January 13, 2018
So my first intern day was actually two days ago but I was having trouble logging into my RC account- thankfully I've (finally) succeeded and can recap my first session as an intern!
I came in for a later session, at 8 PM, and upon my arrival Mark, Andrew and Alex were preparing to track some vocals for a rap track they were producing for licensing (one of many). To my surprise, the rapper turned out to be Alex himself! I watched as Alex performed in the booth and Mark recorded his takes on Pro Tools. I was very impressed with his performance, and of course Mark was a true pro on Pro Tools. I observed as he dropped each finished take into a take folder below the recording track, therefore freeing up space for another take. This is a crucial difference between Pro Tools and Logic, the latter having an automatic take folder- less work for the engineer, but perhaps less practical logistically.
After everyone was satisfied with Alex's takes, Alex worked on tweaking some beats on Ableton, a program which is completely unfamiiar to me and therefore utterly intimidating in its vastness and complexity. The range of this program is truly limitless, and it was very interesting to see Alex create these tiny, subtle details ( i. e adding triplets and tweaking the pitch of the high hats) that had a surprisingly strong effect on the overall sound, rendering a track that was far more unique in its intricacy than it had been a mere few minutes before. It's all in the detail! I think in music it is apt to use the Hitchcockian principle of subtlety and restraint equalling great dramatic effect. It's not always about big, grand sound- it's about listening in to the mysterious, diaphanous layers of texture bubbling up from the depths.
Later on, we were joined by a couple more artists who were ready to record their freshly written verses. It was very much a collaborative effort, and I was really amazed by some of the techniques being used, vocal stacking being one of them. Rap is a genre I must admit I am not terribly familiar with, and to observe the process of its creation instilled within me a new appreciation for it in terms of production, writing and performance. Everyone in the room was clearly passionate about what they were doing and it was enlivening to see.
To the next!