For the past few months I’ve really been enjoying the process of writing, arranging and recording a collection of Christmas songs. It all started with one song that I started in December 2014, a tune called Still Shining. By the time December 2015 rolled around, I liked it enough that I wanted to record it. So I started with that one and I like the results.
Early this year I felt God was saying to me, “get ready to do a recording.” I thought…”hmmm I wonder how that will happen since I have no budget to do a recording?”
This is where a crisis became an opportunity. Well, not really a crisis, but a problem. You might say that life is a series of problems we face day by day. We do our best, with God’s help, to solve these problems one at a time.
The opportunity I’m talking about is becoming skilled in actually recording my own songs. For decades I’ve done recordings in other people’s studios. I’ve paid experienced producers, arrangers and engineers to make my recordings happen. But right now, I have almost no money in the budget to make a recording.
I am not a techy kind of guy. I learn how to use computer programs only when I’m forced into it. That’s how I got started doing this Christmas recording. As I’ve forced myself to learn how to use the digital tools for recording that are available for very little money, a whole new world of music is opening up to me. In the past, my recording experiences have all been rushed. “Time is money.” But when you can arrange, and re-arrange a song and let it mature over many sessions and edits, you can get it where it needs to be.
In the past week I have written and recorded a 4-part orchestral strings arrangement that sounds legitimate because the strings are sampled instruments, not a cheesy sounding substitute. There are digital drumming tools (also real sampled drum sounds) available that sound great.
So, I’m doing most of it myself, but I’m also getting some skilled friends to help me. (In another post I’ll describe that process).
The whole thing requires lots of learning, perseverance and patience. But, guess what? In this day and age, even a non-techy guy like me can do it. Two main reasons: (1) the digital recording tools available at low cost and (2) free instruction on youtube on just about every question you have about recording.
Learning is fun. Music is fun. Learning to arrange and record music at your own pace in your own home is really fun.