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We, as in the Big Sky Gliders, are back in the studio recording some more songs. The goal is to eventually get 10 songs done and then release them as an album. We have been using Rick Garvin’s Backyard Studio. Rick is very knowledgeable in matters of recording, having years of experience in these matters. We have become more efficient and prepared in our approach as well, which means less time and hence, less money.

I have always found recording to be a fascinating process. I did some in the 1980s on purely analog equipment with some friends. In those days, you were looking at a purpose built studio that cost lots of dollars. Our first recordings were done at the university radio station in 2-track. Most of our later stuff was on 16-track equipment. To watch my buddy edit tape with a razor blade and adhesive tape was a lesson in its self.

But now with digital, recording has come to the masses. I appreciate Rick’s expertise, but I have always wanted to have the capability to record my own music at my own convenience. When my oldest son moved out a couple of years ago, I requisitioned a former bedroom and having been putting bits and pieces together to be able to record at home. I started out using Audicity, the freeware recording software. However, I just purchased an M-Audio MIDI controller that came with ProTools SE software. It certainly is a limited version of ProTools but it is a good way to learn. I am not really worried about isolation or ambient noise – now I can put down tracks to experiment with before we go into Rick’s studio.

The Bedroom Studio

The home rig has already come in handy. One of the songs we are working on is called ‘Sunday Morning Alibi’, written by Don. I normally do the vocals but in the real studio, because I was fighting a cold, I found I couldn’t hit the high notes. But, using the home setup, I was able to do a recording of the song and try different vocals to see if I could sing in a different register and still get the effect I was looking for. I added guitar, mandolin, bass and a midi keyboard track to get a sense of the arrangement as well. So, here is a home recording of the song, complete with scratchy and off key vocals. This is fun!

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