Most of my recording happens out in a little shed in my backyard and sometimes I set up right in my living room. Right now, I do most of my own recording, editing, arranging, and overall production. It's a lot of work and it's been really humbling to learn what it really takes to officially release music. My partner is also a musician and he has a small studio set up in his office as well and I am super grateful for his constant support.
When I first decided to record "Here We Are", (my latest release) a collection of three original songs, I thought a couple of months was more than enough time... I had already written the songs, so I thought "Ok. I just have to record them and release it! How hard can that be?" In my mind, the songs were already finished. I had a very vague idea of what went into recording and producing music. It's a lot more work than I originally anticipated, not to mention how complicated the actual release can be. (I'll write another post about that.)
When I started recording, I had a hard time being patient with myself because I hadn't realized how much I needed to learn about the software I was using (Garageband). I had to let go of my original plan to release the EP in December, 2020 and it took me a few weeks to really forgive myself. At first it felt like I had failed and I was upset with myself for having such ambition and excitement in the beginning. (Maybe I'll write a post about my personal process working through these feelings, leave a comment if you would be interested in that!)
The first song I recorded was the title track, Here We Are. I had a lot of fun with it! I started with a scratch track, which is a rough recording on one track with just myself singing along to me playing ukulele. Ideally, in most cases, each part is on a separate track. So, once I had a decent scratch, I used a metronome to put down some really simple percussion and I made a loop. Later, I found out my loop wasn't perfect. It sounded good, but the tempo was actually a little different than the one I had set in my Garageband project. This wasn't actually a problem for me at first because I wasn't really using all the editing tools at my disposal. I was winging it and just building off of what I had. So, I did the same thing with all the other parts and recorded the lead vocals and harmony vocals. Honestly, I really liked the version of this song that I had at that point. I could've released that song the way it was, but I knew it had more potential. I wanted to get some acoustic standup bass on it and maybe some electric guitar, I also felt that my arrangement needed a little adjusting... I started to feel a little out of my depth.
December came and by then I knew that it would take a few weeks just to process the songs for distribution and by mid-December I realized I needed to be more patient with myself and give these songs the time and attention they deserved. The point of this post is that there's a lot of work that goes into even just producing one song. I found patience is so important. I felt so motivated and excited to create this EP and I don't want to squash that excitement and ambition. However, I learned that my ambition and excitement can also lead to unrealistic expectations, especially what I expect of myself and it is hard to readjust those expectations. I'm really glad for the resources I had that allowed me to readjust because giving myself even just one more month to work on this EP made all the difference.