Monday, 10 April 2017

Ready, Fire, Aim

I came across an earlier recording and though that is not right – I'd better investigate... One of my earlier efforts, so how I do the recording and mixing had since evolved. In spite of its relative success, I thought it better to apply a little more TLC and make a better job of it!

The song is 'It's Alright With Me' (from 2011)… here a newer version is presented - new vocals and a more balanced mix. I have used the same video, which apart from one bit where the phrasing is slightly different, requiring an editing tweak, the rest of it syncs as it should. (I’d found trying to match the original vocal was counter-productive, so did a fresh unguided take.)

It's Alright With Me

A decent video, with its Spring-time theme, made outdoors in a natural setting – just me, a tripod and a CD player. Shame its isn't HD - I was using a borrowed cassette-based camcorder at the time. Would be hard to recapture the moment…

Ready, Fire, Aim
Sometimes it is more import to 'get on with it' rather than vacillate whilst awaiting perfection or the right moment. Not for the first time, I have revisited an earlier recording that with hindsight and some better experience I could improve. Often when you are absorbed in a creative project, it can be so long and tortuous that you just want to get it done – and sign it off! You listen to something so often you don't hear it properly or you let things go. Early on I had an over-reliance and trust in the headphone mix rather than the ambient mix. It is all a learning curve.

Starting out it is a little hit and miss, and you have to learn techniques, such as separating elements in the recording (MIDI, Vocals, Guitar to facilitate mixing or applying effects); I'm more adept at layering of vocals, so multi-tracking which gives a richer vocal texture isn't so obvious! Vocal plosives too can be an issue if you are not careful!

When you are recording someone else those things get picked up in the moment; recording yourself can be more of a challenge. There is a tendency to over-record and pick the best bits later. Though too much choice isn't always a good thing!

Musical Therapy
The song - 'It's Alright With Me' – was written a long time ago, one of my journeys into musical therapy. A couple of years where "life is what happens when you are busy making other plans" (thanks John). Some great things going on, but a lot of turmoil and insecurity. For a then 22 year old a pretty impressive journey of self-awareness.

The song had been around for many years just waiting for a recording opportunity. With a little talent, some musical ability and a computer set-up, it is amazing what you can do.

Pleased to get it done in a form that I had in my head. Its initial release garnered some praise, particularly from someone involved in mental health, who was using it to help people; for someone doing music that was a big thing – connecting on that level. It is a place I go musically and 'It's Alright With Me' does have some siblings and cousins. One is one of my first compositions, Look On The Bright Side, a few others are in the pipeline…