Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the tag “update”

Album Update #3 – 3 Reasons Why Recording Sucks….until

Photo on 8-7-13 at 9.31 AM #3

Hellooo!  A picture of me getting ready to do a full day of recording….I had just woken up (one perk of recording from home…you can do it in your pjs….or well…you know)

Time for a little update on the progress of my FIRST EVER, self-produced album :).  Ok, so I have officially gone into the phase that involves full-day recording sessions and the thing that I realized is…..recording sucks.  I have recorded before, many times – for other people’s projects and for singles of my own and that has always gone pretty well.  But, recording vocals, background vocals, guitar, AND percussion instruments for 21 songs (19, 2 bonus) is INSANE!!!!  I clearly had NO IDEA what I was getting into when I first started this project.  Holy crap.  So, here’s the top 3 gripes I have about recording:

1)  You can’t just wing it.  If you knew me, you would know how much I despise planning.  However, with recording, I have found you HAVE TO plan.  Sure, you can improvise and such while you experiment with the styling and embellishments here and there….but, you have to plot out your moments and nail them while keeping tempo, proper pitch, maintaining the ability to emote, making sure you’re not too far or too close to the mic, delivering the lyric flawlessly, and so on and so forth (phew!).  Easier said than done indeed.

2)  It is UNNATURAL.  In “real life”, when you sing or play the guitar, we don’t stand in an isolation tank with padded walls with headphones on our head.  Usually, you have somebody to look at and interact with while your singing or  it is you, sitting at the beach, with the wind in your face, strumming your guitar.  Not so in “the booth” (mine is a makeshift one that doubles as my closet).  So, yeah, feels weird.  But, eventually, you do get used to it and sometimes to the point where  it gets weird to sing in front of people again :).

3.) It stands between me and my FINISHED album!!!!  Yes, this one is the one.  This is the main reason why recording sucks.  It is the necessary evil.  You cannot have an album to share with folks unless you do it.  And, damn, don’t we love our immediate gratification?!  To have conceived a project, to have poured out your soul in the writing of lyrics, to have found the melody that you were looking for on your guitar, etc., but have to WAIT to share it until all the recording mumbo jumbo is done?!  That sucks.  I don’t like to wait.

BUT….this I know….

It will certainly be worth the wait.  When it is all packaged up and sent out and I can finally share it with you lovely peeps, I will have made my peace with recording and will have a huge smile on my face :).  Can’t WAIT to share these soul songs with you!  Let me end with a quick rundown on the stats for the overall recording progress.

  • All guitar tracking for the 21 songs is finished and most of the additional instrumentation/percussion is complete!! (well, I hope)
  • 5 songs are completely finished  and I love them!
  • Cover art has been chosen……to be revealed soon :0 …dun dun dun
  • Title?  TBD  (it’s between two finalists)
  • I have one of my special friends/guest artists that will be joining me –  Ben Z –  (there will be others as well), who just sent me his contribution to one of the songs on the album and I am so happy with it!!  It is the perfect finishing touch.  But – honestly, he never disappoints….don’t take my word for it, though, you can check out his talents here at his page
  • Date of Release?  To be announced soon (depending on a few things)

Ok, that is all for now.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for checking in with me as I continue on this new journey!

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Album Journey – Update #2

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Hellooooo!

It’s time for another album update:). As mentioned in my last post, I’ll be doing a series of mini-updates on the process and progress of my first EVER full length, self-produced album. Here we go:

Title?: Nope, still don’t have it. I keep going back and forth between two basic ideas. I think I have to wait on this just a bit more.

Number of Songs: Still 21 songs, although I believe I’ll be cutting one or two of those if I can’t figure out the best way to present them. I wouldn’t be happy putting them out the way they are right now.

Phase: I’m happy to say that I am on Phase 2 now:). I have finished the experimentation and temp tracks on the last 7 of the 21 songs in regards to instrumentation and arrangement and such. Phew! Now, I begin the process of doing the REAL semi-final recordings and tracking of instruments for each song.

Challenges: The biggest challenge I see right now is getting the recordings down tight and mixing. I’m NOT a professional producer…so really, this is trial and error for me. I want the tracks to sound the best they possibly can, but I’m limited in my ability. However, I made a vow to myself. The vow was that this project was to reflect exactly where I am in terms of my level of ability and my style evolutionary phase and that is in all aspects (singing ability, guitar playing/musicianship, recording, production, etc.). So, although I may be limiting the quality of production, I am only doing so by the limits of my actual current level of skill.

Other challenges? Finding the time and quiet to record. I am using my own makeshift home studio and I have a young son who is always wanting to go on adventures. How can I say no to that face? So when I’m trying to record a background vocal and he says, “Mom, can we go to the park?” I have ask myself what matters most. For me, it will always be him over my music. Always. So, I have to get creative and find times and spaces to record around life – as all artists do.

What’s Next?: Apart from finishing the tracking and recording, I am hoping to invite a few of my friends and fellow artists to do a few features on some of the songs and as part of the interludes and such. I have met sooooo many wonderfullly talented folks and many of them I am happy to call my friends now. So, I am planning on inviting a few of them to do mini-cameos and show their special talents (e.g. a few bars of a rap, some spoken word, etc.). I want to give them an opportunity to share their talents, so I’m looking forward to that VERY much! They always surprise and delight, I promise!

Overall Progress: If I had to give a percentage, I’d say we are at the 40% mark. Not where I want to be, but moving forward and that is key. I would like to do a few, nicely done, videos for some of the songs as well , but that is much much later into the project.

That is all for now. Keep checkin in with me and thank you for taking this journey with me! I would love love love your support in sharing and listening to the album when all is said and done, so please keep checking in on the progress:).

Btw, tomorrow is the 4th of July! Happy 4th to all of you who will be celebrating. I’ll be with family and friends at my most favorite place to be…….THE BEACH:) Hope you enjoy as well!

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Album Journey – Mini Update 1

Hellooo!

Photo on 5-14-13 at 10.43 PM

You may or may not have read my post on starting my first – completely self-produced – album a while back. I’m so very very excited! I will be doing a series of mini-updates on here for the rest of the journey. Here’s a quick run down on the status of the album as of 2:20 AM on June 19, 2013:):

Title ? — Nope, not yet….but, I have a list of several potentials that all play around the same idea

Genre: who knows??? I guess when the album comes out, any bloggers that review it will be able to tell me.

Number of Songs: Well, as of today….21 songs!!! (19, 2 bonus). I am currently struggling to decide on whether to keep or cut. I probably won’t decide until much much later in the game. So, currently, I’m working on them as though I’ll be using them all.

Recording Phase: Right now, I’m laying down temporary tracks so that I can experiment with tempos, instrumentation, vocal arrangements and so on.

Overall Progress: Much to do, but I’m on my way. I have the temp tracks and basic arrangement down for 14 of the 21 songs already:).

What’s Next?: I want to finish up getting the basic ideas/sounds down for the remaining 7 tracks. Then, begin doing the actual tracking of instruments and REAL vocal recordings.

Wish me luck! I’ll be back with another update in the near future. Have a great week!

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