Sat in on an amazing session (!) last night with my mentor, Eric Eggleston.
We were live tracking and spent most of the time on vocals; I had the pleasure of meeting the very talented and passionate Tyler Kealey, whose open-mindedness and desire to paint a story added so much richness to the experience. Tyler is an accomplished pianist and singer - quite an impressive range and very skilled at adding 3rd and 5th harmonies on the fly (read: envious!).
Here we see Tyler pensively paused ahead of his next lyrical assault:
Watching Tyler and Eric work together was exhilirating - many layers of vocals intertwined with synth tracks, percussion, and signature arpeggio-type subtle sounds. Eric even laid down a couple of guitar riffs to add colour and the artist was totally into it. To see Tyler's appreciation for outside creative input was both humbling and encouraging - I truly felt 'urged forward' after feeling the deeply rooted satisfaction play out in my head and escape into the atmosophere around me. I did feel like a part of the creative process even if only as some sort of guilty bystander... a sin to which I happily admit.
As the session progressed, I began to feel a demystification happening, right before my eyes and ears. If it felt good and it served the song, it was good indeed. I hope this means that I am hearing things in a different light.
Aside from the session, Eric had me mix a production of his for practice. I did a relatively simple mix with a bit of delay (send, not track) and reverb on vocals/synth parts with some compression to bring it all together. I was able to find a few little subtle imperfections on the raw WAVs that detracted from the feeling and I was able to EQ them out. Once you hit that initial plateau of placement and levels, the mixing process is so satisfying - like a series of tedious tweaks that you hear and feel your way through and that you actually want to pour energy into.
All of my experiences thus far have begun to open up this new world to me; I can definitely see my own approach to making music improving with more of these experiences.
Here, Eric was adding some manual automation using a clever oscillator. He's very skilled at bridging the analog/digital worlds:
Take care everyone, and trust the soup.