My Journey to the Top – The Making and Recording of My Song – ‘WHY’

Hello my trustee readers,

So as many of you know, I am a singer/songwriter that hopes to one day be a very successful recording artist and performer.

Diligence, action and faith are the most important aspects in this business. In saying that, I have taken it upon myself to record and release my debut EP independently.

This new blog series, ‘My Journey to the Top’, will give you an all access pass to the efforts i will take in getting where i want to be…i.e. BEYONCE πŸ™‚

In this post, I will show you a behind the scenes look in the making and recording of my song ‘WHY’.

‘WHY’ is the 4th song i am recording for my EP. It was written by myself and Hughie Hanily, my brilliant guitarist who is a genius in all things music.

Let’s see inside the studio:

Meet Chris Sebastian. Some of you might know him as Guy Sebastian’s brother.Β 

Chris is my producer. A producer is someone who oversees the actual recording and production of a record. He creates the track, records my vocals and does a mix and master of the song. Sometimes the mixing and mastering is done by someone else, but it depends on the producer.

I write all of my own songs, but sometimes producers actually participate in the writing. In terms of copyright, you own and can get royalties for the lyrics and the chords (written music) of a song.

Chris has written many songs with me, but only one has made the cut for my EP, Southern Lights Β 

Basically i bring a song, that i have written, to him and we both work together to create the final production.

His musicality is different to mine, but in the end we make it work!

We use a Software Program called Logic Pro to make and create the song.

Each instrument in the song is recorded in midi format using different plug-ins. A Plug-in is a ‘kit’ or a certain group of sounds that you can use to make the instrumental tracks of your song.

In order to record the instrument, you simply open the sound you want and use the keyboard that you see in the above photo to ‘play’ or ‘tap’ out the music.

The range of plug-ins or kits is tremendous. Among others, i have used Trillion, Omnisphere and Nexus to record my music. These are all plug-ins that have been used by bigtime producers such as Timbaland and Jay-Z.

This is a photo of the Plug-in Nexus.

If you look closely, it gives you a list of different sounds and different instruments.

You first start off with an idea of what you want, then you sift through the HUNDREDS of sounds to find the right one!

You can control the gain, reverb output etc of the sound as well. Just like a sound desk.

yea that’s Gangster…Chris’ dog. He’s our mascot also who loves to sing πŸ™‚

Next come the vocalsYou only put down the basic instruments of the track then you record the vocals.

After the vocals are done, then the rest of the production is done.

Vocal production is probably the best part, but also the most tedious. Singing it perfectly, recording it a hundred times and doing all the backing vocals is very tiring, but worth it.

Other things go into the vocal production such as harmonies, delays, repeats, reverb and echo. Those are the basic ones, but there are also plug-ins for vocals as well.Some you may have heard of i.e. auto tune πŸ™‚

i don’t use auto tune because it has a funny sound to it that i don’t like, but there are instances where i do need pitch correction so i use a plug-in called Melodyne.

Sometimes you can use actual instruments to record. Usually you have to mic up acoustic instruments even if they are semi-acoustic. This is because using the direct input doesn’t produce the best feeling or sound out of the instrument. Using a really good mic is always best.

In recording ‘WHY’ we got Hughie to play the whole song and it sounded amazing.

Guitar of choice for recording…definitely Maidstone.

After all the recording is done. The worst and most tedious part is next. The producer has to make it perfect, comping and cutting and editing and making it worthy of being on the radio. This takes A LOT of time.

It makes it worse for him if i don’t sing something perfectly in time or in perfect pitch so you can imagine how difficult it is.

It usually takes anywhere between 35 – 40 hours to record a song depending on how well you do and whether you like the finished product

Here is a video of what the song sounds like in the middle of production πŸ™‚

I am still learning the whole process of recording, but it’s definitely the hardest part in this industry and most expensive. Doing it right and learning to master takes time, but the sooner you get in the studio…the quicker you will learn πŸ™‚

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