This past weekend marked the start of the recording process for my 5th album. I’ve returned to Sacred Heart Studio for the 4th time for its gorgeous acoustics, sacred setting and the chance to work with the revered sound engineer Eric Swanson. Sacred Heart’s website says: “A number of local, regional, and nationally acclaimed performers such as Low, Charlie Parr, Trampled By Turtles, Retribution Gospel Choir, Dark Dark Dark, Mary Bue, Sara Thomsen, Coyote, Cars and Trucks and the Crash Test Dummies have discovered the Sacred Heart Recording Studio is an ideal setting to capture their unique sound.” – I’m so happy to be on this list! I plan to have the album mastered by Tom Herbers, another “Knob God.”
We set the recording time bright and early (for me!) at 9 am on Saturday. I wanted to squeeze as much time in with the drummer and bass player that I’ve been working with since June for Musky Fest – Marcus Matthews (who is moving to Los Angeles this month) and Brett Molitor (who lives in Minneapolis).
Henceforce come my tips. I’ve been in the studio enough to know a few tidbits.
But first, a tangent! I used to have to wake up at 5 am to bartend at a Seattle brunch joint by 7 am (The Five Spot). I would try not to drink too much or eat too late. I would barely ever go out the night before. In bed at a reasonable hour. Read books to get sleepy. I had the perfect mattress (it was a choice between a Leesa or a casper mattress but there was a clear winner) But more often than not, INSOMNIA! Fear of missing the alarm – NOOOO! Anticipation of the long day ahead! Gah.
So, this happened. 2 hours of sleep the night before an epic day of recording. SIGH!
1. If recording the next day, don’t eat a bunch of dark chocolate before bed.
2. If you can’t sleep, maybe change locales and go to the couch.
3. Instead of changing locales and deciding to read a book to get sleepy, maybe save the hilarious book for a another night. (I was reading “The Drunk Diet” by Lüc Carl – laughing my ass off)!
3. If you can’t sleep the night before recording and you tweet about how hilarious aforementioned book is and the AUTHOR RETWEETS YOU, TRY to calm down instead of getting jazzed and giddy.
4. Put your devices in another room. Experts say not to use our electronics for two hours before sleeping for optimum snoozing.
5. If you didn’t get any sleep, maybe go and get some exercise to shake off the cobwebs. I took an awesome run on the lakewalk. Did a body good.
6. At the recording session, drink tons of water (like a rookie, I didn’t do this). And herbal tea with honey and lemon.
7. Be rehearsed. Brett and Marcus were ROCKSTARS – knocking the songs out in 2 – 3 takes, sometimes the first take. It wills save time, money and frustration.
8. Know when to quit. If you’re spent, call it a day. Sometimes you can’t drum up the passion, or your voice is shot. Again, saves time, money and frustration.
9. Rest up and relax for the next day. Sure, I whined like a baby because I didn’t want to go down at 7 pm, but I slept for 12 hours and was ready for another session on Sunday.
10. Give yourself time between sessions, and PLENTY of time before the release to adequately promote without pulling hair out. Tons of tips out there on the web. Some fave music bloggers with good promo tips: www.aristake.com and www.shadesofsolveig.com
My new album will be out on Chaperone Records in January 2015!