With the release of the Paid Time Off EP right around the corner, I'm going to give you a little insight into my recording process for any given song.
When I arrive at the studio, my song (ideally) is fully written and well-rehearsed. When time was less of an issue for me, I'd actually record the song on my computer for a rough draft, listen the crap out of it, and then by the time I got to the studio I already had a completed song in my head with all of the nuances and subtleties all sorted out.
Alongside the microphone, my set-up typically includes a music-stand that I'll place my iPad with lyrics on. Occasionally I'll just have the lyrics on my phone, but this is a little less comfortable for me. Most importantly, I'll have a big bottle (if not two) of water ready to go.
After getting the recording space situated and microphone prepped, I dive into the main portion of the recording. Typically, I like to knock out all of the verses first then move on to the chorus. This is so the vocal consistency remains throughout the whole track.
Coming back to the studio after so much time away hasn't been easy. There have been songs where I probably did 20 takes (probably a lowball estimate) on an individual verse just to get one that I was satisfied with. Again, for consistency's sake, it's best if you can do a verse on a single take. However, if there is just one portion of the verse that I'm not happy with, I'll "punch in" on that segment with new vocals and the engineer will swap out the bad ones in the process.
Next, I'll go through and do my overdubs. These are essentially my background vocals. I use these to emphasize key words in a line to give them more power. This isn't a very time-consuming process. I usually do about two sets of background vocals per verse, then we can pick and choose what we want to use at a later point.
Then it's on to the chorus. The recording process is the same here, but I'm much more particular about how it comes together because it's the most memorable portion of the song for most listeners. Occasionally I will have singers on a chorus, so I will spend some time with them singing the part I want them to record. They will usually take what I give them and elevate it to much greater heights than I expected. But if there is any singing involved on my part, we will be there for a while!
I look forward to you hearing everything we put together for the Paid Time Off EP when it releases on Tuesday, May 26!