Cut and shut

This morning I’ve been editing some of Rachel’s bass parts that we recorded earlier this week. It’s actually quite a straightforward process, and was a lot easier and quicker than I had expected. Working from the individual takes we had recorded, I chose which bits I liked, cut them out of the original recording and pasted them onto a master track, building up a complete track from the good bits of the recordings. Logic Express’s scissors tool really worked well, allowing me to snip recordings apart into separate clips. What was even more useful was that although by default it would snap to the beginning of the bar or the beginning of a beat, you could hold down the Option key and snip wherever you wanted – fantastic!

I’ve edited three of the songs now, or at least the bass parts to them anyway, the rest will be recorded in due course and edited in much the same way. “In the beginning” is quite a lively song, with the words describing God as a “light in darkness”, echoing and indeed being inspired by John chapter 1. “God will always be there” is a much more reflective song, addressing the doubts that all of us have every now and then, and affirming that even if we are not sure if God exists or not, he is still there – “my doubt doesn’t change who you are”. This is one of my favourite songs, as it’s powerful and emotional and addresses something that will be familiar to pretty much every Christian, no matter how mature in their faith they are.

“Beautiful Lord” goes through the story of the gospel, starting with creation and going right through to Jesus’ death and resurrection, with the chorus taking up some of the descriptions of Jesus used in Isaiah – “Beautiful Lord, wonderful saviour… mighty God”. This song has grown on me the more we’ve played it, and I think Berkeley even said he might consider teaching it in church one day when I write out the music for it! I had to edit the bass part quite a lot in places with this track, because I wanted a particular rhythm in the bass at the end of the chorus, and I hadn’t actually insisted on it when Rachel had been recording. It wasn’t too difficult though, it was just a case of isolating individual notes and shifting them slightly, in particular shortening one of the notes so there were a few more milliseconds of silence in between! You may laugh, but actually it’s those little details that really bring a song to life.

I also have the bass part for “O Lord my God” to edit at some point. The words to that song will be very familiar to most Christians, as they’re taken straight from the hymn with almost no changes. I just felt that what with hymns being used less and less in church these days, and the musical style of hymns being increasingly alien to most young people, something needed to be done to ensure that this wonderful song was not forgotten by the next generation. It’s an interesting mix of old style language (the words retain the “how great thou art” chorus) and a more modern lively beat. Again, I hope to be able to teach this in church at some point – hopefully it won’t confuse people too much!

Yesterday I put some thought into what tracks were going to be on the album, and in which order, and I think I might have got it sorted now. I’ll have to run it by the rest of the band at some point, but for the moment I’m thinking of putting them on in the following order:

  1. Father God you reign on high
  2. In the beginning
  3. O Lord my God
  4. God will always be there
  5. Beautiful Lord
  6. The earth is the Lord’s
  7. I draw near to the place of mercy
  8. Love so amazing
  9. Let us fill this place
  10. King of heaven

It may change, but I think that order works well both musically from track to track, and also roughly thematically too. I’ll tell you more about the other tracks as and when we record them.

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