Although I’m writing this post as a continuation of the Songwriting Series I’ve done for the blog, that’s a little bit of a misnomer. Once we get to the recording phase, the song is pretty much written. There will be some arranging left to do such as figuring out when different instruments will play or not play, how many times do we repeat the chorus, when do we go to the bridge, and that sort of thing, but the song is for the most part finished.
The recording phase is when we get to take the microphones out and hook up the computer and play the instruments or sing – all things that I absolutely love because we are actually making music at this point! It’s not without its drawbacks, though. Unlike the writing of the song itself, which really just requires a pad and a pen, I have to record in a particular place and make sure that all of the tools that I need are available. With three kids at home and full time job, it’s often hard to find the time to get in the “studio.”
There are a couple of different ways that I’ve approached the recording process in the past. On my last album, Francisco Road’s “Fear Not,” I would record all of the parts to a single song and then would move on to the next song and record all (or most) of the parts on that one whenever possible. I’m not quite there yet, but I am considering getting all of the songs for my next album mapped out (see my previous post in this series, “Inventing the Band”) and then recording a single instrument for each song before moving on to the next instrument. The advantage of this is less setting up and taking down – I can keep the guitar and microphone set up and just blaze through all the songs before changing instruments. We’ll see how that works out.
If you are interested in this sort of thing, I would suggest you check out Joe Gilder’s materials at Home Studio Corner.com. You can learn all about how to record different instruments, the different types of microphones and how to best use them, and much more. He has been a tremendous resource to me as I keep learning more and more about this part of album creation.