Funny times these days in the studio... but were they ever normal?
Today, I tracked a vocal. Nothing special about that, except we've finally just finished renovating the studio, and I've been itching to put it through its paces.
I did a clever cable thing and got to use some equipment I hadn't used in a long time, which was convenient because Eles had the big outboard rack in his room and had a session right after and I didn't want to wheel the thing around all day.
And lo and behold, producer and singer walk in, headphones are ready to go, we dial up tones in less that 30 seconds of singing and wow... what a killer tone I got quickly. Pure chance I'm sure, lol. Needs a tweak though. Add another piece of gear and it sounds even better. I don't push my luck further and we start tracking.
Yet, the whole session, no comment on the tone whatsoever. We're constantly referencing the demo vocal done at home, and it's like night and day. One is barely listenable, the other sounds practically finished through the boombox. We spend most of our time discussing ad-lib ideas.
So the question I have no answer to, is: whether that was the perfect session, completely focusing on the music and the engineering/technology being totally transparent. Or was it actually a sad session, because no one cared about the quality or the sound except the one person who had the vested interest in it? A statement of where music is at, and even musicians take the sound for granted?
And after thinking about that for a minute, I shrug it off; happy we got a nice vocal that sounded good, and everyone left happy. And I have to guess that this isn't the first time in 100 years of recording that there's been a session like this.
I wonder what the first studio session was like. Did every cliche happen right then, and it all started from there?
I'm imagining a small string section recording where one player hasn't shown up yet, the rest of them are complaining, the composer is still writing the song, the label is already planning on not paying the invoice, and the engineer is just going bonkers over how miraculous recording is.
I'd google it, but it'd be such a cynical risk finding out how it all went down. I'd like to think it went just swell.