Monday, June 1, 2009

Recording Torture

These past few recording sessions with Belle Canto have left me feeling extremely murderous. It is mostly due to the fact that I want to strangle all bus drivers, motorcyclists, and drivers with loud mufflers that drive by McDougall United Church from 7-10 pm. Of course, I have nothing against the bus drivers, since I do support eco-friendly transport forms... but I wish buses didn't have to hiss and beep every time they stopped... our recording sessions would have gone so much smoother if they could just quietly purr past the church.

It felt like it was hard to get a clean take of anything since there was always some sort of noise pollution that littered our tracks. It is just so frustrating having no control over environmental noise! It is hard enough to have our pieces in pristine recording condition but now we have to deal with all this ambient sound which makes everything that much harder.

Other than the frustrating traffic sounds in the background, I was reminded how stressful recording sessions are. Mind you, these recording sessions are nowhere near as intense as the ones for CBC (since all those tracks must be sung cleanly in one take) since we can afford to edit and piece together a clean final track this time. However, from taking electromusic, where I had to record my own material, I do not envy the recording engineers job. There are so many tracks to listen to and you have to be listening at all times to check for balance and to find out precisely which spot in the music we would have to re-record because of a loud muffler. I'm just glad that I am not doing it. Cleaning up spots where people cough and seamlessly merging two different sections with different vocal textures is nothing short of an art.

Furthermore, as much as I love the fact that you can preserve the sound of a group of people with recording... singing in a recording session is nothing like singing in front of a live audience. I find that musical nuances and sensitivity is lost during a recording session since you are always thinking so hard about technicality that you loose that ability to sing freely. Or maybe that is something I have just been running into since I instantly become tense when our recording track begins. Suddenly, I have to think of when I am going to turn my page so it doesn't crackle and I wonder if a bus will drive by during an exposed entry.

At any rate, I am glad there is only one more recording session left and soon Belle Canto will have a new c.d. and I will finally be on it!


Gabe said...

Yes, recording sessions making you feel murderous is a great way to describe it. I love performing but I hate recording. For me, it's more than just loud buses driving by. The process is just monotonous.

Unknown said...

i like recording, love to record moments, recording sessions making sometimes murderous but is a great way to describe it

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