Despite a long, busy and draining week…and despite sincere attempts to keep my friday night free of commitments (aka obligations).. I found myself leaving a recording studio at almost midnight. WOW I am worn out!
Considering this is my first time EVER being in a real recording studio, the experience was exhilarating, stimulating and HARD! I have a new level of respect for what artists do, both on the front end and behind the scenes (sound workers, etc).
A few days ago I was told that our worship team pianist was ready to finish recording his song “I will declare”… and was a little surprised because I really did not think it would happen when he mentioned it months ago. So when I was asked if I could be available sunday, I said “sure.”
Then tonight, I get a call from a random number, shortly after eating my dinner, and discovered the only possible time for us record was tonight or saturday morning… so with hesitation, I called back and agreed to come in tonight… especially after I discovered where the studio was located.
I absolutely LOVED the vibe. Chill, well decorated, and you could tell, there was history… if only the walls could share their stories.
But my excitement rapidly faded as I heard and saw myself (literal outer body experience).. struggle to sing small excerpts of the song. I felt my throat tighten up… and found it difficult to even project… considering I am one of the loudest singers on our team, this is pretty insane…
I felt the pressure… the pressure to get it right, to not torture the sound technician and composer of this piece.. I felt the pressure as they whispered and told me to listen and re-record multiple times… the pressure of just not being good enough. Where was all this coming from?
Notes were off, voice cracking, mouth getting dry… you name it. We spent about 2 hours with me just singing sections over and over.. and practicing by the piano, going back to square one… and each time I sang… i thought to myself, man, you sound terrible….at least through the strange echoing I heard through the headset and microphone.
At the end of the day, I knew the other 2 guys and the other girl (who will be recording tomorrow), were much more experienced and better than me vocally.. and I was just worried the composer (aka lead vocalist) was going to regret asking me to do this.
Ironically, I was not nervous, but the pressure was actually shaking my confidence and causing me to hold back on belting vs oscillating vs filling out my tones, where needed.
After multiple takes, the lead finally gave me the “it’s a wrap” and asked me to come into the sound room to hear it…. and crazy enough, it sounded WAY better, even before polishing, than what I heard through the headset. By the time he included the other male vocals and instruments.. I was like WOW.. it was like magic. Though I still know there are ways I could have improved had I been more relaxed, I think it was actually decent.
That being said, I give props to the artists who go through all this just to put out singles and/or albums of songs… the job is certainly not easy. On a side thought, I want to do this again… hmm.