Shovel, shovel, shovel. I know some of you out there are used to 30 inches of snow almost all at once, but here in the D.C.- Baltimore region, it brought things to a complete standstill for a week. And, of course, that meant everything got backed up for a while.
For one thing, I was invited to sit on a selection panel for some arts projects funding through the National Museum of the American Indian. The meetings were scheduled the week of the blizzards, so that got pushed into the next week or so. There are some very cool creative music/multi-media projects going on in Indian Country, but that will have to wait for another time.
Also, we were on a deadline (self-imposed) to have the new CD project out to the manufacturer by the beginning of March. The band is playing at Potomac Flute Festival in Arlington, VA at the end of the month. We’ll be doing a lot of material from the new CD, so we wanted to have it on hand.
By the time things got moving again, we were up against it. We had tracked the rhythm section, piano, lead flutes and lead vocals at the main studio, but still had a lot of layering to do. Working with rough mixes of these parts, our guitar player/producer, Leonard, laid in his guitar parts and some nice keyboard pads and organ bits at his basement studio. I tracked some traditional percussion (hand drums and shakers) at my place along with a few backing flute parts and even a couple of Janice’s secondary vocals. We finished up backing vocals and an extra flute solo at Leonard’s, then it was back to the main studio to put it all together. Then it was on to a final mix in record time, a mastering session and out the door. Whew!!
One of the most important decisions along the way is track order. This probably matters less these days in an iPod world, but a lot of our listeners still like to play a CD from beginning to end, so I always put a lot of thought into what order the songs will be in to provide the most satisfying listening experience. I like to try and make music that rewards careful listening and track order certainly contributes to that.
In the middle of all this, Janice and I came up with a design concept for the packaging which the graphics folks at the manufacturing house turned into reality.
I love the full creative control of being a proud and complete indie, but with that comes a lot of extra time commitment and leg work doing those necessary things that some labels do for some of their artists.
A number of you have responded that you enjoy the info about studio recording, so in the next week or so, I will try to get back on here and write a bit about a couple things in the process that might be less familiar to those who don’t spend much time in the studio – mastering a CD project plus the role and importance of the producer.
Wado (thanks) for reading. Good journeys.