If you have been reading all week, you may realize at this point I am backtracking a bit. I skipped day 2 and 3, because day 3 was so exhausting, all I could think about was resting that day when we were done in the studio.
So here is day 2 and 3.
To begin the morning, I felt much more relaxed about the day. The simple task for the day was to arrive at the studio and record 4 piano tracks, which basically means my part that is played on piano (without vocals). The drive itself was interesting as the studio was situated in the countryside on a hill, surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and trees. As I got there and settled in a bit I learned that the piano I was recording on that day was the one sought after by local talent such as Michael W. Smith. The piano booth was tucked inside of the studio and felt quite peaceful. So we began, the girls and Matt took photos and video and then headed on their way. We had a 3 hour session booked that day, and flew through the recording of the 4 piano tracks in about an hour. At that point we decided to continue recording, as we had two remaining hours in our session. I had the folder with about 5 more songs in it that I had written (but was not planning to record), so I went ahead and played one after another.
I will stop here to say, our process on day 2 of tracking with me on solo piano was to play and sing through it once (so that we had a “scratch” vocal track), and then go back and play the piano about 2 more times. It was a pretty relaxed day.
At the end of our time there I chatted for a bit with Dennis and Brendan (the owner of the studio and engineer for the day). He peppered me with questions about Table Grace and wondered how we ever thought of such a thing and how we got started. He commented that it must take quite a bit of faith to venture out in such a way to trust God to lead the way. Indeed Brendan, it does.
Day 3 (vocal day 1)
We arrived at the studio (Dennis’ studio in Franklin, TN) at about 10am. The four of us shuffled into the sitting space, the girls found the water dispenser, and quickly located the coffee/hot chocolate maker and york mints. They bumbled around a bit, we took some pictures, were shown to the vocal booth (which is a little bigger than the size of a phone booth), and began the first song of the day.
We started vocals on Fullness of God. Which I thought would be a fairly “easy” one to start on since I’ve been singing it for years. It took about 3 hours to really get that song nailed down on the vocals. Of course there was a certain perfection in tone, phrasing, sound, style and technique we were both looking for in each phrase. And by that time it was lunch. Needless to say, I was feeling a bit discouraged, because I was already a bit tired in my voice after that and only had one of 13 songs done. You might say well you have an entire week to get the rest of them recorded. But I was thinking if every song took me 3 hours and if every day I was going to be as vocally tired as the first day, oh my!
We ate lunch and came back in to the studio. The good news was that I got through 3 songs that afternoon. Each song was much smoother to complete than the first. I understood the rhythm of vocal recording better. Basically I would sing through the song once. And then do each verse about three times, each chorus about three times, and then do one full song one more time. I also pretty much had figured out how to brighten the song to our liking with style and technique, and I was much more comfortable in the space.
I left the studio that day pretty vocally exhausted. And even though I felt better about getting through 4 songs in a day I was fearful that I had used too much of my voice in that first day and still had the big ones to sing.
Luckily rest is like resetting your vocal energy center button, and by the time we arrived at the studio at 10am on Thursday, I felt pretty much as good as new.