...that makes it all worthwhile. We had a total pro piano player in yesterday to do a track for a singer/songwriter client. He came in totally prepared and nailed it in one take and then, when asked to try it in a different key, nailed that one too. We have a Kurzweil digital grand triggering Synthogy Ivory running on a mac mini and the sound of the C7 patch coming through the monitors just blew us away. Smiles all around.
So a few weeks ago I did a session. A friend of a friend, who's actually got a really cool backstory playing in a HUGE funk band in the 80's. Unfortunately, I've signed an NDA and I can't share specifics of the artist or share their work.
I'll just say that it's an older guy, playing drums. I had no idea what to expect from someone who has a playing pedigree that spans longer than I've been alive but he was just great to work with. Fun, jovial, no-nonsense at all. Let's just get to work and have a good time doing it while telling crazy stories about studios and tours and busting out tracks.
Anyway, what's wild is that this guy has it all in his head and has the bass/guitar/vocals all worked out already. He sits down and tracks the drums with ZERO guide tracks whatsoever. No click either, which I would normally really frown upon but he was also really adamant about not using clicks.. But from a guy with this background, he nailed the songs in a few takes each with minimal punches and those that we did, he nailed the transitions as well.
I mean, other than a few edits, I just hit record or stop, told jokes and drank coffee for 7 hours and got paid for it.
It's one of those sessions that isn't even in my wheelhouse of work but my friend convinced me to take it and I'm super glad I did. The session went great and I made a new friend and hopefully a repeat customer.
Recently working with a brother and sister team on a bunch of 3-part harmony parts on a record (I'm the third singer). It's pretty cool in a Vince-Ricky-Kathie way. We all have the same wide range from A3 to C5 (middle C being C4) in chest voice and it's so nice working with other people who can tune to each other.
The kind of stuff that Professor Dan shares some times.
Long ago, when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth and musicians actually performed their parts, I remember cutting a vocalist for this one kinda emo/punk-ish band (they were actually quite good and not at all the cliche). Anyways, the singer, kind of the quiet, nerdy, pensive type is just killing it. I mean killing it. There was one song in particular where, going into the final chorus I knew from the demo there was going to be a big crescendo and a long sustained note. He decided to do the lower two harmonies first, stacking two of each. Takes one and two, total keepers. Takes three and four, total keepers. And I'm marveling (to myself, not to him, gotta keep 'em trying) how much the guy not only nails the notes on time, on key, delivery matching delivers, but how even the slight glissando and vibrato are all like human protools.
So we're on to the big money shot top notes which I could sense were at the tippity top of his range. I back the preamp off from pure intuition and hit the big red circle thing. First try? Great. Second try? Really great. Even better.
He comes out of the booth to listen a few times and, without a word, goes back into the booth and says "roll it". "The high parts?" "Yeah, get rid of those. Go." The next two takes had me absolutely floored. That guy put a pint of blood and a quart of human pain into that mic both times.
I don't get impressed often. Less so with the 'emotive' type bands that can come off kind of trite and disingenuous. But I really couldn't believe how good that guy put down those vocals. Still impressed when I hear it.