Recording day 2

Today’s recording went pretty well.  First up was Come holy fire, which is a song I wrote last year and introduced at camp.  It’s a fairly reflective, quiet song, so it was a good opportunity for some ethereal guitar and piano bits.  I even recorded a drum track, which actually sounds pretty decent – playing on a keyboard isn’t quite ‘natural’ in terms of drumming position, but using the Jazz Kit software instrument in Logic actually sounds very realistic in this case, and I was very pleased with the result.  I have yet to quantise the MIDI track, and if I have time later in the week I’ll probably re-record a few other bits as well, but this is a good start.

The ‘ethereal’ aspect was provided mainly by the piano, with the sustain pedal held down the whole time.  That adds a very interesting suspended sound to the notes, with them all merging into one another, but it works well in this case.  I also recorded some solo guitar bits too, which with the right settings sounds a bit like the music Marks & Spencer used in their sexy food adverts!

Next was The mystery of the cross, which I actually wrote several years ago.  The lyrics play on the contrasts present in Jesus’ crucifixion.  God the creator, destroyed.  God of love, despised.  God the healer, beaten.  Musically it’s quite simple, so the track is deliberately acoustic, and will be almost completely guitar and voice.  I recorded a couple of tracks of each so that I’ve got something to play with later.  I’m also planning on getting In Spirit to sing on this track – they’re a group of young people at our church who sing together at services sometimes.

And then, in a moment of boredom and curiosity, I added a female voice to the mix in the last chorus.  Not that I had a female voice around to record, mind.  I was actually using the Vocal Transformation filter in Logic Express to transpose my voice up an octave!  I also played around with the formant a bit, to make it sound less chipmunky and more like it was being sung by someone who naturally sings that high.  And to add a bit of realism into the mix, I also sang with a slightly Irish accent to give the impression that it was someone entirely different!  It won’t make it onto the final mix, but it was a fun experiment!

Finally, I started rehearsing Stranger than fiction, which I’ll be recording tomorrow.  It’s got a somewhat funny first line – “What if I told you the sky was green” – and I’m going to try to pick up on that in the style of music.  It’ll be quite quirky, in a way that’s actually surprisingly difficult to describe.  I’ve decided which guitar voice to use though (because I have loads to choose from), so hopefully I’ll make good headway with that tomorrow.

Come holy fire, Mystery of the cross

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