So here’s an update on the album…
recording parts: done
equalizing (EQ): pending volume automation
mastering: not so much
So we have all the parts recorded; all the “raw tracks”, that is. What we’re working on now is called volume automation. Basically it involves going through all the tracks and deciding if there are parts that need to be louder or quieter in relation to the initial recorded volume. The best example of this is to say “we need the rhythm guitars to be louder on the chorus” or “the drums need to come down for the verses.” That sort of thing. When we finish this process it will make mixing easier because we can just set the volume for each track to a level where they “sit in the mix” well, and each track will get relatively more quiet or loud in certain parts of the song based on how we automated the volume control.
Recording is a much more refined process than sitting in front of a microphone, hitting record, and burning a disc. There are so many things I didn’t even know we had to think about…little things like going through the tracks and taking out any parts where someone breathed too loud or shuffled their feet. Volume automation is one of those things. Now that I know what it is, it makes perfect sense and I can’t see how I didn’t assume that there was such a process before. It’s all a learning experience.
I’d have to say there was really only one disappointing thing about the process so far…and from all the stories I’ve heard about studio work that’s really saying something. I had Ben come and record the guitar parts, most of which sounded great. One track however, sounded a little off when we reviewed it and, sure enough, it was out of tune. There’s not much you can do to correct that. So we had to erase it and are currently figuring out something else. You can still hear Ben’s great guitar work on other tracks, but we will have to see how this one turns out…I’m nowhere near the lead player that he is so I may just have to record a LOT of material before I have anything worth keeping.
After this we have E.Q.-ing, which I’ll tackle in a later post, but this is a little taste of the recording process. A million little steps towards one final creation, some forward, some backward. Many artists describe the process of creating an album to be a labor of love, and it really is. You have to love what you do, believe in your songs (because you have to listen to them ad nauseum for months on end), and really, really work towards a vision. Why is it taking so long? Because I want to do this well. To do something well takes time and patience. It’ll make the final cut that much sweeter when it’s done.