Recently, I had an odd request from my neighbor. He wanted me to host a birthday party at my house for his daughter, who was turning thirteen. It wasn't a deal with cake, ice cream, and presents, though; it was a recording session in my studio with the birthday girl and her party attendants.
What I'm listening to right now: Muse
I said "Yes," because . . . why not? But I was very unsure of what I was going to be recording. My initial thought was that the auto-tune was probably going to be in full effect for this session.
But this is what went down: I set up mics and baffles in advance, and had the tracks loaded up in Ableton. Mainly, because it's good to be ready to go as an engineer, but also because I wanted to have the scene set for and make it feel special.
There were eight vocalists total. They showed up together and seemed very excited to get going. While we were getting levels, all the girls were timid to start. I had to give instruction on where to stand and how to work the mic, etc. But one by one, each girl sang for her first and subsequent takes, and I witnessed metamorphosis right in front of me as their confidence grew.
As it turned out, I was wrong about needing auto-tune, and was delighted to discover that these girls could REALLY sing. There were a few times where I actually got goosebumps while listening.
This experience reminded me that whether you're 12, or 32, or 82, playing or simply experiencing music can still feel new and exciting. It made me think back to when I was their age, learning to play the drums. It was exciting then, and it's still exciting all these years later.