Monday, March 19, 2012

Not-So-Live Studio Blogging - Band Day!

(Long, amazing day that has surpassed our expectations.
It's been a long day, so grab a latte and enjoy today's journey...)


Band day! Adding bass, keyboard, and percussion to all the guitar/vocal tracks we recorded last week. Starting with A Prayer Will Find You – the most rhythmically challenging song of the day.


Sounding so amazing!!! Gerald and I are giggling like kids at the circus. This is gonna be a good day!


First full take done. Doing another take with another kind of percussion.

These musicians are just amazing. They play it through so beautifully, and then they say, “Let’s do it again. I can do it better.” And it is better! How does that happen???


The guys are joking about “Nashville pattern baldness” – a strip of bald across the top of your head from wearing headphones all day.


First song done! Awesome! Donut break.


Next song: Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone). The players are hearing the charts and working out their parts.

Everyone will play through the entire song. That way, in the final mix, we can pick and choose if we want, for example, drums the whole way through, or if want to pull them out for a verse.


Just before we tracked my first CD, “Real Big Fan,” several people described a Nashville recording session this way:

A bunch of nondescript guys will enter the room. They’ll talk, crack jokes, drink coffee, eat donuts, and look totally unfocused. Then the downbeat will hit, and those nondescript guys will play your song better than you’ve ever imagined it.

So true…


Adding the tiniest tambourine I’ve ever seen. To quote the drummer, “It adds pizzazz, yet hurts no one.


Moving on to You Are. To keep the percussion light and earthy, the drummer is using djembe and congos on this.


Keyboardist adding string quartet patch to You Are.


Living Manna is next. Probably the lightest instrumentation on the album. Denny loves this song (*blush*). Just complimented my melody and prosody.


Musicians jamming as Denny sets levels. It’s always humbling to remember that after today, these guys will be back playing for all of Nashville’s top stars and songwriters.


One more to hit before lunch: Wondrous Journey. Trying different sounds – drum kit and Wurlitzer electric piano.


Wondrous Journey done. Lunch break!


Starting the afternoon with I Wanna Make Some Noise, the song I wrote while stuck in QEW traffic one day. I’m singing the scratch vocal with the band.


Vocal done! Two takes done! This totally rocks!!! Bluesy, Black Gospel, old school R&B – whoo!! We are having some church right about now!

Doing another take with electric guitar and Hammond B3 organ. They’ll play on the track, and also on the instrumental solo verse.


I Wanna Make Some Noise done, and sounding awesome!! Moving on to How Great Thou Art.

We’re so excited about everything! Denny is loving it too. It’s hard to put all this into words.


Electric guitar sounds so amazing, Gerald and I both just had the same idea – he’s going to play the melodic ("Then sings my soul") hook just before the rhythmic intro. Nice.


Adding a little guitar solo after the second chorus.


Next song: There is a Voice.


Just started intro - Gerald and I are giggling like school kids.


Espresso break! Making espressos for the band...


Moving on to You Take Me Higher.


Awesome! We’re calling that take the Espresso Remix!


You Take Me Higher is sounding incredible. A flock of birds just started singing outside – even nature likes our new CD!


Two more to go. Listening to Infinitely More with the players now.


Flashing back to Cape Breton where we started writing Infinitely More. Oh the things that can come out of a smoky hotel room in Cheticamp…


Last song! Real Big Fan. Save the fun for last!


Real Big Fan done! Sounds bluesy and amazing. What an incredible day. Just took a few photos with the band.

Keyboard player staying to record a few more overdubs.


Keyboard player has added tweaks to Real Big Fan and fantastic B3 organ to Wondrous Journey.

Now adding more string parts to You Are. I really appreciate the detailed approach these musicians take. The whole song can sound amazing, and they’ll say, “Hey, can we go back so I can replay the 3rd bar of the 2nd chorus? I can do something better there to lift that section.


Polishing the piano solo on Living Manna.


Done! What a day. This has gone beyond our expectations.

Returning tomorrow for a few tweaks and just to make sure we’ve got everything covered.

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