studio

Our Second Adventure at Brookwood Recording Studio in Michigan

We are finally back home again! It was a longer trip this time because... well, I'll explain later.

After driving the 8+ hours, we arrived at our hotel, unloaded and... you guessed it! We practiced until 11 pm! The Best Western staff were kind enough to open up the dining hall so that we wouldn't disturb any other guests.

Yep. Practicing is what we've been doing round the clock lately.

Yep. Practicing is what we've been doing round the clock lately.

Next morning, we started recording our first song at Brookwood Recording Studio with David Lau. While listening to and coaching us after each take, he made the discovery that somehow, when we were re-arranging our arrangements in preparation for the CD, a couple bogus notes had crept in!!! Out came the White-Out and Abigail went to work.

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Oops.

The problem? Getting the stuff to come out properly!

The problem? Getting the stuff to come out properly!

After some laughs, we finally got enough white-out on the page and got on with the recording.

Next came lunch, then more recording and then going back to the previous session's takes and telling David which ones we wanted. He is SUPER fast (and good!) on those computers.

Then it was back to the hotel, supper, part of a movie, some truffles, and then listening for a long time to all the day's work in the studio.There were many decisions to make on what would go onto the CD. After all, it's on there forever! Kinda scary. And, we had to finish the CD by the end of the next day.

One quick portrait of the group + David Lau, our recording engineer before we hit the road.

One quick portrait of the group + David Lau, our recording engineer before we hit the road.

During the time when the rest of us were recording one song, the guys played Rook,  a really old, fun game.

During the time when the rest of us were recording one song, the guys played Rook,  a really old, fun game.

While we were doing a take, David would be sitting with the score and writing in what takes were best in which places and any mistakes he heard. Such a great help!   Thanks David!

While we were doing a take, David would be sitting with the score and writing in what takes were best in which places and any mistakes he heard. Such a great help! 

Thanks David!

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In the early evening we were finished, and started driving. Only instead of going home, we headed east, drove to the coast, and then started back, driving for almost 26 hours non-stop. Very exhausting.

Find out why in next week's edition of the Johnson Strings news!

At the Studio: Recording the first half of our NEW CD!

We are back from our whirlwind recording trip to Ann Arbor located near Detroit, Michigan! Thank you for your prayers! The project is coming along fantastically!

On Sunday, after church AND after Abigail played in her piano recital, we drove over 8 hours to our hotel in Ann Arbor, the Red Roof Inn. Yep. We were tired. BUT, we had a great story CD to listen to during the hours in the van.

The night passed quickly and we were up early getting ready for the day. After a nice breakfast at Big Boy, we drove to the studio, arriving around 9:00 AM.  As you can see from the photos, Brookwood Recording Studio is beautiful with huge painted canvas murals on the walls - very inspirational! The canvas painting behind the piano was actually used in a 1951 Hollywood movie!

We set up, recorded, listened to get an idea of our sound, recorded, broke for a quick lunch, recorded some more, etc. In between lots of the "takes" there were short breaks to check our instrument tuning. After all, they need to be perfectly in tune for the CD! 

By the time supper came around, we were quite worn out and Daddy took us out for a wonderful meal at Karl's Cabin. Shrimp... crab... scallops... pasta... spinach... wild mushrooms... 3 cheese stuffed pasta... roasted red pepper cream sauce... YUM!

Then it was... back to the studio to record one last song: Luke's banjo solo. Check out the photo below of Luke in his "cage/playpen" :) His sound had to be isolated at least somewhat from the rest of the group.

Finally, after a great, informative talk with our sound engineer, David Lau, we hit the road for about an hour before finding a hotel and falling into bed.

By morning, we were greatly refreshed and went for a swim in the deserted heated pool after enjoying the complementary breakfast.

We packed up, and drove, making one short detour to The Chocolate Garden, a highlight of our trip for sure. After purchasing a few tastes, truffles, and a specialty hot chocolate, we were back on the road. (As food connoisseurs, we are always looking for new flavor combinations to duplicate at home!) Driving conditions weren't that great. It was snowing once again, which made the trip longer than normal. But, we arrived home safely! 

We are now crazily practicing for our 2nd and final recording session!


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They did have a LOT of snow in Michigan!         Don't those truffles make your mouth water?

Recording Studio Update!

Installment #3 in our recording saga...

Abigail found another studio where we can record our CD! (albeit over 8 hours away!) Praise the Lord! We were able to get a couple of dates in the near future that will work with our schedule!

One of the exciting points about this studio is that it specializes in classical recordings rather than rock, pop, and jazz. Our new sound engineer says he'll be able to get more depth in this recording than we've had in our other four CD's!

The studio is happy to work with us and it seems like it will be an amazing  fit. We are looking forward to our trip to the Detroit area! Since this studio is so much farther away, we will have to consolidate everything into 2 trips instead of 3. Hmmm.... that sounds like more practicing coming up...