Recording the album 1 – prep

Jo Puleston had given me some advice about the album a couple of years ago, Jo is a recorded artist and worship leader.  One of the things she suggested to me was to send the songs I wanted to put on the album to Christian leaders whom I trusted.  This was to see if I actually had an album to put together.  It was good advice as it meant the songs were tested and submitted to my peers and leaders before I embarked on an expensive recording project.

Once I had the final songs for the album everything seemed to happen really quickly.  I met up with a few potential producers; I didn’t really know how to put the album together.  I also met up with Chris and Jen Orange who gave me lots of pointers.  Chris suggested that I get Henry involved in the project. (Henry has recorded with Graham Kendrick, Godfrey Birtell and the Oranges) and so was more experienced in the studio than me for one!

I’d already met up with Rob Medley who is an experienced and gifted musician and a good friend.  Rob has worked with Graham Kendrick, Chris and Jen Orange and is currently playing for Judy Bailey.  He gave me lots of advice and agreed to co-produce the album with me.

Rob suggested that I get the songs out to band members so that they ‘lived with them for a while before we came together’.  He also said that we shouldn’t use valuable studio time to put the songs together but instead schedule some rehearsals, in this way the band would get to know each other and begin to own the project.   

After meeting with Rob I went home and started doing my homework.  I began by looking up Tim Hughes blog and Al Gordon’s blog.  I was aware that they wrote daily blogs when they where recording their albums.  I’m so glad they both blogged their recordings as I learnt so much from them.   In particular I took Al’s advice to relax and have fun.  It was useful to know that the core musicians were all jamming together and how each instrument was isolated in separate rooms or behind screens.  It was clear from Al’s blog that they were working really hard and that they were working long hours.  I got a sense from Al that he just went for it vocally which I found useful, singers can clam up when it’s time to be recorded!

From Tim’s blog I took much the same advice.  I liked what he said about being keen to capture a sense of worship, excitement and passion in all the songs in his recording.  I knew that I too wanted that, and was now deciding that I wanted the core band to record at the same time so that we would capture that sense of worship as we recorded.  Tim also said that when he records vocals he ‘tried to capture an image in his mind, a thought or scripture’ so that he could ‘keep a worshipful perspective’ which ‘helps to dig deep capturing more passion and emotion’.  This was invaluable when I came to record vocals.

As a result of reading their blogs I began to look for riffs, climaxes, places of quietness and celebration in the songs I would be recording.  Thanks guys.

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