With two songs written and the instrumentals recorded for each, I was feeling ambitious enough to lay down the vocals last Friday. This has become the last step of the process for me (apart from mixing), because I no longer live in my parents’ basement and the amount of noise I make matters. I’m loud and obnoxious when I sing, especially when I try to harmonize with myself. With the track blasting in my headphones, most of the ridiculousness of my sound is lost to my own ears. Other people would hear a series of farm animals with birth defects. That being said, I never record vocals in my apartment where the walls are paper thin.
Fortunately, a friend of mine let me use her place, which is basically a town house connected to other homes with slightly thicker walls. Allowing me to scream like a dying goat in it was a brave and selfless act. She’s from the UK which means my singing could put her at risk for both eviction and deportation.
I cleared a space for my laptop on one of her countertops after turning away a dozen or so decorative, plastic doll statues…and then sympathetically taping cotton balls to each of their ears. I set up my microphone stand in the corner of the room. I poured myself a glass of water to keep my throat lubricated (not a sentence I throw around often). Then I took a few deep breaths and began.
And it was horrible.
I’ve never had a great voice to begin with, but I can usually belt something out that can be tweaked with a little auto-tune. Even after extensively altering my pitch digitally, my entire Friday recording session sounded like a robot with a cold. It was discouraging.
Taking on a long-term creative project is usually a love-hate relationship. There are going to be many times you want to punch it in its face and therefore there are going to be many times where you have to remind yourself why you loved it in the first place. While I’m reminding myself of this, I’m going to need some singing practice.
Anyone up for karaoke?