I’ve always felt a type of magic whenever walking into a recording studio. It’s this incredible feeling of the culmination of energy of the thousands of songs that have been performed within those walls, with every single little piece agonized over and consciously decided upon – “yes, the angle of the hihat mic is perfect”.
Studios are a beautifully serene environment – comfortable soft lighting, the warm glow of VU meters, and the almost sensory deprivation of being in such an acoustically deadened environment. It’s where I find calm. The rush and noise of the world disappears, the dead silence living amongst such grand, spacious rooms – somewhat of a juxtaposition in itself. There’s a type of undescribed potential energy that I’ve never felt in any other environment; the range of equipment and instruments, all ready and waiting to be caressed into the next moment of musical history – whether that is to be a globally recognized piece, or appreciated by just one. It’s a mark of an emotional state and a particular feeling at that specific moment in time.
There’s a comradery I’ve never experienced in another industry too. It’s an incredibly caring endeavor – a sincere expression from every person involved striving for the same goal, and everyone working their hardest to make it as smooth and convenient for everyone else to perform to their best. A successful studio session only occurs when each person’s role is treated with the same attention and importance – whether it be the producer or the runner – as each person is a cog in a greater machine, which only runs smoothly (or at all) with several components working together. Many of my favorite studio sessions and best recordings are in part a result of having an incredibly efficient and attentive assistant. (Special mention to Bo Bodnar of EastWest Studios).
The environment sets the scene for where the real work begins; the performance. I’ve seen literal blood, sweat and tears on several records – all from people pushing themselves for “the take”. Striving for that one performance that resonates with something inside us – often not because it is technically “perfect” but rather the opposite; that there are glaring imperfections. The right kind of imperfections can convey emotion; the vocal quiver on a certain line, the tentative feel of a guitar part, or the intensity of a rushed drum fill. Often moments that can only be captured in a perfect environment – when everything else is so perfect, that extra human element gives it that much more meaning.
The studio is the vehicle to transport a song from being a concept to a tangible, finalized piece. A concept that’s always fascinated me about recording is the partial immortality it offers; keeping an element of each artist alive through the foreseeable future. Gen Z still has the ability to discover and feel a personal connection to Freddie Mercury, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash, and Bill Withers. Beyond the magic of recording, that’s the magic of recorded music – a sentiment from an artist half a world away and can still cause an emotional shift in an individual living several generations later – an opportunity that has only been presented in modern history. Will people in 2120 still be watching videos of Freddie Mercury sing to Wembley? Perhaps. Will “Gather Up The World” be listened to by a 24-year old in 2300? It’s entirely possible.
We’ve been fortunate to have recorded at many incredible studios (ones I had as background images on my computer in the mid 2000’s), both as a trio and independently, and focus much of our writing and producing time in a private studio in Malibu, CA. It’s a beautiful space that provides; relief through environmental refreshers, a calm serenity, natural light, high ceilings (an important factor for me) and a comforting foundational home base for us to feel inspired as we create.
Looking forward to sharing our next release with you all.