Alright! It is hard to believe that the semester is already starting to wind down and that means, it is time that my guitar project starts wrapping up too. Man, time flies when you are having fun! And speaking of fun, the last couple of days that I have spent working on my project have been an absolute blast!
As one of the last final parts to my guitar project, I got together with two fellow musicians who I have gotten to know over the last couple years to do some recording in what we like to call the Garage Mahal. This is a place where many hobbies take place – woodworking, indoor golf, dancing, and in the case of today, studio recording! What an awesome learning opportunity!
Here are a some of the things I took away from this experience:
- Setting up the equipment to do what you want takes time and research.
One of the things that we wanted was to have a multi-channel recording. This means that the recording program would have the three instruments recorded separately, but simultaneously. Unfortunately, we could not do this with the equipment and time that we had. However, with the recording set to stereo, we did get to record the rhythm guitar and bass on one side with the lead guitar on the other. This means that if I want a backup track, I can just turn down the melody side of the recording and only hear the backup instruments being played. Works for me!
- Trying to get an almost flawless take is pretty much impossible…especially with probably the three most picky people in Regina all in one room. It takes multiple attempts to get something half decent, and then when it’s all said and done, you’re still not quite satisfied with it. Because this project is supposed to show my growth as a guitarist, I didn’t want to just edit out the mistakes. Therefore, the recording needed to be as authentic as possible.
- Playing with other musicians is a lot different. I realized this in two big ways today. The first being that if you make a mistake for the 100th time when you are recording alone, no one cares. You just play it again. However, when you are playing with others, you don’t want to make them do it over and over again. As a result, coming to a recording session demands a well practiced piece. The second is, in a sense, kind of magical and unless you experience it, it is hard to explain. Some how, without words, it’s possible to know what the other person is going to do or play next. It’s almost a telepathic experience. A lot of times, this happens when musicians have played together for years, but this was not the case this go around. So, that’s why it felt even more phenomenal.
- Recording plugged-in is quite a bit different as compared to recording with a microphone. I really notice a difference in the way that my guitar sounds. When recording with a mic, you get a 100% acoustic sounds. One the other hand, when you record plugged in through a mixer, you don’t get the exact same sound. It still sounds acoustic, but with a slight electronic edge to it. The other great part is that when you make a mistake, you can say a 😀 word and it doesn’t wreck the recording. You just keep playing. This, of course, goes for other back ground noises too.
With all being said, it has been a fabulous experience getting to see what it is like to put together an actual recording using decent equipment, all the while playing with other musicians. I think we may just have to do something like this again! Thanks Ken and Rob!