Thursday, 14 July 2016

Does it Rhyme?

Sitting on a Jump-Up in Western Queensland,
How could I not be inspired to write a song?
In January 2016 I knew I couldn’t procrastinate any longer ~ I had the means, I had written the songs ~ the time had come to knuckle down and record another album. We don’t take projects like this lightly at Studio 453 and perhaps that’s the reason there had been over ten years since I released my last album, The Moods I’m In.

The fourteen original songs I selected for my third album, Does it Rhyme?, came right from the heart and span genres folk, pop, blues with a touch of jazz and novelty. After I selected the songs I realised the Australiana flavour of the album, with six of the fourteen songs inspired by our land Down Under. 

Playing to the Kangaroos during a break in recording.
I created a booklet containing a lyric sheet for each song. This became my bible, the place where I would write down my ideas on the arrangement for each song including intros, outros, and other instrumentation and harmony that would be added after the vocal and guitar tracks had been laid down.

Alas, recording an album is twenty percent inspiration and eighty percent perspiration. And so began the hard work of practicing and then recording each of the tracks that would make up the album. My husband, Steve, is my recording engineer and twice we took my mobile studio down to The River Road, our country hideout, for some uninterrupted recording time.

My recording studio is made up of the following components:
·         HP Envy 17” (Intel Core i7-4700mq processor, 16GB RAM and 1TB hard drive).
·         Cakewalk Sonar X3 DAW.
·         Roland Octa-Capture Audio Interface.
·         Rode NT2000 Microphone.
·         Adam F7 Studio Monitors.

The recording process for this album was as follows:
·         Record fourteen guide tracks.
·         Record fourteen guitar tracks.
·         Record fourteen vocal tracks.
·         Record bass guitar on Six Hundred Outback Miles; The Wobblebox Song; The Coal Miner.
·         Add bass guitar, recorded by Lindsay Gould, to Take You to Vegas.
·         Record lead guitar on Six Hundred Outback Miles and In The City.
·         Record a second acoustic guitar on the title track Does it Rhyme?.
·         Record harmony on Jump Up; The Spell of Acrospire IV; In The City.
·         Add Session Drummer track to In The City.
·         Record stone flute on The Wobblebox Song.
·         Record music sticks on Six Hundred Outback Miles.
·         Record tenor saxophone (Lindsay Gould) on Secrets of a Bass Player; Purple Poodle; Mr Dinosaur Bones; Take You to Vegas.
·         Record soprano saxophone (Lindsay Gould) on Trackless and Windforce.
·         Record clarinet (Lindsay Gould) on Kilkenny.

At The River Road
On average it takes us one hour to record a track and one hour to edit a track. The total time to record and edit this album was 120 hours (there are 61 recordings).

The mastering of this album was a reiterative process of mixing down with the required effects (eq, reverb, compression), creating an mp3 at 320kbs and then listening to the song on a variety of devices, checking for clarity of sound of all the instruments and the overall volume. This process took us about one day (8 hours) per song totalling 110 hours.

In total we spent 230 hours (6 weeks full time) just to record, mix and master the songs. This doesn’t include the countless hours spent rehearsing so that we could create solid, clean recordings.

A special thanks to my friend, Lindsay Gould, for his inspiration and magic touch on the saxophones and clarinet. 

Lindsay and me ~ gigging
Lindsay and I collaborated on writing Secrets of a Bass Player and Take You to Vegas. I wrote the lyrics and Lindsay wrote the music. This was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and it is a pleasure to include these two songs on this album.

Also, thank you Steve, for your patience during the recording process and your diligence during the mixing and mastering phase of the project. You have a wonderful ear for the final product and I’m lucky that you are part of the music I create.

Of course the creation of this album is only the beginning as we work towards finding avenues so that you folks out there can hear Does it Rhyme? I’m very proud of this album and I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed writing the songs.

You can listen to sound bytes on the player below or on the Does it Rhyme? page on my website ~ Enjoy!

Six Hundred Outback Miles
written while riding my BMW F650GS though Northern Australia

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