Saturday, May 12, 2007

Saturday, In The Booth ...

Brian and I were going to get together this past Monday to record, but he had to reschedule. We planned for Thursday. Thursday arrived and we were both busier than we thought we'd be. So Brian suggested getting together Saturday afternoon. This afternoon. "Don't even call me," he said. "I'll just meet you there at 3 p.m." He had no intention of canceling. Nor did I. So we met up.

I love being in spaces during off hours. There's such a different energy when the halls are dark and all the people are gone.

Brian asked what I wanted to sing today and I decided that since we had a couple songs that were pretty far along, we should polish those up a bit, inch them a bit closer to "done."

We listened to the first cut and he marked where I needed to punch phrases. When we'd marked up the whole track, I went into the booth and sang the bits to be fixed. Bam, bam, bam, bam. I stepped out of the booth and said, "Look at me, nailing everything in one take!"

Yeah, that wouldn't last. By the time we got to the last phrase of the third track of the day, I must have tried it 10 times. And I wasn't in love with any of the takes, but we decided on one for now. Maybe next time, I'll be able to nail it. Today, it was just too falsetto-y for me.

As Brian played back tracks for me today, he turned the volume quite high. I asked him why songs sound better louder. "Psychoacoustics," he said. Get out! There's a word for it?! "What does that mean?" I asked. And he explained about how you perceive sound both with your brain as well as through physical sensations in your body, like feeling bass in your chest. Sure enough, I just looked up the word: "The branch of psychology concerened with the perception of sound and its physiological effects." Cool!

(By the way, yesterday, at long, long, long last, I finally got around to buying a digital camera, so L.A. Dave requested a shot of me in the booth. Brian was kind enough to snap one, through the glass, even, hence the glare. And later, I snapped one of his console, just cuz I like all the pretty lights. That's it, below.)

So, in the spirit of sharing ongoing works in progress, here's a tune from today's session. God bless George Clooney for making "Good Night, and Good Luck.", because if he didn't make the movie, Dianne Reeves wouldn't have recorded the soundtrack, and I wouldn't have fallen in love with these songs and the way she sings them. This cut is the plaintive "Who's Minding the Store?" There are still some things to tweak, but in the immortal words of Paris, "I, like, cry when I listen to it, it's so good."

Not that I actually cry, but I'm proud of it, nonetheless.

(Composer Dave, if you happen to read this post, please don't listen to this cut yet. Seriously. Cross your heart and promise. I'll explain the next time we chat.)


And if you need it, the direct URL is here.

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Jurgen Nation said...

Wait...is this you, Beth? I'm confused. Forgive me - I haven't seen the movie or heard this song; I'm sorry if this is a stupid question.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Yep, doll, this is me covering a Dianne Reeves tune from the movie.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous girl and dog said...

WOW!!! Loved it! Woman, you have an awesome voice! I felt like I was sitting in a smoky cabaret watching a sultry, seductive nightclub singer. :) Just PERFECT! I am so jealous, I can't even sing "Twinkle, twinkle little star" without making people cringe. ;)

7:58 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Aw, thanks! As I was telling Stac earlier (she of Jurgen Nation, above), it's been a crazy-ass journey, getting to a place where I can sing and let people hear it. So lovely comments like yours really keep me going.

I think we all have to settle, though, for smoke-free cabarets these days, what with all the no-smoking bans. Ooh, unless we go to France!

As for you, I'm sure you're a better singer than you think. Most people are.

8:06 PM  
Anonymous girl and dog said...

No, trust me. I suck. ;) But I've come to terms with it.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Lance said...

Well done, Beth! The thing that so many artists forget, no matter what they're singing in whatever genre, is you have to tell a story with how you sing the song. This you've done and quite nicely. I kept thinking back to a cold, cloudy, but oddly colorful March I'd worked in Memphis. Blues, I think you've got them. :-)

Crawling back into my hole here in Nashville...;-)

3:16 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Well, hey, Lance! Nice to see you in these parts!

Blues? Oh yeah.

As Christopher Walken would say (in the best SNL skit ever), "I've got a fever. And the only prescription is more cowbell."

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Mikeachim said...

Sounds great, Beth.
The lady has talent. :)

3:34 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

You're sweet, Mike.

3:50 PM  

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