Yesterday, we spent the entire day in the studio working on putting the audio tracks together. Vocals to come later, although we have finally found voices to do the vocals. We are very excited about the voices. Grammy winning singers will be doing some of the vocal work on this album. But that is for later.
We went to the studio at 10:00 yesterday and we had all of our technology with us in case something went wrong during the day. It was a good thing we did too, we needed it. We took a dozen bagels to the studio with us because we knew we would need something to chew on throughout the day, we also figured the other people at the studio might like something to chew on. By the end of the day there were three bagels left. We had a blast! If you had asked Debra or myself how a CD is made six months ago neither of us would have had a clue, yet now we are well on our way to having a finished product.
To make a CD you must first start with some music, you can design and arrange your own music or you can use music that already exists. If you use someone else’s music you will need to purchase the mechanical license to change anything about the song, including adding voices to an instrumental track. The latter is primarily what we intended to do. However, it became more complex as we got our hands dirty. Not all of the songs we wanted to use were in the right key or range that we needed. Furthermore, some of the songs we selected didn’t have any versions or styles that we liked at all. One of the harder songs to work with was “Froggie Went-A-Courtin’ ” a folk song. Finally we were able to find a version from Switzerland that we really liked. After listening to thousands of versions of a song they all start to sound the same and you feel like you are losing your mind. If you need more information about getting mechanical licenses or the process of producing a CD we would love to offer some advice and possible share some of what we have learned with you. Contact me at Teacher’s Professional Resource LLC (303)-969-0532 if you would like some help.
Because so many of the songs we chose didn’t have a version we liked or one that would work with what we were trying to do we turned to someone with more experience. Jesse Landis–Eigsti is a brilliant musician with multiple albums on itunes. We enlisted Jesse to arrange some of the music for us. It turned out to be great work and we were extremely pleased when we heard it in the studio yesterday for the first time. The song files Jesse arranged were .midi format files. That meant we could do whatever we wanted with the tracks, we could change the instruments, key, tempo, volume of any instrument, anything was up in the air. The final result was a bingo song in a bluegrass style. It sounded amazing.
We only got four of the tracks done because it was a lot of work cutting and adding things to get the sound just right for each track. Tom, the sound engineer working with us was at it until 7:00 and everyone was exhausted at that point. Tom is also a pianist for Dotsero, he has been a professional musician for 30 years and played with countless professional musicians. So he knew what he was doing. There will be another day in “studio A” for working with sound in a couple of weeks.
After we get the music the way we want it for all of the tracks it will be time to bring in the voices and add them to the CD. Then there will be a day of mastering where the voices are dubbed over the audio and everything is tweaked until sounds just right. Then everyone gets to listen to it hundreds of time to see if anything is off or misses a little. Then on to production duplication.
Who knew it took so much to make an audio CD, of course it would be hundreds of times more
difficult without the wonderful support we have received from the studio and Jesse.