Just FYI...that is REALLY fast. I can't wait for you to hear it.
SESSION #4 and beyond:
Starting next Monday the work of fleshing out the songs begins. The plan is to tackle a song or so a week, but that could change depending on the complexity of each track. I want to keep it all pretty simple, but you never know. I will keep you posted as we go. If the basic tracks are any indication (and they always are), then I am going to be very proud to share this album with you.