Hello everyone, and welcome to my official website!
The Road So Far…
About two years ago, I was staring the job market in the face. It looked embarrassed, and wouldn’t meet my eyes. For once, I caught the social cue. The answer was no.
I’ve always been a musician, focusing almost exclusively on writing my own music. If you’ve listened to me play for an extended amount of time, you know that when I’m not playing one of my own songs, I quickly descend into improvisation on guitar, which continues fairly endlessly. If you’ve lived with me, you are very aware of the endlessness. Also, 3am is a perfectly acceptable time for playing guitar.
Knowing that it could be quite a while before the job market would greet me with a big smile and an even bigger hug, I realized that there is a large market for music in film and television. Some TV shows had started almost exclusively using songs as background music.
(Thank you, Smallville and the CW, who were apparently the front-runners. Smallville even had full episodes using only the tracks off an artist’s new album to promote the album.)
With no engineering jobs that I had an interest in, and my extensive background in composing music, I figured I could use the down time to write music and try to get it placed. Then I could make some royalty/sync money, which would be nice.
I wrote a song for a listing from a show asking for a Christmas song. The song was good, possibly very good (I am still planning to rearrange/record it at a future date). Unfortunately it sounded terrible.
How is this possible? (Thank you for asking.) It turns out that recording, mixing, and mastering a track is just as (probably more) important than the song itself. The end result was very similar to a child’s finger painting that you would be extremely hesitant to put on the fridge. To continue the simile, the song would be somewhere between the “Jackson Pollock” stage, and the “things looking like actual things” stage, resulting in comments like: “Oh, honey! This is…nice…”
The song had a piano part, a string part, a drum part, and vocals. The vocals were recorded on my iphone, while the strings and drums were programmed using Garage Band’s midi program, and the program's basic synthesized and sampled sounds. The whole thing was mixed in mono. I realized quite quickly that, though I could write music, I did not know the first thing about recording and mixing.
Oh, no!! Our hero appears to have found himself in a prickly pickle!! Is this the end? Did our hero give up? Was this brutal revelation too much for his already injured pride? Or did he escape the clutches of his dreaded nemesis Recording Mediocrity?
To continue the adventure, please wait till the end of the tape, eject your cassette, then turn to side B.
(Read: Year 1 begins in the next post)