Recording day 4

I’ve done quite a bit of recording today, although in fact I’ve only recorded one new song.  Now that I’m in full swing, I’ve been able to go back to some of the songs I recorded earlier in the week and re-record bits that aren’t quite the same quality as what I’m up to now.  It’s the perfectionist in me.  If I didn’t have to work full time, I’d spend all day every day working on this, recording and re-recording until I was absolutely satisfied.  But I don’t have that luxury, so I’ll have to live with making several takes of everything and then mixing in the best bits in an effort to cobble together something decent.

The new song for today was On a hill far away which, contrary to what the title may suggest, is not a rewrite of the old hymn of the same name.  This is a completely new song.  I say completely new, it does draw on a Biblical theme, so I can’t exactly claim complete creative copyright on it!  It focuses on the shepherds looking after their sheep, being told by the angels that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  A nice Christmas theme.  But not at all Christmassy in its musical style, you’ll be glad to hear.

I’ve recorded the piano and vocal parts today, and I’ll go in later and add some string parts to pad it out in places.  I’m fairly pleased with the chorus though, which tries to give an impression of what a choir of angels sounds like (probably completely inadequately, of course, but within the constraints of a minimal budget, earthly musicality, and the stylistic direction of the song as a whole I think it’s pretty close).  I’ve got a nice bit of four part harmony going on there, at the moment with just my own voice but if I get round to it I might see if I can record the church choir singing it instead.  Maybe.

Once that was done, rather than start a new song, I went back and had a listen to the songs I had recorded earlier in the week.  Extra takes were recorded of various bits and pieces, either changing the sound of the guitar, fixing mistakes, re-recording the vocals with a bit more passion, or making the timing a bit more precise.  I spent a fair amount of time re-recording pretty much the entirity of Jesus your name is higher, for instance.  I wasn’t happy with the guitar parts, which had been recorded through my guitar amp and sounded a bit dull, the timing in the bass part was all over the shop, and I replaced the drum loops with a performance on my keyboard instead, which sounds a little more convincing.

So that’s 7 songs down, 3 to go.  And I need it all recorded by Saturday evening, before Ellie’s return on Sunday lunchtime.  And to add to that, I’ve also got to do some shopping, do a few loads of washing, do some other housework, look after the gerbil, pack up my recording studio, move all the furniture back where it belongs, remember to put the bins out, remember to eat, and put my Dad up on Saturday night.  Let’s just hope work doesn’t interfere tomorrow and eat into my afternoon…

Oh, and one final thing – my feet are killing me.  It’s all that standing up to play guitars and sing.  Trouble is, it just can’t be done sitting down, it doesn’t feel right.  However, I am loving my condenser mic, and I’m really noticing the difference in my voice when I warm up properly.  If only I had time to warm up like that before church every Sunday!

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