From the Studio - Take 12

This week was the last scheduled week of recording, as it was time to begin the process of final-mixing the record. That was the plan, anyway.

The schedule for this week was to record the spoken parts we are doing over one of the musical interludes, and have Josh record a chorus on "From the Inside Out" that he had left to do. That all went pretty smoothly. We were joined in the studio by none other than my seven-year-old daughter Cailynn, who is contributing her voice to one of the spoken parts. Danny and Celia did the others, and then it was on to Josh.

He recorded his parts in just a couple of takes, and there it was - milestone reached. The "main" recording was done!!

The best part of the whole session came next. We sat down and listened - actually listened - to the entire album. The reason we did this was to make notes on the areas that we needed to do inserts and overdubs, and also to start to get a feel for where we need to go in mixing, in terms of editing, levelling and plugins. This was the first time I had heard a couple of the songs at all since the guitar parts were done. "He Reigns," for example. We did this song pretty much in two takes back in February. And I haven't even listened to the music on it since. But it was amazing with the vocals on it.

Some of the vocal choices that the singers made surprised me, actually, but in a good way. I had done the basic arrangements for all the songs, but was at few of the vocal sessions. So this was really a fresh experience for me, listening to the vocal runs, the harmonies, and the choices that were made on who was to sing what. I've got to hand it to our singers, they definitely got some game.

One thing that became apparent is that we need to do some more work than we though. Hearing the songs in more-or-less competed form showed us where the holes are. We need to add one vocal session to record the fills and redo some small parts. That will add a week to the project, and some more money to the budget.

We had about an hour left after listening and making notes, so we decided to tackle some issues. Since Josh was there, we decided to redo his vocals on "You Said," which weren't really meshing with the new guitar track I had recorded. Once that was done, we then turned to "Say So," which needed some fortifications in the last chorus. It had been recorded with just the girls singing that section, but it sounded a bit weak compared to the rest of the song. Fortunately, the guys had sung it in the middle of the song, and Gabby was able to overdub that part onto the end. The power of Pro Tools became evident as the vocals were dropped in and then synced to the existing vocals seamlessly.

We also made some decisions about the arrangement on "Mighty to Save." I don't want to give everything away, but there will be some editing to the ending in post-production to change things around a bit.

Next week will be recording the fills and some overdubs, then jumping heavy on the final mix.

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