Thursday, December 31, 2009

Who The Hell Is Happy?

Yes, I'm very glad this year is over. Are you?

I spent a lot of time this year putting back together the pieces of my life and body (oh! how they are connected!). I have a new heart and a new album and it's no coincidence that we finally titled the new CD "Born To Love You". You can look for the singles to be released in February.

This year I have learned to engineer in the recording studio, and I've re-engineered my life. This resetting of values began two years ago on a plane flight to Phoenix, AZ when I took every blessed fader and knob in my life and set it back to zero. I now feel like I've got a good balance again, where work has its place and change is a comfortable river I am floating on. That's why I really like the song "Everybody Needs A River" on the new record. It's so hard to let the current take you, to let the future make you.

There is no going back (good!). So bring on 2010. I'm happy to be here, right now. And have a Happier New Year, y'all.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Elephant In The Recording Booth

This song gives me an anxiety attack every time I open it up. It's a wall of sound. Last time i counted there were

14 drum tracks
1 Bass track
6 guitar tracks
2 string tracks
1 organ track
1 lead vocal
4 lead vocal doubles
6 background tracks from Julie
4 background tracks by me

all submixed into a rough form. It only took 6 months and two versions of Logic, and two operating systems (Tiger and Leopard)

Drums by dennis; julie and I did the vocal tracks and I played everything else. I finally boiled the production down to 29 tracks with some submixing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Back To Recording Daily

As you may have seen on my posts on twitter and facebook, I just spent 2 days going through my first colonoscopy :0 Now I'm SOOOO glad to be back in the project studio picking through the mixes.

Today I was stumped (and still am) by a really weird aif file that would not play back in Logic, but would play back in other apps like Quicktime. I don't really know what the mechanics were that I used to solve the problem, but I did fix it by cutting up the file in seven pieces and raising the gain on each piece individually (digitally) resulting in a mathematical change to each sample. Then I bounced the sections together. I can't forget to mention that I did all of this from my start up template and not within the actual sequence. My *guess* is that there was some errant data in the track that kept knocking the volume down to 0 without any visible cue on any fader within the sequence. Very strange.

I just finished locking the string parts on "What You Want" to the new drums. WooHoo!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Heavy Schedule

So this is every day of the week--at the recording desk by 9 or 10 am, then I record until 8 or 9 at night with a few breaks to eat or go to the gym or see a doctor. I'm giving this Month to the album, and possibly the next one too. Last week I saw my life coach and the dentist, next week I'll get a colonoscopy (!) Recording seems like a vacation if kept in proper perspective.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sleepless In Nashville

Another night without sleep :0. This has been really common this month, and I seek refuge in the internet and listening to the days work in the studio. Tomorrow I'm off to the dentist and then we begin recording again at noon. My head cold has blessed me with a rich, gravelly vocal timbre that's worth the price, but I'd give anything for clear nasal passages right about now so I could get back in bed. Maybe by 3 am. ???

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My First Blog

I'm taking this for a quick spin--then it's off to blogland for me. I already have a blog on myspace so this shouldn't be TOO difficult. My goal is to shed light on what it's like to record a legit album here in Nashville with Silver Hill Records. The staff here are the same people who ran the highly successful Cosmic Mule Group which had many hits including the Grammy-Nominated "From My Front Porch Looking In" and signed several artists including Georgette Jones and Mark McGuinn (who held the record for the highest charting independent record a few years ago). I'm now the latest horse in the stable, and I'm trying to take this as far as it will go. This should be a spectacular journey--come along with me!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hi! I'm Online

I've just signed with a record label here in Nashville and I'm in the studio recording 24/7 so I'm going to send out some fun blogs about the whole experience as I go. I'm so thrilled with the process of making my first major release (NO pressure as the label has joked) that I have literally locked myself in my studio and will NOT come out until January when it's done. I guess this isolation comes with the territory! Yikes!

I'm VERY lucky to be here and you will see me surface at Howard Alan events in January with the goods. Wish me luck--this IS it and I give thanks to ALL of you for supporting me as I record the album I always wished I could make. :)

Happy New Year!!