Studio Session, Sunday, May 28th,

Had a great session at Top Cat Studios today. A long one – 7 ½ hours! I managed to cover a lot of ground, and we’re really nearing the mixing stage, which is very exciting! I started by adding a low strings sound to beef up the bass in the song, and by singing a couple of stereo backing vocal lines for Sword in the Stone which answer the main melody. These additions have been really effective and have brought the song to a ready-to-be-mixed stage.

I did try to do repeat one 4 bar section of the song to give the listener a bit of breathing space before the second verse, but I wasn’t sure about it, and once we’d done the edit, we ran into so many technical problems, (gremlins in the system!) that I quickly began to suspect that the song did not want the extra four bars and, after about an hour of mucking around, finally returned the song to its pre-edit state! Phew!

Next up, I got my kids, Jessica (9) and Ewan (6) in for a wee sing. They were keen to give it a go and I sat them in the recording room, whacked a couple of headphones on them and had them sing various nursery rhymes in time and pitch to my song “Seesaw Marjorie Daw”. It took a while, and Ewan was getting a bit restless (the call of the iPhone was proving to be too strong for him!) but before long I had the two of them recorded singing a couple of variations of “A Tisket-A Tasket”, and then got Jessica to sing doubled tracks for the last two chorus’ and “it’s raining, it’s pouring ...” to finish the piece with. They did a lovely job, and it’s brought a real bit of magic to the piece.

Next up, I added a couple of synth harmonised trombone lines to In the Beginning. These melodic lines are additional to the original melody, weaving around the vocal lines for the last two chorus’ and creating a call and response feel, which I plan to emphasise further with a final string reply line, which is yet to be added. Once it’s done, the song will be ready for mixing!

I then went to work on Merlin’s Song, where I re-sang the main harmony to the lead vocal in the second half of the song. I threw in a couple of higher harmonies toward the end, to thicken the texture of the piece and bring the song to a sense of climax. I was sounding great. I also added a lovely open “ohhh” section midway through the song, which builds and harmonises. It’s really effective. I plan to try adding a “babbling brook” type sound effect under this section and see how it fits with everything else. If it works, the song’ll be ready to go.

And finally, Sweet Lady Life. I have been wanting to give this one the Simon and Garfunkle’s “Scarborough Fair” treatment, and so I added a bunch of vocal harmonies – stereo L & R – which ran as counter-melodies to the original melody. The effect of this was strengthened by my harmonising the original vocal as well. I effect is quite lovely. I also played a light classical guitar lead through the piece so it weaves in and out with the piano. The final effect is just what I was after! Hooray! Ready to go to mixing!

At the end of the session, I’d really completed a lot of music and it now has only left me with two or three songs to complete. These are: The Long Forgotten Feeling, One Day Soon (Gotta tighten up the harmonies!), Forever Dancers and Life Everlasting. Not long now! I’m planning to have it ready for mixing by the end of June!

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