I got to sing in the studio this week! I love recording music. My giddy face in the picture says it all. I enjoy being able to keep something forever, there is something really magical about it. I remember the first time I was ever in a studio. I went while I was in high school and I got to sing on a track for a music band. What ever happened to that song or that band? I’ll never know… It was a great experience to sing in a studio at a young age. I lived in Minnesota at the time and I kept thinking I might run into Prince or someone really famous while I was there. HA! Not really. It was actually quite a large studio. It was cool to see all the soundboards and equipment. It’s strange, I haven’t thought about that day in years. A lot of time has passed since then and I have been to many studios and have met many engineers along the way. You wouldn’t think it, but most studio’s I have been to are pretty deceiving. I’m always thinking they are going to look great because they produce such beautiful music, but most of the time they are actually dives! They sure don’t look like much, but they can make some beautiful recordings when they have the right gear.
I’m not too fond of wearing headphones, or ear buds, they have never been comfortable. Headphones not only look un-stylish, it takes a lot of getting used to singing with my ears muffled. I think it blocks my hearing judgement and I feel it is somewhat limiting as a singer. The sound that is created is different than when I’m singing live. I’ve tried wearing them a million different ways, sometimes I wear them off one ear so I can balance the sound and my pitch. I’ve even held them out from my ears on both sides while singing. (That was difficult because my arms got really tired of holding them!) It just depends on the song that I am singing and what the track sounds like. Even though I’m the only one in the room I pretend like I’m singing for a huge audience! My lucky engineer gets a pretty darn good show. Just kidding, the poor guy has to sit there listening to me over and over trying to get something perfect! I am always so impressed with my engineers. It’s amazing what they can do. If I forget to sing the lyric correctly or if I didn’t quite get the lick right, a “do over” is all that it takes! Wouldn’t it be nice if that was all we had to do in real life? Just hit erase and “do over” again? Sometimes I wish it were that easy.
If you’ve ever thought about recording a song, here are a few tips:
1. Bring a ton of water (I bring about 8 bottles and drink all of them. No kidding.)
2. Bring lots of fruit to eat (Fruit is my first choice because it gives me energy and also is juicy and helps my throat)
3. Bring the lyrics (not sheet music) to look at so you are not turning pages and making noise.
4. Bring a pencil to make notes. (That pencil comes in handy too.)
5. Get plenty of sleep the night before. (This is hard to do when you are nervous and excited but try)
6. Keep jewlery to a minimum. (You don’t want jangles to be recorded unless you are singing Jingle Bells.)
7. Dress in layers. (You might get cold or hot)
8. Prepare your music on your own time.
9. Wear comfortable shoes
When I went to record this week, I brought grapes. A few other fruit choices that I like to bring are apples, oranges, and banana’s. Ok this is starting to sound like a song… “E like to eat, E like to eat”… Fruit is packaged so well, it is perfect for singing, it gives me energy and it’s quick to munch on in-between songs. If you are singing, bring flat comfortable shoes to wear. Large earrings tend to get in the way, and bracelets will make noise so leave those at home. Make sure to go to bed early the night before so you get a great night sleep. I am so worn out after recording all day. It is very draining. One of the things I notice about myself is that I am usually cold when I first begin, but later I’m not. It is usually best to dress in layers. It helps to have a light sweater or jacket I can put on for warmth. I don’t want to be shivering or uncomfortable in any way while I am in the studio. I don’t like throwing out a ton of money, studios are usually pretty expensive and I want to spend the least amount of time in a studio as possible. Don’t book a studio until you have had plenty of time at home to prepare your music. Once you are in the studio it’s time to be polished; it is not the time to be learning a new song, unless you like throwing money down the drain. Come prepared and think ahead of time about what you are going to need with you and you will have a great session.