Going Over to the Dark Side

Over the last few months, I’ve been using a training course from Born To Produce to learn what happens on the other side of the glass screen. The glass screen that you will have found in every recording studio you have ever been in.

I’ve been sat on a cheap rickety chair nursing my guitar in front of two amazingly expensive microphones, watched by (usually) two (usually) men with one of them issuing instructions that I hear through the headphones that are an essential part of the process. Who are they? What do they do when I’ve gone? Now I know their secrets – well, some of them.

The training course was brilliant. I use Cubase (Artist 11) which is an expensive bit of software for somebody who has no idea what they’re doing. The training consisted of a large zip file containing around twenty-five videos, each of around ten to fifteen minutes duration. There were also raw recordings of voice and guitars – a broadcast quality song in kit form. It took me several weeks to put it all together and understood what I’d done and why I’d done it. The result isn’t my favoured genre, but I love it anyway ‘cos I built it!

Now, all I have to do is put all of my own material through a similar process. Here is Nobody’s Knight, chosen because it’s a very simple structure.

I introduced a synth and a percussion section. I recorded the guitar sections and “comped” them as shown in the videos. I devised and added little extras, did all the effects such as compression, EQ and reverb, some automation and a whole load of other stuff that lifted the result, little by little. Then I mixed it and ended up with something to be proud of. In the past I’ve recorded stuff at home, done what I could, what I knew how to do and published it with a feeling of “Well, I suppose that will do.” Now, it’s all going to take a great deal longer, but will be worth every moment of effort.

What you hear above is the beginning of what may be a two year project. I hope to launch one new track each month, but they won’t get launched until they sound right!