Here you see my trusty song binder. When I write a song, I usually write it out by hand first, then type it up, then scribble changes all over it, then type it up again. I put all the versions together in a sheet protector so I can look back if I ever need to. I always have an extra copy of lyrics to give to my producer Aaron.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, the song binder can take a rest (for now). Final vocals are DONE! We spent the last several weeks recording the vocal part of each song over again, to replace the scratch track. Each song took about 2 hours to complete. 2 hours for one song, you ask? Yes, yes I was singing the same parts over and over. I would sing it in slightly different ways and with different moods. Then after everything is recorded, we can choose the phrases we like best, and stitch all those phrases together on the computer. The technology is pretty amazing.
But now that’s done! So what’s next? This phase is called Mixing and Mastering. Each song has several different instruments and vocal parts that all have to fit together in a harmonious blend. We fade up certain parts and fade down others so that it all sounds cohesive. This can take 1-6 hours per song, just to make sure it all sounds just the way we want it to. So we are into a nitty-gritty but important stage.
It’s still a wild roller-coaster ride of emotions for me. I want each song to be perfect, but what does that really mean? As we go through the songs and choose instruments or vocals to highlight, there are often times where there is no right or wrong choice, but just a preference. There is no good or bad. My left brain has a tough time handling this. I want it to be so good, and to always make the “right” choice, but I’ve learned that there is no measuring stick for this. So I’ve had to go with my gut several times and take a leap of faith that it will all come together.
Sometimes I just have to take a deep breath and remember that since I put my heart into these songs, that will always shine through.